Am I Getting Smarter?

OR ARE THE THINGS IN this life a lot simpler than they once seemed?  Does simplicity come from a few old words used in a new way?

By the blessing of my airplane crash, I’ve learned that “death” at the end of our Earth-time is not death at all, it is a beautiful new Life.

After letting go of events so familiar, at once the colors are brighter and scenes are different from ever on Earth. There are no evils around, we find friends that we’ve known ever, we don’t have to struggle to live.  Coming back to Life again, with its teachers and guides for us and for our friends, most of us gradually getting better at Earthlife, suddenly we can see what once we called a “lifetime” isn’t a lifetime at all.  It was just one act in our cosmic screenplay.

All at once we understand why we lived that role, we see the lessons we hoped to show during our Earthtime. What we called our lifetime is “Act 12” or “Act 2431,” and all of our acts become the Play as it seems to us.  Act after act, lesson after lesson, triumphs and not-quite-rights and shoot-it-overs.

Out of the play for a while when we “die,” we can rest as long as we wish, do nothing, imagine and choose lifestories yet to be in our acts, including some that are most likely impossible. We can play any role of any of our beliefs, any time we wish, several at once, if that suits us.

I remember the ending of one act that happened when I (writing this, today) was only three years old. In 1939, I was unaware that the pilot who was me in his scene of the play was 19 years old.  He was chased by an enemy aircraft, spiraled down to escape, and turned his airplane all the way into the sea.  I remembered just that part of his lifetime, the ending, four decades later.  I saw the sea rising up, so close to the windscreen, and the next frame I saw from a hundred meters away, the crash, the tower of spray and the airplane gone.

“So what?”  Good question.  Maybe it’s “Nothing,” for others.  For me, I began to know why I have the tests I do in this act, this lifetime.  I can tell which I did well in former scenes, and which tests that come for me now because I didn’t quite master them when I tried last time.

Alcohol, tobacco, drugs…all simple in this scene for me, I think I learned from tests before. For me, just the suggestion of Alcohol Etc. means disaster for me, a coiled snake ready to strike.  Did I have a single event in this lifetime with them?  Thanks to the snake, not one test, not one challenge here.  Somewhere long ago I learned they’re losers, first sight.

Loneliness?  I may finally have learned in this act, a major test.  I’m still playing.

Age?  It goes on.  I guess I’ll find out later.

Medicine? Either an F or an A. I know nothing of medicine, had a bunch of medical things thrust on me after my crash in this scene.  I decided not to fight about it.

Anger?  It was a test till I knew I don’t have to play with it, ever. I just quit being angry.

Patience?  Maybe some progress, but between thee and me, I think I haven’t learned that lesson yet.

Love?  The big test in my play. Quite a few failures, for me, and perhaps one win.  Strange, but I think a win.

Average?  Maybe a C+, over all, for this act.

How can we earn an A?  So simple.  So difficult.  Remember, when the scene comes with its test: We are each a perfect expression of perfect Love, no matter what seems to be — through every act, through every scene along our thousand-year play.

33 thoughts on “Am I Getting Smarter?

  1. So happy to see an entry today…..and this one especially which acts as glue for me….cementing some truths. Being able to identify and evaluate our tests determines whether we move on to experience other perspectives. I really liked the reminder of this as i experienced through the text. My daily life is made up of these type of evaluations which ,in turn, make for a very purposeful day. Thank you again for sending out your messages…….

  2. When we have done a thing so many times it usually becomes much easier. Is simplicity the reward for what we deem “Experience”?
    Interesting to see how you have graded yourself in your tests. I look to myself and the tests I face and wonder at my own grades. I suppose that depends on what my standards are, on how hard I grade.
    “How can we earn an A?……” I wonder if that depends on who grades us?

