Open Your Mind Wide

by Ana L. Palles

Roman Coliseum "Food and entertainment! That's our main focus!" a friend recently lamented. He was becoming increasingly disturbed at the parallels he was seeing between our culture and ancient Rome. With affluence more accessible, it seems that the days of staunch work ethic which drove our parents and grandparents is nothing more than a faded memory. They worked jobs no one else wanted, often tackling two low-paying jobs back to back to try to get one step ahead of the bills. They made do with cardboard covering the holes in the soles of their shoes and they ate whatever was on the table with gratitude.

For some, it seems as if the moral value of hard work and diligence that built this country tends to dissipate after a single generation in the land of opportunity. It is natural for parents to want their children to lead a better, easier life than they did. But in some circles, it is believed that the tradeoff we make is violating one of the fundamental principles within our culture: the belief in the ability of hard work to build strength of character and integrity in the pursuit of happiness.

Our world has changed. The explosion of games, music, films and the 24x7 internet lifestyle ensures that we have a constant supply of stimulus. Are we seeing history repeating itself as we face another fall of Rome, or have we broken through into a new model?

Astrologers, Shamans and others have been looking expectantly at signs that we are heading towards a new enlightenment. The progression of the equinoxes, the movement into the photon belt, the Mayan prophecies and the upcoming planetary alignments spark lively dialogue in spiritual communities. Panel discussion groups representing experts from various spiritual disciplines have been coming together to discuss their perspectives on what these signs mean. The recent film, 2012 The Odyssey, although it would greatly benefit from tighter editing, does provide a blended forum of experts exchanging ideas and eliciting provocative questions.

But rather than seeing the evolving trends with trepidation and a sense of loss for our seemingly increasing laziness, perhaps the breakthrough here is in our increasing belief in possibilities and magic. As Leslie, one of the main characters in Bridge to Terabithia tells her friend Jesse, “Close your eyes and keep your mind wide open.”

Our culture has been all about possibilities these many centuries years. Think of how marvelous an invention the light bulb was in its day. But we haven't lost our hunger for invention. What has been changing is simply our method of creation. Could it be that we are transitioning over to using more of our minds and imagination as we work to manifest our dreams? Instead of focusing on the physical, sweat and brawn, what if we are trying to power up our brains to see what they can really do.

The brain may be a hologram, so to speak, and we use only a fraction of our available horsepower. What if this age represents the beginnings of feeling out a new frontier? What are the possibilities?

For many of the contemporary generation, reality is much less rigid than in the previous few hundred years. Wrap your mind around even trying to comprehend quantum physics and you'll begin to see the edges of traditional science blur into spiritual territory. What if the way forward is to push against the walls to find some room to grow? What if when we reach out to push, we discover there really were no walls to begin with?

We're becoming more comfortable in exploring different concepts, such as the recently popular law of attraction. We're starting to find that magical worlds exist all around us when we stop to observe. What if what we thought of as reality is much more fluid than we had originally understood? What if fairies, angels, dragons and elves really do live all around us? What if we actively participate in the creation of our own magical world. LIke in The Bridge to Terabithia, what if you were able to keep your mind wide open? What wonders would you see? Perhaps that sparkle of fairy dust is the glow of Hope.

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