Right now I’m contemplating liberation and obstacles and the nature of the universe in part because it’s Passover. But even people who are not Jewish will relate to this post because we all experience hardships and wish for escape.
Passover continues to be a relevant holiday for me because it’s not just about celebrating the Jews’ liberation from the land of Egypt, it’s also about personal liberation. The Hebrew word for Egypt, “Mitzrayim,” also means narrow spaces. That means the escape from Egypt was also an escape from a narrow space, a constricting spot, something I, too, have escaped from.
When I think of narrow spaces, constricting spots, I think of obstacles. I associate obstacles with suffering, with pain, and with punishment. I don’t know where this came from, maybe growing up in the U.S. where there’s a lot of talk of hellfire and brimstone, but whenever I experience an obstacle, I think it’s because there’s a vengeful God out to get me who wants me to suffer, who wants to punish me. Or the terrible things that happen to me are as a result of previous actions, possibly from a past life, but also serve as a punishment. I see a watered-down version of this reflected in the New Age community too where the “bad” things that happen to people are a punishment of sorts for their “bad” thoughts.
The bottom line is lots of punishment. Lots of black and white thinking. Lots of cause and effect, but in a judgmental way. However, I came across a few discourses and attended a lecture with a friend this week that reminded me obstacles are not punishments. They don’t come about because God wants to punish us for our misdeeds. They come about for other reasons, which I may discuss at another time, but the main point for this post is God loves us tremendously and only wants to see us emancipated. The world is ultimately a benevolent one and the divine is seeking to liberate us, will do whatever it can to aid that, something aptly demonstrated not only in the Passover story, but in my own personal experience.
For every terrible thing that’s happened to me, there has also been some grace, some assistance. One small example that comes to mind is a few years ago, my neighbor decided a Wednesday night would be a brilliant time to get drunk and high and talk loudly outside. I previously asked for that Thursday off so instead of fretting about not getting any sleep and being unable to function for work, I calmed down understanding I was taken care of, that it was all good.
The universe ultimately wants to see us succeed. There will be obstacles along the way, that’s inevitable, but we will also be given tools to overcome those obstacles. Eventually we will all escape from our own narrow spaces, but maybe not in the way we think.
I dream of a world where we remember we live in a loving universe where the divine wants to see us liberated. A world where we understand there will always be obstacles but we will also experience grace. A world where we understand ultimately, it’s all good.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.