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A worm in horseradish

from Susan Jeffeers, End the Struggle and Dance with Life
Many of us have great resistance to exploring the pathway that leads to the Higher Self, the spiritual part of who we are. We resist for a variety of reasons:

Many wrongly associate spirituality with organised religion when, in fact, organised religion sometimes pulls us away from the spirtual part of who we are; for example, when it asks us to judge and exclude others for their different beliefs.

Many can't believe that they are more than they think they are. Therefore, they stay stuck in the negativity of the lowest part of their beings.

Many simply can't understand that there could be other ways of seeing the world around them. They have an if-you-can't-see-it, it-doesn't exist kind of mentality.

All of this is very understandable. Our conditioning has brainwashed us into seeing the world from a very limited perspective. There is an old Yiddish saying,

'To a worm in horseradish, the whole world is horseradish.'

Unfortunately, many of us are like those worms in horseradish. We see only through the eyes of our conditioning. We have been unwittingly trained to worry, trained to struggle by a society that thinks it is teaching us well but that doesn't understand the very fundamentals of a life well lived. And so we end up worrying and struggling. Many of us go to therapy. Although traditional psychotherapy may teach us to adjust to this world, it too often doesn't teach us how to rise above the clouds, to rise above the horseradish!

I remember the day my journey out of the horseradish and into a new life began. It seems like yesterday, although the year was 1972. I had just ended my marriage of many years and embarked on my first trip without my husband - a big step indeed! Fear dominated most of my being as I went though the motions of trying to enjoy myself in my chosen destination, Spain. I felt so far from home, so far from the safety, real or imagined, I had felt for so many years of married life.

One morning I decided to visit the Alhambra, a beautiful national treasure in Spain. It was early morning and a slight chill was in the air. I stood alone in a magnificent garden looking at the scene before me. My sadness about my divorce couldn't dim the awesome sight of the beautiful city, distant mountains and the sun's rays coming though the dispersing clouds.

I stood there for a few moments in deep appreciation of the riches before me, captivated by the stillness of the morning. And then something happened, something that took me out of the realm of ordinary experience and transported me into a new dimension of being. I suddenly felt myself being bathed in rays of glorious light as I melted into the magnificence surrounding me. On a deep cellular level, I became part of it all. I was one with the entire Universe. I felt a sense of exquisite safety, peace and harmony - a sublime sense that all was well in my world, now and forever.

Yet the above does not even begin to portray the blissful state of being to which I was transported. The english language does not have the words to describe it. This state lasted only a few precious moments as other visitors to the garden broke my connection with the sublime and I was brought back into my commonplace way of seeing the world. But the experience was so profound that it changed my life forever.

For the very first time, I became aware that there was a dimension of my being (the substance instead of the shadow) that I had never known before, a transcendent part of who I was that was able to touch the divine energy of the entire universe. It was a place of extraordinary peace, the kind of peace that was absent in my struggle-dominated world. All my personal problems relating to money, love, children, career, taxes, and the state of the world seemed like insignificant specks in a world that was so HUGELY more.

While I wasn't able to hold on to that transcendent state of being for more than a brief moment in time, I learned so much.

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