There once was a lotus that did not know it was a lotus. Such a lotus could only know its worth through gazing at its muddied reflection on a pond…
As I sit upon a dock by the water, I am wondering what to write concerning this recent call I have received: a call to humanity, a call to peace, a call to dignity in the life of the spirit made flesh, rather than the other way around. Above all else, this is what we are; our Spirit taking predominance over our physical form.
Prior to 2010, I had experienced various uncomfortable feelings and inner voices that told me something was not quite right concerning my spiritual beliefs and practices. However, I did not at the time realize that what was creating most of the conflict was my attempt to go along with abundance-focused philosophies (as prescribed by the leading spiritual gurus within the new age community), while simultaneously seeking to embrace other new age ideals such as nonduality and oneness. In fact, I did not recognize that my spiritual and material goals expressed opposite agendas. I also did not take the time to notice that while many new age philosophies teach us that our spirit takes precedence concerning what we truly are, we are simultaneously taught a second message. What we often end up attempting to implement are both the original ideal and the obstacle toward realizing it.
What do I mean by this?
On the one hand, we are taught to believe that we are love, light, and wholeness. On the other hand, we are also taught that our worth and identity are meant to be predominantly defined through what we can externally achieve or ‘manifest’ within the world. I believe that this latter belief causes many of us psychological pain (whether conscious or unconscious). This same belief also acts as a block to letting the pain go. (See chapter 5 for examples.)
Even as a healer, I began to question whether particular clients were addressing issues that were appropriate to their distinctive suffering. The more I questioned things, the more a bigger picture began to unfold; though it would take many years, and the transpiring of certain events, for me to think outside the box enough to follow where my feelings and inner voices were leading. If you are reading this and experiencing the same dilemma, do not be afraid to follow your heart.
Ultimately, I became aware that many of us within the new age community are trying to evolve spiritually through a backward process, i.e., we are attempting to twist spiritual concepts to fit our material lifestyle, rather than changing our material lifestyles to accommodate what we spiritually feel is true.
Also, because the majority of us within the Western world have subliminally accepted society’s belief that we must strive in certain external ways for our survival, certain attached fears become deeply conditioned into our everyday experience. They come to be seen as expected and normal. For this reason, they are left unaddressed and are misunderstood. Such fears include:
- fear of loss
- fear of letting go of materialism
- fear of letting go of denial
- fear of not being or having enough
- fear of lack of social approval
- fear of going against the norm
- excessive need for control and focus on outcomes (out of fear)
- fear of taking action toward solving some of the bigger issues in the world
If we can begin to see our spiritual Self as the lotus, then we can also begin to see these collective fears, as well as other collective beliefs and lifestyles, as the very essence of the mud that clouds the pond in which the lotus lays. The more the lotus attempts to find its reflection within the muddy water beneath it, not understanding it can seek its reflection internally, the more the pond begins to yield various collective and concrete manifestations that represent the nature of how it became polluted in the first place. After all, it is undeniable how our environment has become adversely polluted and affected by our collective striving to be enough, to have enough, and to find our worth externally.
There is hope however. There always was. For, our most prized and ancient teachers and masters have already taught us the way toward ascending some of the falseness and contradiction of the muddy pond. Thus, if we can collectively understand and act upon some of the wisdom and practices of these masters, we can learn to bridge Heaven (Spirit) with Earth (Matter) in new ways.
However, before I discuss this subject any further, I think it is important to create a more clear definition of the philosophical split that I see occurring, allowing an examination of:
- the dilemma
- the cause
- how to bridge the split
What is Philosophical Splitting
What exactly do I mean when I use the term philosophical splitting?
As already stated, I’ve noticed some confusing trends within modern spirituality that encourage many of us within the new age community to pursue contradictory philosophies at the same time; i.e. a person’s lifestyle may run counter to a philosophy they intend to follow. Alternatively, a person may attempt to master two opposing sets of idealistic goals.
