In my living room are two black and white photographs that I love. One is a bridge across a large expanse of water. The other is a spiral staircase. In neither can the viewer see the beginning nor the end. What mysterious room lies at the top of the stairs? What destination awaits the traveler crossing the bridge? Both pictures also capture light and shadow.
To me, these photographs represent the journey through life, but more than just representing the movement through years and life stages. For me they suggest movement in states of being, states of consciousness and awareness.
This movement in our state of being doesn’t always come easily, for life brings both light and shadows. We often pass through some dark times before we break through to a greater understanding and awareness, more inner freedom.
From my own life experience, I have come to realize that the bridge that helps us cross from blame and anger to forgiveness, from pain to trust and acceptance, from questioning to answers, is love.
But this is not an ordinary love, but the kind that truly “passeth all understanding.” It is the spark of hope that remains inside when all else is lost. It is this love that builds bridges between people and heals hearts.
That transcendent love can link us to worlds of understanding and experience beyond this one. This transcendent state of being is what saints down through time have aspired to reach, poets have written about, and lovers dreamed of.
How does an ordinary person hope to experience this state of sublime love? We must find our own way, our own bridge, to the inner, higher self where truth and love await us. But, as the two photographs in my home suggest, there is not a final destination, only a journey.
Here is a contemplation you can try if you would like:
Imagine walking up a staircase or crossing a bridge in the company of a spiritual guide. It might be Jesus or some other Master or spiritual leader. Inwardly you might ask to be shown a greater state of love, joy, or freedom from a problem.
True contemplation is the bridge across forever.
See you on the other side.