Roots: The Roots

The roots of the Tree of Light are the life experiences of group members that led to personal awakenings and the spiritual searches that brought us together in this group experiment.  The quotations you will find below are excerpts from written accounts of our early lives.

“I often wonder what it was in my life that brought me to the light of wisdom.  It’s difficult to know, for lives are complex and intense, both joyful and tragic, with many experiences that teach, heal and guide.  We’re all working through the unfinished business we came here to complete so we can transform the fruits of long experience into purposeful lives that serve more than the little self.  Life acts like sandpaper, erasing from my little self all that is no longer beneficial to my being.  It reaches down to eradicate everything that is deeply rooted within but unnecessary, so that more light can radiate into the world through me.” 

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“I’ve come to see us as ‘soul-seeds’ that grow underground for a long while until we break through to the surface and display our programmed intent.  The soul also contains seeds of life carried over from the past.  Some, of a physical nature, we can touch with our hands, others are stored in the emotions, others are stored in the mind as thought-seeds that can, if we let them, shoot through our mental barriers and make us wiser and more beautiful as souls.  As the acorn becomes the mighty oak tree, so we become more Christ-like in word and deed.”

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“Looking back at my life, I can see the ways in which subtle energies played into outer experiences.  As I stumbled along, life seemed to bump me back on course again and again, until I recognised where it was all leading.  I realised there had always been signposts to guide me along—if I listened.  As I found myself more ‘on course’, beneficent forces seemed to sweep in and change everything for the better and after several life crises, I found a group with whom I would serve on the Path.  Deep meditation experiences opened new vistas of reality.  I came across the Teachings of the Tibetan Master and from the first page I knew I was reading TRUTH.  I can still recall the impact of it.  Then I received the Open Letter to Disciples, and everything began to come alive.”

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“As I review my life, nothing of the suffering endured by the persona seems real anymore.  Yes, there was pain and sacrifice, which helps me empathize with those who are currently going through similar experiences.  But what was earlier seen as painful by the personality appears quite different from a soul’s perspective.  As one's identity is transformed into that of the soul, sacrifices are seen as the necessary peeling away of barriers to the realization of the soul.  The search for personal happiness is converted into the joy of the soul—the part of us that cares for the happiness and wellbeing of all.  Life takes us through a forging process that tempers the rough metal of the personality into a finer instrument for service to the greater good.”

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"From an early age I had the disturbing feeling of being separate from something I sensed was a greater or a higher Being.  I feared death as the end of existence and always questioned the deeper purpose of life.  Uncertainty and doubt led to many years of living an irresponsible and undisciplined life, until a series of crises forced me to bend both knees and change.  I began to awaken to the existence of the soul and spiritual realities, a process that was painful as it led to the inevitable purification of the lower self.  But that prepared me for becoming part of an impersonal group soul with all of its knowledge, wisdom and love.”  

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“I remember little from my childhood except that I was born with etheric vision.  I learned at a very early age that my parents did not see the things that I saw.  And so, I was labelled as a child living in a fantasy world.  It was very confusing because I didn’t know what other people saw, though I knew what I saw was different.  Fortunately, I never ignored my own visions.  Despite all the traumatic experiences I faced growing into adulthood, there was always a strong inner impulse telling me two things:  to show others the ethereal beauty that I see in nature, and to know that my children are not my own.  I realized that we are souls. each with our own path that no one else really knows.”

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"I’ve known deep alienation in my life.  It took a while to discover that I was my own jailer, and that the path to liberation was through my heart.  Part of my suffering came from the belief that we are separate from God—a Being who existed somewhere beyond us.  My suffering also came from wanting things to be different than they are.  Learning to release the need to control, and accept things as they are, brought greater peace.  I was able to rest in the unknown, leaning on the soul to guide me.  That led to the opportunity to practise the wisdom contained within sacred texts and experience the love of the soul through this group, under the guidance of our Elders.” 

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“As different as our early life experiences have been, ultimately they can be viewed as variations on a theme.  The wisdom teachings tell us that in order for the soul to become liberated from its dense outer form, one has to pass through ‘burning grounds’—in one lifetime or another.  We have to cleanse and redeem our ‘karmic histories’.  So, the traumas and crises I experienced early in this lifetime may be different from those of others in the details, but they bring us to the same point of awareness and recognition.  The reward of going through the fires of purification is to be able to come together as souls, recognizing the true Self in one another.”

