The Exam of Life
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
The Exam of LifeYour actions are your answers.
What if you learned that the real purpose of life was defined by the decisions and actions you take? What if you discovered that you’re here to learn to be a god? In other words, what if you came to understand that you’re here to perfect your highest self—that quintessential potential that exists when the original spark of your being unites with the awareness of who you are? Let’s assume for a moment that you’re going to be the one who answers prayers. Which ones will you respond to? What’s the right thing? Is there even a right thing?
Imagine that you are an impartial arbitrator, and your mission is to be just and equitable with all. In this process, you learn to be what Plato called a philosopher king. That is, you find out how to be truly wise and to make the correct decision all the time. How would you learn to do this?
Life is a school, as many have observed. Unfortunately, many more ignore what it has to teach. Actor and social commentator Will Rogers once said, “There is nothing so stupid as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in.” Is it possible that when we ignore what goes on around us—or when we fail to work through a problem and derive a satisfactory answer that we’re willing to share, or when we keep quiet and don’t speak up for fear of ostracism by those in power—that we’re turning our backs on our education and the purpose of our being here in the first place?
“In the world but not of the world” is a popular saying among spiritual teachers of our day. How can you be in this world if you ignore the pain of others, the conflicts that divide people and nations, and similarly difficult subjects? What does it mean to be not of this world? I think this statement addresses the proposition that you’re eternal and recognizes that you have nothing to fear. I don’t think it means you should give up your learning while you’re here and do nothing but pine for the other world, to let be what will be.
According to Murphy’s fifth law of applied terror (one of Murphy’s infamous laws, albeit less well known than his first), “If you are given a take-home exam, you will forget where you live.” Life is definitely a take-home exam—and what each of us takes home depends somewhat on the clarity with which we’ve come to know ourselves.
I believe that the first law of being divinely human is “Know thyself.” That’s the ultimate challenge and the real quest, for no one else can lead you to where you’re meant to be. According to Rick Warren, our character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. How will you prepare for your take home exam? What is your real quest?