  3. Wonderful blog Richard, I have followed your writing for many years. In the late 1980s, early 1990s my brother had a band they named BACH, (Boutin, Andrews, Cordova and Howe, last names) This was before I knew your books. Steve, lead singer, introduced me to first Illusions, and later Bridge Across Forever. I fell in love with Steve and we were convinced we were soulmates, just as we believed you and Leslie were, and the two of you were guiding us. Long story short, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes filtered into the scene, and you can guess the result…much pain, spiritual death, broken hearts…some years later I met my husband, Phil (he was the pilot I had met in a dream). Steve developed skin cancer and passed away at age 40. Phil and I live at a tiny airport in remote Wyoming, Early a.m. on the day Steve passed (we found out later), we spotted a “UFO” in the desert. Or so we thought, turned out to be a huge balloon with a rose on it that said “I’m sorry”…it was a touching moment and I am convinced it came from Steve. Thank you for your writing, thank you for sharing the wisdom and whimsy of your life, your words have touched so many…you deserve an A+!! Peace be with you always.

  4. So, by grading yourself, you are not opting for pass/no pass. I remember when I was in college and thinking I would need excellent grades to be admitted to a graduate program. So I labored to get good grades, but once in a while there was a class I was either not good at or not interested in, both/neither, and I decided to opt for pass/no pass, and, therefore, not mess up my GPA.

    When we are evaluating ourselves, and we are working toward inner growth, it’s a little different. Sometimes just surviving the test earns a person an A. Sometimes it’s been so debilitating that we stand forth after the storm, our arms spread out and up, and say, “I made it. I actually made it,” and feel joy well up inside.

    For me, yes, in some ways I’m getting smarter. But if that’s the case, why do I have to look for an hour to find something I know I just had? I guess I need to redefine “smart.” Grin.

    My lessons relative to my love life…well, I stopped getting STDS. I learned first what I didn’t want in a relationship. The guys I had relationships with were very good at demonstrating this to me. I stopped allowing people to be abusive to me. I learned that to find the right situation, relationship, etc., I needed to just be myself, pursue what I liked and/or needed to do, and just let it flow. In the flowing the right situation/person appeared.

    And I remembered the Chiang statement, I think it was Chiang, who said, you learn by knowing you have already arrived. That helps me tremendously.

    At this point my lessons include learning to be in touch with those who have already passed on to the next level. Sometimes I feel the person with me. Sometimes I see them in my mind and talk to them, though I need to develop new spiritual glasses and better spiritual hearing aids. Sometimes I feel them sitting in me, not possession, but a momentary cohabitation of sorts. It’s a very loving experience. How do I grade myself on this type of thing? Sometimes an F. At present, most of the time I think my grade is a C-. I’d like to know how others experience this type of thing. It’s just so cool. One time I saw a highly enlightened spiritual being in my mind as I was waking up. He had such good pure energy that I was high for two days. With that, the good grade was his. He got an A+

  5. “Sometimes just surviving the test earns a person an A. Sometimes it’s been so debilitating that we stand forth after the storm, our arms spread out and up, and say, “I made it. I actually made it,” and feel joy well up inside.” Sometimes just surviving the test … wow … yes. And yes I said to the silver moon, yes, yes.

    • Dee, I’d like to know the tests you survived that made you say yes to the silver moon and how you processed that. I don’t mean to intrude. I seek to understand. We are all here on this site because we love Richard’s work and the way it and he have helped us. I’ve found over the years that when I find a JLS person, I have found a person who looks at life in a way compatible with the inner me. I can learn so much from them because they may have had experiences that help them to see things in ways I have yet to understand and achieve. If you and the others who are posting here are willing, I would like to know the truths in your hearts. They help me grow. Thanks. Namaste.

  6. (forgive quotes from memory)

    “When you die you are only asked one question: how well did you love… what was the quality of your love”. And “The world is a setting for our love.”

    Surely, love trumps everything? Anger, medicine, age, loneliness, patience. Surely, behind every lesson and every test there is the governing question of “how well are you loving?” Surely, just for staying conscious to the question – we get an A?

