Lighten your Burden
“The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?"
Much of the story takes place in Prague in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It explores the artistic and intellectual life of Czech society from the "Prague Spring" of 1968 - a period of political liberalization and mass protest following the introduction of political reforms - through the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries to suppress those reforms, and to the aftermath of that suppression.
It is a story about two women, two men, and a dog. It is a story about love - and lust. A story of the erotic adventures and exploits of one of those men with both of those women. Yet the story opens with a philosophical discussion of lightness versus heaviness: A contrast between Nietzsche's philosophy of eternal return, or of heaviness and Parmenides' understanding of life as light.
Political unrest, erotic exploits, and the meaning of life - sounds like a series we might find on Netflix today!
It is said that the world of our dreams is not the real world. But simply because we re-enter this reality that we call daily life each morning does not prove it is more real than the world in which we dream. Couldn't things be the other way 'round? What if this life is simply a recurring dream, and it is merely the pervasive repetitions that have made it seem real to us? Isn't a belief merely a thought that we keep thinking?
I am reminded of the opening lines from A Course in Miracles: Text, "This course can be summed up very simply in this way: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God."
Pastor and author John Pavlovitch blogged on March 7: "You should be a little weary right now. If you are, be grateful. It is a good thing. That weariness is confirmation that your heart is working properly. It is your humanity responding to so much inhumanity around you. It is evidence of your goodness still fighting to feel useful." Medical intuitive and author Caroline Myss posted on March 23: "We've entered the era, the age, of light. We connect to light - the Internet - first thing in the morning...And when we think of our health, we include energy, which is light." So you might take comfort in the idea that the light is growing and as it does, even more positive changes will come. But, you also might want to gird your loins because these changes will take time and may be uncomfortable.
Acknowledge the change. Stop arguing with reality. Remember, the cause of much suffering is attachment to thought - in this case, the thought that things shouldn't be the way they are.
Research the facts to better understand the nature of the change. A big contributor to anxiety and depression is a feeling of powerlessness or helplessness, which can give rise to feelings of hopelessness. Explore your potential roles during this big change. Consider the possibility that your soul chose to incarnate at this time. And regardless of the circumstances in which you find yourself, recognize that you are responsible for your responses to those circumstances. You can always choose to give and do your best. Determine what you need in order to give and do your best. Learn how to fill your cup and how to tell when it needs refilling.
Ask your soul what you really need, and listen for the answers. Your soul has your highest and best interests at heart. But to hear the voice of your soul you have to spend quality time together. A regular meditation or spiritual practice is ideal for this, of course. And remember that informal moments of mindfulness throughout the day are also powerful.
Spend time in a supportive community. This is important for so many reasons: a broader perspective available when you want an objective opinion, a ready resource when you need help, a source of fun and recreation when you want to lighten your burden, and a potential outlet in which you can serve - giving back or paying it forward.