Every relationship that we have in our life—our contact with each person, place, and event—serves a very special, if yet to be realized purpose: they are a mirror that reveals things to us about ourselves that can be realized in no other way. I think this is one of the reasons that so many of us love to be out and about in that great showroom of life called Mother Nature.

For instance, gazing into the depths of a night sky we realize a sense of something vast and timeless; in her mountains, we sense the soul of majesty; in any newborn, there’s a sense of an all-but-forgotten innocence. With all that touches us this way, we are made aware of a life larger than our own, yet one that is inseparable from the part of us that stands as witness to it.

Through these relationships we glimpse the ineffable; by their touch we are awakened to realize that whatever we behold in this world is but a mirror of the worlds above, and that all of these worlds reside within us. The soul knows this to be true: that in the common hides the celestial; and so she waits, watchful—never knowing when or where—she will catch a message from heaven. Such moments are never announced. They enter quietly, unexpected; and, as the following illustration helps make clear, though they vanish into thin air, their impression lasts forever.

Comes the fall, particularly nearer its end, the ground on the little mountain top where I live is literally golden brown with all of the oak leaves that have parted ways with their seasonal parents.

It’s so beautiful to watch the thousands of leaves fall like slow motion snowflakes …finding their way to the forest floor and their temporary resting place there. Then come the late October, early November winds, and all the leaves are off to the races; like a large gathering of tiny tumblers they’re driven here and there, rolling head over end, in a dead heat to places unknown.

The remarkable thing, and I’ve always wondered about it, is where are they all going?

Because even though everything is in movement, I can barely discern any difference in what remains before me. The leaves the wind picks up and scatters down the hill are replaced, moment-by-moment, with the leaves moving up the hill from the other side! Something like a giant game of musical chairs, only there’s a spot for all of the players. Slowly the lesson appears; a celestial secret is playing itself out right before me…

Everything moves, but nothing changes.

The ground over which these leaves race remains the same; it provides the stage upon which an infinite number of characters interact with one another, yet never really change anything other than their places. This is a near perfect metaphor for any aspirant wishing to understand the relationship of their immortal Self with the world of passing time that runs through it.

Within us—at the very center of our being—is a spiritual ground, a perfect stillness that is to the movement of our thoughts and feelings, as is the earth to the leaves that race across her until there’s nowhere else to run. Resting from their race, they enter into her stillness…giving themselves up to nourish her body so that she may give birth again come the spring.

How can we better see this beautiful truth? What must we do to find the freedom that comes with realizing the changeless ground of the divinity that dwells within us?

Be here.

Be still.

Remember the truth of yourself.

By giving your complete attention to the living Presence of all that you are, you will be given, in exchange the incomparable awareness that while all around you everything changes, within you lives what is unchanging. Fearlessness follows this discovery in much the same way as late evening shadows flee the morning light.

Key Lesson

What we call the “present moment,” including all that appears within it, is actually a timeless Presence; it is not the outcome of the past, or a door to some imagined future. Passing time is just one of the ways in which that which is always present appears; but this movement of time no more defines or confines this Presence than does the rising and setting of the sun change the nature of light.

Excerpted from The Secret of Your Immortal Self by Guy Finley, Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2015.



  • Guy Finley is the acclaimed author of The Secret of Letting Go and more than 40 other books and audio programs that have sold over two million copies in 18 languages worldwide. His encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. Guy’s ideas cut straight to the heart of our most important personal and social issues – relationships, success, addiction, stress, peace, and happiness– and lead the way to a higher life. His work is widely endorsed authors and religious leaders of all denominations. Guy presents four inner-life classes each week at his non-profit Life of Learning Foundation headquarters in Merlin, Oregon.

    In addition, he has presented over 4,000 unique self-realization seminars to thousands of grateful students throughout North America and Europe over the past 35 years and has been a guest on over 500 television and radio shows, including national appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, Wisdom Network, and many others. His syndicated weekly radio program is aired on several international networks including Healthy Life Radio, Achieve Radio, Sedona Talk Radio, and Healthlife.net. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet, the Huffington Post, and is a guest panelist for HuffPost Live.