Personal growth

A83EACDE-7470-4F17-A344-65DA559E2614There is one reason that souls re-enter the realm of the living, in my understanding.  It is for growth. With each ‘life’, the soul gains new understanding, learns lessons, then it takes them with it when one life is snuffed out and another begins.  When all is learnt (is that possible?), it is released from the cycle of birth and death. In our religion the belief is that you are born and re-born until you have lived a life where you are truly good, reach close to God and then you achieve Moksha, released from this life of suffering, the endless cycle of birth and death.  I suppose my own understanding must have developed from this background knowledge that I absorbed growing up.

The reason I am thinking about it is that recently I watched a movie, “At eternity’s gate” and in it there were several scenes of a mental asylum, back when there was such a thing. In one such scene, two residents of the mental asylum were depicted to make the viewer think that they did not understand much, were at the mercy of the world but not of it, were in some ways not truly living.  The thought crossed my mind, ‘how do the souls in these individuals experience personal growth?’. After all, if the purpose of a life is to experience personal growth, to pick up lessons while we are here on this earth, how do these individuals grow?  Just as soon as that thought crossed my mind, I had a realization.  My understanding is flawed.  How much more must I have to learn, if I believe that individuals who are in some way less mentally capable than everyday regular functioning ones, do not experience personal growth.  What a disastrous way to think!

At face value it may appear as though someone who has been chalked up as having a mind of a 3 year old in a 40 year old body cannot possibly experience personal growth, but that is the limitation in our own thinking! After all personal growth does not occur by virtue of what we are capable of exercising, what we show the world; rather personal growth occurs at the level of the mind, or rather the consciousness. We are all conscious beings, regardless of the level at which we may appear by worldly standards.  Ahh what flawed thinking and how much more personal growth do I need to go through…It is stunning to me, this lack of understanding in myself.  I see now, that, no matter your mental capabilities, as conscious beings we may have so much going on inside us that no one by merely observing us, could ever gauge.  When I was growing up, I often heard my mother say, roughly translated,  “We have found the limits of the oceans, but not of the human mind”. Today, I finally understand in it’s entirety, the meaning of that phrase.

We cannot gauge what someone else is going through, what they are experiencing.  Our capacity is so limited, how could we ever propose to know what goes on in anothers’ mind and heart.  It pains me to think how much suffering someone must be experiencing, which we are not able to respond to appropriately because we don’t see it, don’t understand it, don’t feel it.  We’re so limited. We will never truly know but we cannot think any being is impervious to experiencing growth, no matter how small, no matter in what form they arrive here on earth, no matter what we perceive their capacity to be.

I do understand now that everyone goes through personal growth while here, on this earth. Some individuals are quiet successful in their own lives, yet, may experience minimal personal growth, while others may not be self-sufficient and may need many supports, just to exist, but go through monumental personal growth. Our capability to be self sufficient is not proportional to our capacity of personal growth. Some individuals in fact are only here a short time, what growth do they experience?

Personal growth takes place in just this way, a fleeting image portrayed in a movie, leads one to think, reflect, conclude, adjust one’s perspective.  I’m grateful for that movie, that allowed me to go through this bit of personal growth. ♥️

9 Jan 2022

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