There are, among us, certain spiritual people who seem to be in touch with something more, something that lights them up and guides them and inspires them with love and compassion and wisdom, and even knowledge of an extraordinary sort. But it isn’t just a small group of spiritual adepts who have the ability to receive insight and guidance through meditative stillness and prayer, and an open heart of eager willingness. All of us represent a royalty of the spirit who have come into this exotically strange, terrible, and wonderful world with a birthright that we often don't acknowledge, understand, or assert. And yet, still, there are times when a man or a woman, or even, and perhaps more often, a boy or a girl, will be struck with a message from beyond the visible, tangible world of the senses, just out of the blue, and with no preparation or anticipation. It could be a word of encouragement, or direction, or even warning. When it occurs, it can seem to come from outside us, and yet at the same time, from deep within us.
This actually happens, I think, to all of us at some points in our earliest years, but we often later lose our memories of these experiences, because they’re not reinforced for us by the surrounding culture. We’re not encouraged to become all that we can be, in the full range of our capacities, or to do all that we can do. And so, some of our innate abilities, a crucial part of what I like to think of as our royal inheritance, will atrophy and grow weak over time. But they’ll never disappear. They can’t be utterly extinguished. That would mean the annihilation of the soul itself. And yet they can be hobbled and starved and buried under the debris of triviality and of those worldly pressures that we too often refer to as the practical demands of life – as if life has any demands greater and more practical than that we be the best of who we are. We too easily and commonly adapt ourselves to the lowest ways of the kingdom of this world, in patterns of activity and thought that are perhaps unproblematic in themselves, but only as long as they don’t eclipse what’s higher. And yet, we too often allow them to make us forget the royal palace of the spirit, and the aligned rights, duties, and priviledges that exist in connection with it, deep within us, even though it is they that most essentially define who we are.
Despite all this, those of us who do recognize and honor the realm of the spirit should never be too quick to divide the world between an elite group of higher functioning individuals, who seek to partake of everything within the spirit that’s available to us, and, on the other hand, the majority of humanity, who seem to live as self-imposed exiles from their own royalty, and act as if they are mere commoners of the spirit. There is, instead, a vast spectrum of openness and experience represented in the world. Truly spiritual, and remarkably advanced souls certainly exist, at one end of the sweep of human experience, with the most sadly dimmed and brutish personalities at the far end. An ordinary person, who’s never as ordinary as he or she might seem, to superficial and external appearances, is always capable of more depth and breadth than any casual acquaintance, colleague, or sometimes even a good friend, might expect.
There are depths behind depths, and layers beneath layers and, if we could only see all the people around us through eyes that know and remember this, the world would look so different to us, and more like it indeed most fundamentally is.