As a personal example, in my early thirties I felt very confused about how to put into practice A Course in Miracles. For those who have not heard of A Course in Miracles, it is primarily an inspirational course (in book format) comprised of channeled material that aims to help its readers learn lessons in unconditional love and forgiveness. It theorizes that forgiveness lies with understanding that our material life is an illusion. As part of the forgiveness process, we are encouraged to overcome our need to be special, our belief in duality, and the ways we make our illusions more real than they are.
While these concepts resonated with me deeply, attempting to apply these principles to my ‘normal’ life made me feel something was ‘off’,’ yet I could not quite grasp where this feeling was coming from.
I do not believe I felt this way because the principles in the course were in error. I believe this feeling arose from the fact that I was practicing the principles while still trying to conform to my conventional lifestyle. As a result, I ‘split’ myself by attempting to follow two sets of philosophies at the same time: societies and those of the course.
As an example: family, friends, and society imparted to me that it was important to be special and to excel. A Course in Miracles, however, asks us to let go of specialness and duality. Not seeing that both goals were contradictory, I tried to blend them: i.e., I accepted the belief that a need to pursue specialness was necessary to my material survival, while at the same time trying to invoke a spiritual feeling that specialness was not my true agenda. I thought that as long as I could feel that I was intrinsically ‘love, light and oneness,’ then if I pursued specialness it wouldn’t matter. I thought this was what the student’s goal was supposed to be; to contort, suppress, and change our thoughts and beliefs so that we can still pursue all the things we had before, but with a different mind-set. Or, so this is what I told myself, since the course never really asks us to do this. I would eventually realize that what I was really partaking in was a mental game that thrived on self-delusion and denial.
Using the specific example of duality, I believed that I could pursue duality if I could mentally convince myself—at the same time—that duality did not exist. I had not yet grasped that I could choose to adopt a different lifestyle that would accommodate more of what I was attempting to achieve. I had not thought of ways in which I could begin a process toward letting go of various conditioned forms of external dependency (e.g. external sources of power, food, banks, credit cards, etc.) as well as a preoccupation with money, success, recognition, competition, material things, ownership, etc.. After all, without consciously knowing such a choice is available—which many of us may not conceive that we even have a choice—who immediately thinks about changing their lifestyle or any of these other things? We all feel fated to live by certain rules, ways of living, norms and conditioning. We expect ourselves to learn to cope and to change our attitude toward what we perceive to be necessary for our survival. At the same time we feel we must suppress or deny any accompanying sense of limitation, unhappiness or dis-ease.
When I began to understand what I was really doing, it started to make more sense to me. So did the solution: we do not have to conform to the world in ways that put us at odds with the spiritual values we would like to emulate; nor do we have to deny to ourselves we are choosing to serve the world (and what is false or illusion) over spirit (and truth), if this is what we are doing. Instead, we can learn to see what we are doing for what it is, and change our lifestyle in a way that allows it to support the spiritual values we seek to align with. It will always be our own choice, but we can choose whether or not we will require ourselves to live mentally ‘split’ apart.
I tell others that my new approach is called “let’s call a spade a spade.” In other words, let me see my true intentions for what they really are, rather than trying to masquerade them as something else. While this new approach sounds harsh, it actually allows more self-forgiveness and self-change. How so? I can be more authentic with myself while also seeing my human condition with unconditional love, detachment and awareness. I resort less to excuses and rationalizations for doing something that goes against my higher principles simply because it is something ‘everyone else is doing’ as part of surviving or fitting in. Because I also understand that spiritual awakening is not always an overnight process, I know that when I am ready to follow spiritual precepts that emulate unity, love, and oneness, I will do so, while also allowing myself to let go of contradictory survival based practices as I am able. This way, I’m not blocked by denial if I wish to truly learn the lessons in A Course in Miracles.
