Once upon a time, you found the Promised Land, and then you lived happily ever after. This is a story of hope and aspiration that is universal in nature, but a lifelong subscription to an out dated version of the archetype of the Promised Land will stop you from reaching your destiny. The news is good and bad. There are a number of illusions and possibilities contained within this story.
Time is an illusion. If “now is the only moment there is” rings true for you, and you meditate in that place, or maintain a practise of mindfulness, or endeavour to live in the present moment then you would agree that you are on a quest to experience no time. You believe that there is no time. Now and forever are the same things. Once upon a time is now.
The Promised Land is an illusion. You have a brief encounter with an ideal situation or idyllic experience. You get a real taste for it. In fact, you get hooked on it as your memory of it grows larger than life with every recall. It becomes a yearning, a desire, a lust or an insatiable passion. When times are tough, and they are haunted by hell, humans dream of heaven on earth. They’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Problems and disasters, and the threat of these things, make life hell on earth, so it drives humans to dream of heaven in nearly every difficult situation and encounter. The human instinct uses the yearning for heavenly experiences as a temporary coping mechanism during the healing process. It’s a form of denial, designed to get you through your traumas and onto the other side. As with each stage of the healing process, this one is not meant to be permanent experience. You only need hope when you don’t have any, so the story of the Promised Land inspires a sense of hope when you have none. It will tide you over until life returns to normal once again.
Your yearning for heaven demands fulfilment. You want the ideal man or woman so much if urges you to search for a soul mate. You crave for another human being to embody heaven on earth for you, and without them, it seems your life is hell. You want an ideal career so badly that you believe it is your life purpose. You want your job to embody heaven on earth for you. Without an ideal career, your life appears to be hell. Your heart’s desire is to be financially abundant. You want money and earthly possessions to embody heaven on earth for you. Without this fulfilment of your heart’s desire for abundance, your perception of life is hell. Heaven and hell go hand in hand.
Disappointments occur when your expectations are too high and so a sense of betrayal will follow. Heaven is a symbol for the Promised Land. It represents a place where 100% of the highest ideal imaginable exists, all of the time, and in every circumstance. This is impossible. It is human nature to want the best for yourself and others, but human life on earth is not meant to be 100% ideal. It is not meant to be 100% evil either. This is because the human race does not live in heaven or in hell. Humans are earth bound beings. It is rare to find the ideal in any situation, and it always will be this way, so you will have to get used to it. The sooner you accept that life is not idyllic then you can move onto developing effective strategies to manage life’s problems with greater ease than you have before. In the process, the illusion of hell, and your fear of it, will begin to dissipate, and the reality of equilibrium will set in. Healing will follow.
Life is not a matter of packing up your belongings and relocating to a far off Promised Land you believe lies in an ideal career, ideal house, ideal marriage, ideal body, ideal children or ideal family life. You are meant to define your own Promised Lands so that you update your understanding of what it means, and then bring it into present time.
Identify the unrealistic expectations that you have, and you will cut through the gut wrenching, heart breaking and ball busting illusions you are trying to maintain. Heaven and hell are the products of your unrealistic expectations. A new, updated Promised Land is inside you. It’s waiting to be exposed. Most people have at least one Promised Land, and sometimes more. What form do your Promised Lands take? What unrealistic expectations do you have? In what areas of life do they exist? Money, work, relationships, your body, your house are some of the most popular forms. There are many more than mentioned here.
The Promised Land cannot be found in the exterior world. When the illusions of your Promised Lands are exposed, the yearning for heaven will shrink, and with that, hell will be reduced. Equilibrium is the result. It is your middle way, and on it you will find your “happy ever after”. Infinity and forever are found in the present moment. When you learn to be in the present moment and stay there, then you will live happily ever after. It is your destiny to be on the Middle Way. Once upon a moment in present time, when you redefine your Promised Lands, you will find your own middle way, and live happily ever after.