"Suddenly, on the day after visiting the Truchsessian Gallery of pictures, I was again enlightened with the light I enjoyed in my youth, and which has for exactly twenty years been closed from me as by a door and by window-shutters."
It has been 28 years to the month of August when I arrived with one suitcase in hand in Providence, RI; having left my native Germany for good. I still remember the bright sun, the blue sky, the warmth of the Atlantic Ocean. I remember the curiosity of my fellow graduate students, and the dedication of my professors. Some experienced graduate school like a drag, whereas I felt born again. I was happy then, and I had a peace of mind I had never experienced before.
I don’t want to claim that everything was rosy about my 5 year PhD program in economics at Brown University, but it mostly was. They say the literal meaning of the word providence is the protective care of God, and that’s exactly what it was during that time. I felt like I was covered a cocoon of magic. While I spent most of my days working on my PhD thesis, I spent the rest of the time on J. Krishnamurti, Vivekananda, and the Bhagavad Gita or the Tao Te Ching.
The next couple of decades were a bit rougher, with a professional climb in the stressful but also exhilarating financial industry. I also got married and started a family. There were certainly many highlights, and magical rays of light, but there was also darkness. Could the magical days in Providence have been an unreal dreamworld? Well, they were not. They were an appetizer of sorts, an indication of things to come; there was just a little homework to finish.
The number 28 has power to it(as has 21). This period denotes 4 (or 3) seven year cycles. Since it is said that within 7 years our entire body replaces itself, you are 4 (or 3) times reborn within that period. Yes, there is a purgatory period in order to advance spiritually. The dark chapters of the buried past have to be relived and let go off for good. These days I feel like William Blake did, the light of the past is returning, and the clouds are finally dissolving.
If you are a little depressed reading this, don’t be. Not everyone has to wait 20 years to see the light. It could be 20 moon cycles, or even 20 days instead to leave a struggle of the past behind. I have seen some who had experienced spiritual break-throughs in a remarkably short time. Remember the spiritual appetizer that you must have experienced some time in your childhood or your past. They will come back. No one can keep you from returning Home.