Lifting the Veil

illusion nature reality

3826544482_e0c8f51dc2Yesterday, I was asked the question, "Do you direct your experiences, or allow experiences to happen to you?"

I had to pick an answer in the middle somewhere, because while I normally feel that I should take an active role in my life, lately I have felt that I am intended as an instrument for something. When I am doing the 'wrong' thing, my life seems very difficult, like swimming upstream. When I finally decide to stop fighting or stop making excuses for doing the things I want to do, suddenly I'm flowing along and everything comes easily. I make more progress in a day than I would have in a week.

The problem is figuring out specifically what I'm supposed to be doing. Sometimes it's obvious--I want to go hiking around in the woods, climbing trees, bounding over rocks--but I keep making excuses and don't make the time. Then, when I decide to stop putting off the things I really want to do, all the stress and stuckness in my life, even in unrelated areas, seems to dissipate. I feel relieved and happy.

Other times, I think I know what I want but really I'm being led by my ego or external expectations of what I should be doing. For example, making a lot of money has been a driving force in my life for a long time, but I think it's motivated by fear or a need to impress. Not the sort of thing the universe gets behind.

Lately, I've felt like the universe is trying very hard to tell me something, and so I'm trying to allow more experiences, rather than directing too much.

I'm not normally a huge believer in the metaphysical, at least not as something that can manifest tangibly, but lately I've had some experiences that defy my normally pragmatic, down-to-earth worldview. Visions and coincidences, compulsions and behaviors that fall squarely outside of my normal framework have forced me to reconsider myself and my world.

Take my morning hikes for example. They have started to feel more and more layered, like there is something tangible going on behind what I can see and hear and smell. Every step sends ripples throughout the space, ripples I can't help but notice because they come back to me, and walking along a trail feels like walking through an infinitely complex web of strands reaching throughout the forest, into the past and into the future.

It is almost as if the facade of sight and smell and sound has been revealed to be a curtain, and I can tell there is a lot going on behind the curtain. Walking along, I'm running my hand on the curtain, and I can sense things happening behind it, sometimes even feel something solid. Life really is starting to feel like The Matrix.

Every now and then, the curtain pushes back far enough that I can actually see back there. And the things I see are both exciting and terrifying. Terrifying not because they are inherently scary, but because they imply so much more to life than I had previously understood or accepted as true. I take this as a sign that I need to reassess the direction of my actions and how my values interact with the world. It suggests to me that I have a lot to learn.

It makes the whole experience very exhausting.

I've tried to explain things with rational psychology, but the most rational explanations actually seem to be the mystical ones, or at least of a psychology far more subtle, sensitive, and complex than anything covered in Respectable Publications (or even pop psychology). We're talking about concrete experiences of collective unconscious, genetic memory, primal heritage, and communion with nature.

I worry that I'm losing it.

Except that one image I had was of a wolf, which is apparently a symbol of spiritual protection, a sign that no matter how scary or weird things get, someone or something is watching over me to make sure I come out of it alright.


I'll be in Utah, lost in the desert somewhere with my dad, until May 14th. This post should hold you until then. In the meantime, ponder this in the comments: "Do you direct your experiences, or allow experiences to happen to you?"


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Photo Credit: photo_gratis on Flickr