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ESSENCE OF LIFE


fetus

  Imagine yourself enveloped in darkness. All is silent except the 
unremittant beat of a strange thumping sound that fascinates you as it
plays upon your eardrums. It's your heartbeat throbbing against your 
flesh as your heart contracts and expands sucking in blood, the fuel 
of life, then thrusting it outward sending it pulsing and surging 
throughout your body in full vibrancy.  Suddenly, you feel yourself 
moving. Like the blood, at one end you're being pushed while the other 
end is pulling. After an overwhelming rush, a deafening silence breaks
as you find yourself immersed in a blinding light and feel yourself 
being lifted upward.
  Life, the precious gift given to us all, has its full realization at
that moment of birth when we emerge as separate beings. This golden 
moment marks the beginnig of our existence and the beginning of our 
journey along the path set out before us. At times the road is smooth
when things are going great and you are filled with an exhilarating
joy. You think it should always be this way with everything perfect.
Then there are times when the road gets rough as the shackles of pain
weigh heavily upon you and you feel you can no longer bear life's toil.
  Darkness descends again wrapping around you as it sweeps you off to
another place. You're standing in a bedroom lit only by a gleam of 
light from the moon shimmering through the curtains. The air is still
and all are asleep throughout the house except for one. A young girl
lies upon the bed next to you with her face buried in her pillow. She
seems deeply troubled, and her body shakes as tears stream from her 
eyes. She is pained by a deep frustration for she's been trying to 
understand herself, who she is, and why she's here, but she's lost 
inside herself haunted by fear and loneliness. She feels her spirit is
trapped within and she longs for it to be free. All she sees is the
darkness as she searches for the light.
   Life is more than merely existing. It's being alive with doing and 
empowered with thinking. It's feeling deep emotions like love, joy, 
and pain. It's allowing yourself to dream and being aware of who you 
are. Many people search for the meaning of life. They spend their
lives contemplating what their purpose is in it and look everywhere
for it. They search in things, in places, and in other people not 
realizing that the place to look is within one's self.
   The child in darkness is now on her knees with her head bowed before 
her. She looks to her heart asking why does life trouble her so? She 
wants to know who she is and longs to understand. The room becomes 
illuminated with a great light and an even greater light descends upon
it. It surrounds her lifting her up off the ground. A vision of a tree
stands before her and blood begins trickling down its limbs. She is 
reminded of a great suffering when the ultimate sacrifice was made. 
Suddenly, she feels herself plunged in water and, as she's pulled back 
up, the light begins to shine even brighter. Her eyes are now fully 
opened.
   The light flashes forward and you're in another room now. The light
reflects off the stark white walls and in the center lies a bed. 
Another girl lies upon it with machines and tubes all around her. Your
vision becomes cloudy until you see nothing but complete darkness again.
You can hear the sound of a heartbeat only it seems to be fading. The 
darkness becomes pitch black and your skin chills as something passes 
through it. A light then breaks from a distance and you experience a 
warm feeling as it ascends back up into the air. Your vision becomes 
clear again and you see the girl lying before you. The sinusiodal waves
of the heart monitor become a straight line as she takes her last 
breath.
  A revelation befalls upon you. Life is so brief so one should take
full advantage of it, though not necessarily by doing all you can do
or being all you can be, but seeking enlightment and getting to know 
who you are. Life's flame does not begin to fully burn until one 
becomes in touch with one's true self.
  Now you are falling uncontrollably into a dark void and some sort of
gravitational force seems to be pulling you toward it. As you seem to 
be getting close to the end your fall halts, and you begin floating 
slowly downward. you land in yet another room only this one seems more
familiar. It is bare except for what appears to be a small altar 
placed in the center. On it sits a stand in which a single candle 
stands erect. As you kneel to get a closer look you notice a small
inscription on the wall behind it. It reads,"Don't be afraid of who
you are. Go ahead. Light the candle. Shine."    



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