Monday, October 4, 2010

OF SCHISMS AND SCRIMS – Seeing Through Our Own Reality

Sometimes the membrane separating one reality from another is very thin. I used to discount all those “paranormal” events people claim to experience—feeling presences, hearing voices, sensing others' thoughts.

Those were other people's realities, if they were even real at all. That was until one perfect June day a few years ago.

I’d taken a break from a long bike ride, and when I woke up from a delicious, breezy cat nap in the dappled shade of a small tree, I felt my deceased dad’s spirit. His closeness moved me to tears. Of course, I couldn’t actually see him, but at that moment the sunlight, the leaves and the breeze all insisted he was there.

     As the light of our awareness and faith rises 
     behind the sheer material, we see a different 
     scene altogether.

Are such experiences just illusions of our own making? I don’t think so, but I do believe they require our openness, our readiness to see them. Perhaps, having just awakened, I was in that astute place one inhabits briefly before the ordinary concerns of life ooze back in like mud.

What separates us from other realities? It might be space, time, experience or any number of other factors. Or might these schisms of understanding be due simply to our own inattentiveness? If we pay attention, can we begin to see “through” the membrane and at least start to recognize differing realities?

Like the image on a theatrical scrim, what we first perceive seems to be all there is. But then, as the light of our awareness and faith rises behind the sheer material, we see a different scene altogether. And that deeper illumination takes us to deeper truth.
          If we want to see the world around us 
          as beautiful...we must be so ourselves.

I’m driving to work and someone cuts me off. I get angry. I see the other driver as mean, greedy, thoughtless and stupid. In other words, I invent a reality to justify my anger. The parallel reality— which I can only imagine, but which is nonetheless every bit as valid as my invented one— may be that the other driver is a single mom who's just found out that her toddler has been seriously hurt at day care. She’s on her way to the hospital. With that understanding, it's not so hard to believe that I'm actually in her way.

This is just one example of how learning to recognize parallel realities can empower us. There are countless others, in our relationships, in our appreciation of Nature, in our faith journeys. How we view Creation is a reflection of what’s within us.

The lesson is that, if we want to see the world around us as beautiful, or to see our fellow human beings as good and innocent, we must be so ourselves. It doesn’t take a great stretch to reach the powerful conclusion that by changing ourselves we can, indeed, change our reality.

"You've got to believe it to see it."
  DEWITT JONES, National Geographic photographer turned motivational speaker


Murcielago said...

Not so sure your experience with your dad's spirit was a "parallel" reality. For someone watching you, it might have been parallel, but for you it was the main reality.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Well-said, Murcielago! It was very real for me. Have you ever had such a spiritual encounter?

Anonymous said...

I definitely believe in a parallel reality-- I lived in it for some time barely able to function in everyday reality and my job. And I definitely believe in spirits-- from other people's experiences as well as my own. Loved the post!

Jeffrey Willius said...

Many thanks for visiting OMW and for sharing your belief, stockdalewolfe. It's an area in which I'm afraid too many people are limited by "logic," failing to notice the signs that surround us all the time. May all your realities be kind to you!

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