Bridging the Worlds
of Flesh and Spirit
by Dan Millman
Here is one of the great "secrets" of the material and spiritual worlds: We can abide, moment to moment, in either a conventional or transcendental reality. And each has its own truths.
For example, from a conventional view, illness is a misfortune and that death is final. From the transcendental view, death as an illusion (since we are each part of that Awareness which is never born and never dies).
Most of the time, the "truths" of conventional reality monopolize or trap our attention, preoccupied as we are with the stuff of everyday life: education, earning a living, relationships, family, and health. Our dramas--played out in the theater of gain
and loss, desire and satisfaction--seem absolutely real and important to us.
We pursue satisfaction and fulfillment-and happiness is tied to events unfolding in line with our desires, hopes, and expectations. We spend much of our time problem solving, striving to make things work out, and many of us suffer from attachment,
craving, and anxiety.
We suffer when we don't get what we want; that we suffer when we do get what we don't want; and that we suffer even when we get exactly what we want, because in this world of mortality and change, we inevitably lose all that we love. Only when we confront
this stark realization do we begin to seek a way out.
We can awaken only after we recognize we are asleep; we can find freedom after we notice that we are bound; we can reach the other shore only by letting go our tight grip and pushing off. As Anais Nin said, "Then the day came when the risk to remain tight
in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Therefore, suffering has been called "the first grace," because the recognition of our self-generated suffering generates a yearning to transcend the conditional world-unleashing a desire for spiritual transformation. For liberation.
My work addresses the realities of both the conventional and transcental realities - keeping our head in the clouds but our feet on the ground-living with a peaceful heart and a warrior spirit.
I close with a final epigraph from my new book, The Journeys of Socrates.
In his journal, he wrote:
When I was young, I believed that life might unfold in an orderly way,
according to my hopes and expectations.
But now I understand that the Way winds like a river,
always changing, ever onward,
following God's gravity toward the Great Sea of Being.
My journeys revealed that the Way itself creates the warrior;
that every path leads to peace, every choice to wisdom.
And that life has always been, and will always be,
arising in Mystery.
© Copyright 2007 by Dan Millman. All Rights Reserved.
Dan Millman is a former world-champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor. His thirteen books, including Way of the Peaceful
Warrior, Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior, The Life You Were Born to Live, No Ordinary Moments, The Laws of Spirit and The Journeys of Socrates, have
inspired millions of readers in 29 languages. The feature film, "Peaceful Warrior," starring Nick Nolte, was adapted from Dan's first book, an autobiographical
Dan's keynotes and seminars have influenced leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, sports, and the arts. Married for 30 years, he
has three grown daughters and two grandsons. For more information: www.peacefulwarrior.com
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