Loving the Porcupines

by Simon Goland, May 6, 2018

Many elements and learning moments played their role in this reflection, as it all kept unfolding over time. My many years of inner work, through personal development seminars, coaching, counselling, shadow work, and deep inner work with the men of the Mankind Project. My years of working through healing the wounds of my family dynamics, which might not be over because I continue discovering more layers. The presence of my Fluffy Guru and his teachings on love. The deepening of my relationship with my beloved and all she has been teaching me about awareness, accountability, and love. Just recently, a book crossed my awareness and has  captured the various threads into something that has cohesiveness to it, Reality Unveiled. While not necessarily new, I was probably more ready now to see and accept the message it brings forward.

So, here goes the concept of loving the porcupines. A very specific porcupine in my case, with sharp needles that have been deeply embedded into me from the beginning of my time. I am talking about my father. A concept I have been avoiding all my life. Now that my father is facing the end of his, it is time.

“It’s also helpful to realize that the seemingly evil people are serving a much-needed role. For how could we learn the value of love without a seeming evil to practice being loving toward? It’s easy to love someone who is very loving. It’s a whole other lesson to love someone who is cruel and hurtful. Therefore, those who choose the negative path are, on the one hand, straying from their true natures and forgetting their connections to everything, including the Creator; but on the other hand, they’re also indirectly being of service to everyone and the Creator by giving the positive path the chance to learn the true meaning of love in a much deeper and more meaningful fashion.” – Ziad Masri, “Reality Unveiled”

Before I continue with this point, let’s go on a little detour. I will come back. I promise.
  • “We are all One.”
  • “Everything is interconnected and separation is an illusion.”
  • “We are all strands in the Web of Life.”
  • “Oneness (non-duality) is the unifying principle of the Universe.”
  • “Quantum theory has abolished the notion of fundamentally separated objects, has introduced the concept of the participator to replace that of the observer, and has come to see the universe as an interconnected web of relations whose parts are only defined through their connections to the whole.”
It does not matter which lens we use to look at the world, whether ancient wisdom, metaphysics, the latest quantum theory, or New Age. They are all different sides of the same coin, and all are slowly converging towards the same center and worldview. Our whole Universe, while appearing different, actually consists only of energy, frequencies, and vibration. Nothing else. Every seemingly separate “thing” or object is actually one energy vibrating at an infinite number of different frequencies. As an example, if you believe Einstein, then his famous E=mc2 really means that matter (m) and energy (E) are actually one and the same (because ‘c’ in this equation is the speed of light – simply a constant, a number).

“Wow, Simon, this is, like… deep. So what?” I might be hearing right about now. How do we translate it to our immediate and tangible lives? After all, it does sound like Neo in the Matrix, seeing everything around him as green energy. Does it mean the same for me, if I can’t see the green lines and the running numbers of the Matrix’ code?

“It is fundamentally understood that physical life is nothing more than a theater of sorts in which we play out varying roles and learn from our mistakes and transgressions so that we can become more loving and advance spiritually.” – Ziad Masri

Let’s keep exploring and translating, shall we?! Why are we here? Why are you? Me? Granted, we explore this question, of Life Purpose or Right Livelihood (choose your phrase) through the magic and journeys of Right Livelihood Quest. These uncover the essence of one’s purpose, direction, and vocation in life, showing the participants a powerful compass to help orient their lives. And yet, while each person’s Right Livelihood is ultimately unique, the common themes and threads are about “the other(s)” – one’s Life Purpose is about making lives of others better, more meaningful, more compassionate, while expressing one’s light through their focus on others. Love.

How easy it is to be kind, compassionate, and loving where it is easy?! With nice, friendly, and loving people. In situations that present no challenge, that are perfectly aligned to our values, beliefs, and worldviews. While easy, there is very little room for growth and development, increasingly knowing ourselves through more challenging situations and circumstances. After all, real growth occurs at the edges of our comfort. I know that my most impactful moments of growth occurred when I was stretched, challenged, shocked by a disturbing wake-up call, and heart-broken. These became some of my key defining moments in life, shaping and impacting who I have been becoming. I also know it to be true through the lives of many others in my circles, be they friends, students, or clients.

“The purpose is simply to have the opportunity to learn the lessons that we failed to learn in all of our previous lifetimes so far. And the lessons center on nothing more than love, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion. … We are given many lifetimes so that we have a chance to learn from our mistakes and learn the only appropriate reaction to any circumstance that befalls us on earth: unconditional love.” – Ziad Masri

And so, we are completing this detour and coming back to the porcupines. What if there is a higher reason for these people to cross our path, whether briefly or for the whole duration of our lives? What if something else is at play here? These are the people in our lives who keep teaching us, calling us forward to stretch and expand and open up to love. Basically, get over ourselves, our wounds, our egos, our stories of the past that we keep using to define who we still are. Exactly where it feels hard. Impossible. Undeserving to the porcupine we are facing.

I think the great irony here is that it is actually not about the porcupines. It is not about my father, really. I mean, it will be great if he will see, hear, and admit that he loves me too. Even more so, offer an apology for at least one little something (because the list for it is miles long). The fact is, in his current mental, physical, and psychological state, all of it is highly unlikely. For me, it is not about him or any reaction he may, or may not, offer. It is about me, being able to open up to my own love, offering it freely, without any attachment or expectation of anything in return. After all, if everything here is really only energy, vibration, and frequency, then on that level, there is no separation between us and the ONLY energy that connects everything is the frequency of love.

“To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weakness – that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.” – Pablo Neruda