The Rose And The Thorn

By Julie Redstone

The history of man's spiritual evolution can be depicted as a relationship of rose and thorn, traversing a line between sweetness, beauty, and love, and the pangs of hardship and unexpected loss and pain that always seem to counterbalance the sweet fragrance of the rose.

Never understanding why the thorns of life had to accompany life's beauty, mankind has always had to find ways of dealing with its heavy burden of suffering, both individually and collectively, trying always to focus on the smell of the roses and to minimize the sharp stabbing intrusion of that which was unwanted or unexpected.

Had we but known that the thorns were necessary in order for the roses to exist at all, it may not have made a difference. For the human heart, though it may justify suffering on the level of principle or purpose, nevertheless seeks always for an end to suffering, and a day in which only flowers will grace the vistas of what lies before us. For this is the nature of what it means to be human – to seek love and peace and yet to have to abide with the sharp edges of life that are often piercing in their effects.

The thorns of life have been necessary because of the degree of separation of human consciousness from the truth of its own being and from the truth of the Divine nature of all of life – a gift from the one Creator of all Had there not been such a separation in awareness, it would not have required the sudden stabbing pain of reality to wake one up to something. For this has always been the service of pain – that it awakens within consciousness something that has been asleep, and yet that has been necessary for the further development of wholeness of the self. It does not come into being gratuitously, but rather as a force for healing, to bring the self back to the path of truth and growth and toward the light of wholeness.

Even though the meaning of pain may not be conscious and even though in many instances it seems unjustified, punitive, cruel, haphazard, indifferent, or meaningless, nevertheless, its purpose in manifesting the thorns of life has been to create movement – sometimes gentle, sometimes sharp – into a different way of looking at things.

Imagine, now, a world in which roses exist without thorns. This is the world of the future. A world in which spiritual growth and the movement toward wholeness no longer needs the kind of prodding that has existed before – a world in which the separation of consciousness from the light of sacred reality no longer requires the vast leap over mistaken ideas and notions of reality which create a chasm to be bridged in order to institute a path of return. Under these circumstances, the thorns would no longer be necessary. Painful prodding would no longer be necessary, for the path of growth could be held in light and the corrections that might be needed would be small corrections, ones that could be instituted gently and progressively without a sharp blow to one's awareness.

This is what lies before us in the unfolding evolution of the earth's story and of the story of her inhabitants as we move into the next level of spiritual understanding and evolution. This next level has been called many things, but by whatever name one conceives of it, it is a place and time in which roses shall bloom without the necessity for thorns, and in which the human soul shall experience its own beauty and fragrance without the cloud of self-doubt or mistaken perception that has existed thus far.

Before this time comes, there shall still be thorns that pierce the heart and soul – thorns that result from mankind's indifference to man, thorns of mankind's indifference to the sacred life of the earth, thorns that come from cruelty and disdain, from pettiness and greed, from fear and from the desire to seek advantage over others. These are the thorns that human beings create through their own misguided actions, and before they leave the landscape of human consciousness entirely, they will make their presence known.

But in the end, those aberrations of consciousness which lessen the humanity of one to another, which lessen the caring of the human heart of one to another, will progressively disappear. And in its place, will be the awareness of oneness that allows all to answer the question: "Am I my brother's keeper?", with a full and unequivocal "yes."

Blessed be this time of transition and of the earth's flowering into a new day.

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