Humanity, as in all life forms, fills a spectrum. There are all kinds of lives needed in order for humankind to evolve. The distribution of the types of lives across the spectrum follows a Gauss curve. This means that the majority of humans live lives that are what we could call ‘middle of the road’. However, lots of others have lives that are more extreme to one side of the spectrum or the other. How, when and where you incarnate determines the basis of your life and sets you up in a specific direction, in a specific climate and a specific landscape. The ingredients for your life are in place and all that needs to be done now is the cooking.
You come into life with a set of skills and talents that will guide you through the incarnation. That is what you have been given to get you through life. Those are the paddles you have been handed to steer you through the rapids of the specific river you are on. Others canoe down different streams, which means that no two people can be compared and no two lives can be compared. They are all different. We have different needs in life and we use different roadmaps. Once your life has been chosen you are, at least for the duration of that incarnation, ‘fixed’ to that particular stream and those paddles. The choice has been made. You are stuck with it. You cannot leave your stream and you cannot get different paddles. It is your task to learn as much as you can of the part of creation you have been dropped in.
Each life is a unique experience. And although governments and authorities like to create groups of people in order to manage them better, each individual will remain a separate unit, fixed onto its own path. They need to manage their own stream, nothing more. So human life has these two aspects, the individual part and the group part. We do belong together but it is a group consisting of very different individuals and not a grey mass in which you cannot distinguish individual units. Trying to blend all those different paths into one enormous motorway is going to distort the lives of many.
So to get into a life, a particular life, a choice has been made. Now you manifest into this specific life. You are on the stream, in the flow of life. That can’t be changed anymore. Now it is up to you. What are you going to do with it?
Sticking to the metaphor of the stream we can enlarge on this a bit more. A river has a main part, somewhere in the middle of the flow of water, where the flow is most ‘streamlined’. It is the least hazardous part of the streaming water that will get you downstream in the most comfortable and quickest way without rocking the boat too much. Either side of that, the flow of water changes. On one side you have the more violent and turbulent part and on the other side the still part where the water is hardly moving. The entire water stream is ‘fixed’ between two banks of the river. The other thing to consider is the fact that the river does not flow equally fast or slow over its entire course. There are times of slow moving water and there are times of rapids and turbulence all across the width of the river. Even mountainous rivers do find spots of slow moving waters.
And there you are! In your little canoe, with the specific kind of paddles you have been given, you drift along through the landscape the stream takes you. It may be mountainous. It may smoothly down the valley. Or anything in between. Now the question is: “What are you going to do?”
It is about making choices. First of all, you are being instructed by people who know the terrain a little, people like your parents and your family. They show you how it is done and you copy. They tell you what to look out for and you do. They instruct you of the dangers they have encountered on their stream, flowing down a similar (not the same!) kind of landscape and you learn. However, as you move along your river you are finding out that it isn’t the same, that in your life the experiences are slightly different from theirs. On top of that, you have slightly different paddles, different talents and skills. In short, you are gradually noticing that what may have worked for them is not always working for you. You need to learn from mistakes you make, from things that nearly go wrong or actually do go wrong but that you recover from. Cuts and bruises are part of life. What exactly is it you are finding out?
When you are in the central flow of life everything runs smoothly and with little effort you manage to stay clear of any danger. You float along quite nicely following exactly where the stream is going, never getting stuck on the bottom of the stream or hitting the rocky sides of the river. You are comfortable within your life and although you need to be alert and on the lookout, you are managing to steer away from the more challenging parts of the width of the stream.
However, when you decide to move out of the central channel of the stream, life changes. This can happen in two ways. Either you end up in a part of the water flow where there are more and more dangerous rapids. You need all your wits, skills and personal power in order not to capsize or, even worse, hit the rocks. You make a massive effort just to stay afloat without being able to enjoy the landscape or to get some rest. One dangerous moment is quickly followed by the next and you may begin to wonder how on earth you are going to survive this. Exhausted. Desperate. Lost. You become so focussed on staying afloat that you may even lose sight of the part of the river next to you that is smooth. You no longer know where you are heading. All you are trying to do, and that takes the last ounce of power you have, is to carry on. You have lost the overall view of how the river meanders through the landscape. All you can see is the rock in front of you, the one you are heading straight onto.
