How I choose love over the norm, i.e. fear

An interviewer asked me if I knew the meaning and purpose of life. I answered in the affirmative, footnoted by Monty Python, Boston Legal, Animal House and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg

meaning of life

GUEST COLUMN: VAISHALI — The interviewer was somewhat taken aback. He admitted that he did not fully expect me to be able to answer that question. He had posed the same question to Timothy Leary, Ph.D. Leary was surprised by the question and, after stumbling through an awkward response, admitted that he did not know the answer. Needless to say, not exactly the climactic moment the interviewer was anticipating.

It does illustrate the fact that most intelligent people, when asked the “big question,” feel at a loss for an immediate, direct and concise response. It reminded me of the Supreme Court’s reaction to the question, “What is pornography?”  They can’t define it in words, but they know it when they see it.

I must confess I do enjoy being a philosophical tease. So before I end this foreplay, let me say that the reason most people do not have a ready-made answer to this question is because most people fail to see the bigger truth asserting itself in every present moment.  The obvious is always the hardest to see, isn’t it?  According to the adage, if you want to hide something, put it in plain sight. So it is with the answer to this question. Once the answer becomes self-evident, its ubiquitous nature will surprise you.

The purpose of life is to learn, to grow. The meaning of life is to share more… more love, laughter, compassion, kindness, tolerance, nectarous juicy goodness. Ever notice how sharing your life with others brings more meaning to the moment; an elevated quality to any experience? It doesn’t need to be something earth shattering  – just sharing a joke or a glass of wine with a friend. At the end of every Boston Legal episode (pictured below), the two protagonist attorneys create meaning in their relationship by sharing cigars, cognac and conversation.

boston legal

The single most profound way to grow and learn is experiential.  It was the great Swedish scientist/ inventor/mystic Emanuel Swedenborg who articulated it best when he wrote that the meaning of all life on Earth, the other planets, as well as inter-dimensionally, is to create a seminary of Heaven.  (Sorry Harvard, that’s what I call real higher learning).

So, what makes Swedenborg (1688-1772) the definitive expert? Well, for starters he is often called the Swedish da Vinci. He invented everything from mining safety techniques, to the first working hang glider, to a blueprint for a submarine.  Swedenborg had been able to control his breath and enter into a trance-like state of absolute concentrated focus since he was a child. At the age of 56, while engaging in this practice, he said the veil between the physical and Spiritual worlds dissolved, and he was able to see and communicate with the inhabitants of the “other world.”

Swedenborg said he learned of this truth concerning the purpose of all created life from beings we would recognize as Angels. For the remainder of his life, some 28 years, Swedenborg maintained this constant lucid connection between the corporal and ethereal realms, conversing with many purely Spiritual beings.

He declared that every Angel he ever met had a human life at one time in their evolutionary experience. It would seem the Earth classroom is an extremely fertile institution for the highest of learning.  The education runs from easy to highly advanced, with the potential for unlimited growth.  That’s a pretty scary concept for anyone who went to a school resembling Faber College in Animal House.  Four years of Dean Wormer’s double secret probation was all I could handle.  But don’t worry, in this school they don’t grade on a curve, everyone passes, and you get to grade yourself!  And the tuition?  It’s free for everyone on the planet.

So, what are we here to learn? That would seem to be a paramount point worthy of exploration. We are here to grow into a fully self-actualized awareness that we are Divine Love and Wisdom and absolutely nothing else. We are here to learn how to embody that truth, unconditionally. So the purpose of life is to “be Love now,” unshakably; to recognize only one power, your own Divine Love and Wisdom, no matter what life throws your way; to own and align yourself through your Spiritual Identity, in a way that no one and no thing can alter or change. And I bet you thought this was going to be easy!

Every time we think of ourselves, or see ourselves, as being less than Divine Love and Wisdom, we take on another lesson, another aspect of this infinitely expanded learning.  We open yet another chapter and continue to deepen our study of self-realization. There is no end to this amassing of inner knowledge.  I am sure most everyone can reflect back upon their lives and point to lessons from Intro to Life 101 through Advanced Self-Respect 505 without straining too much. According to Swedenborg this infinite classroom extends from this planet to other planets, and even non-physically based extension courses.

angelWhat would speed up the learning curve in this process (other than the Cliff Notes)?  Simple. Acknowledge you are Divine Love and Wisdom in every present moment. Approach life’s challenges confidently with the unalterable truth of your Divinity as the senior intelligence that guides you, rather than throwing fear, self-doubt and insecurity into the mix.  Trade in worry and “what ifs” for a resolve to “be Love now.” Do not allow yourself to be defined, measured or judged by any other influences. Default to the bottom line of what you are here to embrace wholeheartedly.  Other people, no matter how well meaning, or any outer-world conditions should not determine your oneness with Divine Love and Wisdom.

