“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” Rumi
Everything I need to know about science I learned from watching Star Trek the Next Generation. For example, I learned that human beings consist of “ugly giant bags of mostly water” or more precisely what Data says HERE .
I went to Wikipedia, my other source for all things scientific, to confirm that whole 90% thing and found out that we are actually closer to about 60 – 75% water. I want to make sure I get my facts straight for any of you hard core scientists who might be reading this. Because, yeah… I get a lot of hard core science types reading this blog.
But back to the water thing. (be patient, I’m building a metaphor here)
Consider God (or Universe or Source or Big Kahuna in the sky, or whatever name you have for the Infinite Intelligence that runs the show). Let’s say that God is the ocean. When humans want to get closer to God they build boats, all different kinds, and set sail in search of God, pointing their compass toward heaven or nirvana, etc. The boats all fill with people of like mind who want to sail on that particular boat. They usually think that theirs is the best boat and that no other boat is seaworthy. Some of the boats are huge, like cruise ships, opulent and fancy, while others are more like old rowing ships, requiring all who ride in them to work diligently and never ever stop or look up or think. Other boats set tall sails and let the wind carry them smoothly across the surface. And all of these boats have one thing in common. They are created by humans, built by humans, and most importantly, captained by humans. This is religion.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is about diving right into the deep end and splashing around, becoming one with the tides and the swell of the waves. Sometimes we choose to jump in but oftentimes life throws us in, leaving us to thrash about and barely survive. We fear we might drown, but after awhile we allow ourselves to let go and trust and we find that the salt water gently buoys us, keeping us afloat. Instead of riding the bucking waves of life, we discover that we can sink below the maelstroms to the still quiet that waits deep below the surface and provides a calm strength that protects us from any storm. Spirituality is discovering that the greatest part of ourselves is made up of “mostly water”. We are what we came from. Some people prefer to ride in the boats, taking comfort in the leadership of their captains and the community of passengers on their journey. Some others never leave the shore, preferring the solid ground of “reality” beneath their feet. Others, like myself, prefer to get wet. This is spirituality.
When we leave this life, we return to the sea. And then one day the sun warms us and we once again rise from the water as mist and fall gently to the earth , drops of rain ready to begin again, our journey back to the sea. This modality provided by our benevolent Big Kahuna, allows us as many do-overs as we need in order to learn our lessons and get things right. Sometimes we stay on shore, afraid to go near the water, sometimes we bury our heads in the sand, sometimes we set sail, checking out the different boats along the way, and sometimes we swim. This is reincarnation.
Every experience is valid, every boat seaworthy in its own way. If you ever find yourself in a little too deep, you can always find a life preserver: all you need to do is ask. Remember that the captain of the ship, while having the best of intentions, is also having a human experience and they have a navigation system that has its own quirks and flaws. Trust your own inner guidance. It will not steer you wrong.
And thus concludes this watery metaphor. If you think I am all wet, then you are correct, sir. One last thing before I go…
Come on in! The water’s fine.