“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” -F Scott Fitzgerald
The worlds of your soul and your identity only overlap somewhat.
There are many versions of this that you will hear. For me it is actually a way to think of the spiritual path; that the challenge, the point, the practice, is to be able to be in two distinct realities simultaneously while constantly adjusting the balance to line up with the truth of the present moment.
In other words – We are having a human experience here in this dimension, defined largely by our ego identity, while being aware that at the same time we are an eternal divine spirit that is connected to the entire Universe.
Part of what that entails is making peace with the ways in which these two aspects won’t be reconciled.
-One wants to be in control; the other wants to surrender.
-One puts a lot of energy into defining where I end and everything else begins; the other sees everything as one.
-One is very concerned with safety, survival, and death; the other is eternal and only sees transitions.
-One cares in some form or fashion what other people think and needs to fit in; the other has its own path, purpose, and schedule, and has no concern whether that’s inconvenient, difficult, or makes sense to anyone else, including you.
I could go on…
But the point is that each has different concerns, priorities, and demands. And as I see it, the conscious spiritual journey involves keeping a foot in both worlds.
There is a New Age point of view that sees the spiritual mission as one where we try to overcome or eliminate the ego (our understanding of our human identity). Well… I have yet to meet the person who has successfully achieved this feat. But more importantly, I’m not sure that should be the objective.
We chose to get in the game, so we might as well play it. The ego is part of the game – it’s the Monopoly piece that represents you on the game board.
The interesting thing to consider, I think, is what happens when you play the game full out and totally invested, conscious that it is not the only reality. That in fact, in some way, it might not be real at all.
I don’t mean to suggest that this would or should make the reality of this world any less meaningful or important. If anything, I think it makes it more complex and interesting. Each world, in the context of the other, takes on more dimension. Our actions and intentions do even more to create our reality when these worlds are in ever-flowing relationship.
When we shift our attention a little between the realms of spirit and ego, we do much to define the reality of each moment. Staying in touch with both worlds simultaneously allows us to have a great deal of choice in creating our reality, so long as we maintain the ability to adjust as we need to.
For example, if I wanted to connect more to the meaning or understand the opportunity presented by a current life situation, I might invest more focus on my spirit half. If, on the other hand, I needed to create some specific results at work, I might pay more attention to creating a plan and scheduling practical action steps.
In this way, by intentionally leaning in the direction of “real world” or the divine, we exercise influence over how the moment will be experienced. In the end, the richest and most joyous version will be a unique blend of personal and higher meaning that acknowledges that two seemingly contradictory truths do exist simultaneously.
If you would like to hear more of this kind of thing, you can join my Facebook group “Your Spiritual Adventure“.