WEAR LIFE LOOSELY

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WEAR THE WORLD AS A LOOSE GARMENT


Wear the world as a loose garment which touches in a few places and there lightly.
                                                           St Francis of Assisi

Most of us, it seems, live our lives closely attached to the world and what it affords us because that's all we know. Then, when something comes along like a killer pandemic, everything in our life feels threatened, including our bodies.

We're not sure what might come next so we cling on to what we have. Even as we get older and our bodies no longer function properly, as mortality looms ever nearer, we still cling to life. This is something we never thought would happen to us when we were young, feeling our bodies to be forever immortal. When the former pleasures of life no longer satisfy as they once did, still many fear death.   

The question remains as to whether we are happier clinging to this world, even as our grip on it loosens and we sense it slipping away or do we live life with a sense of happy abandon as encouraged by Jesus. In his words:

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Matthew 6:26-34 (KJV)

There is a saying: Be detached to attachment and attached to detachment. This seems to be along the lines of what St. Francis was saying, perhaps more creatively, when he admonished us to wear the world as a loose garment which touches in a few places and there lightly.

My conclusion is that in these times of hysteria, fear and vulnerability, it's good to remember that only our bodies are mortal but our spirit is of God-essence. So, we continue to live on in whatever dimension we find ourselves.

My hero, James, in Elysium's Passage was an atheist and didn't believe that, at least until he discovered it for himself. I won't say much more except that these questions of life and death, attachment and detachment, are some of the major themes in Elysium's Passage Novel Series.

The following is an excerpt where James is thinking things through after a major life-altering experience in a tropical storm the night before.

Just as St Francis came to experience life as an unconfined loose garment, James felt he had been released from his fears and burdens to fly as a butterfly, free from his caterpillar’s cocoon.

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Excerpt from Surreal Adventures

As I sat by my hut in deep contemplation, there were other questions that came to mind, yet I decided not to worry about those for now… who knows what might happen next? Feeling as I did at this moment, I wanted to have nothing more to do with worry. As with all expressions of fear, it is of the ego.

Now, however, I was my own man, no longer that of the ego, born anew in last night’s storm. If there were a point where I could speak of being born anew, not of the flesh but of the divine spirit, this battle on the beach would have been it.

In the midst of the storm, it had been a painful birthing process. That’s how it is when being born into a new Self. The old self must first die.[1]

I began to review my latest journal entries from the fiercest days of warfare. I could see in my words a new James emerging out of the trenches, taking flight into a higher reality. In this battle, I was coming to understand the deeper spiritual truths Mo and Eli had been trying to explain to me all this time.

I remembered how I sometimes became annoyed and agitated while listening to their spiritual abstractions, as I called them. I now recognized what they were teaching me could only be discerned by my heart, rather than with my ego-mind, which had remained in dissonance.[2]

As I write this, I wish I could say that the dragon within had been slain that night, but it wasn’t… not completely. After all, the ego’s illusory existence is a function of one’s consciousness, and sometimes we forget who we are. At least its presence had been significantly diminished, even though I knew it might at times still sneak up from behind. However, if I remain vigilant, I can generally squelch its flames before it breathes.

I sat under my Bodhi tree much of the next day, watching the breakers crash onto the beach while listening to the chirping of the multi-florescent birds perched in the trees. Yes, I thought; finally, I’m at peace with my life and my world. I felt my heart was in charge now, redirecting my mind from fear to love, from reason to wisdom, and most importantly, to new life.

Rather than being subservient to the ego imposter that had undermined me for so long with its contrived fears, my divine Self, the real me, would inspire my thoughts. Yet, I realized this might still be a long transition once I returned home. Somehow, I’d have to find a way to gain control of my ego-mind by discovering who I was. But how?

I thought of how Eli used to tell me to be a fly on the wall observing myself, especially when my ego was creating trouble for me. If I could remember this mental exercise, it might help me understand what my ego was trying to do to me by what it said and did. By being aware of it, I had the choice to refuse to identify with it, thereby giving me power over it. Then the real I, the pure I of consciousness, sans ego, would be able to transcend the petulant illusions that preempted my real identity as the divine Self.

In as much as I could remember this when I returned home, I would be free of it so that it no longer could dictate what I thought and felt. Of course, learning to detach from the ego by not identifying with it would require much practise and discipline since illusions continue to thrive endlessly on earth, without question or resistance.[3] Furthermore, I realized I would be severely tested and tempered in the crucible of life, both within and without. But then, isn’t that what the grit and grind of our world are all about?

Yet, I wished to believe no matter what happened; the fall guy would one day discover the silent tranquillity I was now experiencing. Otherwise, what would the point have been for this out-of-body exercise? I then thought of something Mo quoted to me from a renowned Jewish mystic and philosopher: Solitude is the place of purification.[4] I would have to find a way to make that my experience, especially if I wished to maintain what I had searched for all my life and had finally found. I wasn’t sure how this might happen unless an angel came to remind me. Perhaps Julianne would be my angel... a most pleasant thought to consider.

