In remembering Adam Crosthwaite, I am reminded spiritual growth is in part a process of self-knowledge. There is solitary exploration required but no one can go it totally alone. The danger is getting caught in a closed loop of stagnation. Assistance is needed from those who have gone before. Dialog is required with a teacher, mentor or spiritual leader to provide guidance and challenge. Fellow travelers along the path are also helpful. They can point out pitfalls they have encountered and lend a hand when there is a miss step.
One such traveler for me was Adam Crosthwaite. Over the 15 or so years I knew him, Adam lived life large. Those who knew him will likely take exception to that statement in the usual sense of it. Living like a very wealthy and successful person spending money in an extravagant or self-indulgent manner. This is not what I am meaning. Adam was not a wealthy man financially. He had accumulated substantial debt, mainly from predatory student loans. The memory of Adam just gave me a nudge, I suppose I should acknowledge the obvious pun. Adam was a massive human being. This too Adam, is not the sense in which I believe you lived life large.
In remembering Adam, his wealth was sourced from the vault of his soul, his heart. His vault was filled with joy and pain but most of all love.
Life is a collection of experiences. Lessons learned and missed, preserved in memory, conscious and subconscious. As stewards of these memories it is the responsibility of each to use those experiences to make sense of the world, grow spiritually and then weave that growth into all realms of daily life. A further charge to share those treasures like exhibits in a museum for others to apprehend, appreciate and learn from. The sharer may never be aware of how far reaching and consequential the sharing might be, who finds meaning or inspiration in the experiences shared.
I am remembering Adam was a good steward of his experiences. After a youth that was troubled, he studied Criminal Justice Administration and Psychology. He worked as a classroom aid at Children’s Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies a school for special needs children. Where he gave freely of his experience and love to help special needs children with sensory integration to help them cope with a world many of them found overwhelming.
In remembering Adam, he also worked at Arizona’s Children Association that provides support to troubled children and their families through difficult and trying circumstances. Where he gave abundantly of his experiences. Adam drew on the memories of his own childhood and adult life to fuel his love and caring to help provide support for children in broken families.
I knew him as a fellow student of Rev./Dr. Strickler in the study of Qabalah. After classes we would have a chance to talk outside by his car. We would talk about what was presented in class or about things that happened at our jobs and life in general. We could talk things out together as peers in a safe environment, say things out loud that had been rattling around in our heads. I frequently was surprised as how different things sounded by putting them outside my skull and having a dialog about them. He had a wonderful sense humor and the amazing (to me) ability to turn it within. When he would stumble on the path or in some manner miss the mark he could laugh at his folly, make adjustments with humility and carry on. That was a talent I am remembering Adam had, a talent that I admired in Adam; one that I struggle with and aspire to still.
Periodically we would all get together for a round table discussion, “Table Talk”. We talk about our lives spiritual, magical and physical with Dr./Rev. Strickler. We talk about how the three intermingle. We share the experience of how we are perceiving the world and discuss how we might do it better.
His experiences and encompassing love comprised his real wealth. He spent them extravagantly, shared them lavishly. He spent them in a self-indulgent manner, not in the physical sense, rather a spiritual sense that I call soul-indulgent. He shared with others to help them along the way while advancing his own spiritual growth in the sharing. This is the sense in which Adam lived large.
It is over two years since his passing. In remembering Adam, I get a sense of his spirit near me on occasion.
I miss my friend, Adam. — Glen Ford
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