As most of us discover after years of trying to make a difference in the world by being busy ‘doing’ good, Magdalena Smieszek found that it was her journey within that really gifted her the insight of her personal quest in connection to the whole of humanity. Her personal agony acted as a ‘wake-up call’ for healing both individually and collectively. As Magdalena explains, it was her birthright as a human to experience a profound spiritually transformative experience, and one that is now helping her to integrate more fully with her life purpose…
The Human Quest for Meaning
Our individual stories are connected in intricate ways to our collective stories. Like all stories, mine has had twists and turns, but the one thing that has been consistent is my search for meaning. Throughout life, I was especially drawn to the theme of justice. Influenced by my migratory and refugee childhood, the plight of the outsider in whatever form tore at my heartstrings. This embedded sense about injustice led to a career as a human rights advocate and humanitarian, hopeful that I too in Gandhi style wisdom can realize the change I want in the world. In fact, this objective took me around and around the world to do my little part in alleviating suffering. That to me was the right thing to do, the most meaningful one. Giving and receiving should equalize, I always thought. That’s a reasonable view, but also contentious as to where and how we attribute value.
Then came a time in my mid-thirties where the accumulated connection to the suffering of others had compounded my own suffering. I started to lose hope. The extent of human misery was overwhelming. I felt helpless when reflecting on the seemingly endless road of hurt that human beings inflict on each other. Distraught by the predicament of humanity as a whole, all the conflicts around the globe, and my own identity crisis in thinking that despite efforts I’m unable to do anything about it, I was thrust into despair. After years of connecting with many people and places, I disconnected from the outside world. I had gone far and wide to explore the external reality, and finally here I was, turning back to the point of origin, turning inside for much needed inner work and exploration.
I went into a deep meditative and transcendent state in which a powerful energetic force took over and pulled me through the doors of perception. On the other side was something incredibly profound – a tour of my own unconscious inner world, and even further, an exploration of the collective unconscious. So much of it is beautiful, for volumes to be filled. Just as much of it is dreadful, and yet we must confront it. Whatever doubt of the divine that I held, it dissolved. To me there was no mistaking it, I had a spiritual awakening of the most profound kind, the kind on which prophesies, spiritual traditions, and sacred texts are based. These days it can be shameful to say something like that. Who am I to say I had a visionary revelation, a Buddha-like enlightenment, a shamanic initiation, an awakening of such perfection and insight as Christ consciousness. Well, I am not ashamed to say – I am a human being, hence this is my birthright, and it happened.
In various degrees it lasted for days, weeks, and years, and it is still doing its work. This wasn’t a one-time occurrence but an opening and a process, sometimes blissful and sometimes distressing. The most meaningful part has been connecting my very personal experience to consensus reality – that process of integration, because as long as we live, it is not just in this miraculous inner universe but in a shared truth, even if this truth is continually shifting. I can get immersed in my inner experience, but the point is to bring it back, learn from it, expand, transform, connect, evolve, and create more beauty. Not only did I have a renewed hope, sense of purpose, and a vision, but a new index of downloaded information that I had to sort through.
How to bring it back and connect has been revealing itself as I moved forward in life. In some ways it’s obvious because human rights, aka the topic I’ve been obsessed with most of my life, are the evolving wisdom about human treatment drawn from numerous sources over generations and that includes spiritual traditions. But it goes back even further. An aspect of what we now call human rights have been in our unconscious before they took the form of conscious creations. They are tools for healing. This is our evolving universal morality for our betterment as individuals in our own unique story, and as humanity in our continually expanding collective story, transforming from immense pain and suffering towards greater compassion, care, inclusion, and love. We’re doing this by recognition of our shared dignity, our sacredness, our increasing empathy, and our expanding consciousness about what it means to be human as we include more and more experiences into our domain of understanding. This means also confronting the shadowy expressions of our existence.
Clearly there’s more work to do. There’s no shortage of pain and suffering in the world. That agony is a wake-up call for both individual and collective healing. Throughout history, mystics of all sorts have sought to create conditions for peace and love among humankind, not perfectly I may say, but in a very human way. They took the extraordinary turmoil of their awakening experience to create knowledge, movements, shifts in consciousness, and we are living their achievements. Now it’s our turn. How’s that for meaningful.
We couldn’t agree more Magdalena, what really seems to be at the core of our search for meaning is to collectively make the world a better place to live. As Roald Dahl says;
“Inside all of us is the power to change the world”
We are no longer taking submissions for our Kinda Proud NOTEs Pocket Book, but we ARE still seeking stories for the 3 other titles. If you have a personal transformation story you’d like to share, then please CLICK HERE to find out how.