Posted by: Carlos Tanner
One important concept that I have learned in my work with ayahuasca is that people’s souls are not all on the same level. Similar to children growing up, who are in different grade levels, so, too, are our souls, in fact our current life is like the grade level of our soul. In the beginning, we’re just playing in the sandbox and building towers out of blocks. The most challenging thing we have to figure out is walking in a line or waiting to be called on before we speak. But as we move up in grade levels, we start getting tested. We have things to learn and to practice and remember. Those things become more and more challenging as we continue up in grade levels, but we are always prepared for it because of what we learned in the previous grade. It is a steady progression. And at the end of each year or semester, we have our final exams, where we demonstrate what we’ve learned. These are big tests, but if we did our homework and paid attention, they are not difficult to pass, even though they are not fun to take. We are never given tests that we cannot pass. While we might look back at kids in kindergarten and think how much easier it would be to just play in the sandbox all day, we know that at the level we’ve achieved it would be agonizingly boring, and we would choose to continue forward, even if it is really challenging to learn physics or calculus or French or to read literature and write book reports and essays. We choose to move forward, to pay attention, to learn, and to know that when finals come, we will pass the tests. When we pass those final tests each time, we get to move on to a higher grade level, eventually reaching a point where we choose what to study and what our challenges will be. We may even decide to teach.
Our souls do the same thing. Our souls are given tests, and when we pass them, we move up to the next level, and we are never given a test we cannot pass. We are never presented with a challenge we cannot overcome, even though the challenge may not be enjoyable. This perspective has helped me so much, because, like so many people, I sometimes wondered why my life wasn’t as easy as someone else’s, or, likewise, why someone else’s life seemed so hard. From the perspective of soul students, we can look at the person whose life is like a sandbox, all fun and games and smiling, and see their soul level, just like when we look at a kid in kindergarten. Or we can look at the person whose life is filled with difficult challenges and see their soul level with a much greater respect than we might have had without that perspective. And we can also look at our own lives and realize that the challenges we are faced with are tests that we can most surely pass, and that the reason we have been given these tests is to demonstrate that we have learned, and then move on to a higher level. We can actually feel good about these ‘final exams’ because we know they stand for the culmination of a grade level, and, in passing them, the moving forward to the next level, towards the point where we choose what to learn and what challenges we wish to overcome, and possibly decide to teach.
Our grade level does not determine or express our intelligence, for intelligence is a measure of one’s ability to learn, not the amount that has been learned. Being in kindergarten is no better or worse than being in college, it is just a different learning experience. This perspective does not provide a justification for superiority or inferiority, it only serves to encourage the acceptance of the challenges we are faced with, the confidence to know that we shall overcome them, and the satisfaction of knowing that the challenge itself is a sign of progression. The ‘school’ of our soul has many many grades and many many teachers, but the learning is definitely worth the effort. May you ace all of your tests…