|Acccepted Spiritual Truth||Prescribed Lifestyle|
|We are innately enough. We have nothing to prove.||Outer striving to be, do and have enough.|
|Inner sense of abundance and worth. Abundance is present. Holiness exists within all living things.||Striving for outer abundance and worth. Abundance is past or future. It needs to be created through using Earth’s resources to create inanimate things.|
|Non-duality and non-judgment.||Duality and labels.|
|Oneness, unity, benefit of the whole.||Benefit of the self, competition, separation.|
|Each person is a spiritual being. Our worth is eternal and defined by Spirit. We are all equal in Spirit.||Each person is a material being. Our worth is determined by other men, our successes or failures, our buying and selling, our popularity and other external factors.|
|Peace, stillness, surrender, centeredness, and calm.||Chaos, scatteredness, over-activity, anxiety, need for control.|
|Vitality, joy, one’s cup is eternally full.||Depression, burnout, overwhelm, exhaustion, one’s cup is never quite full.|
|Ascension, rising above form.||Materialism, clinging to form.|
|Oneness with nature and appreciation for the miracle within life. Seeing how blessed we are with all Nature provides.||The destruction of nature. Instead of being respected, Nature is to be used and abused as a means to an end that disrespects her. Overabundance turns into pollution and waste within our environment as we find we need to produce more and more inanimate things to fulfill us.|
|No real time. Living in present moment. Free of rush.||Outcome focus. Living in future and past. Not enough time. Rush.|
|Humility and equality.||Pride and the need to be better than others. Desire for power, control, fame, and/or status.|
|Living from heart. All feelings are okay. Feeling our feelings has a healing effect.||Living from mind. The need to control or suppress thoughts and feelings that are perceived as negative. Feelings are feared rather than respected.|
|Actualized love: love in action and love that is responsible. Prayer is a walk of life.||Conceptualized love: love in thought only and which results in care-less-ness. Superficial thoughts and prayers with no substance because they are not backed by lifestyle and action.|
|Concepts of price tags and ownership are seen as illusion. Everything is free. Nothing and no one owns us and likewise we cannot own anything or anyone else.||Concepts of price tags and ownership are seen as real and necessary for survival. Therefore, out of fear of loss and lack there results pursuance of copyrights, a focus upon ownership, attitudes of non-sharing, as well as the treating of life and others as entities to buy from or sell / market to. The world and others own us and we own others and the world.|
|Truth focus. Material life is an illusion. Focus is upon manifesting love and truth.||Illusion focus. Material life is real and important. Focus upon manifesting illusions.|
Figure 1. Accepted Spiritual Truth versus Prescribed Lifestyle
Figure 1 is a chart of some of the contradictions that stand out to me. The left side of the chart pertains to what many individuals within the new age community consider to be a reflection of spiritual truth. It is how we define and discuss our spiritual essence. The right side of the chart expresses the societal lifestyles and practices that we, within the same new age community, tend to not only live by but to espouse and promote; especially through abundance-centered philosophies that focus on what can be manifested externally.
This chart is not meant to foster judgment, nor is it meant to assign individuals to one camp or the other. Its purpose is to help people awaken and begin to question current Western world spiritual philosophies in new ways. In fact, I do not believe we have to rigidly live by the spiritual principles that are listed on the left side of the chart. I do not even believe it is fully possible to do so within our current consciousness or understanding. However, I do believe that we can give ourselves permission to let go of actively pursuing the goals on the right side of the chart, especially if we understand that this pursuit will not ultimately help us find inner peace, self-worth, or happiness. The ideal would be to find a middle ground so we do not have to live split within ourselves.
|Spirit-Centered Living||Material-Centered Living|
|Lifestyle based on unity consciousness, increased self-sufficiency and freedom.||Lifestyle based on separation consciousness, dependency and competition.|
|Interdependent communities arising based on shared responsibilities, land sharing, co-operation, and use of off-grid power sources and barter systems. Less reliance on corporations and banks. More control over purity of food sources and of necessities. Greater health.||Communities which are dependent upon culture, norms, governments, laws, external constructs and institutions (including banks, toxic power sources, corporations). Less control over purity of food sources and necessity. Poorer health and potential sensitivities to chemicals and impurities.|
|Living maturely. Less need for toys. Less dependency upon parenting via government, external power sources and institutions. Instead there exists interdependency, self-sufficiency and responsibility. There is less blaming of parental structures for problems within the community because the community and its members take responsibility and are motivated toward being part of the solution.||Living childlike and helpless. Need for toys and to be externally provided for. Dependent upon external ‘parents’ (governments and institutions) to guide and provide. No responsibility. Blames parental institutions for what it cannot take responsibility for. Is too dependent and helpless to be motivated toward being part of the solution when it comes to societal issues.|
Figure 2: Spirit Centered versus Material Centered Living
Figure two offers two different types of lifestyle. However, I do not suggest there are only two, these are simply two extremes.
