connecting psychotherapy and spiritual growth for human awakening
Perhaps you and many people like you are experiencing discomfort and life change. All is questioned and there is a frisson between your inner sense of knowing and the outer structures of appearance and arising “reality.”
The world does not seem a very happy place. Superficiality, hypocrisy, lack of forgiveness and compassion are sometimes all we can see. It is as if we do not belong here and we chafe and kick against the structure of the established order, not knowing where the boundary for expressing our outrage and our dissatisfaction should truly be.
Aware of others around us who may feel similarly we endeavor to feel kinship. But even there we are thwarted. Our lack of belonging, our seemingly intrinsic “separateness” sets us apart even from those who appear as restless and dissatisfied as we are.
Old beliefs are crumbling, patterns of behavior and emotions begin to seem less real. Those things, people and habits that used to mean so much to us become more distant, less important, and hardly worthy of our attention any more.
As you shift your center from the known to the unknown, from safe to secure, you may sometimes falter and wish you could go back. Don't go back! The fear will pass. The panic will dissipate. Watch your fears and your need to control. Become aware of that part of you that compromises, asks less of life and is stifled. You have lived for so long on so little. A victim to thought and fantasy you have stayed in a small room for the whole of your life. Now the bell is ringing, calling you to the Divine reunion, the sacred assembly, the spiritual ceremony of revival and new life.
You wonder if you will survive through the tests, the ordeal, and the struggles of spiritual transformation. You will. No demands are made on you that you cannot meet, no challenges that you cannot overcome, and no trials that you cannot endure. It doesn't always seem that way, but that is because the present tests and trials constitute the death of your old self – the death of your old self and the birth of Truth.
The tests, the ordeal, lasts as long as you hold on. Indeed your very clinging is the agony itself. Release the clinging and feel what happens!
More than anything be compassionate toward yourself. You are experiencing a great travail. This is the greatest event of your life, for this event is your birth into Truth and the key is your individual identity.
There is a spiritual secret and like all well-concealed secrets it is hidden in plain sight. Today, a brief reading on social media, or a passage from a mind-body-spirit book or self-help article will reveal this—the greatest of all secrets... and it is this.
You are not what you think you are, not what you have been raised to be. You are not this identity which has you in thrall, which you are so incredibly attached to and believe in.
This characterful personality of yours is merely an appendage, an act, a mask, a disguise. In Reality you are the Divine.
Everything you see is the Divine, not just some of it and not other parts of it. Everything is the Divine and that must of course include you. Your real identity is Truth. You are sacred-spiritual-Divine Reality... and nothing else. The body, the personality and character, and the sense of ego-identity which underpins this individual, separating and divisive center is merely fleeting, false, and fictional.
In order to maintain this fiction of the separate self we embroil ourselves in reactivity. We opine, express preferences, points of view and experience emotional responses all based on the small separate self-sense. This sense is rather like a cinema screen—completely blank, featureless, colorless, and drama-less. Until the moving pictures and sound are projected on the screen, nothing whatsoever is happening.
If you look back to locate the source of your self-sense where did it start? How was it created? Who are you in your defensive characterful self?
The answer is that your entire personality, character, and small self (or childhood ego) is a defensive reaction to your experience of the conditions of early life. In childhood—the most intensive powerful tsunami of worldly experience you ever have—the learning curve was so steep, the experiences came so thick and fast, the stimuli were so plentiful and varied you were forced to stall your meeting with the world. Your relationship to the outside and the inner experiences of reactivity they provoked in you were so strong, so powerful, so overwhelming and intense you cultivated character and personality as a buffer—a protective boundary between yourself and others, yourself and experience, yourself and wonder.
Growing up you fixed these patterns and assumptions toward life and in a unique mix of emotional and behavioral patterning, as you became you. Your loyalty now to the one who is you (though strictly speaking masquerading as you, for it is not you true self) is now being eroded from the inside. Liberation reflexes with threat as your very being feels like it is being attacked. But this is not your being that is feeling attacked—and this is what you should remember in the days and nights and succession of moments and travail when you treat yourself gently, compassionately, and with great sensitivity and infinite kindness.
Nothing is being attacked; there is nothing to defend... you are simply flowering, growing into yourself, at last, your true Self, the one you have always been. All help is given and all the help you need is present. Don't worry about how long it takes or how hard it feels or how deep your torment. You are engaged in a timeless ceremony of great significance—the timeless ceremony of awakening.
Never again will you awaken... for you will never go back to sleep again. After this wondrous event of realization you will never be ignorant again, uncompassionate again, blind, unclear, unfeeling, or un-alive again.
Throughout all you experiences of discomfort and life change, remember these things... and be gentle with yourself.
This article was published on this site in 2016.