Making Life Your Friend

By Doug Marman

What’s everywhere but is hard to find? The spiritual path. Discovering it is never easy. First we must to go through a major struggle and search. Only a deep hunger and desire for the inner meaning of life can bring us to the threshold where the spiritual path is possible.

"Stairway to Heaven" by Beniamin Pop

“Stairway to Heaven” by Beniamin Pop

Why? Why is it that no matter how openly the path is taught and how simply it is explained, it’s still so difficult to find? This is the age-old paradox.

With the new understanding described in the book, Lenses of Perception, we have a new way of explaining what is happening: A new lens—a new way of seeing—is needed to recognize the spiritual path. It can’t be seen by only looking at the world as if we were standing on the outside looking in.

The problem is that changing our fundamental way of seeing is traumatic. We need to let go of how we view ourselves and our place in the world. Then we must pass through a zone of not-knowing, before we can recognize the reality of a new perspective.

As a result, people feel lost just before finding the spiritual path. This is a universal experience. It feels as if the whole foundation of life disappears before a new light dawns.

The spiritual path only opens up for us after we make an inner connection with life. This is why many people feel that something is missing. They felt closer to life as children, but they don’t know how to get that joy of discovery back. How do we restore the link?

The good news is that we never lose this ability. We’ve simply forgotten the path because we change our way of seeing when we grow up. Our objective, third-person view of ‘the world out there’ blinds us to our inner experiences. This is why we miss the subtle opportunities of the spiritual path all around us. The solution is simply to remember the lens we used as children.

"Boys Will Be Boys" by Amy Burton

“Boys Will Be Boys” by Amy Burton

Our childlike sense if wonder comes from a second-person point of view. This way of seeing doesn’t look at the world as an object. It sees everything as if it were alive, as if it were a living being.

Think of the words you write to a lover or a close friend. “I wish you were here. I miss you. I thought of you today…” You call your friends YOU. That’s a second-person perspective. Spending time with your friends creates invisible connections. These bonds are made from the second-person perceptions you share with them.

We can feel the same relationship with all of life. We only need to change our lens. That’s when we remember that we have always been connected and always will be.

But remember: If you want to make the whole of life your friend, you must be a friend. Look forward to every day. Greet your mornings and evenings with a kiss. Become a lover—not of the outer world—but of life itself.

However, this is just the first step in finding the spiritual path. Waking up to our second-person connection with life isn’t enough. The real change takes place after we find the “all-for-one” bond. This is what lifts us up out of our limited consciousness into something larger.

As I explained in, Lenses of Perception, the all-for-one bond is a special relationship that forms from second-person connections. It only happens when conscious beings connect with beings at a higher level, such as living cells bonding with an organism, forming its body. We see the same thing when employees follow leaders in an organization.

"Magic Forest" by Rodrigo Lozano

“Magic Forest” by Rodrigo Lozano

Therefore, the spiritual path begins when we find an Inner Master. That’s where our search is leading us.

Finding a true inner teacher links us to a higher consciousness that uplifts us. This connection is what allows us to experience the magic of the spiritual path. It’s an inner experience, and once we see it working in our lives the whole meaning of life changes for us.

Following the spiritual path requires a commitment, but not to an outer form or person—it’s an inner relationship. The same is true with all second-person relationships, they’re not held together by outer forms, they are inner bonds. Friendships and families survive because people are willing to make sacrifices for each other. That’s what keeps the bonds alive. The same is true for the spiritual path.

However, we need a whole new way of seeing, to understand what it means. This has nothing to do with belief. It’s all a matter of perception.

The commitment we make is not to the Inner Master directly, but to the uplifting wave of spirituality that flows through the all-for-one bond. This only works if the Inner Master is also working for a higher state of consciousness. As Lenses of Perception shows, the same force drives all of evolution. That’s why we see a hierarchy in the structure of life forms, with genes working for cells, cells working for organisms, and organisms coming together for the sake of societies.

The difference with the all-for-one bond on the spiritual path is that it connects us to an inner hierarchy. Thus, no matter where we might stand in that hierarchy, we always seem to be in the middle, since there are always those above us who we can learn from, and those below who we can help.

With the right lens, the invisible path becomes visible.

4 thoughts on “Making Life Your Friend

  1. Hi Doug,
    We have been friends since 1985, and you have been a spiritual beacon and inspiration for me through that entire time. Many times you helped me to understand things which I did not understand at the time, and that was tremendously helpful to me. All of your works are coming from the same place, to help others understand the subtle spiritual truths in the best ways that you can.

    I have found all of your books, talks, and articles over the years very uplifting and helpful. It is as you say, that we can pick up the spiritual truths from those who have been down the path a bit ahead of ourselves, and I myself have accepted the same path as yourself of helping others in any way that I can to move forward spiritually in the ways that are most natural and helpful to them. Thanks for all your good work and friendship for 31 years, and thanks for helping me to move forward on my own spiritual path so many times over the years.

    Here’s wishing you many more years of making a difference for others.
    May the blessings be.
    Love, Don

  2. Dear Doug

    Thanks for sharing your new work.

    I guess what you’re saying on one level is: “Don’t buy this book. Go in there and explore your inner worlds yourself instead, and make the inner connection with the true masters of consciousness, in order to perceive how and why to connect with the subtle bond of life itself. High and low.”

    Of course you have first to go through an outer master to be able to find a way in. One of the many paradoxes on the spiritual path back to the source of life. In your own words: “It’s all poetry”. And as in all true art, you will have to make a great (effortless) effort, and with (playful) perseverance. The riddle of God.

    It’s difficult and complex only until it becomes easy and simple. So maybe you are saying: “Buy the book, if it will help you take you one step further. But you may already be there, and then you don’t need to buy any book or seek any outer master”.

    Thanks for keeping this spiritual dialog open, and for your work for spiritual truths.

    Your friend

    • Kim,

      Yes, I think I’m trying to say “Buy the book if you think it might help you take one step further. But know that it will only lead you to what you knew all along and maybe just forgot.”

      And yes, that is one of the big paradoxes. How can we switch to a new lens, a new way of seeing, before we understand it? It is easiest to catch it from someone else. They have the connection, you might say, and we pick it up from them.

      Hundreds of years ago, the main path to learning was through apprenticeship. Working for those who know. We absorb and pick up lots of subtle insights that way, that can’t be gained from books.

      But in our modern age, where everything seems to be about knowledge, what’s the value of apprenticeship? So, it has fallen out of favor. Unfortunately, the most valuable truths can’t be gained by reading or listening to lectures. It comes from working with others who know, and working directly with life itself.

      So, it is as you say. It’s not about reading books or ideas. It’s about our experiences and understanding them better. It’s about seeing as life sees.

      How to do we do this? It can’t be explained with words alone. But it can be experienced, and we can pick it up from those who have been down this path before.

      Thanks for the dialogue and your friendship.


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