    If you are angry then you’re not loving yourself or others or life. If you’re impatient you’re not relaxing into the love of the moment. If you’re fighting doctors then you’re not trusting and loving them. If you’re lonely then you’re not loving yourself and life. If you’re afraid of age then you’re not loving life (and after life).

    “Perspective: use it or lose it.” The only test – is love.

    I recently met a new woman/goddess and, while I was hugging her at the beach a few weeks ago, I fell ‘through’ her and all in ten seconds… I spiralled back a hundred years… five hundred years… a thousand years… before I stopped and asked “how far?” And there we were… on the ‘same’ grassy knoll by the sea and the same waves and breeze and sun…

    Surely, staying conscious of the biggest question and living the answer every moment takes us beyond grades? Beyond schools? Beyond the Play? Just perfect timeless Love.

  7. Maybe because I have spent most of my working life as a self employed craftsman (potter), I have not put much attention on grades in relation to others or even in terms of income in relation to others, but my judgements were mostly about how good the work was that I produced. It was often humbling especially when something I thought was original and good had been produced thousands of years before by the Egyptians or Chinese or other indigenous workmen. Nevertheless, the process of production itself brought the most satisfaction, not how the products were ranked by myself or others.

  8. My husband, now 77 years old, is struggling with such thoughts. He doesn’t quite catch the words he needs to use and hasn’t adjusted to things slowing down; frustrated over taking too long to do a simple task, sleeping at 8 pm, the aches and pains. I will give him this entry to read and hope he sees the good he’s done in the world and for others and I also hope he sees that he is not alone on the path. I think a C+ for all of us is a proper grade. We could do so much good for the world, and may have done some good, but we (or me) gets in the way.

  9. Richard, you not only test yourself, you show others how to meet life’s challenges and be kind to themselves while doing it. I think you are here in this lifetime to teach. Your books are masterpieces and have opened so many doors to so many people. You are blessed with a great gift.

    As far as love is concerned, I don’t think anyone is a failure if they don’t stay with someone they love forever. I really think in the general scheme of things that people are not meant to spend their lifetime with just one person. That’s not to say this is true in every instance. There are exceptions of course. Love lasts forever even when you are no longer physically together. It’s a mutual coming together in the middle of all the craziness going on in this world. Relationships are all about learning and teaching and, of course, love. When it’s time to move on, it’s often very difficult in our state of comfort to leave the illusion of safety, but life has a persistent way of keeping us going in the right direction until we’ve completed what we came here to learn.

  10. We are born with eternity in souls , because we are eternal . Though our outer physical bodies are wearing away our inner self is growing and being renewed daily .

  11. I vote for both. You are probably getting smarter. I’ve never met an NDE experiencer who hadn’t gotten a lot smarter.

    And from my transcendental experience not of the NDE variety I can tell you that life is just about the simplest thing around

    As for the grades and lessons, that reminded me of this:

    T-31.VIII.3. Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you. – A Course in Miracles

    Hard times are when we are love asleep and dreaming of “not love” in a sky of love.

  12. I think Richard, that many of us think of a “Judgement” day, when we will be tested about our performance. But if evidence provided by NDE experiences is any indication, we only have to meet our own standards. So your “C” grade is one internal to you, and very probably much too low, given your self-reflection. As an outside observer, I would give you and “A”, as I would myself. We have lived very full lives, with numerous and great experiences, some more attractive than others….and we have LEARNED…the basic requirement of this Earth life.

    • It could be that Bruce is right. Nearly every non-dogmatic book about Near Death Experiences or the afterlife says it over and again: When we stop being mortal, when we see ourselves as spirit or soul, there’s good news and bad news:
      Nobody judges us except ourselves.
      Most of us are pretty hard judges.
      The time to ease up, maybe, is now. Our future lives, in this goldfish bowl of beliefs appearing and vanishing about us, seems always to balance the present. Live to the highest love we can imagine, they say, we’ll go through the belief stage like lightning on brakes.