The spirit-centered lifestyle, as shown on the left side of the chart, may seem unattractive to many of us because we have been so heavily conditioned to enjoy and accept our child-like dependency. I will discuss more concerning the effects of certain patterns of living in later chapters. I merely include this figure here so that readers can envisage an alternative ‘ideal’ when it comes to our lifestyles that we could work toward, if we wish to live lifestyles which are in more alignment with our spiritual ideals of love, harmony and peace.
Understanding the Cause
Why are split philosophies followed and served? I see a few main themes:
1. Rationalization of lifestyle—rationalizing the split.
2. Denial of the fruits being created within nature.
3. Angelic, guru, or paranormal reinforcement.
4. A belief that we have come here to serve two purposes: a spiritual purpose and a life purpose.
1. Rationalization of Lifestyle–Rationalizing the Split
Since there are so many of us who feel a need to cling to ingrained and habitual patterns of dependency, thinking, and lifestyle, it is only natural that we would have to either rationalize or deny a philosophical split in order for our ego to survive. After all, our ego’s sole concern is its own propagation and maintenance. Not that I believe having an ego is wrong. I am all for embracing the ego with unconditional love.
Even Jesus warned us many times that we could not serve two masters. He told us that if we worshiped one, the other would become our enemy. I believe that he was talking about the pursuit of split philosophies. In Matthew 6:14, NIV, it states:
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Jesus offered us a way to save ourselves from our material illusions by making the ultimate sacrifice: his flesh. He wanted to teach man that his flesh was not his Spirit; our material existence is not the truth of what God is, or what his sons are. Our Spirit will not suffer, if we give up serving what is illusion in order to pursue truth.
To me, it makes sense that Jesus may have hoped we could learn from his sacrifice how to stand in the light of our truth without allowing the world, its laws, conventions or values to compromise it. In a completely nonviolent fashion, Jesus did not back down from his accusers. He stood up for what he believed, even though doing so threatened his physical life. After the sacrifice of his flesh, he ascended to demonstrate that his Spirit was not—nor ever could be—destroyed, and that his body could be resurrected and mended (though there are theories he never fully “died” in the flesh on the cross).
This course of action is again demonstrated within the book of Galatians. This book of the Bible consists of a letter from Paul to the Christians in southern Galatia. In this letter, Paul appeals to citizens not to live their lives in ways that make the sacrifices of Jesus meaningless. Paul petitions them to turn away from a ‘yoke of slavery.’ Citizens no longer need to feel enslaved to the ways and customs of man, as Jesus has shown them the way out of this limited way of living and being. They could now live serving Spirit, rather than man and flesh. According to Galatians 5:16, NIV, Paul states:
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.
This is the very dilemma that the world presently faces concerning its spirituality. The spiritual man lives split because he fears giving up the material world; he fears experiencing potential pain, sacrifice, loss, suffering, or death if he does. As long as he lives this way, he is bound to the world and everything in it; he lives his life blocked from bringing his material lifestyle into greater alignment with his spiritual beliefs.
Such a man may rationalize that he cannot fully devote himself to a more spiritually aligned lifestyle or path because he must serve and obey governments; he must buy from corporations that wield unruly power, and which may not have ethical intentions toward man or the planet; he must seek approval; and he must do what is deemed right according to various customs, norms, religions, or cultures. Rationalizing this, the split forms and becomes almost unnoticeable, since it is accepted everywhere and by everyone within the world of form. This is why I believe we speak of Jesus as a savior for our world. He preaches that there is another way to live, if we follow and believe in him.
