Youtube: Five Faculties for Effective Prayer: Elimination

In countless ways, nature illustrates how the faculty of elimination is inherent in plants and creatures. For example, in response to the mysterious urge to be something more, the caterpillar lets go of its identity as an earthbound, worm-like creature and submits to a transformation that, in our eyes, seems nothing short of miraculous. There is an inherent willingness to let go of one aspect of the identity so something new can emerge.

I have pointed out that the process many think of as soul evolution is really an evolution of values. Can we not imagine that, from the beginning, the soul of the butterfly existed within the caterpillar? The faculty of elimination is the ability to know when it is time to reevaluate our values, to determine when we are clinging to our caterpillar thinking, and when to yield to our soul’s nudging to expand into our butterfly level of expression. While we tend to cling to things we value most, moving forward always involves letting go of something we once considered an essential part of our identity.

Most of us identify strongly with our body. As it matures, we say, “I’m getting older.” But as I pointed out last week, the soul does not age. It is more accurate to say, “This physical vehicle that I am using is maturing. I myself am eternal.” This may seem like a metaphysical mind game, but it is the truth. We will not always have this body, but we will always be alive.

Eliminating the thought of the physical body as a core feature of our identity opens new ways of thinking about our earthly experience. Rather than lament over activities our bodies no longer allow, we are still capable of living a fulfilling life. I doubt the butterfly laments over its days as a caterpillar.

As I think of my own life, there is no time to which I long to return. If I could live it all again, would I do it differently, possibly better? Since I’ll never be able to find out, it is best to let go of that thinking. I’m here now and it’s up to me to make the best choices. Like the butterfly, I let go of my identity as an earthbound creature and focus on the best way that I can be here now.  

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