Completely surrender all stories that you are unworthy and not deserving of Divine Love, and replace them with the certain knowledge that you do not have Divine Love, you are Divine Love. Be as true to your Divinity as you have been to your loyalty to imagining less than perfect outcomes throughout your life.

Free will is the single most transcendent teacher you have while accumulating life’s lessons.  There are basically only two classes: Love and fear.  You decide with your free will which class you will sign up for. Whichever class you register for will determine the curriculum you follow. The fear class will always leave you feeling more and more separated from Divine Love and Wisdom, more stressed with eroding self-assurance and an increased feeling of abandonment by a life worth living.  Plus, the classrooms are small, cramped, and always uncomfortable; there are no windows, and it is dark and constricting.  You automatically give yourself an “F”, as does everyone who takes the class in “not good enough”.

Conversely, the Love class will perennially re-enforce alignment with an unlimited sense of being self-adept, personal empowerment based on trust in oneself, and an exponentially vast array of feelings such as happiness, joy and playfulness.  The classrooms are bright, airy and open.  Everyone signed up gives themselves an “A”.
Each student is always clear as to which class they have opted to take and what lessons they will learn.

loveThe truth of the matter is that each of us bounces back and forth between these two classroom agendas all the time, numerous times a day. Thus is the power, dominion and sovereignty of the free will teacher. Practicing how and where to focus our free will is an unmitigated requirement if we are to graduate out of the lower level fear classes and move steadily up through the Love school of liberated learning and living.

The purpose behind registering for the fear class is to teach us there is no payoff in finding ourselves sitting behind that uncomfortably small desk of limitation.  Once that is realized, we graduate into the brighter, expansive Love program.  We have an entire lifetime, in fact, an unlimited number of lifetimes to master this movement.  It seems we can be very slow learners at times, persisting in the same action but expecting a different result.

We fully expect to get a Love outcome, while clinging fiercely to studies from a fear textbook. The good news is there really are no grades, other than ones you give yourself, no student loans or educational politics to deal with.  You move yourself from class to class and learning lesson to learning lesson with your free will.  You have the power to graduate at any time from your current level and move on to the next opportunity to explore growth.

No one holds you back, but you, and you alone, have the ability to advance yourself.  The system is fair. Since there is no end to this cosmic school of self-experiential education, there is no need to be concerned with any other goal than to recognize which class you are choosing to learn from with your free will.

I personally feel quite confident that I have learned everything I need to from the pervasive and relentless fear and scarcity program. Now I am wildly excited to learn from the abundant school of exuberant fun Loving joy until I get everything I need from that and then move on. The wonderful thing about this learning experiential journey is that there is always an opening in whatever class you choose next.

v head shotVaishali describes herself as “part stand-up comic, part spiritual leader and full time Soul Stripper!” Her most recent writing for Soul’s Code includes What is the “H” Word and My golden rule for a post-Bush…life. Learn more about Vaishali at  Connect her by email

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3 Responses to “How I choose love over the norm, i.e. fear”

  1. Thank you, Vaishali, for this meaning-full essay. I decided long ago that the only thing that mattered was that I experienced everything that happened to me as deeply as I could. It has seemed “obvious” to me that everything had meaning and that my purpose was to learn as much as I could. Beyond the personal, it seemed that My purpose was to contribute to the evolution of Consciousness and that happenbed best when I experienced life deeply at every moment. I still have fears, but when I feel them I remind myself that even experiencing the fear fully, understanding what it’s about can be a learning experience.

    Thank you.

  2. Thank you, Vaishali I found this essay to be filled with wisdom and enlightenment. A message of hope for all who live in fear that they can change classrooms, that they can find joy and happiness. When fear does erode my joy I look deeply into myself to find the root cause of the fear. Only by facing our shadows can we emerge joyfully into the light. It is by accepting, acknowledging our shadow that we can fully dissolve them.

  3. I find that most spiritual leaders or mystics, if you will, suggest that love is the answer. This is so obvious, so innate to humans, yet so hard to put into action. Thanks Vaishali for reminding us once again that this isn’t rocket science, it’s just the will and strength to put love into action.