Instead of following his example, or realizing that this example could be the ‘savior’ that we are waiting for, we seem to be holding out for another kind of savior to arrive. Revelations states that the next time Jesus comes he will take care of all of our problems with corruption, idolatry (i.e. worship of objects), harlotry (i.e. the selling of self for money), perversion of nature, and false prophecy for us; possibly because we have not learned how to do this for ourselves.
Others within the new age community await a mysterious process that will save us via angelic or extraterrestrial attunement, DNA activations, acceleration in our vibration or consciousness, etc. There are so many new age or channeled theories regarding how Earth will move past a self-destructive phase, or how we will ‘ascend’ it, that it is hard to know what to believe in or follow.
Atheists, for their part, have completely given up hope and have just resigned that there is no way to be saved at all from the customs, corruption, earth degradation, consumerism, norms, and governments that we unquestioningly obey and serve.
Instead of being helpless, however, we could see what Jesus offered us requires an ability to surrender what we cherish concerning comfort, ease and material things; (which he did speak of this, as did the Buddha). However, this is considered undesirable or even frightening to our egos. While Jesus already taught us how to save ourselves, ideally, we want to be ‘saved’ through an external process or divine act. We want the changes to be made easy for us. It is hard for us to conceive that our being saved or not relies upon our acquiring Faith that we no longer need to serve other guardians, nor the muddy pond:
Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. -Galatians 3:23, NIV
Then, add to our rationalizations a note of insanity, when we talk about having no fear. Yet, our whole lives and what we serve are evidence that we are ruled by fear. We are too afraid of what we could lose of the flesh if we seek to be free of the false guardianship that we obediently, and out of fear, submit to (i.e. of governments, taxes, corporations, polluting habits and lifestyles, environmental carelessness, etc.). We feel that we are resigned to sit in the mud puddle of what has been sown and reaped—by way of toxic outcomes resulting from our lifestyles—while telling ourselves, “I will not be afraid of this.”
This ability to rationalize, deny, serve, and adhere to two opposing philosophies becomes fully possible and even appears to be sane; it lives, thrives, and counts upon everyone doing or following the same ideals, without questioning why or what is really to be gained. This pattern is repeated over time, passed down from our ancestors, and allowed to become more and more deeply ingrained to the point where it becomes automatic and unquestioned. Our rationales become overlooked and hidden, and we can no longer see them in order to examine them. Our thoughts of powerlessness, fear, and of never being enough end up perpetually hidden beneath the mundane.
Because life is still, after all, a dream (see chapter 2), what we collectively dream makes no difference to the Spirit dwelling within us. It is thus completely safe to challenge our assumptions about our current norms and lifestyles as Jesus did, if we so choose. We may begin by asking questions, such as:
- Why are we collectively dreaming of our own destruction?
- Why are concepts that run contrary to deeper truths and philosophies accepted and incorporated into our dreams and goals for ourselves?
If we allow ourselves to go far enough down the rabbit hole, we may discover deeper truths about the muddy pond that we unconsciously adhere to. Man does not have to rely on feeling, at a subconscious level, that he is helpless and has already been defeated by a pond of mud. He doesn’t have to accept the idea that he can’t live both the dream of life and the dream of spirit in alignment with One intention: peace and love. Peace and love are fully possible, because peace and love are what the Lotus is, and thus what we are.
2. Denial of the Fruits Being Created within Nature
Because all is One and Mother Nature is the perfect mirror, through her, a bigger picture starts to unfold. She begins to display that something is amiss, by the deleterious effects that humans are causing her bounty to suffer: the exhaustion of resources, depletion, excesses, destruction, pollution, etc. Even Ghandi, according to Pyarelal, within his book Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase (1958 and later editions), is cited to have expressed in 1947:
What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another. Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
Of course, then, people are driven to deny or rationalize even what is happening in nature. The fruits of all we sow in nature are viewed as an expected part of living materially, and of having to serve and obey the ways, rules, and conventions of mankind. Because the problem is seen to be external instead of internal, it stands to reason that the mere mortals who are obeyed and followed are the ones to blame for the problems of the world. These leaders, though lost and deeply unconscious themselves, end up the very individuals who are looked toward for providing all of the solutions; as if lost souls could possibly solve the problems of the world.
