The Two-Way Elevator

September 10, 2020
Oakland, CA
Gray and smokey

I love to go to my physical therapist’s wide-open office. First, I take the elevator up to the top floor of the 14-story building. The room is full of light entering through an entire wall of huge windows framing a panoramic view of the Oakland hills, with white clouds drifting across the deep blue sky. I am warmly greeted by angels with smiles and free coffee and kind, helpful and empathetic practitioners.

I’ll just stay here, I think, but I only have 30 minutes and then I have to go back down the elevator to the street, where there are homeless people begging on the street corners, traffic noise, shouts, sirens, angry people carrying banners, and you can’t see the clouds at all.
We have an inner elevator, and when we go high, it is easy to focus our thoughts on what is good, what is beautiful, what is powerful, what is a blessing to humanity. We feel happy because we have elevated our consciousness.

But our elevator goes two ways. Many people, like me, would like to stay at the top floor, enjoy the view and the free coffee, and ignore what is happening at street level. This is the state called “Denial”. Meanwhile on the street floor, there is pain and suffering. If we stay at our top floor refuge, we will have no knowledge or connection with the misery on the lower floors.

If we want to grow, we have a duty we can’t escape. We have to take the elevator back down and deal with the chaos at the first floor. Our elevator goes two ways. We can ride up, breathe in the bliss at the top, and then bring that happiness down with us and use it to help suffering people at the bottom.

The point is, when at the top floor, love the first floor, and when at the first floor, remain conscious of the joy at the top. Life is not either/or; it is both/and.

Riding up and down, your friend,


PS: My mentor, Rahul Patel’s book, The Healer’s Way, is now complete and I will let you know when it becomes available.

Kindly visit the Facebook page of my mentor, Rahul Star Patel.

Recommended Reading: How the South Won the Civil War, by Heather Cox Richardson

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