River of Names
A few days ago I unexpectedly bumped into a university friend whom I hadn’t spoken to for nearly ten years. He is getting married in two weeks and has achieved many things in his career since leaving university. In certain ways our respective paths in life turned out quite different, but in other ways I discovered that we share many of the same spiritual principles. It would definitely be interesting to have a university reunion after twenty years and see where everyone ended up. Life has its interesting twists and turns.
The ancient scriptures explain that this world is like a river of names where some strands of straw join for some time, but downstream they all separate and go their own ways. You could say the world is just like an airport transit lounge. We all come from different backgrounds, catching planes to different destinations, and in the meantime we establish relationships amongst each other. Who can deny temporal relationships of this world? Even if two people stay committed to each other for life, the inevitable reality of death will separate them. So does that mean all relationships are meaningless and simply a waste of time?
While we relate to others on a bodily level, the relationships will only endure the length of this body. We may talk of having a connection with someone after they leave, but the strength of that connection is based on how much we have related to them as a spirit soul, part of the Supreme Spirit. So in this river of names, where we take on certain roles, responsibilities, positions and personas, the real challenge is to get beyond all the superficiality and temporary designations and get to the essence of the person. We are not human beings on a spiritual journey – rather we are spiritual beings on a human journey. This human journey affords an amazing opportunity to establish spiritual relationships which last for eternity.