by Adam Crosthwaite
The month of March has always been a major point of reflection for me because in my short lived history in this lifetime, it has been a month of great change. While traveling the path of return to the true self I have found the view to change, slowly at times and rapidly at others. There are moments when it may seem that nothing at all has changed. Sometimes I hear echoes from a long time ago of one of my first teachers when I was a kid attending martial arts classes in a small school in Denver, Colorado who taught me to remember where I was at before the present. There are times when I stop and reflect on the past to see where I was and where I am. Some of the darkest, hardest and even the most beautiful moments of my life have taken place during this time of year. All of these moments have been life changing both the painful and the empowering; it has always been a time to contemplate the echoes and reflections of March and take note of what has been and how things have changed.
A year ago I would get out of work just as the sun was rising, and head home traveling mostly on the freeway, passing neighborhoods and businesses, crossing over from one side of downtown the other side of downtown. The contrast between neighborhoods never ceased to amaze me. As the sun started to rise behind me each morning I would watch as the oncoming buildings stood tall and shiny in the sunlight. They would remind me of the same buildings I saw as a child growing up in the city within walking distance from the warehouse district and Capitol Hill area of Denver, Colorado. As similar as this view was to me, I knew things were very different. This was a different time and place all together. As I crossed over from the well-kept, well to do neighborhoods and into the smoggy, rundown side of the city down by the rail road tracks, I began to feel half relieved to be getting home and half ill realizing that this was home.
Every day was the same until I finally reached several of my goals that required me to be more frugal than I had been. A year ago I moved out of that area and ended up closer to work and in a quieter, cleaner and less violent neighborhood. I moved to the other side of the tracks literally.
Now the sun rises to my side; we ride home together instead of me trying to race against the light so I don’t have to look upon the world around me and remember the way home across the other side of the tracks, to that world of the working poor who once were the back bone and support of the economy that built those shining tall buildings that now cast long shadows over them in the morning light. I had dug my way out of a similar situation, reminding me of how I could never completely forget how it felt to live in a neighborhood with barely breathable air, gunshots at all hours of the night and the feeling of dread when the flashing lights of emergency response units from the police or fire department light up you bedroom at night.
Once again another day begins and the sun rises in the desert revealing one abandoned block after another in a neighborhood that was vibrant and once sprang to life as an oasis serving travelers who have come for reprieve from everyday life, a luxury saved only for few people these days. The train tracks no longer serve as the demarcation point running through downtown separating the down trodden and would be middle class.
The boarded up store fronts and bulldozed lots spread further across different neighborhoods. On one block there may be a park that runs up to a gated community with a high school across the street, while just down a block from there sits a shuttered corner store that serves as a warm place for the homeless to get out of the wind to try and sleep a few hours before being awakened by the kids on their way to school. Gradually the neighborhoods start to look the same, abandoned and boarded up.
Even with help after working for a long time to get out of financial difficulties I understand just how much work it takes to stay financially above water in today’s economy. As I look around and pay attention to the world as it changes around me, I wonder just how different other people are in their personal struggles. Although these struggles take on different qualities based on each personal perspective, they are similar at their core. Everyone seems to be having a bad day.
In the Alchemical practices that I have been guided through by Rev. Strickler, I have been brought to face off with the many aspects of myself in preparation to achieve higher levels of knowledge and growth. Awareness of the self, as well as awareness of things out side of one’s own personal circle of self has been the main focus of much of my learning and understanding as a student. Looking out at the edge of my own circle of influence I noticed things have become much worse than most people would have believed. The biggest problem of all is a lacking of awareness in the world. People remain stuck in their own corner facing outward in fear but not understanding what it is they are seeing.
It’s as if some sinister force has clouded the minds of the masses, like a group of dark magicians casting digital enchantments across great distances to ensnare the masses by tapping deep pools of fear. The more people I speak to about this the clearer it becomes that most of them are simply accepting the spoon fed misinformation and false guidance from sources that have been long known as shady and even down right unethical. This is one of the apertures through which those of us walking the path of return know we we can become entangled within and get in our own way of making progress. In my outward view of the world, the sequestration of the masses through fear has taken hold and shows few signs of letting go any time soon.
So what is there for anyone to do when faced with the realization that there is definitely something wrong with the world and there seems to be very little any one can do about it? There are days when I look at the outer world around me and feel that same twinge of dread in realizing how wrong I was in my life before learning there is a way out of the darkness that I created with my own misuse of will, which I was allowed access to at various parts of my life. That was before I heard the voice of the man I would come to know as Master Teacher, Rev. David Strickler aka The Boss. Over the years my lessons and training seemed to be more like a round of celestial chess at times, like a round of hide and seek with no light at all. There are days when I wonder how many other people out there have been able to hear that same voice cutting through the darkness in some form that is able to reach them and hold them in place long enough to pay attention.
Fortunately a voice from the past calls out to those who are looking for a way out of the artificial darkness cast upon the masses of people struggling to keep their families and homes safe and secure. More and more voices are sounding out in the darkness and with each new voice comes a new point of reflection for the light to weave its way through the blackness, gradually lighting the way for those along the path of return. It can be hard at times to see and to hear. Ironically, finding the dimmest of lights amongst the darkest of spaces is not always hindered by the darkness, but rather aided by contrast of shadows against one another.
There was an old saying I heard when I was young, I do not remember where I first heard it or who said it. It was a well-known saying I would hear over and over again in several different versions, but the message remained the same. I heard it almost everywhere off and on for years, until one day during a class The Boss walked over, picked up a candle and said, “Do not sit there and curse the darkness. Light a candle. ” as he lit the candle in his hand. At that moment I felt the connection across time and space, or at least my own limited perception of it. In reflection upon that moment, I understood the higher self can and will use any person, place or thing to reach any one, anywhere, any time and as many times as it takes.
Surely the light is reaching into those spaces that need healing and growth for all and balance will be restored with time. For those who have yet to find this source, there are reflections of it everywhere. The darkness does not carry silence; if one cannot see what the eye is straining to see then perhaps it time to learn to see with the ears and then watch to see what may manifest in the shadows.
May your darkest moments be filled with the echoing of guiding voices speaking loud enough to help you pay attention to where once were to where you may find yourself in the light.
Copyright © 2016 by Institute of Spiritual Climate LLC