Divine Mother is a master magician. There is a trick that all magicians use: The obvious hides the hidden. A big movement attracts our attention while the real magic is happening behind the scenes. God hides His presence, entertaining us with the beauties and terrors of this world. He gives us challenges, but we rarely understand that the real test is happening behind the scene, in our consciousness.
What befalls us in life is not especially meaningful, but how we react to our challenges, and what we become because of them, is of vital importance. As Paramhansa Yogananda’s most advanced woman disciple, Sister Gyanamata, said, “Lord, change no circumstance in my life. Change me.”
In my last blog I said, “Challenges will come, must come, but only in order to give you a chance to work on your consciousness. When they come, don’t forget why you’ve drawn them. It is never about the project, but always about what you can become by facing them.”
Let us take, for example, the “Covid years,” when everyone in the world faced difficult tests. To the question, “How did you do during Covid?” a typical answer might go something like this: “I did pretty well. No one in my family died, and I was able to keep working. The isolation part was hard, and the government restrictions really got under my skin.” This is a good example of missing the point.
The devotee, who knows that this is a trick question, might answer more like this: “I did pretty well. I deepened my faith in God even though my uncle died. My heart stayed open and even expanded with compassion for those who were suffering, and I did everything I could to help others.”
Swami Kriyananda called death “the final exam.” When we leave this world, we take nothing material with us, only our consciousness with all of its qualities, tendencies, and unfulfilled desires. Think of all the tests you face in this life, even the most severe, as quizzes only, helping you prepare for your finals.
The question naturally arises, “How can we prepare now in order to pass this final exam?” In school we know the subjects, and get a grade from the teacher. But life doesn’t seem to give us clear feedback. It would help to at least know what we will be graded on.
In each life, you may have signed up for one or more special classes, which you can identify by those issues that recur again and again. But there are also “required classes” that everyone must take.
There is a danger in offering a report card. In fact many progressive schools have dispensed with them altogether, because the students focus on getting a good grade rather than on the process of learning. So, our Spiritual Report Card gives only two grades, a plus or a minus. Did we make progress in these areas or did our consciousness contract?
Here, then, are some of the test questions: Think of it as a “cheat sheet,” a way of knowing in advance what you will be asked when your “Spiritual Report Card” for this life is written.
Your connection with God: Did your desire to find God, along with your faith and devotion, grow stronger or weaker?
Attunement to guides and Gurus: Were you able to align your free will with that of the Gurus? Their only purpose in coming is to tutor us so we can live in accordance with divine law.
Qualities of the heart: Did your heart’s energy expand or contract? When life tested you, did you think of others? Did you expand your love, friendship, support, and compassion to include everyone?
Strength of mind and will: Were you able to keep your mind positive and your will strong? Master said that every test is a test of will. And also that we will never get a test that is too hard for us.
Dharma: Finally, did you stay in alignment with dharma? (You can use Patanjali’s yamas as a guide: non-violence, non-stealing, non-lying, non-sensuality, and non-greed.)
So, my friends, prepare well. See everything that comes as a loving lesson from your Divine Mother meant to help you pass your exams and merge into divine bliss. And remember that the process of learning is more important than the results. We have all the time in the world to pass our exams.
Listen to Jyotish as he reads the blog, then expands on it, often adding special behind-the-inspiration stories and answers to common spiritual questions. Subscribe to the podcast or download the audio recording by right-clicking here. Or listen to it here (8:19):