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“Knowing that my days in this incarnation are numbered due to age and illness, I can look back on my life and see that in this lifetime I sacrificed my personality desires and longings for the light of truth in the Ageless Wisdom teachings.  Now I can truly say it was a great choice.  I have been given so very much even though at times, on the ‘Burning Ground’, my tears were very bitter and sad.  Now there is only joy and Love.”

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“Life is a journey that continues over lifetimes of experience until the last drop of ego has been dissolved in the light of the soul.  During the quickening process of my soul, I probably was not conscious of the sacrifices made for something greater.  But there was a growing recognition of the ways in which I had been ‘ground down’ as a personality.” 

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Living through a childhood of family disruption, I carried the feeling of abandonment inside of me.  Over time, through a growing awareness of the plight of other souls who suffered far more than I did, I realised that I belonged to a larger family.  That realization led to the awakening of my soul and was the beginning of my search for truth and beauty.” 

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“In deep and quiet reflection on my life, I understand with greater clarity all that has enriched my life and set me on the path of ascent, which led me to this group experience.  Sharing insights and experiences with souls of like mind and heart has helped me realize that we have not all reached the same level of consciousness, that we are growing and evolving at different rates based on innate capacities.  And I recognize that for every new stage achieved on the Path, there are infinitely more thresholds to cross before we reach perfection.  It’s good to remember that we are all travelling on the same journey towards the One Soul.”  

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“When I was a child, I rejected spirituality and the beliefs of my parents, who followed the path of Paramahansa Yogananda.  I didn’t want to appear different from the children around me.  I loved nature, flowers, plants, and animals and was often in disbelief about how cruel human beings could be to each other.  Since I was acutely sensitive, my father’s advice was to become more detached.  At age 17, when one of my closest friends attempted suicide, I began to feel utterly helpless and asked my father to talk to me about the God I had rejected.  That was my opening to the light of higher truth.  A path unfolded towards awareness of the Soul, and I began to realise that we are all one, brothers and sisters treading the way together, and that love is our pathway.”

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“We’re coming to recognize that incarnation itself is a sacrifice—a Burning Ground with a constant stream of tests and challenges.  I was raised in a quiet, modest family with a strong love for the Christian faith.  In my first marriage, I experienced many tests and trials.  When it ended, I gradually moved inward toward the mystical and deep conversations with the Soul.  Later in life, I met someone who was a companion in every sense of the word and on every level of my being.  As he was ill and dying of cancer, his heart was fully open, and he glowed with love.  He showed me how to die.  I am so grateful now to have had this life, and these loves.  The subsequent years have led to a mellowing, filling me with great compassion for others and quiet equanimity.  I am full of awe for the continuous, ever-expanding journey of sacrifice leading to gift.”

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“During a difficult set of personality ordeals in my teenage years and early twenties, I repeatedly questioned my capacity to cope with life.  Unexpectedly, I met a young woman who introduced me to the teachings of the Tibetan Master.  Despite having no spiritual path as such, and a cynical ambivalence toward religious beliefs inherited from my birth family, I had an immediate and unchanging recognition of the truth and validity of His guidance.  For the first time in my life, I had come 'home' to a supportive philosophical/spiritual ‘place’ where I felt resonant and could function.  Somewhere in these teachings, the Master comments that no soul is ever given more challenges than it is equipped to deal with.  This rings true in my experience.  I’ve realized that personality challenges have a 'spiritual silver lining’.”

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“My very early childhood in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado was filled with love and great beauty.  It was a magical time that helped to shape the person I am today.  But my life changed dramatically when I started school.  Bullied by my classmates, I lost all confidence in myself and became fearful and reclusive.  My social isolation became painful, but it was a catalyst for spiritual growth.  In my loneliness, I became a prolific reader and spent many hours drawing, painting and creating things. This deepened my inner awareness and helped prepare me for the trials that came next.  A poem by John O'Donohue gives voice to what can be learned through isolation:  We cannot fill up our emptiness with objects, possessions or people. We have to go deeper into that emptiness, then we will find beneath nothingness the flame of love waiting to warm us."

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“I came into this world with an enormous amount of love in my heart.  As a youth, I felt great peace, and joy, and was in love with everyone and with life itself.  From a young age, I felt I had a direct and deeply mystical relationship with God and Jesus which filled me with love and understanding.  Perhaps I was blessed with an easier childhood to prepare me for what was to come.  During a long period of suffering later in life, that deep understanding allowed me to have compassion and forgiveness for myself and others.  What came out of it was a strong identification with my soul.  I dove deep into spiritual practices and relied on the promptings of my soul. Then I was led to the love and wisdom of a group soul which helped me pass through the fires of purification.  The battle is not entirely over but I feel more at peace.” 

