by Marlene Buffa
My niece Taylor, when asked how she enjoyed first day of school, responded with a sigh, “I went to school, I learned everything and I came home.”
The innocent child, unaware of her wisdom, went about her playful activities after a hard day at kindergarten. Unbeknownst to her, her declaration offers a lesson for all of us.
We think we know it all
Totally confident in her education, Taylor reflects many of us as we go through life thinking we know it all. Proud of our ability to ingest information and facts, we weigh ourselves using a diet of delicious data by which we balance our intellectual mass with those around us. Fabricated finite finishes to our education, either from high school, or college or university, graduation lulls us into an illusion of intelligence. And while our learning inside the walls of academia may indeed cease, our higher education only begins.
Spirit never asks us to recite dates and times of significant events, or even solve difficult algebraic formulae. Instead, the life force within us calls upon each of us to search for pivotal points in our lives upon which we draw meaning and understanding. The equations we face every day, demand diligent examination of our role in this world and how we move through life in harmony with others.
Taylor, resigned in her belief that she learned all there was to learn, seemed almost bored with the entire school process. Her confidence that merely attending the first day of school somehow completely outfitted her with knowledge and information necessary to cope with life, parallels our “grown up” attitudes, as well.
We go through the motions in life concluding that’s sufficient – thinking if we jump through the hoops, pass the tests, or stay the course, magically our accumulated knowledge will serve as our lifejacket in the white-rapid sea of life. Armed with “I can do it,” greatly serves us in our approach to resolving problems and achieving goals, and in general, the firepower of confidence assists us in hitting the bulls-eye. However, when life calls us to reach beyond our known field of expertise or experience, our confidence and accumulated information face the challenges of our resourcefulness.
If our life experiences, education and knowledge prove ineffective, our confidence suffers. It is then, that we turn to true learning. When we turn to Spirit and ask for tutoring or mentorship, that very act serves as the first step in “learning everything.” When we look to Spirit, the answers welcome us into meaningful lessons and perfect answers.
Taylor’s schooling began that day, more than a decade ago, and like for the rest of us, will continue until her passing. Some of us enjoyed the blessing of dinners at the family table sharing idyllic anecdotes of what one learned that day. Others of us spent time in solitude or emotional distance from our parents, unable to share the joys of discovery. Still, in all of us, each day we carry yesterday’s life-education with us to tomorrow, and life provides the textbook in amazing ways.
We learn as children, we learn as adults, and we learn in our twilight years. Time remains constant in its ever-democratic dispensing of hours and minutes unbeknownst to us. Life uses each of the sands of the hourglass to dispense meaningful, and sometime masked, lessons for our benefit and we choose to recognize them and learn or ignore them and repeat the lesson. So, when we finally finish and learn all our lessons, we can take our book of our life and go home.
Coming Home to Spirit
From day one, we know nothing. We precociously gather facts and figures and give meaning to our curious collection of information, and empower ourselves with a feeling of accomplishment. In reality, God knows, and sparingly doles out revelations of insight to each of us as we walk down our life’s path. Life provides us with ample opportunities to learn the lessons we require – and will mimic the directions on the shampoo bottle – wash, rinse, and repeat! Problem, solution, lesson. You get to repeat the lesson until you’ve learned it, and only then, can you apply life’s “conditioner” and move smoothly forward.
The important thing is to always come home to Spirit. When you are truly free, you’ll realize you actually know nothing – that acknowledging knowing nothing is truly knowing everything. Your existence as a seeker and absorber of knowledge makes the journey worthwhile.