  13. So enjoyed this one and all the instructive comments – so grateful for hearing such sound wisdom in your writing – being a late blooming, ‘twilight surfer’ reviewing the last act, I find so much energy goes into sliding up and down the foofie slide from F—- to A+++ depending if the inner critic is on duty, from having something to struggle with permanently to going with the flow, from being a bag lady who don’t smell too good to a love goddess of sorts, to 10 steps forward and 5 back kind of existence. You are right, Richard, I am going to just quit being …. (many adjectives could apply) – it is a decision not a continuous struggle with an unruly inner nature – get me out of the way – stop the analysis paralysis and step into the creative process. Guy Finley puts it in an interesting fashion in The Intimate Enemy “as we recognize the futility of trying to force ourselves and our lives into what we think they should be, we also begin to understand that all of our suffering for what we perceive as ‘coming up short’ in life, is self inflicted….”

    • “…..we also begin to understand that all of our suffering for what we perceive as ‘coming up short’ in life, is self inflicted….”

      We can hear the same thing said no end of ways and then all of a sudden something is put in just such a way that it lodges deep. Thank you.

  14. Very interesting exchanges here. Thank you everyone.

    I remember when I pinned a button to the carpet in my car right in front of the gearshift knob. It said, love is the answer, no matter what the question. My fella at the time made fun of it. He told me everyone wasn’t nice. I can still hear him in my mind. But when it came his time to die at age 45, it was the love that helped him pass more easily to the next level.

    I have highly intellectual friends who negate the possibility of life after the death of this body. They say that what we see in near death experiences are just what the mind does. When a persons sees the white light, they say the mind is just shutting down. No way to prove any of it. Even though the laws of physics say that nothing in the universe can be destroyed, it only changes form and substance, they don’t necessarily acknowledge that they could continue to exist. We do the best we can learning as we go. What is, is, no matter what we think about it. I choose to believe we do not stop existing.

    I’ve been in situations and with people who have been very unloving. From what I’ve experienced, all is not love, at least partly because those who do not see it, have yet to grow into the concept and as well as the reality. I’m working on it. The intellectual me and the spiritual me have conversations about this regularly.

    • So are you saying that the physical universe, the stars, nebula everything, every byproduct of The Big Bang is made of love? This part of this theory confuses me. The intellectual part of me is in conflict with the spiritual in this regard. How do you reconcile this, Richard? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this as well as the thoughts of others.

      Today, I was listening to this chiropractor who has espousing love. He was leading up to a meditation session. He said, if you devote yourself lovingly to your husband, you will see him blossom and your relationship will improve tremendously. Well, The Donna Reed/Ozzie and Harriet mode does not work. I was raised that way. I embraced it. The men in my life abused it. They just demanded more and were less loving, not more so. It was only when I became my own person that people began treating me with respect. So in that case I had to love myself enough to tell them to take a hike. So that’s love, but…. I’m curious how to better understand this, how to better grow to my highest level, which is one of my goals.

      • Dear Vi, there’s no reality in anything that’s made of atoms — no stars are real, no galaxies, no Big Bang. Every second they _change._ All of those are beliefs, they’re the settings of we who stage our plays among them. The only reality, unchanging, always and ever, is Love.
        When you love someone who hasn’t learned to speak love’s language, what response will you earn? You may have been their teacher for a while, and you’ve been brave to do that. To have a mirror of your own love, you don’t need a student, you need one who knows, who can share it with you, as well.

        • I agree that all of matter changes. But not being real, well, I have a hard time with that one. I agree this is a stage, and here we live out our life scenes. In the long run, maybe I don’t understand “reality” at all. Another lesson on my chalkboard.

          I agree often those in our lives learn from us, and we them, even when the lessons they have to teach are ones that tell me I am no longer willing to put up with some behaviors others exhibit. For me it’s about realizing my own value.

          I agree to have one’s love mirrored back, one needs someone who is in a similar growth/love space. It’s a fine and glorious thing.

          I think that’s why those of us on your site are here, to find others who can mirror back levels of love and understanding, after a lifetime of mostly the opposite.

