Book Excerpts -Light in the Mirror

Book Excerpts -Light in the Mirror

Book Excerpts - "Light in the Mirror"

Preface

While we were writing this book, we sometimes wished we could travel to a mountain top and focus entirely on our writing. If we could only remove ourselves from the activity of our day-to-day lives, we reasoned, we could more clearly write our deepest feelings about this miraculous path of spiritual greatness through loving ourselves and loving one another.

It never happened. Our three children, eighteen-year-old Rami, thirteen-year-old Mira, and five-year-old John-Nuriel, each needed us in their own way. In addition, our commitment to helping others and our financial responsibilities (we built a new home and center) could not be abandoned. So, writing this book had to be juggled among homework needs, running a non-profit, public service organization, play rehearsals, counseling clients, pre-school meetings, games of Uno, getting a young adult ready for college, hide and seek, and travel all over this country to conduct workshops. Sometimes we couldn't resist envying other authors who could focus entirely on their writing.

In the final stages of writing, however, we realized that working on the book in the midst of home, family and service responsibilities has given our writing a special quality. We didn't need to leave our involvement with the world in order to feel our love within ourselves and for one another. Instead, we realized the highest spirituality is attained through loving ourselves and one another in the midst of all the interruptions and responsibilities of everyday life. Learning our true purpose here on Earth requires our willingness to behold two things: the beauty of our loved ones and all beings and things outside us ... and the beauty of our own being reflected back from the great mirror of life.

Introduction

As the two of us have traveled throughout the country sharing our work, we have often heard people describe the same longing - a longing for deeper connection not only with other people but with their own hearts as well. Many of the people we have met are trying to more deeply connect with themselves and with others. Regardless of whether they are single or a couple, they are searching for spiritual meaning in their lives and longing for a deeper sense of peace within themselves.

We have met some people who, in their efforts to reach God, the light of all creation, have avoided intimate relationships altogether. They believe the only way to attain true spiritual awakening is by shunning the world and its complexities. Often, these people are convinced that by remaining single and solitary, they are coming closer to the highest spiritual awareness. In addition, we have also met many couples who are experiencing difficulty in their relationship and who seriously doubt that being in relationship can possibly enhance their spiritual growth.
Indeed, throughout the course of history, spirituality was often kept separate from relationships. Individuals following a spiritual discipline often felt they needed to stay away from relationships. In their minds, relationships were thought to be a "worldly" activity, a departure from the spiritual path.

Yet, through our own joining, we have learned something very different about the nature of spiritual awakening and relationships. We feel that the essence of everyone is a vast spiritual energy, a radiant light, our true inner being and guide which is helping us to grow and unfold the petals of a magnificent flower. That flower, that magnificent inner light, is us - our real identity. It is only by knowing this deepest part of ourselves that we can acquire true wisdom, true happiness, and "the peace that passes all understanding."

In addition, we have learned that the process of relationship can be a sacred path. Far from being an obstacle to our spiritual development, relationship can actually be a catalyst for the unfolding of the flower of ourselves. The process of joining with another can be a way of accelerating our growth and can be a powerful spiritual journey of awakening. Walking the path of relationship deepens the soul's capacity for compassion, the heart's capacity for embracing love, and helps us to understand love's cycles of giving and receiving. The closer we come to another, the better we come to know ourselves and, in so doing, the closer we come to God, the ever-present light and love within and all around us.

In this book, you may find many new ideas but, to us, they're not new at all -- they're as old as love itself. Unfortunately, much of the wisdom about loving has simply been lost in our culture. We have written this book to reclaim that lost wisdom, hopefully, to help it root once again in our present-day world.

One of the ideas at the heart of this book that may seem new to some readers is the image of relationship as a mirror. Through this metaphor, we hope to show people how they can transform every relationship into a mirror in which they can see and understand the deeper, hidden parts of themselves. No one can grow spiritually without introspection, a journey inside themselves. A mirror is a device for looking at ourselves, for seeing parts of ourselves that are difficult, if not impossible, to see without this help. Every relationship offers us just such a reflection of ourselves, if we are willing to look, and learn, and grow. Yet more than merely showing us our defects and short-comings, and how we're needing to grow, the mirror can more importantly help us to see our own beauty and loveability. Through the process of relationship, loving and being loved in return, we can find and reclaim our true spiritual greatness.

The two of us have learned that the path of spiritual awakening and the path of relationship have much in common. Each has three main phases. The first phase is the "heavenly glimpse." Whether it be a glimpse of the light of God or a glimpse of the light of a lover, we have a momentary view of the same light. It is just as uplifting to see the light within our own heart as it is to see the light within the heart of our beloved. This first phase is the "honeymoon" phase, complete with its thrill of newness and the excitement of discovery.

The second phase of both spiritual and relationship awakening is the journey past the obstacles that stand in the way of love. The "honeymoon" is over (although elements of its newness can be felt from time to time), and this is the time to learn the many necessary lessons about life and love. On the personal spiritual path, it is the time when we confront the dark side of our personality, the parts of us that rob us of our peace. On the path of relationship, it is the time when we illuminate the interaction between our own and our partner's dark sides.

The third phase of the spiritual and relationship path is service. As our cup fills with love, our natural desire is to overflow, to joyfully give to the world the love and the help we ourselves have received. Service is sharing the fruits of our personal spiritual growth and our relationship.
Furthermore, the spiritual and relationship journeys are not linear, one phase following the next. All three phases can be happening at the same time. Serving and helping others can be teaching us even more lessons about unconditional love which, in turn, creates more newness and "honeymoon-like" joy. In addition, all of evolution follows an upward spiral. We may seem to go full circle, ending up in a similar place to where we began, but we are never in the same place. We are on the next level of the spiral, perhaps near the old place, but with more understanding and wisdom. The same kind of movement is true for all of nature, including the orbits of celestial bodies which are never in the same place after a full cycle.

We have written Light in The Mirror as a kind of guide-book to help you integrate these two paths, the path of spiritual growth and the path of relationship. Throughout the book, we hope we have made it clear that these two paths continually overlap, that your personal spiritual growth enriches your relationships and your relationships enrich your spiritual awakening.

One of our greatest hopes is that this book can help you to learn to accept and love all the parts of yourself and embrace all the soul lessons of life and relationship.

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