A few weeks ago a friend said something to me -- when I was in the thick of some very heavy thinking -- that resulted in a huge wave of comfort and relief.
He said, "thoughts are an expression of universal energy, always fluctuating and finding the best course."
I understand that insights are as subjective as our taste in food or music. What sends me soaring might do absolutely nothing for you, and vice versa. So I wouldn't be completely shocked if you read that and said, "huh?"
But still, it took me into a deeper feeling that went a long way to relieve my suffering, so I figured sharing it with you was worth a shot.
Here's what I heard in his innocent little reminder: The basis of everything is universal energy. That's what we are before thought, before human identity (which is just thought, after all).
Universal energy (i.e., us, and All That Is) is also pure love. At the most basic, all-encompassing level, it's all pure love. Everything manifest in the physical world has the same essential source, and that source is universal energy and love.
The physical world we live in is that energy taken form. All-That-Is-love forms the basis of me, you, my dog Buddha snoring at my feet, and the chair you're sitting on. It forms the basis of every thought every person has ever entertained, every feeling we've ever felt, and every action we've ever taken.
It is all one source, showing up in different costumes.
Importantly, we aren't in charge of the wardrobe department.
That one universal love wears all kinds of funky stuff. Of course it's not truly funky. It is just what is, in the true, spiritual sense of things.
But in our human experience of it, filtered through our very human thinking and judgment, some of it is straight off the runway fabulous (summer nights, uncontrollable laughter, an all-expenses-paid trip to Bora Bora), and some of it is a first degree fashion crime (jealousy, loneliness, anxiety, what I was feeling the day my friend said that weird thing he said).
We experience a steady stream of stuff, similar to if we were in the audience of an actual fashion show. Some of what we see we love, some we couldn't care less about, and some of it is experienced as unbelievably painful. And it all has the same one source -- love. It is all made of the exact same All That Is-ness that we are also made of.
We are it and it is us. Dressed up and disguised, but essentially all the same.
The "always fluctuating" part is important too.
That universal energy doesn't stay in one outfit very long. There are an infinite number of ongoing costume changes in this play.
The manifestation of that universal energy is always fluctuating, always bouncing around, looking for a safe place to land.
When it is fashionable and feels good, we try to nail it down. When it is hideous and feels awful, we try to chase it away. And still, it fluctuates and changes course anyway, despite our efforts.
I find so much hope in that.
How much stock would you really put into your costume when you know there are a few million costume changes on tap?
How seriously would you take what you're wearing when you know that the next outfit is pressed and on the rack?
So, that's how it went down for me a few weeks ago. I saw that the feelings I was experiencing as horrible were just love -- star stuff, universal everything -- at one particular point in a revolving costume change.
Like that rotating rack at the dry cleaners. They stop it long enough to grab someone's suit; then it starts back up again.
I considered that maybe the thoughts creating that feeling were just bobbing around, looking for a safe place to land. A little like me in a dressing room, trying on a hundred pair of jeans until I find the best fit.
And even though that costume did change for me, I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if it finds its way back into the rotation at some point.
That would be okay.
As long as I see that there is another outfit in line behind it, it's much easier to wear.