Here in the Western world, what little most of us understand about guides is steeped in religion. And for those who have no interest in organized (or disorganized) religion, or those like me who have been wounded or betrayed by religion, religious answers are unhelpful, and can even be a turn-off.

Fortunately, religion is a human construct. And yes, I realize that that statement alone flies in the face of any religious teachings that assert they are the one, true way to…well, I’ll talk in a future post about what religion purports to bring us to.

That said, you have your reasons for resonating with the religion(s) you chose or left or avoid. And your guides know that. It’s not their intention—or mine—to change that. What I teach is consistent with any religious beliefs, if you’re open to it. If you strongly believe that anything not from Jesus or the Christian Bible must be the work of a source of evil, then you’re probably not terribly open to this, and it might not be for you.

Here’s what I know: before you were born into this body you have now, you very carefully chose others in the spirit world (what I like to call “back Home”) to guide you. These guides were not assigned to you. You didn’t just get whomever was next in line. It wasn’t a lottery. You chose, based on what you wanted to experience in this life. And those guides have some special something that you knew would aid you in that experience.

You also chose your family. Did you know everything that might befall you in your lifetime? No. Free will always comes into play. But you had a good idea of the genetic history, the socioeconomic status, the nationality, culture, and religion you would be born into. It’s all part of helping you experience what you want to experience.

Life is not a school for everyone. That’s old thinking. Some people are here to learn, because that’s what they want to experience. Others are here to heal, or play music, or create art, or vacation in the wilderness, or explore things like poverty and hunger, because all of these require being in a physical world of contrasts where resources are limited. Back Home, it is an unlimited, abundant world of energy. Back Home, you can create with energy, but it’s different to brush paint onto a canvas, or carve pieces out of rock or wood, or draw a bow across strings, or hold a paper book in your hands. It’s different to heal muscle and tissue and bone.

Some might say that what you want to experience in this life is your purpose. I prefer to use the term intention, and I’ll write more about that in a separate post. Some will argue, why in the world would anyone want to experience war or poverty or racism or violence or abuse or disability? I had the same question, and my guides had an answer. I’ll share that in a separate blog post.

Lastly (for this post), I’m often asked, if this is all our choice, if we chose our guides, if this is all about what we want to experience, then why don’t we remember that? Why do we forget so much when we incarnate? The reason is this: if we remembered all that we know back Home, we would know that this physical world isn’t completely real. It would be like watching a full-sensory movie but knowing it was a movie, seeing where the director made certain camera angle choices, seeing the mic boom, picking up on green screens and dialog that seems out of character. All of that takes you out of the story. In order to truly experience what you want to experience in a physical world, you need to buy into that world completely. You need to fully believe that the movie is real. Pain hurts, illness hinders and limits, violence destroys. You care about the characters because you are one of them. And others are those whom you love.

So…isn’t what I’m telling you now going against that? Aren’t I pulling back the veil, exposing the metaphorical man behind the curtain?

Yes and no.

Yes, because I’m telling you that there is more to you, more to the universe, than what you can interpret with your physical senses, or through science (which is always playing catch-up to what spirituality has known for eons). And no, because your true self, your soul, already knows this. You’re just choosing to go all in for this multi-sensory movie, to experience the joys and challenges, love and fear, pain and victory that being here in the physical world offers.