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“Since childhood I have been a seeker of Truth.  My life has alternated between joyful experiences and profound suffering.  I remember moments of irrepressible joy in my early years, but that changed markedly after my first day of school.  I immediately felt that my free and spontaneous nature had been imprisoned.  I began to question life, enquiring deeply about what happens after death.  The answer given to me was that we become fertilizer for flowers!  This ignorance unleashed deep crises within me, and the enquiry continued for many years until I found the teachings of Masters D.K and Morya.  I had found my ‘home’.”

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“I came upon the Alice Bailey books in my late 20's and suddenly life made sense.  Any 'slings and arrows' that came my way were relegated to the 'crucible of life' and I looked on them as interesting learning experiences.  What I realize, in retrospect, is that my life has been punctuated by periods of great challenges and extreme stress.  These periods require me to look inward as deeply as possible while continuing to give the best I can.  It often seems I am being tested, not only as to how I handle challenges but as to my capacity to withstand their intensity.  So far, I've come through with a deepening sense of gratitude, and hopefully, as a wiser person.” 

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“I have found that within every aspect of human life there is pain and struggle, but to me it appeared that the pain and struggle was magnified due to my race and my gender, and this manifested in unimaginably cruel ways.  It led me to ask the question 'why'.  Eventually I tired of asking 'why' the circumstances were that way, because in my life that’s the way they were!  But those circumstances did lead me to ask two other important questions.  How was I going to respond to the circumstances and what was I going to do to change them?  Both of those questions led me to seek understanding and Truth from the Ageless Wisdom teachings, to unite with other seekers, and to connect to the Power, Strength, Creativity and Love of the Soul."

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“I had a very beautiful life full of wonderful experiences until my daughter was born.  Then a distressing period began and it seemed that ‘the world fell in on me’.  I had serious health problems and immense legal problems.  The turning point came in a dream where I saw a previous lifetime. That was the beginning of my ‘resurrection’.  Since then, I have experienced suffering as the need to repay karmic debts.  Many of my problems were not ‘solved’, but I accepted defeat serenely and began a new phase of life based on the desire to bring justice to the oppressed and aid those who are suffering—to do what I can to create a Kingdom of God on Earth based on love.”

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“As a child, I had 'known' the Christ light in church and it ultimately led me to the study of world religions.  That inner knowing re-emerged when I found the Ageless Wisdom teachings, and later it opened into a heart-filled experience of group connection and soul work.  Through this work, I have come to see life as a grand play during which we recapitulate our karmic patterns.  As we awaken and walk the Path, we try to sort them out and extract the light of wisdom to share with others.  Looking back from this perspective, there is almost a sense of bemusement at having taken myself so seriously.  As incarnating souls, we are the creators of our experiences and through meditation and other spiritual practices, we can redeem ourselves and contribute to the upliftment of others and all of life.” 

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“My suffering in this life came from not understanding the reason and purpose for being alive in this world.  As a young girl, I used to question what it was all about. When I discovered the Ageless Wisdom teachings in my late 30's, a calmness came over me.  I could see there was a greater plan of evolution for myself, for all of humanity, for our earth and beyond.  I realized the truth of the Hermetic maxim “As Above, So Below”— as human beings we hold within ourselves the potential to become godlike.  As the Bible says, we are made in God’s image.  As a fractal of God, we grow into his image through the evolution of consciousness.  It requires opening the heart to discover the higher aspect of ourselves, the Soul.”

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“As a child, I thought we were here to play fairies and angels.  I was brought up in a very rigid church and tried to understand spirituality from inside a tiny little box.  But despite the narrow view, the church was filled with good people and gave me a solid foundation.  I learned about God and was touched by Jesus to the core of my heart and soul.  I often fought back tears from deep emotions I didn’t understand, and because I couldn’t control my emotions I created a wall around my heart.  Then I learned that amazing, subtle energies are available if we ask, and open our hearts and minds to receive them.  Now, with each challenge presented by life, I see the spiritual threads weaving through them as blessings.  No matter how difficult our struggles may be, they always seem to come with a gift.  It’s beautiful to see how suffering leads to spiritual awakening and finding one’s spiritual purpose.”  

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“My life could never be characterized as fun-filled!  I was never free to do as the little self would have liked.  But when all is said and done, everything that was sacrificed is small in comparison to what has been gained.  The joys of life, inspiring thoughts, group friends, spiritual work, and all that I have received over the years has been worth the personality sacrifices that allowed me to experience the life of the soul.”