Languishing in a deep state of unconsciousness and disempowerment, those who live psychologically split cannot understand how they are part of the creation and maintenance of such structures. They cannot see how their own servitude and blind obedience to certain facets of society and lifestyle have manifested various effects. They cannot understand that only when they begin to change from within, will the outer structures align with serving what they truly are, in all their holiness, rather than simply offering a reflection of their illusion-based creations.
3. Angelic, Guru, or Paranormal Reinforcement
How many times have I heard from others, “My guides or guru told me,” “Such and such author agrees that…” or, “The angel channeling I read said…” as a rationale for conforming to the world and its dysfunction?
The problem with all these assertions, as with anything else in life, is that they have to be understood at the right time, in the right place, and in the right way. Additionally, the information we receive from any guru, channel, or other source can be influenced by our own ego, beliefs, and attachments. Likewise, individuals offering words of wisdom or channeled messages may also be influenced by their egos, beliefs, or attachments. It becomes difficult to know what is really and objectively the truth, unless we have entirely freed ourselves from our egos.
What I do know is that those individuals with whom my message resonates may find themselves experiencing similar insights to mine. Those who do not find that my message resonates with them may gravitate toward other books that encourage them to believe something else. In the end, we cannot have anything exist within our energy sphere that does not resonate with our own energy and belief system, at the time.
One particular precept from the Bible that I like to follow is to recognize the truth by its fruits. For, healthy fruits cannot grow from a poisonous tree. Thus, if a prophecy, tradition, lifestyle, or philosophy breeds destruction within ourselves, nature, or our collective world, then I look to see what is missing from such a philosophy or way of life. If what is being offered cultivates peace from the individual level to the collective level, leaving gentle and loving footprints upon the earth, then this is what I will hold dearer within my heart.
Not only did the bible discuss the concept of fruits, but Siddhartha Gautama Buddha is cited within The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom (as translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita, 1985) to have used this same terminology of fruit, trees and seeds in several places. For example, according to verse 164, Buddha states:
Whoever, on account of perverted views, scorns the Teaching of the Perfected Ones, the Noble and Righteous Ones — that fool, like the bamboo, produces fruits only for self destruction.
Furthermore, while counseling Kalamas of Kesaputta, regarding the uncertainty and doubt they felt about which Brahmans and monks were speaking the truth within their doctrines and which were lying, Buddha gave his criteria for accepting or rejecting doctrine. In the Kālāma Sutta (as translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 1994), Buddha tells Kalamas:
Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to harm and to suffering — then you should abandon them.’
Within the same Sutta, Buddha offers criteria regarding what doctrines to accept as true:
…don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.
4. We Have Come Here to Have Two Purposes–A Spiritual Purpose and a Life Purpose
Another form of rationalization that I often hear people use is, “It is okay if the way I am living my material life is out of alignment with my spiritual purpose, because we all come here with two purposes: a spiritual purpose and a life purpose as well.” I once lived by this rationalization, until the truth of how this caused a split within my life was revealed.
Yes, we may use various tools to interpret our life path and lessons. Such tools may include horoscopes, past life readings, palm readings, numerology, etc., which their interpretations appear to offer us a material purpose for our incarnated existence. Because the way we use these interpretations may end up supporting the duality and separation that we are experiencing in our lives, we may hang onto them thinking that this is what is required of us, or that they offer a ‘lesson’ that we need to learn. (Using these tools in an alternative way—in order to see our way out of the muddy pond—will be discussed in other chapters of this book.)
Unfortunately, the more we attempt to cope with all of the manifested dualities, contradictions, and pressures arising from clinging to what we feel is expected of us, the more we may find secondary issues begin to arise concerning our emotions, relationships, the environment, corporate abuses, etc. The rationale then becomes, “Oh, just deny all that ‘negative’ stuff and focus on Love.” Which love? Do we mean a love that can only express itself superficially and mentally, because in order for us to survive within our contemporary lifestyles we have to go along with what is contrary to love, and what destroys life? Or, do we mean a love that transcends the superficial by expressing itself through loving actions and lifestyles which honor life, which care about the benefit of the whole (rather than just the self), and which cherish all living things?
