Why Life Is The Hardest Exam You Will Take

The most difficult exam each human will undertake is figuring out what their life is about and how to live it. It’s a subconscious act for many and some may find it easy, and others will struggle, but you’ll never know if you passed until you have transitioned (died). For some of you, it may seem rather crude to suggest life exists as a test, but think about it—each action or choice we make is some kind of test as to what we choose to think or do. At times we make errors and correct them; some may take a long time to realize if at all. Perhaps that is the point of life; to learn from our mistakes or know when to make the right choices in a given situation?

I came upon this theory as a few friends of mine are struggling with life, and some wish to give up and yet I cannot do any more than to encourage them not to. Of course I cannot guarantee the outcome, and yes, I too at times yearn to drop things and skip a chapter or two but skipping pages and chapters means you will have to go back to them eventually and that you might have missed some information that was needed. If you read a saga and skip a book you may not understand the significance of something that has happened or in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, which is a complex novel of Raskolnikov’s thoughts and actions, if you skip a chapter you miss out on his train of thought, or how he feels about the other characters, and the last few chapters will make little sense. That’s a little like life, sometimes we have to keep going with chapters that are hard work, tiresome, or seem to have no purpose or make no sense. If we skip them, we have to then go back to them and so is counter productive usually in hindsight. If it is towards the end of the incarnation, it means those chapters will have to be revisited in the next incarnation instead.

Life is a test, an exam that we are all taking at different levels, however, for some questions there are no definitive answers. So how can we have an exam with no answers? That is why it this is the hardest exam you will ever take (subconsciously) because you in fact created the questions (beforehand), therefore, only you have the actual answers. Take for example dilemmas, how do you decide on which is the right course of action? What is right for you may not be advantageous for another despite the same dilemma. Each ‘question’ posed is unique to each Soul and that is why there can be no absolute answer.

Some of you maybe asking why are we being tested, and it’s a choice we make when we decide to incarnate, for we are in fact testing ourselves to some extent. Naturally this is a philosophical and spiritual outlook, and many Souls will sail through life oblivious to it all, but for those who question life and its purpose perhaps this will give them some small degree of comfort. If an exam is too easy then you don’t think or learn, and when it is a hard and complex question you have to consider different answers or ways to solve it, and that is what life is about—choosing what is right and to try and not let other factors influence your decision. These may include such things as finances, what other people may think, and what will be quicker. Of course we can skip questions, but then think, why did we choose to ask them in the first place? I have skipped questions and they don’t go away, but come back when you least want them to.

My own life has not been without struggles, but more internal ones where I know what is morally right, and yet am forced to turn a blind eye to what seems wrong at times. All my wisdom and knowledge accumulated over my incarnations cannot shake that feeling when I know I could have done more or said something, yet it was not my place to do so. I have learned that as much as you wish to, many will not listen or choose not to hear. It doesn’t matter how much you know or think you know, the best answers can surprise you, or they can make you feel apathetic. For those who are struggling and want to give up or choose the easy way out, there is no wrong answer as you are still learning. However, like an exam, you can go back to the question if you choose and try and solve it. You also know if you don’t at least try, then you know it is only you that loses out, and that it may weigh on your mind. Many of us think back at the ‘what ifs’ and the lesson from that is to face things and attempt them, so there are fewer what ifs to mull over.

One of the main issues I see in life is people comparing themselves to others, when they don’t realize they are in effect taking different exams. Now I believe in equality, but the fact is some people are taking advanced exams, others are retaking an exam, and others are at entry level and there is no comparison between taking a GED test and a postgraduate exam. It’s hard not to compare or to think things aren’t fair when people plaster everything on social media, but fairness is a physical realm perception that can also lead to envy and greed. Inspiration is great and dandy, but underneath it all, is some of that driven by unnecessary jealousy?

This exam is made up of your own questions, and answers, and the trick is to figure out the point and purpose of the question, and accept that some may not get answered satisfactorily. If only it were as easy as multiple choice, but many answers can be infinite I’m afraid. Tackle the meaning of the question, and the answer will be easier to find even if it’s not the one you prefer.

