Catching Messages from Heaven


Every relationship that we have in our life—our contact with each person, place, and event—serves a very special, if yet to be realized, purpose: it is a mirror that reveals things to us about ourselves that can be realized in no other way. I think this is one of the reasons that so many of us love to be out and about in that great showroom of life called Mother Nature.

For instance, gazing into the depths of a night sky we realize a sense of something vast and timeless; in her mountains we sense the soul of majesty; in any newborn there’s a sense of an all but forgotten innocence. With all that touches us this way, we are made aware of a life larger than our own, yet one that is inseparable from the part of us that stands as witness to it. 

Through these relationships we glimpse the ineffable. By their touch we are awakened to realize that whatever we behold in this world is but a mirror of the worlds above, and that all of these worlds reside within us. The soul knows this to be true: that in the common hides the celestial, and so it waits, watchful, never knowing when or where it will catch a message from heaven. Such moments are never announced. They enter quietly, unexpectedly, and—as the following illustration helps make clear—though they vanish into thin air, their impression lasts forever.

When autumn comes, particularly near its end, the ground on the little mountaintop where I live is literally golden brown with all of the oak leaves that have parted ways with their seasonal parents.

It’s so beautiful to watch the thousands of leaves fall like slow-motion snowflakes finding their way to the forest floor and their temporary resting place there. Then come the late October–early November winds, and all the leaves are off to the races. Like a large gathering of tiny tumblers, they’re driven here and there, rolling head over end in a dead heat to places unknown.

The remarkable thing I’ve always wondered about is where are they all going? Because even though everything is in movement, I can barely discern any difference in what remains before me. The leaves the wind picks up and scatters down the hill are replaced, moment by moment, with the leaves moving up the hill from the other side! It’s something like a giant game of musical chairs, only there’s a spot for all of the players. Slowly the lesson appears; a celestial secret is playing itself out right before me:

Everything moves, but nothing changes.

The ground over which these leaves race remains the same; it provides the stage upon which an infinite number of characters interact with one another yet never really change anything other than their places. This is a near perfect metaphor for any aspirant wishing to understand the relationship of their immortal Self with the world of passing time that runs through it.

Within us—at the very center of our being—is a spiritual ground, a perfect stillness that is to the movement of our thoughts and feelings as is the earth to the leaves that race across her until there’s nowhere else to run. Resting from their race, they enter into her stillness, giving themselves up to nourish her body so that she may give birth again come the spring.

How can we better see this beautiful truth? What must we do to find the freedom that comes with realizing the changeless ground of the divinity that dwells within us? 

Be here.

Be still.

Remember the truth of yourself.

By giving your complete attention to the living presence of all that you are, you will be given the incomparable awareness that while all around you everything changes, within you lives what is unchanging. Fearlessness follows this discovery in much the same way as late evening shadows flee the morning light.

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