The furnace is on, the temperature is 36 degrees, almost low enough to form a ghostly scrim on shallow puddles, and the serenity is heavenly. If you listen closely, you can hear the quiet squeal of an exercise wheel, but nothing else intrudes upon the blissful blanket of silence that has descended upon our pleasant corner of the world. Bonnie is doing her puzzles and listening to the radio, I am here in front of the electronic hearth, and our mice are doing what they do best, being mice.
This is a wonderful life, my friends, and an amazing world that has been placed into our hands, entrusted to us as its stewards, a classroom where we are taught myriad courses, a curriculum necessary to our advancement into a vaster and grander world. I have used this metaphor before, and will continue to, because it is the best understanding that Bonnie and I have been able to pluck from the totality of our experiences.
The difference from other classrooms is that the teacher is not apparent. The Creator is standing beyond a one-way mirror, watching as we children freely roam the classroom, selecting and inspecting whatever objects we may find, reading what instructional material has been left for us, left alone to learn at our own pace. There are to be found in this room things to fascinate us and things to repel us. We must analyze them all, scrutinize them from all angles, and derive what wisdom we may from our study, because the knowledge we gain is crucial to our advancement to the next grade.
Not all children will learn the information integral to passing; some will take away from their studies the wrong lessons, and some will simply refuse to gain understanding. Some students will become belligerent and disrupt the classroom in an attempt to prevent others from learning. It is definitely possible that those children who fail to pass the final exam may be held back, until realization sinks in and reason takes hold, allowing them to learn properly what they needs must.
The students who have absorbed the material, who have acquired the information necessary to further their progress toward the next level, will be well rewarded, for not only will they have enriched themselves, they will have discovered the vehicle whereby their journey into the great beyond will be facilitated. Can one ask for more than that?