The Emptiness Within And Enduring Triviality

There are some of us that feel an emptiness inside at times, and we search for some meaning or purpose, to life and what surrounds us. We want to know why certain things are so, or why isn’t life fairer. I know it sounds a bit heavy, but some people have jobs to go to, or family to look after, and they don’t think about the meaning of life because they are distracted or have no time. Do we even really need to think about it, or just live it? For some it’s not important and they carry on and seek a balance of pleasure, with paying the bills; that’s life for a huge sector of society, but not for all. Yes, it maybe easier not to think about it, but that doesn’t mean that the questions will stop being asked.

While we may question the purpose of our existence, I don’t rely on God for an explanation, but look at what I wish to achieve in this incarnation. It may sound a little strange not to ask God or a Guide for an answer, but they are not supposed to give us answers, because we need to figure out that part ourselves. We don’t need things to be explained, for if we did, what lessons have we learned? I reflect upon my own incarnation thus far, and I look at the emptiness within. Others may say we should look for gratitude, and look at what we were gifted with, yet I am skeptical of this notion. Are they things that the physical realm considers gifts?

Some may say they are gifted with good health, but that is actually predetermined to an extent, and controllable on the physical plane. Souls maybe born with a disability for a reason, to help them or those around them to learn lessons. Then people can take responsibility to take care of their health, or those who are in good health may have genes that counteract that. What about those born with good looks or financial stability? Again, these are predetermined before an incarnation, so are they gifts when they were already planned? Maybe some spiritual folks will say the love of their family is a gift, but can you measure love, and can you control those around you to love you without manipulation or unconditionally? Love like trust and respect and earned and cannot be bought with actions or material objects. People try, but and it may work for a short period of time, but it’s a case of quid pro quo rather than a conscious action in most cases.

I asked myself the question, “What have I been gifted with?” and to be honest I struggled with a rational answer. In the end it has nothing to do with anything my parents have provided, or anything I have actually done. My gifts are my Soul, my brain, and my morals and ethics. None of these are things that can be bought or transferred, and are what I arrived on this earth with. I value these things more so as I see society crumbling and people around me saying and doing meaningless things, and focusing on petty matters. To them it obviously isn’t meaningless right now, but once they have transitioned they will see how trivial it all was, yet my morals, and ethics will remain with my Soul eternally.

Trivial matters govern the lives of mainly younger souls, the retired, the bored housewife, and the rich whose lives revolve around shopping, eating out and taking vacations. They pick at small matters that only concern them and in fact do no harm, and it’s this wasted energy in the Universe that is defining society and how it functions. Having to deal with these tiring Souls who are petty can be hard work mentally. In the physical realm I wasn’t gifted with much, but had the basics. Most people (including my immediate family) are young souls, and perhaps my role is to help them to learn, because I have been the anchor for all of them since I was a toddler. The spiritual side of me wants to see this as fulfilling, but if I am being honest it’s tiring, mainly unappreciated, and frustrating. It’s a little like an employee who don’t like their bosses but who are stuck with them and put up with it. I’m also going to be honest in that I don’t actually like any of my family, yet I tolerate them and feel responsible for them. There are moments that I stop and let them fall, but then I have to pick up the pieces and so I create more work for myself. That is my emptiness within—that what I do for others, they will not understand or see it.

Being an Old or Ancient Soul is lonely because no one can truly see what really matters, and why I do prefer to be alone to find some solace and balance in knowing what I do is for the bigger picture. An Ancient Soul sees darkness, although they are not attracted to it, at times it can balance things and ground them so they see the reality of what is really around them. In other words, it puts things into perspective, that what many people (not Souls) focus on is meaningless in the long term, and what they don’t focus on could be meaningful in the long term.

For example, people focus on what they look like and while looking clean and tidy is necessary, I’m talking about plastic surgery and the bikini body obsessions that let’s face it when you are dead and buried really isn’t going to matter. Even in a subsequent incarnation it won’t matter because you will have a different body and appearance. Maybe they focus on say being frugal? One hears of people dying and leaving millions while they made do with their living standards or ate frugally. Again, what is the point, while one doesn’t encourage extravagance, what is the point of eating cheap unhealthy food and leaving money to the taxman and to charity? It’s a choice, but is it wise one? Learning to be frugal is necessary for some people, but it does boil down to being controlled by the material and allowing it to define your choices.

