The humongous photograph in the Museum of Science and Industry stopped me in my tracks long enough to read the caption. I gasped, pivoted and fled the room, completely grossed out. For a split second, I even forgot where I had been headed before the frightening encounter. The gigantic face had to have been 20 feet tall–no exaggeration. A high-powered microscope revealed thousands of bugs scurrying across a man’s forehead, eyelids, cheeks and mouth. Ewww!

You know, I hadn’t thought about that frightening photo in about 25 years. But yesterday, while thinking about how many invisible life forms live among us, the photo suddenly popped into my head, reminding me that many of those life forms actually live on us. While trying to verify my recollection, I found a BBC news article claiming that human skin is a “virtual zoo” of microscopic life forms.

Do you ever think about the world of organisms that lives happily on your face, in the air you breathe, the food you eat and the bed in which you sleep–or is the Loud Mouth the only one who is oblivious? Sure, we are aware that dust mites, germs and bacteria are rampant in our reality; but because they are invisible to the naked eye, we disregard their presence in our living space and totally ignore the fact that they have a life parallel to our own. In fact, our skin might be their world!

The same is true in the world we visited last week, the world of the tennis ball, fourth largest in a special system of spheres. Tennis is big brother to the marble, golf ball and powerball, kid brother to the hard ball, soft ball, fireball and volleyball. (Recently, the tiniest sphere, the BB, was cast aside after being treated like a member of the family for many, many years. Sad. The good news is that it’s still quite a distance from the goof ball, which lives in a world of its own. Even sadder.) Each of the other balls, however, still play a significant role in this unique universe.

As you’ll recall, every soul in the tennis-sphere is transient. That’s the way the souls designed it. Also by design, something miraculous happens whenever one of them clothes itself in a body: All memory of the soul’s reality–its likeness to and oneness with its immortal Creator–is erased. As a practical matter, the memory loss enables each soul to begin the game of “So, You Think This Is Life?” with the same handicap on a level playing field.

Since the object of the game is for the souls’ bodies to reflect the divinity of their Creator in their behavior, they must first remember that they are divine and leverage their relationships in the invisible world to get the support they need to overcome anything they might hear on the tennis-sphere. Problem is, they’re oblivious; their memories have been wiped clean. They are convinced that they are merely mortal bodies, and they trust only what they can detect with their physical senses. To complicate matters, they also believe that the tennis-sphere not only is their real home, it is the only place in the universe that can sustain life.

This is quite perplexing to anyone observing the tennis-sphere from a distance, because everyone in the tennis-sphere knows that nobody has ever come and stayed forever. They’ve also observed that everything on the sphere is constantly changing, deteriorating and disappearing–from bodies to buildings–evidence that the sphere is the permanent home of no one and nothing. It probably was never intended to be.

The vast majority of these forgetful souls also believes that the tennis-sphere is eternal and they are not. Consequently, whenever souls withdraw from their bodies and move on, according to the itineraries they established prior to arriving, the others believe that these departed souls are no longer alive, which makes them very unhappy. In truth, only the body the soul was wearing has died; the invisible soul within them, their breath of life, has not ceased to exist.

The tennis-souls’ confusion over their identity and reality is best reflected in poems such as this one found on plaques, stones and paper and embroidered on cloth (author unknown):

“If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,

I would walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.”

During the next few weeks, we’ll look at the inception and perpetuation of this belief, and the effect that it’s had on the joy and fulfillment of all souls who visit the tennis-sphere. Throughout this process, I’d like you to give some serious thought to the genesis of your own beliefs and, if you choose, update them. You already have empirical evidence that invalidates some of your beliefs, yet you are unwilling to release them. When you pay attention, you’ll discover that your beliefs directly impact your behavior and subsequently reflect in your life experiences.

The fact that you’re paying any attention at all to the Loud Mouth indicates that your soul is ready to stretch, even if your body and brain are resisting. But this is not your body’s life, its your invisible invincible soul’s. Until it’s departure date, it will endeavor to accomplish its goal: To master the game of “So, You Think This Is Life?”

Every shift in your thoughts and beliefs will create a shift in your physical experience. Your soul knows that it has all eternity to win this game, and it will win, no matter how long it takes, how difficult you make the lessons or how painful you make your physical experience.

Please don’t feel pressured to do anything. You don’t have to know yourself right now. You don’t have to learn or grow. You can stand still and repeat your current mistakes as many times as you like–or you can create a more enlightened experience.

If you want to free yourself from the quicksand sooner rather than later, put on your thinking cap and return to the beginning–not of the tennis-sphere but of our own planet:

  1. How many souls were the first visitors?
  2. How did they multiply into billions?
  3. How did you reach that conclusion?

Please share your thoughts by clicking “Comments” next to the date at the top of the page instead of emailing, as many seem to prefer. We all know that Together Each Accomplishes More. Together, let’s create a more joyful and fulfilling life experience.

A reminder: Today is the last day to register for the dynamic Women’s Leadership Conference (March 26-28) at the Hilton/Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Thursday is spa day! To find out if there are any rooms and workshop seats still available, contact the Rev. Jacqueline Atkins, J.D. at revjatkins[at]

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