As I strolled along the beach later in the day, I thought about how I had forgiven my mother last night during that eerie spectacle. And in doing this, found forgiveness towards myself and everyone else who I thought had wronged me in the past. Without a doubt, this was the most important lesson I learned on this island, and probably the most difficult. Forgiveness was my big issue - not something I often did willingly.

Should my old feelings of residual hate and resentment return to my psyche, I could never be free, and that’s why I could never allow myself to be trapped by my hidden resentment again. It would ruin my life without any possibility of having a lasting relationship with Julianne or anyone else.

I also thought about how Mo went on and on about how the world’s worst enemy was its collective ego; being responsible for its interminable wars and suffering. He said the ego-mind has no interest in forgiveness, caring only to aggrandize itself with hate and vengeance while wallowing in its cherished beliefs of entitlement and victimhood. These delusions give the ego a seeming reality it would not otherwise have by authenticating itself in the very pain it causes.

When I first came to the island, my friends suggested there was an essential purpose for my being here, even though I didn’t fully understand what that might entail. Now, during these last days, I realized it was about learning how to forgive. Everything I fought against on the beach was a hideous creature that I had conjured by refusing to forgive the world.

That was quite the revelation. I realized now my true identity was my divine Self and not that of the old ego-self. Not that I was a Buddha, but then, I wasn’t Gilligan either.

After arriving back at my hut, I sat down and thought about my remaining time in this realm of spiritual existence. Regardless of what was yet to come, at least I would be able to move forward in confidence, knowing that whatever fears had held me back would no longer be able to do so. At least not if I didn’t allow them.

After examining my life as perhaps few men ever have, I came away from the ordeal to discover my true Self. I recalled how frustrated I was when Mo asked me to examine myself during those early days on the Summit. I now understood his relentlessness was so I might one day find myself. However, first, I had to discover who I wasn’t.

I smiled, when I thought of how he kept quoting Socrates: The unexamined life is not worth living. I turned this around and declared aloud to myself: ‘This examined life shall be worth living… and hereinafter, shall I so live!’

I then saw a caterpillar on my tree. I too had been a caterpillar, I thought, that had remained in a cocoon for far too long, awaiting my metamorphosis into a free and beautiful butterfly. Today, I finally had become the butterfly enfolded within. One day, and it may be soon, I would again have to return to my cocoon in the fall guy. Through him, I would complete my transition while integrating whatever spiritual gains I made here in preparation for my ultimate metamorphosis into Elysium’s rarified realm of existence.

Who else gets to do that? And of all people… why me?

FOOTNOTES 

[1] Except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. John 12:24 (KJV). Or as previously quoted by G.I. Gurdjieff, A man may be born, but in order to be born, he must first die, and in order to die, he must first awake.
[2] That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6 (KJV). Flesh in the Greek, (σάρξ), carries the meaning of a world that has separated itself from divine grace.
[3] What I stated here expresses one of G.I. Gurdjieff’s primary teachings.  He uses the word it when speaking of the ego-self because it is not you, but a distortion of your divine Self. Also, Peter Rhodes book, Aim: The Workbook, excels in examining these concepts while making practical applications. He quotes extensively from Gurdjieff in conjunction with certain writings from Swedenborg.
[4] Martin Buber, 1878-1965, Jewish writer and mystic.

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SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE NOVEL SERIES

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This is a series of seven Elysium Passage narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips, who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.  

After experiencing a near-fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding of life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed or could believe.

An engaging and sometimes surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality, and our ultimate destiny. 

The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil, and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of adventures.

To read a sample press review at https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm  

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ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: READER REVIEWS

The following comments are excerpts from among the first readers, including a number of Amazon five star reviews. To read the full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com or directly at https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/reader-reviews 

"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture, and humour; Mr Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures the imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”

"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…."

“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"

“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher, can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”

“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting yet calming experience that is not to be missed."

"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."

 “N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like, and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."

"I am really enjoying your book, it’s fantastic! It is so incredible and diversified that I can’t really explain it to other people, so what I say is just read this book. Thank you so much for the blessings that you’ve given the world!"

“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”

“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous, thought-provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humour together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”

“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”

“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.

“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”

“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)

“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.”  (CLARION REVIEW)

 
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PENDING PUBLICATIONS IN THE SERIES

 
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows: 

THE ASCENT fall 2021

THE SUMMIT fall 2021

QUANTUM LEAPS spring 2022

SURREAL ADVENTURES summer 2022 

MYSTICAL ROMANCE fall 2022

THE ELIXIR fall 2022

THE RETURN sometime in 2023/24

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CONTACT INFORMATION & SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

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For more blog postings click: https://digitalbloggers.com/articles/elysiumspassage 

YouTube: Elysium Passage Channel

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