Ironically, what people choose not to focus on because they don’t see any immediate benefit is what could help them to grow. An example is learning to be humble; now often there is a choice to be humble, ignorant, or arrogant in a given situation. Many will subconsciously pick the most advantageous option, which may not always be the best in the long term. People don’t usually stop to think about the long-term implications, but a Soul that has awakened can see the relevance.

There is always the easy option, the right thing to do, or the option that provides benefits. At times that can mean missing out on physical realm things, or having those around you criticizing or shunning you. Some won’t understand, because they feel their choice is better. Even if you try to explain it to them, they won’t always listen, but remember, you don’t have to justify your own actions. For many, they cannot see the bigger picture right now, but when they transition they will be reminded of the options they had, and the real reasons for their choice. One thing I will tell you is that choosing to do the right and moral thing is something that will remain with the Soul eternally, but to get to that stage some errors will be made, for that is how one learns.

I hope you can see that much of what society focuses on isn’t conducive to Soul Growth, or that less emphasis is put upon things that actually do matter. I see so much pettiness around me when it really doesn’t matter—if it doesn’t harm or affect another, then it shouldn’t matter. It’s hard to ignore and endure at times when it’s repetitive. Maybe it’s about control? However control is about ego when it concerns others. As for my own immediate family, they are uninspiring young souls that all seek control of others. I let them think that for an easier time, but every now and then I put the brakes on and it shocks them. I will endure my mother’s pettiness as I have done my entire life (there was a spell of not seeing or speaking for a decade or so for my own sanity), tolerate my father’s frugal nature despite the fact he knows he can’t take his money with him and in the space of two years he has nearly died in hospital, and my brother’s arrogance in that he blames someone or something else for anything that goes wrong. I accept this, but I don’t find it useful to me, but I cannot change the vision of those who are blind to what they need to learn and focus on.

I try to think what do I gain from this spiritually—okay, my tolerance and patience levels have been tested to the limit, and I can see that some Souls simply cannot learn even with the best Guides and Mentors around them. I have learned that the Soul must want to learn before they can be taught, and be ready. I have little more to learn from them, yet they have more to learn from me and it’s hard work. I question if I must stay to guide those who cannot see what they need to in order to grow. It’s not looking as if it’s a great deal for me; however, the contracts will end when one side will transition (it’s either me or them).

A teacher gains fulfillment from the success of their students, or that they have been able to help. When that doesn’t happen, it can seem like a failure, but can a teacher be responsible for a student that doesn’t wish to learn? That is my emptiness within, and my struggle to maintain my morals, ethics, and integrity in a realm where many cannot see the long-term benefits. For many they want to know, “What’s in it for me?” or they aren’t interested. This is why Old and Ancient Souls prefer not to reincarnate; for them the emptiness and loneliness can feel like failure. Trying to see a lack of success not as a failure isn’t easy, and that is another lesson I am learning—that my existence is also for others, and while I must endure and tolerate a lonely emptiness within, that is one of my Soul Purposes. I will openly admit I yearn for more inspiring Souls around me, and that financial stability would make a small difference, yet I also know my time here is transient and it won’t matter soon. An incarnation can be an endurance test for Ancient Souls, and so I will indulge in some familiar old texts that help fill the emptiness.

The Pain Of Soulmates And The Soul Group

I’ve recently finished reading Brida, by Paulo Coelho, and it was a timely reminder that people are often misguided in the myth that Soulmates only bring happiness and joy. I don’t believe in the concept of a single Soulmate, but that each Soul has several within the Soul Group, and that each one serves a different purpose. The novel follows the path of Brida, who is searching for her Soulmate and believes it will complete her and help her understand life. It also follows the thoughts of the Magus (one of her teachers) who is also in search of his Soulmate, and when he does find her, his lesson is to learn to let her go. This was a second chance for him; to learn from a mistake he made in his youth.

Why is it that society conditions us from a young age to find a Soulmate and to settle down? That people are conditioned into believing it is the key to happiness, and that it is an achievement? The truth is, the Soulmate concept is much more complex than settling down with a partner for life. There are so many myths as to what role a Soulmate should serve, but it’s not the rejoining of two parts of a Soul in my opinion, but is when a Soul that has been part of another Soul’s existence appears, and it feels as if they are a part of the Soul because it is so familiar. Soulmates often know how the other will feel and react, and that means that they know when they are happy (or what will make them happy) or are in pain, but also what can hurt them. In that respect it can be a dangerous power, because although we would like to think no Soulmate would deliberately wish to to harm another, it can happen subconsciously.

