The Bridge Between Worlds

January 2014

Dan Millman

Dan Millman speaks on divine order and transcendent perspective

Dan Millman—former world champion athlete, coach, martial arts instructor, college professor—is author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior (adapted to film in 2006) and 15 other books. 

Join Dan for Living the Laws of Spirit: Heart of the Peaceful Warrior's Way, September 5–7, 2014, at Awaken Whole Life Center, located on the campus of Unity Village, Missouri.

Moment to moment, our awareness resides either in a conventional or transcendental world or reality. For example, from a conventional view, illness is a misfortune; we are separate beings; and death is final. From a transcendent perspective, illness (or any adversity) offers hidden gifts; we are all one in consciousness; and death is an illusion.

Conventional reality usually monopolizes our attention with the stuff of everyday life. We pursue satisfaction and fulfillment, and happiness depends on our desires, hopes, and expectations being met. In the process, we sometimes suffer from attachment, craving, and anxiety.

Then one day, we notice something important: We are suffering. Our pain may take the form of an acute illness, injury, or personal loss. If we are suffering from a lack of money, making more money alleviates the pain; if we are physically ill, getting healthy solves this issue. Every problem seems to have an obvious, although temporary, solution. 

It is only when we are willing to question what we have always believed and venture into the unknown that we can finally free ourselves from this endless search for quick fixes.

When we realize we are the source and cause of our situation and pain, we reach a turning point: We become interested not just in self-improvement, but in self-­transcendence. We take a leap of faith to discover a new way of thinking and being. We may search for a teacher, school, process, or path to awakening.

The world’s spiritual traditions all point to a transcendent reality beyond our usual state of consciousness, beyond our everyday stories and assumptions, beyond the boundaries of our common beliefs. Its truths are not found in formulas, visions, or mystical experiences, but in a simple yet profound shift in perspective—a shift that reveals the great simplicity of What Is.

The Transcendent is not elsewhere. Freedom is possible right here, right now—as close as our next breath, as intimate as our heartbeat. Awakening does not require us to abandon the conventional world, but rather, to keep our head in the clouds for a higher view and our feet on solid ground. 

As we live in this higher truth, we rise above the conventional world even as we function in it. We realize we are already free and perfect. Nothing is needed to complete or fulfill us; we are already Home, here and now. No separation exists—no others, no world, no time, no space—just this mysterious and blissful moment. 

When we grasp this Great Simplicity, the realization does not make us famous, successful, wealthy, or even holy. Nor does it release us from the obligation to raise our children, go to work, and live our lives. It simply brings us peace, gives us joy, and sets us free.

But like children on a school-day morning, we may want to turn off the alarm, put a pillow over our head at the first wake-up call, and say, “Please let me sleep just a little longer!” We may want to wake up, but find ourselves instead pursuing success within the dream. 

Fortunately, Reality waits with infinite patience. We don’t need spiritual healing; we need to realize we were never sick in the way we imagined, that our “sickness” was itself a story we believed and so experienced as true. The transcendent perspective reveals that no matter what the apparent challenge, our lives are always unfolding in divine order and perfection. The journey may not always be pleasant, but it serves our highest good and our soul’s evolution.

The bridge between worlds is available here and now, in front of us, around us, inside us. To find it, we need only trust our own true nature, and notice the perfection of our lives unfolding. When we open our eyes, we find within us the truth that sets us free. 

In my book, The Laws of Spirit, the woman sage expresses it this way:

“These are my wishes and prayers for you, all the days of your life. May you find grace and happiness as you surrender to life. Even so, daily challenges will remain, and you will tend to forget what I have shown you. But a deeper part of you will remember, and when you do, life’s problems will seem no more substantial than soap bubbles. The path will open before you where before there grew only weeds of confusion. Your future, and the future of all humanity, is a path into the Light, into a growing realization of the Unity with the Creator and all creation. And what lies beyond is beyond description.”