Life Is Fragile . . . Or Is It?

Scott Osterhage

We view our lives as fragile, we billions of human beings, each like a knot in a fishing net: autonomous of the other knots, yet indissolubly interconnected with all the others. All moves as one, yet the integrity of the net depends on each individual knot. Woven together we form the net of Humanity.

Lately I've been contemplating how the destructive qualities of disease and death seem to come so easily to us. An automobile accident, a bout with cancer, or a thousand other everyday occurrences remind us of the delicate balance of life. Viewed as bodies moving on this earth we are constantly on the razor's edge: a single slip and we are severed from what we know in this world. The knot snaps.

That is what we think we know, who we think we are. However, we are not just this body, this personality. At life's core we are indestructible. The interpenetrating cloaks of our existence extend beyond the physical body we usually identify as our "selves." Our life-force and desires shape the body. Instinct, intellect, and intuition direct and guide us. That shining spark at our core compels and centers us. Connected with all the other sparks, it collects us into the One Life.

Fragile we may seem, easily broken, yet life's tragedies guide us to our permanent and lasting inner home, our very real source of life. Forms come and go, but our constant center remains. The challenges we meet come to us because we set their causes in motion. We reap the effects as we need them, to learn by experience how to live in harmony with the eternal flow of life. If we were separate entities nothing would affect us. Because we are integral parts of all that exists, we feel the ripples we create and through this process learn to live within equilibrium, restoring balance through learning and living — making a different choice the next time. Freshly we live each moment, the only time we can affect the future, for each moment is the only time we can act. The past is gone, and our future is yet to be fully formed.

Together we surround the world and sustain each other. We make a strong net. The more we support others, the easier the load is for everyone to carry. When a tear occurs, someone repairs it. All we are and all we can become is wrapped in each moment, and then the next and the next. Each choice we make changes the course of our humanity, and of the entire world. Let's make every choice count.


(From Sunrise magazine, August/September 2006; copyright © 2006 Theosophical University Press)

How can one help marveling at the voyage we are making on this planet? One has to lift one's self up and use one's imagination to see that it is a voyage, and that our course lies through the star-paved abysses of infinite space. Few of us ever see it or realize it in all its awful grandeur. But sometimes, as we look up at the night sky, we are surprised out of our habitual stolidity and blindness; the mind opens for a moment, and we see the Infinite face to face; the veil is withdrawn, and the rays from myriads of orbs penetrate to the soul. — John Burroughs

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