Many believe that love is the greatest force and power, which is why people spend money and time (on dating sites) in search of love and their Soulmate, but it’s not the answer. It can make you feel good about yourself for a while, but love isn’t consistent, and people fall in and out of love. People seem to have a need to be loved and wanted, but money can’t buy true love, although it can buy attention. People remain in relationships out of fear of being alone, or prefer a compromise where there is security; neither are based on love.

The novel deals with the issue of being in love with more than one person at a time—is that possible, and that more than one Soulmate will appear at the same time? The answer is ‘yes’ and it’s not easy to deal with. There is no easy answer—do you walk away from both, or pick the one that is practical? What I have learned is that if you love someone but your actions cause them pain, then you should let them go and walk away. In reality, it’s not easy though, but one can still love from afar. A Soulmate should still allow the other to choose their own path, even if it means loneliness and pain for the other. That is true love, and although it may seem cryptic, that’s because it’s a lesson that is so personal, one can only truly understand it when they have been faced with the situation.

I speak from experience; a Soulmate of mine would not let me go, yet he could not be with me and while he loved me, he was also inadvertently hurting me and holding back my path. I don’t feel he did it out of selfishness, and so I chose to walk away (a second time). By not letting me go, it prevented me from finding or acknowledging other Soulmates that may have crossed my path. I could not force him to be on the correct path, so I followed an alternate one of my own. Eventually he freed himself on his blocked path, and he later admitted he didn’t want to hurt me anymore than he may have done which is why he did not let me go. This was my second chance, and yet I chose to walk away again–the first time through a yearn for freedom, and the second, again for freedom of a different kind. The pull of the presence of a Soulmate can be compelling and addictive, and in that respect is a dangerous kind of power.

Soulmates can bring about great happiness and the darkest pain at the same time. Can you forgive them easily? Usually you can; he has forgiven me countless times, and I have not held grudges against him, but was disappointed in his lies even though they were to protect me from harm. That doesn’t mean the pain they create is less in anyway, or that it can be healed quickly. My advice is to not get misled into the belief that a Soulmate is the only option, or to expect too much. There can be times of shared bonding, but that they have the power to alter, and block your path when love gets confused with the expectations of the physical realm. While divorce and separations are never easy to deal with, one needs to accept it is a natural fabric of life; when people die, they will be parted eventually.

Maybe the lesson is to learn to let a Soulmate go, perhaps to experience the pain of losing love, or to learn how to cope with a forbidden love that may not be socially acceptable on the physical realm? Those are some of the other roles of a Soulmate in the Soul Group besides being a companion in an incarnation. Soulmate interactions are powerful—more powerful that the emotion and impact of love. Don’t under estimate their power and ability to change your path.

Conquering The Comfort Zone

How do you know what your comfort zone is, and why do we prefer to stay in it? If you think about it, as babies we have no comfort zone and we learn through trial and error. Only then do we know what is safe and familiar, and what can be deemed dangerous. In order for the Soul to evolve it must step outside its comfort zone, but consciously doing it versus having no option but to do so are very different mindsets.

Is it foolhardy to deliberately face the unknown, or is it being brave? At times we must challenge ourselves, otherwise we don’t learn and we get bored and complacent. It doesn’t mean we should head out and do things without any preparation or thought, but to willingly look at other options.

Being outside of your comfort zone is inevitably uncomfortable, but you won’t know until you try. At times it will be scary, and things won’t work out, but on the other hand you will find that you can cope and it’s okay. I don’t like camping, in fact I am a dreadful camper, but I hadn’t really tried it, so I decided to be brave and to go on a camping trip. I hated it, and was miserable and did the best I could. In the end I know I survived, and that I could do it again, but only if I had to. You can’t know how you will respond unless you have had first hand experience. The same is with skating; it’s outside of my comfort zone and I prefer land. That’s not to say I haven’t tried, because I have, and one day I will brave enough to try it again.