When you survive this it may be worthwhile, certainly in terms of the learning process, to take a look at what made the switch from nearly having your life finished to reaching some calmer waters. One possibility is that you did have the skills and strengths required to steer yourself out of the danger zone. Well done. But remember how much effort it took and that you also needed a certain amount of ‘luck’. You had the good fortune to find the right answers at the right time. Then just make a mental note that next time the outcome may well be different. Maybe you will not have the strength or the insight you happened to have this time. Maybe next time Dame Fortune will not be smiling down on you. The message is: don’t do that again!
On the other hand, when you decide to veer off into the still waters on the side of the stream you will notice that life does no longer flow easily. It almost comes to a standstill. Your life is currently not going anywhere. It seems stuck. Nothing you would like to achieve or to execute seems to be successful. So many circumstances, so many people, are apparently against you. You get angry. Frustrated. Disillusioned. You feel the whole world is against you, including God. It seems like a deliberate complot. Life seems to pass you by. The waters of life are still flowing but you are not going anywhere. You just sit there. Not in any danger, but without anything to enjoy or to be happy about. And the river is simply going to leave you there, unless … Unless you do something about it! You need to start paddling. You need to make a big effort to get yourself out of the stagnant water and back into the streaming part of the river. The river is not going to do it for you; it is all up to you. You ended up here either because you were too lazy, too disinterested, too careless or inattentive, or because you decided you wanted to be here in the mistaken belief that it was a lot nicer here than midstream. You thought you could get away with not having to be alert, with not having to learn. You thought it would be nice to remain still in life. It is a good spot here, I would like to stay here for the rest of my life. Trying to hold on to what you consider to be nice or good stops the flow of life. Life changes all the time. Stagnation results in rotting. Life is a constant flow.
If you want to avoid rotting away in the nice place you have chosen for yourself you need to get moving. The water isn’t moving you, so you will have to do it yourself. Once your life has come to a standstill it requires a lot more effort to get it going again compared to the effort it takes to keep it going. On top of that, you will have to overcome your disappointment at finding out that what previously looked like a nice place to be has turned out to be a honey trap. You will have to reconnect to your own skills and your own strength, which in the mean time you have lost contact with because you did not think you would ever going to need them again. It will be hard to get going again. It will require focus. It will require effort beyond pain. It will require belief that you will reach flowing waters again.
In order to learn the secrets of the river, you need experiences that show you every side of your life. Having experienced something allows you to recognise early signs of similar conditions, which will help you to put in place the necessary corrections to avoid becoming entrapped once again. It makes sense that when you find out that one side of the river brings you perilously close to disaster, you choose to go the other way next time. There you find out that all movement is taken out of your life and that you need to steer back towards the rough, or at least to some degree. The ideal combination of movement and stillness lies somewhere in the middle. You need to find this out. You need to learn this. It is an absolute truth in life. It doesn’t tell you exactly where that ‘somewhere in the middle’ is in your life, on your river, but it does tell you it isn’t to be found on the sides, in the extremes.
A bit of this and a bit of the other seems like a healthy recipe. Depending on the general state of the waters you may want to steer a bit more towards the calmer side of the river, ensuring you never drift that far out that your life, in virtually all aspects, stops. On other occasions you may want to seek the stronger current which holds more danger but when you are feeling up to it your life is going to move faster and will take great leaps forward. There are times to rest and times to put a maximum effort in. Bear in mind that neither are desirable over a long period of time.
Life, once you have joined it, is about the choices you make. Don’t lose energy in complaining about the river you are on. Put your mind to the moment you are in, to the stream that guides you through this life. Whether you like it or not, the decisions you make on that stream will determine how you experience life. Only keep your mind on the flow of the waters that take you through life and adjust your position when needed. A bit of effort and a bit of rest. You decide when and how, and the more you have learned about your own particular journey through life the better equipped you are to make minor adjustments in order to produce major effects. You will be able to make life not any more difficult than it is meant to be.
Your choices in life contribute largely to how rough it feels or how stagnant it feels.
Your choices in life get you into trouble or out of it.
Your choices in life determine what you get out of the experience of this incarnation.
Be a conscious captain on your own ship.