Excerpted from The Quest
You can begin again ... and again ... and again ...
There comes a time in the evolution of every soul when we "put away childish things" and take on the mantle of spiritual maturity.
The evolution of humankind, the unfolding activity of the entire race, is no longer enough. There is no doubt that this ongoing evolutionary process will force further physical refinements. But the days of being satisfied with changes only in our physical form have come to a close.
This is a new time for us. We are living in the most exciting and expansive era in human history. It is the time of the evolution of the individual, a personal awakening to the spiritual self. How far we go is up to each of us. But however far the reaches of this possibility, the journey begins for each one when he or she hears the summons which announces that there is so much more than what is now being expressed.
The feelings of unfulfillment, the yearnings to experience “something more,” the emptiness in the soul which nothing seems to satisfy, these are all signposts along the way. They indicate that one has heard the call and reached that point of readiness to enter into the fulfilling process of spiritual evolution.... You know that it is time to shepherd your life into greener, more meaningful pastures. It is time to begin again.
On ancient maps, all uncharted lands were referred to as terra incognita, meaning "unknown region." The early cartographers drew dragons and sea monsters in those areas. These frightful creatures were graphic expressions of the mapmaker's own convictions that great dangers awaited those foolish enough to venture into these regions. After all, these were areas as yet unexplored. Nothing was known about them, and so the depiction of monsters was designed to instill fear in the ancient travelers’ hearts. At one time virtually all of the “new world”—North and South America—was terra incognita. But what rich resources it offered to those courageous enough to explore it and claim it!
YOUR NEW WORLD
There is a "new world" in you too. It is a world as yet not fully explored. It, too, is rich in resources offering vast stores of happiness, joy, peace, love, and abundance. But the journey into this land is a spiritual quest into the farthest reaches of your soul, for that is where the real riches lie.
As with those ancient travelers, there may be fear of venturing into such an unknown region. Your life may not be perfect now, but at least you are beginning to know where the “dragons” are. If not comfortable with them, at least you are familiar with them, at least they are your dragons.
To carve out a new path into the uncharted territory of the soul is to be born again. Being born again may sound like a frightening proposition, but it really isn’t, because we are always beginning again. Life is a series of little “deaths” out of which life, in a different form, will always return. We “die” to infancy to be "born again" into childhood. We die to childhood to be born again into adolescence. We die to adolescence to be born again into young adulthood. And so it goes, each "death" leading to a new "birth."
A friend once considered, then decided against, a new birth. "I've been seriously thinking of going back to school, but then I thought, Who wants to hire a fifty-year-old Ph.D.?" Having raised her family, she was thinking of studying for her master's degree in education then continuing on for her Ph.D. But she never did.
Instead, she decided that she did not want to begin again. She constantly lamented that it was "too late to go back to school," that she was "too old to start a new profession," that she was "the wrong sex to get hired at a decent salary." She offered a multitude of reasons to stay where she was. She saw too many dragons on the map.
Yet for some reason, her remarks ignited a smoldering ember in her twin sister who was a single parent of three teenagers and, at that time, was solidly entrenched in a well-paying job which she hated. Yet seven years later, at age fifty-one, her sister was awarded a Ph.D. in psychology. Now a successful child psychologist in a suburban school system, she is very happy to have made the decision she did when she did.
Our friend's sister "died" to her old job, to her old state of consciousness, and was "born" into a new job, into a new state of consciousness. She faced the dragons and found them merely images on someone else's map.