In the school of life

Suppose you want to climb a mountain... Could you reach the summit if the slopes of this mountain were smooth? No, it would be impossible to get a foothold anywhere, and you would slip. It is thanks to the rough places that you manage to hoist yourself to the top. Well, in the same way, when life imposes limitations on us and confines us by means of our difficulties, we concentrate extraordinary forces within ourselves so that we can surmount our obstacles. Without these difficulties we would do nothing; people who are satisfied fall asleep.

Sometimes you feel the need to melt into the universal soul, to contemplate the immensity of the sea or a starry sky and immerse yourself in them. But if you remain in this state of expansion and dispersion you will achieve nothing on earth. In order to act, you must use the law of condensation, of concentration. We need great expanses of sky and sea in order to expand, and then a tiny space in order to concentrate, to gather our forces and act. It is in our ordeals that we find this tiny space.

An ordeal constrains us, and we must not complain about it but instead try to understand its meaning. Conflicts, obstacles and restrictions force us to fall back on our resources, to concentrate our energies and forces. Concentration and dispersion correspond to the two astrological signs, Capricorn and Leo. Leo is an externalizing sign: it projects, dispenses. Capricorn, on the other hand, is an internalizing sign: it accumulates and condenses. Under its influence in December and January, the earth concentrates energies in the roots of the trees in preparation for the explosion of life in July and August, for the abundance of fruit under the influence of Leo.

Leo sign                capricorne

Life subjects us to great pressures so that we amass and condense our strength and our energy. What would we be capable of doing if we remained dispersed? In the same way, when we are faced with an obstacle, we concentrate, we pull ourselves together, step back a little… and then leap! Obstacles only appear to oppose us. They are there to force us to surmount them and grow stronger. You will say, ‘But I want space, I want freedom!’ Well yes, so do I, but true space and freedom are only given to us after a great many compressions and constraints. When we are compressed on the physical and psychic planes, our spirit rejoices; it is jubilant because it can finally exercise its power over matter.

In life we have a choice between two attitudes: the lazy attitude of those who are content to remain within their comfort zone, where they doze and stagnate, and that of the awakened and courageous beings who have resolved to grow in the light, whatever their difficulties. They are like plants: fixed in the soil, they are forced to endure heat and cold, wind and storms. These are certainly painful conditions, but in spite of them they grow and blossom. And how beautiful their colours are, and how lovely their fragrances!

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
Izvor 242, The Wellsprings of Eternal Joy,

Artwork: Josephine Wall

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