There have been many deeply spiritual people who have lived their adult lives in seclusion – in a cave, a forest, a monastery or some other place of solitude, in order to spend most of their time in meditation and prayer, day after day and year after year being always mindful of serving Spirit. They dedicated their lives to the full-time pursuit of intimate communication and connection with God. This, they believed, was the highest calling, the greatest gift, and the surest path to bliss and the transcendence of this physical world.

They may well have been right, for the path they chose was surely their path. Whether their path is a better one, I will never know, because my soul has chosen differently. But the one thing I do know with certainty is that we don’t have to go anywhere special or be anything special in order to connect with and communicate with God, because God always is, and has always been, accessible to us at any hour in any place and closer to us than our own heartbeat. We do not really have to seek God, for God is not hiding or eluding us. Wherever we are, God is. Even in the deepest silence of our darkest hour, even in the turmoil and struggles of our troubled world. It is impossible to be separated from God, for in truth we are all part of God expressing.

I believe we are here in the world to do things, and to have amazing experiences of learning and discovery and adventure. I believe we came here for that purpose primarily, even though each soul has its own unique goals and its own path for seeking them. For most of us that path leads through a veritable circus parade of people, events, and experiences through which we must make our way, together or alone, often in confusion, sometimes with little to hold onto but our own faith and a trust in the God that created us for some purpose we may not even know. All we can know for sure is that we have been placed here among each other, and somehow, God is here with us.

I love my solitude, my private time with Spirit. I love the peacefulness and the sacred silence, when I can simply sit and listen to the soft subtle heartbeat of the universe and the still small voice of God. But I also love the warm laughter of friends, the joyful squeals and giggles of children playing, and the enormous roaring thunder of thousands of excited voices expressing thousands of emotions at a football game.

To live awarely and fully, I believe we need both the active and the passive, the joyful noise and the sacred silence, being together with those we love, and being alone with God. The great challenge and the greatest success of being human is to live a spiritual life in the physical world. The most successful of us are those who are able to be human honestly and simply. This is no easy task - to be in the world but not “of the world” - for humanness can be very complicated.

We’re new at this - being human. It helps to remember that we have come here from Spirit to journey for a while, and only a short while really, of the eternity that is promised to us by God. I believe we are meant to love the trip, to rejoice in the journey and all its adventures, and to bring these new learnings and discoveries home with us when we return to where we came from.

Just now outside my window, a helicopter with blinking lights throbs its way across the evening sky. Probably a TV News crew, somewhere out there above the rush-hour traffic of the freeways. I'm glad to be here in this quiet place for a while instead. For now,I can rest and let peace come upon me, and flood the soft shadows of the room. The Presence is with me, even here, even now. Tomorrow I will go out adventuring again to see where life will take me.

When our present here journey ends, whether our individual passage of departure home is gentle or terrifying, we will all be released into peace and bliss at the transfer point, free to travel on to another place and another way of being that we cannot now imagine. We will wake in surprise, and look around us for what to discover next.

this Month's New Thought Essay, Poetry, and Blog. Darkhorse Press New Poets