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It occurred to me the other day while I was working on finishing my basement, that evolving the soul – or attaining enlightenment or whatever label you wish to attach to the idea of spiritual evolution – is not unlike the process of drywalling a wall.

Hang with me for a minute…

If you are reading this indoors, look around at the room you’re in.  Notice the even, unblemished uniformity of the walls and ceiling surrounding you.  We take for granted that this is how walls are supposed to be – undeviating, smooth, and nearly flawless.  But they weren’t always that way.

At some point early on, long before you chose a color, hung pictures, or added your own personal flair and décor, these walls were a mere skeleton of studs and framing; bones with no meat.  Eventually, sheetrock or plaster was added to make them solid and to give them dimension.

Although they were now walls in a fundamental sense, they still didn’t look like the walls we’re used to seeing in our home or workplace.  There were seams where the sheets of drywall met, screw or nail holes where the panels connected to the studs, and perhaps a few dents or creases earned during transportation or installation.

This is when the real work begins – the painstaking process of perfecting their rawness to make them whole, beautiful, and complete.  So in comes the finisher with his bucket of mud and taping trowel.  First, the seams are taped and covered with a first coat of joint compound and the nail holes filled.  Once this initial coat of compound dries, a light sanding reveals the imperfections, and a second coat is applied and sanded.

In my case, having no professional skills in this regard whatsoever, this coating and sanding process often continues five or six rounds.  Each pass leaves the wall a little better than the time before with fewer and fewer visible imperfections subsequent to each sanding.  Eventually, after much patience and determination, any remaining imperfections and faults are too small to attract attention, and the walls are ready for paint.

Such is the process of spiritual evolution.  But instead of applying coats of mud onto panels of sheetrock, we add layers of experience onto our souls.  Year after year, we take steps – some big, some small – working one room at a time, one facet of personality after the other, and while never quite achieving absolute perfection, nevertheless moving ever closer toward wholeness, toward oneness, toward completion.

God challenged us by saying, “Be you perfect as I AM perfect.”  As such, the purpose of life would seem to be a slow and constant march toward smoothing our imperfections that we may draw closer to Source and in doing so become more God-like.  So next time you look in the mirror, rather than seeing the imperfections, flaws, and unfinished aspects of who you are becoming, witness instead the progress you’ve made thus far.  Try to appreciate your growth, your expansion, and your deeper connection to Spirit.  Although incremental, know you are changing, evolving, getting better each day.  Know you are slowly merging with the Creator of all things.

Mark Layne

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