When it comes to pandemics, there is probably no more valuable skill to acquire than mastering the art of levitation. One might reasonably argue that developing a vaccine should earn a higher spot on my list than floating on air, but I am just hopeful enough to believe that levitation will bring the exact lightness of being to solve most of the Earth’s problems, including the pandemic.

Of course, you may be wondering if I also see UFOs darting across the sky. I do not. I live in a large city and barely see stars. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe they exist. And bodies floating without gravity makes perfect sense to me. I mean, if you can fathom some soul-light-energy-life-force that slips in and out of our bodies with the first and last breath we take, it is more than logical to assume that anything is possible.

Now, before you get discouraged about the odds of you levitating, I should probably mention that one foot above the ground is all the lift your average levitator needs. It’s bold without putting a “hey, look at me” sign on your back. One foot will give you just enough lift to fill you with wonder, but not enough to alarm the neighbors. The fact is, one foot is the perfect distance to feel immortal and timeless, which is the whole point of levitating.

How one achieves that foot of levitation is of considerable debate, regardless of whether you choose the physical or metaphorical path. There are many ways to project oneself upward, most of which don’t require you to lose your pulse. Prayer, chanting, and meditation works. So does fasting, breathwork, or even a few weeks holed up in a cave in the Himalayas. I know the latter is a bit cliché, and even more so when someone suggests you strip down to a loincloth to keep world possessions from weighing you down.

Of course, the idea of having to abandon all of your worldly possessions for enlightenment is a complete myth. You can levitate and own a Ferrari. You just can’t take a Ferrari with you as you levitate.

And then there are always drugs. A good share of levitators opt for hallucinogenic mushrooms to give them that lift into heightened realities. But be warned! You might just as well end up in a Dodger Stadium bathroom giving a bath to the blow-up Dodger doll you just bought (oh, the ways we levitate when we are young—speaking about a friend, of course).

Generally speaking, how one gets “there” doesn’t matter. As the poet Rumi told us long ago, “there are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground,” which is just another way of saying there are many ways to find the truth that separates us from the pavement. Although, most paths do have one thing in common—altering perception, or shifting the way we look at the world or, in the words of the philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

 Of course, we don’t need to be philosophers, or saints, or sages to own this truth. And we don’t need to walk on water, or coals, or even air. We need only shift our awareness to see from above, which allows us to make sense of what’s below—the world as it really is.

The fact is, long after the pandemic has eased, pain and suffering will go on. And despite all our noble efforts, it will never go away. Polio becomes Spanish Influenza, which becomes AIDS, which turns into Covid-19, which will one day turn into something else. Suffering is ingrained in our historical DNA. It’s part of the universe we live in. And millions of years of human existence has not changed the fact that we will abuse the planet, watch our parents get old, and see the world divide itself with hatred and prejudice. Disasters of all kinds will strike and, at one time or another, our bodies will fail.

But, hey, we should still go out for ice cream tonight.

Let’s be clear, this is far from a fatalistic view of the world. There are no white flags here. No escape hatches or dodging earthly responsibilities. There is only optimism for us all to move the planet to a better place. This is a rallying cry to laugh often, love deeper, care more, and do all we can to seek joy. Yes, the world can be a serious and dark place. But, as any poet will tell you, it is impossible to fight darkness with more darkness. Only light will work.

And we are that light. You. Me. All of us. And should we choose, the world (with all its joy and sorrow) can become a magical classroom that will help us find deeper truth and awareness on our journey to become mindful, awake, and alive. It is in this place where our lives will never be the same.

We levitate to change our perspective and see the world as it should be—without thought of race, gender, religion, age, or political ideologies, or the job we hold, or the amount of money we make, or in any way that aims to divide us. Hopefully, from this viewpoint, we will embrace our struggles as a path to higher awareness, so that our suffering can become a compass which allows us to look inward, and step into a world far more profound than the one we’re living in.

It’s not an easy path, but as Khalil Gibran said, “out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Or to quote Rumi once more, “the wound is where the light comes in.”

And I would add, the light is what makes the world a kinder and more hopeful place to live.

And all it takes is one foot.

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