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The Novice

by Lanny D


Funny things can happen on the path to Enlightenment and Awareness.  While heading in what I first perceived to be the “right” direction, before waking up and realizing there is no wrong direction, my journey seemed routine and tiresome.  That led to the search for shortcuts and the immediate gratification that equates to temporary comfort, or what I often refer to as a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.  Shortcuts only cut us short.

I’m a novice who’s learning to navigate the Soul-Rich airways under the tutelage of a veteran pilot whose skill and wisdom I hope to someday acquire.  To call this journey an “eye-opener" doesn’t even begin to explain it.  After we were formally introduced, the pilot and I boarded the plane and settled into our respective seats at the controls.  My expression must have given me away as I stared at the vast array of gauges in wide-eyed wonder, because the pilot immediately started to explain that it doesn’t take all of those knobs and switches to fly the plane.  She said most of them are there for emergency situations, like extreme turbulence or problems with pressure.  there was even an autopilot switch for those who aren’t quite ready to remove the blinders.  I asked what the flight plan was, and she said that was entirely up to me.  Sure, it makes sense now, but at that particular moment there was more smoke coming from my head than from the plane’s exhaust system.  I must admit I was nervous, but there was something in her voice that set me at ease.  Sincerity or reassurance, I think.  I asked if we could take a sharp left, and the pilot said it didn’t matter what direction we went, it’s all right.  Of course, this made absolutely no sense.  She pulled a hard left, we burst through a cluster of clouds, and to my surprise there was the blackest sky I’d ever seen.  I told the pilot that it couldn’t be a good thing.  She told me to look higher, and when I did I saw the most beautiful stars twinkling and sparkling at me.  Shocked, I asked the pilot how she did that.  She responded by saying it was me who did it.

Not quite buying it I asked her if she’d turn right.   She obliged, and soon we burst through another thick patch of clouds.  Suddenly, we were right in the middle of a terrible storm, complete with thunder, lightning, high winds, and hail.

I turned to the pilot and asked how this could possibly be all right.  Again, I was instructed to look higher.  When I did, I saw the clearest blue sky, and the sun was shining so warm and bright, I started to realize the pilot wasn’t your ordinary, average, know-it-all.  As we traveled on, she explained some of her “strange” concepts to me, and in my condition at that moment I struggled to grasp them.


From The Soul

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She explained how the path most traveled isn’t always the best choice.  That the beaten path merely reflects the souls who have traveled it, and can sometimes leave the traveler more beaten than the path.  It was then that the little light came on.  No, seriously a little light came on!  We’re in a cockpit, remember?

The blinking light was a warning to increase our altitude to avoid what appeared to be the face of a mountain ahead of us, so we started a slow and steady ascent to a higher level.  Now, out of harm’s way, the pilot asked if I’d like to take the wheel.  She assured me she’d be right next to me at the controls to assist me if I needed her.  The pilot went on to explain how important it is for one to learn to become a better navigator as the journey continues.  As I nervously gripped the wheel, I asked if the key to unlocking all of life’s beauty is as simple as looking up.  She said that looking up includes a direction, and there is no right or wrong direction, but looking higher involves perspective.  The beauty I was seeing was due to a change in perception, and that gave me the ability to look higher, allowing me to see the beauty in all that is everything.  It’s the same way a stem full of thorns can bear something as beautiful as a rose on top of it.  If we don’t look deep enough within, or “high” enough, we tend to miss it.  I think our tendency to conform to what we’re conditioned to accept as truth is, in actuality, a surrendering of freedom.  In the case of keen awareness and wisdom, I’d like to believe that running with sharp objects is permissible.

Yep, I think I’m starting to catch on.  The pilot asked me if I had anymore questions, and I asked when we were going to land.  She shot me one of her quick, knowing glances and informed me that we won’t be landing because this journey never ends.  She also told me to keep in mind that it’s all about looking ever higher, with that, I gripped the wheel firmly and began my slow and steady ascent.

Love Deeply and Look Higher