Tests, challenges, and rites of passage have the power to shift timelines and change our reality.
In a spiritual or religious context, tests come in the forms of challenges or trials that we face as a part of our spiritual journey. These happen as we elevate our consciousness and reach new levels of awakened awareness.
Other times these challenges may come from a higher power or Divine force, where the test is part of a larger plan of the cosmic order. In this sense the challenges are a way to gauge and strengthen our faith, character, and understanding.
Yet another explanation of the tests that we face comes from a scientific perspective where they are part of the natural process of life as it relates to Universal Principles.
While different belief systems have varying reasons and causes of the tests that we encounter during different parts of our life, they all offer opportunities for growth and change.
Below are some examples of different tests or challenges that we might experience related to spiritual, religious, psychological, or scientific beliefs and thinking.
This is when we face critical decisions that influence the direction of our personal timeline. These decisions have different possible outcomes depending on our choice at the time.
Real Life Examples: going to college or going into a career pathway instead, marriage, divorce, moving
Manifestation: The idea of manifesting our reality comes with tests. A test often comes when we are trying to manifest a specific desire or intention. This challenge usually has to do with something that opposes our desired outcome directly.
Real Life Examples: setting material goals and then an unexpected expense happens, health and well-being using the law of attraction and positive thinking while dealing with a sickness that happens.
Synchronicity: This is when a coincidence or sign is meant to align with our intention or the direction we are meant to choose. This becomes a test of our awareness and our strength of our will to follow the synchronicity even when it doesn't make logical sense to do so.
Real Life Examples: symbolic experiences of noticing symbols, numbers, or patterns, crossing paths with others and recognizing the purpose for the meeting.
Spiritual Awakening: The process of spiritual awakening initially begins with a test of choice to determine accepting the spiritual path or not. Once the awakening begins, other tests come along the way to strengthen character as well as challenge beliefs and norms.
Real Life Examples: existential crisis (a deep questioning about our existence and purpose), shift in beliefs from previously held ideas that open us up to new perspectives.
"The obstacle is the path." - Zen Proverb
"The wound is the place where the Light enters you." - Rumi
"Change is never painful. Only resistance to change is painful." - Buddha
"Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it." - Gautama Buddha
"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." - Buddha
"Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama
"The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind." - Caroline Myss
Faith: We experience a crisis of faith, questioning our beliefs. This brings on a struggle for us to hold onto our spiritual convictions in the face of adversity.
Real Life Examples: loss of a loved one unexpectedly, dealing with depression
Temptation: When we confront moral dilemmas or temptations that challenge our commitment to living a virtuous life according to our religious principles.
Real Life Examples: substance abuse, negative life choices and poor decision making in relationships.
Patience: This is when we experience prolonged suffering, illness, or loss which tests our ability to remain patient and maintain trust in the Divine.
Real Life Examples: depression, cancer diagnosis, difficulty with conception
Forgiveness Test: After we go through betrayal or harm from others we usually struggle to forgive. According to the teaching of our religion, we are expected to show compassion and have the ability to reconcile.
Real Life Examples: adultery, being lied to, abandonment from a family member or friend
Humility: As we experience different successes in life, we are challenged to remain grounded and humble in the eyes of the Divine. We are expected not to allow our success to change the way we treat others or to have a perspective that we are better than anyone else.
Real Life Examples: Job promotion, monetary gains, buying a new house or car.
Compassion: As we encounter suffering or injustice in the world, we must decide how to respond. We are held to the standard of compassion and empathy, embodying the teaching of our religious beliefs.
Real Life Examples: crossing paths with a homeless person and choosing to give, seeing a person needing help and giving to the person
(Christianity - New Testament, James 1:3-4): "Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
(Islam - Quran, 2:286): "Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.
(Judaism - Psalms 27:14): "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
(Buddhism - Dhammapada, Verse 223): "Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth."
(Sikhism - Guru Granth Sahib, 622): "I bow to the True Guru, the Supreme Lord God, who has given me this understanding; Nanak is a sacrifice to Him."
(Hinduism - Bhagavad Gita, 10:4): "Amongst the Daitya demons (evil beings), I am the devoted Prahlada; amongst subduers, I am time; amongst beasts, I am the lion, and amongst birds, I am Garuda, the feathered carrier of Vishnu."
Psychological & Scientific Tests
Coping: Grief is a natural response to loss and the range of emotions that we go through during grief becomes a test of our acceptance and resilience. Part of the challenge is to understand our attachment style and using coping strategies with social support.
Real Life Examples: loss of a parent, loss of friendships
Mentalism: According to the Principle of Mentalism, all is mind, and the universe is mental. This means that our thoughts create our reality and understanding this principle helps us recognize the power our thoughts. The test comes with keeping our thoughts in alignment with what we want to happen in our life even during challenging times.
Real Life Examples: arguments with family members that impact our mental and emotional state, not getting something we were looking forward to, or taking a loss in another area of life.
Polarity: The Principle of Polarity teaches us that everything has its opposite, and opposites are simply two extremes of the same thing. Life tests often involve us figuring out the polarities of the experiences like joy and sorrow, success and failure to understand the interconnectedness and achieve balance between them. We are challenged in how we feel and deal with the opposites, to learn how to use them to our advantage.
Real Life Examples: after a long day of work feeling drained compared to the morning feeling energized and learning how to function at the same capacity at both times of the day.
Entanglement: Entanglement is a phenomenon where particles become correlated in a way that the state of one particle is dependent on the state of another, regardless of the distance between them. In other words, the properties of particles become linked regardless of distance, suggesting that there is a deeper interconnectedness in our reality. This means that we might find our experiences are intertwined with broader context of existence, leading to moments of important coincidence or synchronicity. The test is for us to be aware of these entangled experiences and understand them so that we can make choices that will lead to the best outcomes for our life.
Real Life Examples: we notice a synchronicity of overhearing a conversation that mentions the same topic we read in a book earlier in the day. Leading us to do more research on the topic and then take the opportunity to join a conversation about the topic on another occasion that results in us being offered a new job with higher pay.
"The dual process model of coping with bereavement proposes that individuals oscillate between loss-oriented and restoration-oriented coping strategies. This model emphasizes the importance of allowing space for both grieving and adaptation to life changes." - Margaret Stroebe and Henk Schut, Handbook of Bereavement Research: Consequences, Coping, and Care.
"The universe is mental; held in the mind of the All." - The Kybalion
"Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled." - The Kybalion
"In the entangled tapestry of existence, our individual experiences are woven together, each thread influencing and being influenced by the whole. As we navigate life's challenges, we are not solitary entities but interconnected beings, part of a larger cosmic web of consciousness." "The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes—and Its Implications" by David Deutsch Quote: