Shahriar Shahriari

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Spirit Speaks


Every life is offered the opportunity to leap out and find its true nature. Every soul is given the chance to transcend the mundane and find the ecstatic.

More often than not, however, this opportunity is heavily disguised. For some, it comes in the form of the loss of a loved one. Others may find their opportunity through grappling with a terminal disease. Yet others encounter great disappointment, generally in relationship to other souls.

Public life, by nature, puts us in situations where we encounter friction and resistance. The people we expect least, end up being the toughest opposition and the most destructive obstacles we encounter. Great disappointment comes from dealing with people, who simply behave in ways that are not becoming.

And it is precisely during these times of trial and tumultuous tribulation that our soul is offered a great opportunity.

Ironically, These trials of life are somewhat of a rite of passage, an initiation if you will. And much like any initiation, we can come out of it triumphant and transformed, or we can be crushed to pieces.

It is like going into the belly of the whale. Either we will come out digested and torn into a thousand pieces, or we come out victorious, unconsciously integrating the powers of the beast within our psyche, adding to the forces of the Good.

It is in these times that life offers us the soul-searching opportunity that we need most. We will go through a bitter-sweet process of questioning, analyzing, rejecting and affirming, sifting through the sand, and painfully separating the wheat from the chaff.

The outcome of this process is one of two things:

Either we emerge bitter and disillusioned with the world, going through our lives with an attitude of blaming life in general, and becoming a martyred victim, or...

Or we look deeply within our soul and try to distinguish between the temporal and the eternal in life. We come face to face with our mortality, and touch our immortal side. We let go of the glory and embrace grace.

Through this fiery trial, what remains is either the impurities and the base metals of our life, or we separate the gold and shine our light - no matter what goes on out there, outside of us.

Either the cocoon is crushed with the caterpillar trapped inside, or the beautiful butterfly emerges, spreading its beauty and joy, regardless of the thunder or the harshness of the wind.

Let us hope that when these times are upon us, we shun our bitterness, and embrace the opportunity to search our souls, and live life in a way that we can spread our light and love, beauty and joy, touching others with gentleness, no matter how harsh their skins may be.

Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
March 23, 2001

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