          Namaste

  15. The chiropractor’s advice reminds me of some of the homilies suggested to women in the 50’s about how to keep their husbands happy – always have lipstick on, meet them at the door with a smile and high heels (presumably not only). The idea is wonderful but not to my mind if it comes from pretense, or acting out to achieve an end, or assuming a conditioned role that our society labels the ‘way girls should be’. I spent my early years having no clue how to be my authentic, true self rather than some cardboard cut-out that would make me acceptable in society and to men in particular – and I haven’t got there yet. I also find myself questioning that the universe is love but mainly because I don’t know how to embody love within myself and I have yet to experience ‘living in the heart’ in each moment. I am learning not to let my lower nature blow me off course and then blame ill winds. My intellect can rationalize its way out of anything, reject something cynically or prove how illogical it is. My ego can resist and pooh pooh whatever it deems irrelevant and boost its image to avoid looking at what keeps me stuck and rigid. I want to find a way of being that is not dualistic and does not involve competing parts. Guy Finley (thank you Richard for allowing quotes) in The Secret of Letting Go writes of the True or higher nature saying ‘This beneficent and loving wisdom becomes your intelligence whenever you refrain from attempting to rescue yourself long enough for it to show you that what you need is more understanding, not more battle plans. Temporarily abandoning yourself in this special way, where you consciously watch and so suspend the influences and activities of the lower nature by refusing to go along with its directives, allows authentic understanding to flow into the vacancy and give you real direction.”

    • Jane,

      It seems we read the same play book. It’s taken me a long time to realize who I already am. Like you, I can create whatever I need to justify my position on just about everything, even when all my justifications are bogus. I’ve always had an excellent imagination. It began in childhood. So I can reinforce any belief system I want to reinforce, even if that belief system is incredibly flawed. So I tread carefully at times.

      Guy Finley’s statement is an interesting one. He writes like an academic. It’s a good thought to ponder.

      I’m learning to live in the now, since the now is all we ever have. I’ve spent too much of my life longing for a future event which either never happens or if it does, it unfolds very differently from what I hoped for. In the now…I am safe. In the now… I am warm. In the now…I love who I am. In the now…I love my life. Expectations kill relationships, even expectations we have of ourselves. I think we need to accept who we are, and if we don’t know who that is, we need to allow ourselves the space to unfold, without judgmental expectations.

      There is great beauty in your soul, Jane, such beauty. Take yourself out into the warming sun, look at the beauty of the universe and know you are that beauty.

      Eckhart Tolle is very good at helping a person center in the now. He talks about it in a number of videos on youtube. He has a website. He’s worth looking up.

  16. i wouldn’t say failures or wins. in my view of the world Love is the best of schools. it is in Love that we can see the most unconscious beliefs hiding under our well-built ego.It is in Love that we open up and our vibration attracts precisely what we need to attract. No mistake. Those who deeply touch us bring us face to face with our unlearnt lessons. zometimes we find the lesson hard and we need several lovers (masters) to see. Other times we find a master who can help us learn the lesson taking us by the hand and we can learn together through various lessons or lifetimes. That only happens when we are brave enough to look straight into the eyes of our unconsciousness. I am really glad you feel you had one win. But I am certain you won every time.This life is not about judgement, I think. weare learning about consciousness and Love, and tre’s no hurry.

  17. Thank you for that Vi – really speaks to me and ‘right back at ya’ in the gentlest fashion. I had just taken out “A New Earth” to re-read and Guy Finley is one of the participants in The Shift Networks’ Summer of Peace free online series till Sept 21 in case of interest. Richard’s comment about ‘live to the highest love you can imagine’ reminded me that living in a highly challenging country (South Africa) pushes you daily to hold to that and reminds me that “In a landscape of unyielding pessimism, there’s no room for life’s bounty. Like love, it can’t go where it’s not welcome” (Raphael Cushnir). Thank you so much Richard for being the seed of this broad unfolding conversation – has been such a blessing.

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