Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spiritual Evolution and Groundhog Day

Whenever I think of spiritual evolution, I think of Groundhog Day. 

Not the day itself, although it is my favorite holiday (probably because of its pagan roots—happy Imbolc/Candlemas/St. Brigit’s day everyone) but because of the 1993 movie that starred Bill Murray. 

Bill plays Phil Connors, a cynical, egocentric Pittsburgh weatherman who suffers through covering the annual Groundhog Day celebration in Punxatawney, PA.  Andie MacDowell plays Rita, the likeable, wise (in a low-key kind of way), news producer.  After the celebration, while trying to return to Pittsburgh, the news team encounters a bad snow storm and is forced to return to Punxatawney and stay over night. 

The next morning Phil wakes up to find that it is Groundhog Day all over again.  This happens day after day and we get to laugh as Phil Connors struggles with this difficult, seemingly endless, situation.  When Phil realizes that he is the only one trapped in this time loop, he begins to take use his situation to take advantage of people in the town, commit crimes, seduce women, etc.  He also continually tries to impress Rita. 

As time wears on, however, he becomes increasingly depressed and even tries to kill himself.  He eventually tells Rita what is happening to him and she recommends that he use the time to try and improve himself, which he does.  He learns how to play the piano, helps people in the town, and even learns how to speak French.  By the end of the movie, Phil Connors is a changed man and the most popular person in Punxatawney.  Of course the movie has a happy ending.  Rita falls in love with this most wonderful man, the time loop is broken, and they live happily ever after in Punxatawney.

Groundhog Day just sums it all up.  (So does the Bhagavad Gita but it’s not that funny.) 

A Soul starts out on its journey in matter very self-involved, always looking for an angle to get ahead, make more money, get more power, and impress the other Souls along the way.  In time, for many Souls, this story begins to lose its meaning.  Everyday just seems like the day before.  We get depressed, sometimes really badly depressed.  Or, we get sick, lose our jobs, get divorced.  We lose faith.  But, just when nothing seems to matter, we begin to hear Spirit’s call and we begin to evolve.  Slowly at first.  Maybe we just start questioning who we are and what we’re doing here.  Maybe we decide to stop taking everything so damn seriously and personally.  Maybe, just maybe, we stop thinking all together for a few minutes a day and start feeling, listening.  And then eventually, everything starts to shift.  Our hearts open.  We begin to realize that we are spiritual beings—each and every one of us.   And then it dawns on us—there is no separation between us and Spirit.  We’ve never been apart.  It only looked that way.  And we live happily ever after, no matter what happens.