THE COLUMN

Issue No. 67/May 18, 1996


CYCLES

IVAN HOFFMAN

Things don't end when they seem to end. Events go on and on even though to us they seem to be over. What appear to be discrete events later appear to have been simply precursors to later events which in themselves are precursors to still later events and so on. Depending upon the event, we may either want it to end or want it to continue. But we have little to do with either choice. The events are not meaningful in and of themselves. They are more about growing and moving along. They are merely about cycles that are themselves only about other cycles.

There are cycles and then there are cycles. Some cycles seem like they blend into one another like ketchup blends into mayonnaise. And once blended together, we cannot seem to recall when one ended and the other began. They just sort of homogenize. There seems no specific day or event to which we can point to indicate and end or a beginning. It is more like a continuation of what was previously going on in our lives only in somewhat of a different form.

But there are also cycles that seem to have finite, discrete boundaries, like the line on the moon dividing day from night. No atmospheric fuzziness to cause what we on Earth know as twilight or dawn. Just "boom" it's night! Or "bam" it's day! And yet even though these cycles seem to be qualitatively different than those which went before, they are not for they themselves are merely the result of those which went before.

The only thing that seems to tie all the seemingly divergent cycles of our lives together is our soul. Our soul seems the unifying force that connects each cycle, each stage of our lives. Our soul is the object of our being. Our soul is the only reason for our existence. To purify our soul, to enable us to reach a place of spiritual intimacy, seems the reason for our lives. What appear to be cycles are really only stages of evolution of our soul. But we can only see these seemingly separate cycles as being one when we step back enough to see how far our souls have come over the course of even just one of our lifetimes.

As I look back over the cycles of my life, I realize how different they seemed to be when I was in the midst of each one and how connected they now seem one to the other. Sometimes my memory fades about who I was then or what were then my ideas for understanding life. Those cycles seem incredibly distant, almost from other lives.

And yet as I connect the dots from one cycle to the next, I see how unified my soul has become. I see its growth. I see that there have been no distinctions in reality. The only distinctions have been in my mind. Not in my heart. Not in my soul. Only in my mind.

My mind has at times continued to insist on staying with one cycle because for me it appeared not to be ready to end. There appeared to be things I still needed to learn from that cycle and yet the universe, God, appeared to be telling me it was time to move onto a new cycle. As much as I wanted to remain where I was, God provided me with much to move me along.

At such times, we all have choices. We can open our hearts to the process of our lives and allow the new cycle to proceed, to blend with the one that came before. It is in our hearts where God speaks to us and provides us these opportunities. To do this takes trust in ourselves, trust in God, trust in the process itself. If we opt to let go of our fears, we can perhaps see the process in operation, see how God operates in our lives. By trusting, we can perhaps see our souls maturing, growing, evolving. What has become apparent in my life is that when I have let go and trusted that process, the new cycles answered many of the seemingly unanswered questions left over by the previous cycle. "Ah!," I would say, "so that's the reason that happened…"

On the other hand, we can insist on denying the power of our hearts, We can, instead, stay inside our minds, force ourselves to remain where we are, replaying over and over again the factors of the current cycle until we fully understand them, if ever we do. By doing so, however, we are perhaps preventing ourselves from gaining the very understanding we seek for that understanding may only come from moving along, not remaining where we then are.

The new cycle may help explain the old.

We can only seem to understand when we stop trying to understand.

© 1996 Ivan Hoffman

For More Information:

EMAIL

Where Next?

The Column | Home