The Presumption of Essence by Jeff Brown
Editor's note: Yesterday I got an email from a lawyer. It was like hundreds of others I'd received over the years, no less special that each of them in the realizations it shared. In part it said:
Though I enjoyed many aspects of my work, I found it too constraining after my consciousness was raised. I felt that I was suffocating, so it seemed fortuitous that an early retirement offer was made just when I was trying to figure out a way to move...
And I also got this piece from Jeff Brown of http://www.soulshaping.com/ which seemed a very nice fit.
The law was breathing down my neck. I received many messages from my lawyer friend. He already had work to send my way. Over the next two weeks, I woke up every day with the intention to go in,
but my feet kept walking me in a different direction.
I began to feel sad. It felt like that moment in an intimate relationship when you know that your future does not involve your current partner. One night I went to the office when no one was around. I sat at my desk for a long time, imagining myself cast in this role. I felt agitated.
I found my way into the law library downstairs—I had always liked reading case law. I read through a series of Supreme Court decisions.
My thoughts kept wandering back to the dirt road at Omega—a library of light.
The next morning, I went to a criminal courtroom to try to find my love for trial law. Instead, I saw the courtroom with new eyes. Rather than a forum for justice, I saw a giant hate party predicated on the illusion of separateness.
I watched the judge needlessly belittle the lawyer, the spectators. I watched the accused sitting in the box, cast in the role of the bad guy. Yet I didn’t see a bad guy. I saw someone living out his karma, playing an essential part in this survivalist melodrama.
I tried to imagine how this scene would play out in a world not attached to narrow notions of right and wrong. Okay, maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t, but what if we let go of our attachment to duality?
How might we understand these events through a soulful lens? What
soul decisions brought each player to this stage today? Is their role intrinsic to their true-path? Where would they be without each other?
Then I inquired into my own place in this melodrama. Why
I in this courtroom at this moment? I imagined myself in the role of the defense lawyer. No sweet stirrings. No spark in my body. Nothing.
I certainly believed in the presumption of innocence that Eddie had fought so hard for, but I didn’t seem to covet this game anymore.
My soul gaze had shifted from the laws of the land to the laws of the universe: the presumption of Essence.
I caught another glimpse of my innate image. While looking at
the nasty trial judge, I flashed to a scene with him lying on a massage table with my hands on his head. I was inviting him to open his heart and surrender to the spiritual being living below his robes. He was sobbing. I was fully at peace with path.
I was experiencing a Soul-shadow. These are reminders of our innate image cast by our soul throughout our lives. I think of them as “peek” experiences—little glimpses into the path that our soul chose before it came back here. These beacons of light shadow us wherever we go, speaking to us across many channels, always calling us home.
Soul-shadows can arise in many forms. Some are apparently external—distant flutes, serendipitous moments, a microscopic breeze.
Others are internal—thoughts, interests, waves of resonance, dreamscapes.
When we begin to live more essentially, we become more adept at spotting them. What we once experienced as hints and whispers
transform into a more direct experience of the pathways within us.
That evening I met the other associates for a beer. They were completely animated about the details of their court day. They loved the stories. They coveted the prizes. I tried to engage, but I couldn’t find a way in anymore. It was small sky. I wanted big sky.
I left the bar very upset. I had worked for years to become a criminal lawyer, and now I had lost the passion. Oh Lord, what had I done?
Overcome by fear, I went for a long drive. My fear mounted. I suddenly remembered what it was like to live without structure, without money, without hope.
I drove straight back to the office, put some case law on my lap,
and held on tight.