The past couple of years have been a curious period of growth. I'm still in the woods at the moment so this is really a ponder on growth in general than this particular cycle.
I tend to think of growth in two overall categories. Adaptive growth, in other words change to cope with a current relevant set of circumstances, and evolutionary growth. The latter refers to a special kind of growth that we can achieve on the basis that we are made up of spirit and physcial matter.
There is a common misconception in the small Jewish circles that I encounter that angels do not have free choice. This is based on a miunderstanding that perceives them to only function as intelligent spiritual automotans that can only do what they are instructed. In last week's portion in the Torah Moses is told that an angel will lead the Israelites and that if they sin the angel will punish them for the Divine name is in it. A simplistic reading of this verse could re-inforce this misconception.
The thing is though, my reading and speaking to various teachers has helped me to understand that angels do have choice. However, whilst they can adapt and choose - they cannot evolve to something greater than themsleves. This is something that we on other hand can.
Coming back to my point on being souls in physical bodies... My understanding is that in the spiritual realms like attracts like. Which means that there is little scope for oppostes to encounter each other and interact. In the physcial realms that we live in, we can bring together spiritual opposites and use this to help make choices that allow us to evolve beyond the initial spiritual state that we arrive in this realm.
We exist in this combined state of spirit and matter for a relatively short amount of time. A number of people who occupied important memories in the Western world have reminded many of that recently. It can take so long for us to become aware of this unique time of opportunity that it can sometimes feel like it is too late to make a siginificant impact. But again, my teachers have pointed out that there have been instances of profound impact that certain individuals made only at the very end of this unique state of existence. So perhaps there is hope for the rest of us after all.
We arrive in a certain set of circumtsances. We adapt to survive in those circumstances or adapat to change some of them. Then we encounter the concept that we can evolve as well and the world is your shell-fish by-product of chocie.