Choosing the safe option seems logical, sane and sensible, but do you ever grow? That is the point of an incarnation and life, to try things that may not work out. Perhaps changing career is too scary, or moving to another area is something you’d rather not do. Think about it—it happens to millions of people each day, some through choice and others through circumstances beyond their control. Either way, people will have to face things and make it work. Staying in a comfort zone is not a bad thing, but if you resist growth and never leave it, you will have to do it one day, so isn’t it better to take a step out every now and then and see what happens?

©2016. S.T. Alvyn.

Keeping The Spiritual Ego In Check

When one sees and hears the word spiritual, immediately it is associated with the words kind, humble, caring, cult, religious, and magical. However, ego and arrogance is rarely used, because surely a truly spiritual person couldn’t be egotistic or arrogant? Sadly, there are some with those traits, and the number is on the increase with the widespread use of social media and the illusion of self-importance with made up titles and labels. The problem lies in people forgetting what spiritualism is really about, and get caught up commercializing their name and creating a brand, and with it all kinds of services. Now, some of these services are helpful and are created in order to help others, but many not only prey on vulnerable people looking for guidance, but also it stems from an inflated self-belief that they can justify what they are doing as a ‘fair exchange’ of goods and services. Quite simply, praise and popularity goes to their head and they believe the hype.

So what can be considered to be egotistical or arrogant? Is there an invisible line that can be crossed? I find one should be wary when they encounter those who  believe that only they are right and others are wrong, and when people are charged excessive fees for services that may not have an outcome. I recently saw on a Facebook post a friend shared that she recommended a spiritual coach who was charging £1000 a month to have access to her via Skype. How does someone decide their time is worth that much, with no actual defined service? Books, and even videos can be helpful as people can choose what they wish to believe, however, it depends on the tone—whether it s inspirational or delivered with a biased dictatorial tone. Modesty is golden, and if someone is not respectful or open to alternate theories of say reincarnation, then how can that be considered spiritual?

I have met some spiritually egotistical people, and regrettably they do give spirituality a bad name. I also saw a job description to be an assistant for a spiritual mentor and trainer (as she calls herself) and the job was hardly spiritual at all, but was really a marketing job to be done as and when needed. It was all about promoting the website, answering queries on the courses, processing payments, and to post on social media new blog posts. The site had some useful information, but was full of click and bait headings, and I’ll be frank here—you can’t just pay for a course to learn how to be psychic and to channel Spirit. Anyone who offers those types of courses are not spiritual. I have seen Shamans offer mentoring to those whom they choose for free, and that’s how it ought to be. Simply put, you cannot put a price on spirituality, and if you do, then that’s not spiritual.

In some spiritual centers, whether they be churches, learning centers, or retreats this is where egotism can breed where people feed off the praises of others. I have worked in and visited such places, and there was a minority that believes the hype and rhetoric of what is written in their profiles. My faith was restored when I met several well-known spiritual writers and names who were humble and modest—some had groupie followings and one even had a PA, but remained very grounded when I had any dealings (Jean Houston, Ray Moody, and Stan Krippner). The same could not be said of the center, or others. Instead they had an air of arrogance in what they stood for. Ultimately, the end result is always about money because without it they cannot continue or exist, and it’s more of a business than a vocation.

It saddens me when spiritualism is so commercialized, which is why I choose to have no adverts on my sites except for my own books, which I offer for free. More importantly one should also know when to stand aside when people have a different view of spiritualism or a belief that differs rather than to argue—discussion is good, but when one side refuses to accept that there are other perspectives, then that becomes spiritually arrogant.

I recently encountered someone (who I now ignore) who purported on an open chat room that they used magic to keep themselves looking young. I merely asked them if they considered that personal gain, and they replied they had that right and control to use magic and boasted about their appearance. My response, in an attempt to signify to others that using magic for personal gain is not ethical, mentioned that there are consequences and that I had seen them first hand. The arrogant reply was, ‘They must have been lousy at magic,’ at which point the full force of the ego was shown. Anyone with spiritual or magickal gifts knows the unspoken responsibilities of using their powers and gifts (or they learn through consequences). For once the ego steps over the boundaries, consequences will arise.

Learn to listen respectfully, even if the person is misguided and present why your belief is credible, be modest when praise is offered and don’t allow it to make you believe you are above others or more ‘advanced’, and remember we are all equal—it’s not what we say and how we say it, but also how we project ourselves to others that matters. Integrity, honesty, and humility are the traits of the truly spiritual.

©2016. S. T. Alvyn.