“Adversity is the oil that feedeth the flame of this Lamp! Such is God’s transforming power.” Baha’u’llah
How do we know when the timeless pattern of transformation is about to come into our live? It would seem, from the above, that adversity has a lot to do with it. But being aware of these potentially life-changing moments is one of our greatest challenges. There are some very useful tools ~ and principles ~ to help us recognize and welcome such changes.
Transformation is the means by which we stay on the life trajectory that we are intended to be on. We know from biology that our physical development maintains a balance between opposing forces in our lives through the process of homeostasis. We also know from biology that through homeorhesis we persist along the pathway we are meant to be on despite complications encountered. Our biological development is pre-set to unfold according to an innate blueprint; we have an inborn tendency that keeps us on this biological path.
Is there is a parallel principle governing our psycho-spiritual development that is similarly designed to keep us on a certain trajectory? Little acknowledged is that over 100 years ago anthropologist Arnold van Gennep found, through his extensive cross-cultural studies of traditional rites of passage, that life cycle ceremonies all over the world share a three-phase pattern consisting of separation from the familiar; transition to a new learning; and incorporation, or return to the group with a new status or role. Indigenous peoples everywhere were very accustomed to living within this archetypal framework. This pattern of quest, challenge, and renewal, or birth, death, and rebirth, is the standard process by which we undergo every life transition leading to transformation
. Our challenge today is recognizing this pattern when it occurs in our lives, as it often will, and integrating this into our new understanding of who we are always in the process of becoming.