Life is a test, deceptive and a school


There are many views on reality and the world out there, including seeing life as a test, deceptive and a school.

Life may be a test, and we can pass or fail, either permanently (judgment day) or temporarily (reincarnation).

Life is deceptive and full of trickery. God created – or at least allowed – the devil and evil, the devil and evil can be disguised, and it is our task to differentiate the good from the evil, the true from the false.

Life is a school where we are supposed to learn something specific, and then graduate.

All of these stories can obviously be very stressful if we take them as true.

If life is a test, what is the test? Will I pass or fail? What can I do to prepare? When will I know? What happens if I fail?

If life is deceptive, how can I know what is true and what is false? Even if something appears good and true, how can I know it is not a trick? (Sets us up for paranoia.)

If life is a school, what am I supposed to learn? Am I learning it fast enough? Will I graduate? What if I can’t make it?

In each case, taking these stories as true may be comforting. We can at least tell ourselves we know what life is about, even if we don’t know if we will fail or pass. But we also set ourselves up to be fear driven and contracted around certain things.

These views are quite far from my own conscious views, and this means that it can be quite helpful for me to find the grain of truth in these stories. (They are relatively foreign to me since I grew up in a mostly religion-free culture, and also through own experiences that gives me a different take on it.)

So in what ways are these stories true for me? Can I find at least three genuine examples of how each story is true for me?

Life is a test.

  • When I take that story as true, it appears true. I interpret whatever is happening in that context. (This one goes for the other two stories as well.)
  • Well, life seems set up with certain dynamics and habits. For instance, if I take a story as true, there is discomfort. If I resist experience, there is discomfort. If I find what is more true for me than my initial belief, and if I allow experience, there is a release out of that discomfort. Those can be seen as tests. Will I notice the dynamics? And if I notice them, will I apply them in my life? And if I apply them, where will I apply them? What is left out? Will I notice that I leave something out? Will I include those if I notice? All of those can be seen as tests.
  • I sometimes create tests for myself. I have an intention, move in that direction, and encounter tests to be solved.

Life is deceptive.

  • (Same as the first one above.)
  • Life may seem deceptive when something appears a certain way, then differently, all depending on my stories and how confused or clear I am.
  • I cannot know anything for certain. If I take a story as true, life may well appear deceptive to me and show up differently. (It is, after all, not bound by my stories.) I may have any number of stories about something, they may align with the most respected views and models from any particular tradition, they may function very well in daily life, they may correspond with my stories about the data, and so on. And yet, I don’t know. These are only stories. Only tools for orienting and navigating in the world, nothing more.

Life is a school.

  • (Same as above.)
  • If life is a test, as above, then it can be seen as a school as well. I am presented with many opportunities to learn and practice, and tests to see how well I have learned something, and there is (apparently) no end to this. I graduate from something, then there is something else, and I may find myself back in kindergarten again even in an area I thought I had some clarity around.
  • I sometimes set up schooling for myself, as right here. I set myself a task, ask myself a question, and explore to see what I find.


Initial outline…

  • tests, tricks and schools – some views on the world
    • a test, pass or fail, permanently (day of judgment) or temporarily (reincarnation)
    • tricks – God created devil + devil in disguise, can be tricked, cannot trust anything/one (paranoid)
    • school – supposed to learn something in particular, graduate, etc.
    • all of those stories, very stressful if taken as true
    • far from my own conscious view
    • can find the grain of truth in it for myself
      • life is a test
      • life is a test full of trickery
      • life is a school

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