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“In almost 50 years of ‘spiritual research’ I passed through the same ageless wisdom teachings that many of us have known.  On the path to attaining this wisdom and truth, I didn’t experience any real suffering.  Perhaps the people closest to me have made more sacrifices, having to endure the changes in me.  What may seem to be a sacrifice or renunciation to the personality, I experienced as the joy of achieving a spiritual goal.”  

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“Life experiences testify to the challenges we have endured to reach identification with the soul.  My experience on the path of return began at age 12 when I was attracted to a particular book: Letters on Occult Meditation.  I fell in love with the light flowing through it. The pain came later, and I understood that the wheel of karmic law was preventing my soul from expressing its true purpose.  Since that time, the search for harmony and beauty has become a constant in my life.  Instead of reacting, I try to understand, accept, forgive, and consider injustices suffered as opportunities for growth.  I try to remain aware that my Soul is working through my persona on the outer stage of life in order to bring me home.”

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“My life wasn’t always easy, but it set the stage for a lifetime of soul-searching.  In my search to discover the cause of my suffering, I realized that it boiled down to feelings of a lack of self-worth born of a lifetime of not belonging, and thus feeling inadequate.  The belief that I am separate from my true Self and that I am less than what I truly am, created the experiences that drove me to seek the truth of who I am.  Those struggles brought me to where I am today.”

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“Life was very tough when I was growing up and it often seemed extremely unfair, but something in me persevered in expressing love.  Instead of becoming bitter, resentful, and vengeful toward those who hurt me, I tried to become more forgiving and compassionate.  Confusion and despair often arose within me, but this practice led me to discover what makes my heart sing.  It is beautiful to live life with acceptance and gratitude, and the will to become more aligned with my true Self and the Self of others.”

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“I recall many points of suffering in my life, but they all produced light.  There’s a recollection of a significant psychic reading I was once given: ‘You don’t believe your father loves you.’  I protested, knowing that my birth father loved me greatly.  Later I had a shocking realization that the reading referred to my ‘Father in Heaven’—God—whom I believed did not love me.  That caused profound suffering, but it brought the light that opened the way to my spiritual path.  I also suffered from the belief that I had to control everything, to keep things ‘perfect’.  A family crisis freed me to open to the power of the higher self and release that personality pattern.  My inner guides and meditations got me through those difficult times.”

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“After making many minor decisions in my life toward expressing more of my true self, there came a distinct moment when a conscious choice was made to live life in service to others.  This required some material sacrifices, but as a result of these sacrifices I’m now living a happier and more meaningful life.  The spirit of service evokes love and compassion and the recognition of the good and beautiful in others.  Through service, I have gained firsthand knowledge of the unity of all life.”

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“I discovered the tenets of the Ageless Wisdom at an early age and came to accept many of them, including reincarnation or the immortality of the soul, and karma, the principle of cause and effect, plus the reality that energy follows thought.  I came to trust in the existence of a Higher Power and a divine Plan that shapes all our lives.  When challenges arose throughout my life, these spiritual truths gave me the strength to carry on and the courage and confidence to meet them head on.  I was able to move through difficult times and emerge at a higher turn of the spiral with greater sensitivity and understanding of life.”

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“As far back as I can remember, I have perceived difficulties as challenges to overcome.  Seen through the lens of evolution, hardships are the lessons offered by life for advancement on the spiritual path.  There is no one path to soul realization.  Struggles and setbacks are opportunities to reassess, recalibrate and eventually move forward, better equipped to handle the next lesson.  Growth is cumulative.  We draw to ourselves what we need to learn, in order for consciousness to evolve.  Help is ever present.” 

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“I am grateful for the pain I’ve experienced in life because it brought me to this point of higher awareness.  When I re-visit early traumas now, I view them through a different lens.  I can appreciate the experiences for what they revealed to me and for the discovery of my soul’s path.  Two major events shaped my life through suffering and launched me onto the spiritual path that leads to transcendence and love.  Through suffering and sacrifice we learn to understand and empathize with the pain of others.  As consciousness evolves, we can use all the wisdom gleaned through experience to inaugurate a new era that will mitigate suffering for all of humanity.”

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“I had been on a spiritual search from my teenage years but at age 24, everything changed.  I found myself faced with tests and trials that persisted for many long years.  I know we are the ones who create our lives through the thoughts we think, the beliefs we hold, and the emotions we indulge in, because I am a survivor of the effects of these things.  I learned that healing, forgiveness and transformation are possible at any point in life, and I have only gratitude for the hard lessons learned. There is great joy in knowing that I have alchemised my previous experiences into gold.” 

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