The Circle of Life by Frank Natale
June 21 is Frank Natale's birthday and the day of his passing. The Circle of Life, published next week, celebrates Frank's life and teaching. Here is a excerpt from the book's introduction.
“These dark passages are truly the most valuable experiences in life because they move us beyond reasonableness and control.”
My life has been filled with countless good times and blessings, but what I’ve grown to value most is the wisdom I’ve received from the most difficult of life’s passages, those that have transformed me and made me a better person. While they were happening, these troublesome passages seemed as if they would never be completed. In the end there has always been the reward of a new and exciting life. I now know there is a grand scheme, a map of the path we all travel with passages that give pause to reflect and strip us of our pretense. These passages crucify our egos and provide time for us to discover what we truly value in life. I call these transformational rites of passage the Circle of Life.
The process by which I create my dreams has often been a wild ride on the edge of transformation. I have always been able to survive the greatest challenges and find value in those dark passages we all pass through. These dark passages are truly the most valuable experiences in life because they move us beyond reasonableness and control. My life has been more than anything I ever imagined because I’ve been willing to step off the edge of my reality. The extraordinary lessons of life reveal themselves to those who are willing to travel beyond what is comfortable and known.
We live in a digital age of multiple careers, genetic clones, and immediate gratification. The practice of taking a spiritual break from our daily life has become almost extinct. Rather than living spiritually we have become a culture that is spiritual on weekends, if at all. This is because our current religions have not provided an understandable and reliable spiritual guide, a map that genuinely reflects the arc of our demanding day-to-day modern lives.
In the following pages you will travel the birth/death definition we call life. You will recognize yourself at every passage because there is a master plan. Despite our unique differences, here is a clear map to follow that is common to all of us. This book alerts you to be conscious as you pass through the chaos and revelations of the thirteen rites of passage of the Circle of Life.
“Awareness of the Circle of Life helps transform the experience of crisis into an opportunity for knowledge and growth.”
Without a reliable spiritual map there are times when we may feel like victims of life and living. Absence of access and understanding of such a map causes us to live out the illusion that life is a struggle and, therefore, we deny our true consciousness and become saturated in half-truths and delusion. The result of this lack of awareness: 1) we remain ignorant about who we were, 2) frequently question where we are, and 3) look to others for answers to our future and by doing so we surrender our power.
With awareness of the Circle of Life we experience living as a circle filled with completions, rather than a series of incomplete cause and effect events with beginnings and ends. This profound shift in perception allows us to see completion everywhere. With awareness of the circular path, we are able to: 1) recognize and appreciate where we are from, 2) we are present where we are, and 3) consciously create where we are going.
When we see the Circle of Life as a map for living, we discover there is a design to life and we are exactly where we are supposed to be. The purpose of my life is to realize wisdom and value from my experience. Everyone experiences birth and death, puberty and midlife. We tend to experience these transforming rites of passage at around the same age. Some choose to confuse these spiritual wake-up calls for psychological problems or a major life crisis and, as a result, become victims who refuse to take responsibility for their own evolution.
Awareness of the Circle of Life helps transform the experience of crisis into an opportunity for knowledge and growth. Recognition of these opportunities empowers us to share the wisdom and value of each of the thirteen rites of passage, understanding that these are not random events but rather a spiritual map to higher consciousness. This book is about my journey, my wild ride, and what I’ve learned from living the Circle of Life.