About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Metamorphosis - Changing from inside out

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation from within; Metamorphosis.

Motion and commotion steal the soul; stillness restores it.

There are many doctors that you can go see if your body has a fever, or a flu or some sickness or an ailment. But what are you going to do when your soul is sick? How do you diagnose soul disease?? And what is the cure for soul disease?

We all feel the urgency to make the most of life but often distract ourselves with busyness and focus on the wrong things that will never fulfill our desires. This restlessness manifests a the dis-ease of the soul, a growing discontent with our lives. We have more things than our grandparents ever did but most of us are not any happier. We do not know how to connect with ourselves, let alone connect to those we love or even connect to God.

Our schedules are always rushed, everything is always urgent and due to this, we suffer from motion sickness or vertigo of the soul. And what do we do, we just move faster and faster and faster.

The only place to remedy the soul is from the inside, to slow down and allow time for the vertigo to stop and the motion sickness to cure.

A butterfly starts itself as an egg, which becomes a caterpillar which become a pupa which ten chrysalis and begin to metamorphose itself into the beautiful butterfly. It doesn't wait for something in the outside world to change it. It changes from inside out, becoming all that it has been created to be.

Humans, we too often wait for something or someone to change us, we blame spouses for not fulfilling us, we blame parents for not a whole bunch of things, we blame our job or workplace, we even blame the place of worship and God when we are not fulfilled spiritually.

But it is time for me to take responsibility and to be still cause spiritual growth and transformation will never occur until we finally get still and stop moving and fix attention on God. This is how the vertigo dis-ease of the soul will heal.

The caterpillar does not go into the pupa chrysalis and keep moving until it becomes a butterfly. It becomes still and emerges after some struggles as a butterfly.

The next soul dis-ease is the desire to be in control. We all have become control freaks. We try to control our problems, we try to control our pain, we try to control our spouse and our children, we try to control our emotions.

Only if we could control everything will we be happier, will our soul be at ease .... but the world does not work that way. Many things are beyond your control, and that is why the soul is dis-ease.

The cure for being a control freak is again to experience some solitude, time alone to be silent with ourselves, and our monkey chatters and super ego men. And to go with God in silence. And when we go to Him in silence, when we remove our distractions, he begins to restore our souls.

Next soul dis-ease being suffered in this household and definitely many other households is the comparison compulsive disorder. Our soul is facing this dis-ease because we are so compelled to compare ourselves to everyone and to measure our worth with all around us.

When we use status symbols to determine our worth and identity relative to others, our souls will dry up. Nothing wrong with dreaming big and hoping for better things in life, but do not compare with others. I want to have a bigger house than so and so; I wish my salary was as high as so and so; so on and so forth.

Changing from inside out, metamorphosis. When  we get real with God and others, and become transparent and be what God created us to be rather than trying to pretend to be someone else, then our distinct beauty as individuals will emerge and the soul will be at ease.

The opposite of metamorphosis is metaschematizo meaning changing the outward appearance. This word is also the origin of the word masquerade. When we stop wearing masks and change from inside, we will truly metamorphosis.

When you give yourself to others, when you provide a service, when you teach a skill to someone without any expectation of a return, you will cut through all the boundaries an connect fully. You will move from comparison to compassion.

The next dis-ease of the soul is the comfort zone virus. We all have a comfort zone where we insulate ourselves from pain, suffering, inconvenience or discomfort. But this comfort zone virus is what will steal our happiness and shrink the soul.

We cannot avoid the problems or the hurricanes or the twisters in our lives, we will all have trials in our lives. It is during our struggles that our strength will grow when we lean towards God.

God allows trials in our lives because the only antidote to the comfort zone is suffering. Buddha's Four Noble Truths teaches us about suffering and how to overcome suffering.

1. Life means suffering.
To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
There is a path to the end of suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely "wandering on the wheel of becoming", because these do not have a final object.

By following the path that God has laid out. God does not want us to waste a hurt, or waste a tear or even waste a sorrow. He wants to endure suffering with grace.

Grace is the power to change. When we become still and silent, when we start serving and when we embrace suffering in our lives, then we facilitate real spiritual transformation.

Metamorphosis comes only through grace and I have started to alleviate my soul's dis-ease by grace and in the healing hand of God's grace.

Take care and be well.

1 comment:

Alisonswhim said...

"Grace is the power to change."
Thank you! I'll be quoting you often, I can tell :)