The problem with such types of denial is that even the Law of Attraction and the way it is usually taught creates split purposes. We focus upon and choose to be accountable only for what we manifest within our personal lives. We do not apply the same philosophy to our effect upon the greater world. We do not even wish to look at the big picture. To look at it is somehow connected to fear, and fear is deemed wrong. Any discussion regarding a state of ‘dis-ease’ that is rampantly manifesting itself within our lifestyles and ecology is considered taboo and quickly hushed.
In fact, I have been admonished at times, when bringing up world issues, and told, “Do not focus upon the ‘negatives’ because thinking about them will create them!” These statements are based upon distorted Law of Attraction theories which imply that the reason natural disasters and an increased potential for world devastation have manifested, or could potentially get worse, is because too many people are focusing on the negative reality of the environment coming to harm.
If only manifestation worked that simply. I prefer to see that there are thoughts and mantras lying underneath the ‘manifested’ destruction of our environment that reflect our subconscious or unconscious thought that life has little value; it isn’t worth caring about; it isn’t worth protecting; it isn’t even worth looking at. Add to this, what we most cherish are anti-life objects and things. We call all of our inanimate acquisitions ‘abundance,’ while true treasure all around us is wasted and willfully polluted. All of this is seen as okay, of course, as long as we can benefit from owning and producing various commodities. In this way, the sowing of anti-life seeds (i.e. via behaviors, lifestyles, thoughts, desires, and the work of our hands), will reap an anti-life tree. Don’t you think?
(Perhaps we could all learn how to be better gardeners.)
It is stated in Revelations 9:20, NIV:
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
Examined in another way, we cannot heal, nor send our love to, what we cannot acknowledge was the work of our hands, minds, and compulsive desires. In fact, consider the popular healing modalities that help us to look at the same kinds of symbols, or dis-ease (e.g. exhaustion, depletion, toxicity), as they might exist within our individual bodies, minds, and auras. Through such healing modalities, we are allowed to examine these conditions in order to take accountability for, and heal the thoughts or beliefs, which lay underneath the surface. So, it only makes sense that we can apply these same techniques toward a bigger picture. We can learn to appreciate that there is a bigger body (i.e. the earth) and a bigger mind (i.e. the collective consciousness) that operate within the same metaphysical laws and boundaries as everything else.
It is no longer necessary within this day and age to deny what manifests on a greater scale. We can instead take accountability for any small part we might play. We can make our love more real and expansive. This involves moving beyond our current attitudes, however. For, currently, in place of accountability there blossoms a superficial form of love; one in which we tell ourselves to be love and to deny all fear, because intellectually we do understand that we are love and that fear is illusion. Regrettably, through our backward attempt to follow these principles, we end up living our lives in fear instead of love, while thinking the opposite is true. We also block ourselves from being able to lovingly recognize the various collective and existential fears that are preventing us from developing lifestyles that can serve a more love-abundant cause.
Many new-agers thus communicate a confusing and contradictory message to the world. Such a message, if verbalized, might sound something like this, “Dualities are manifested via our striving to consciously create what our egos label ‘successful,’ ‘positive’ or ‘good.’ However, when a creation turns out to be something that was never consciously intended, and when on a larger scale it has a ‘negative’ impact, then we say that it has to be denied as if it does not exist [in case our fear or thoughts manifests a worse case of it]. The only manifestations that we should focus upon are the ones that occur within our personal lives which our egos deem as ‘positive.’”
In truth, all is illusion; both what we deem we want (i.e. the positive), and what we deem we do not want (i.e. the negative). Additionally, what we apply to our personal lives we must apply to our world, and vice versa. Otherwise, it makes no sense, and it implies that certain metaphysical laws or spiritual truths only apply when they are convenient, wanted, and when someone or something else can be put in charge or blamed when things get messy.
If our collective manifestations bring up unpleasantness or an awareness of imbalance, it is safe to take a peek at what emotions or fears are coming up, and to try and understand why. We do not have to live our lives in denial and fear. This would only be true if what we identified made us unworthy, rather than simply unconscious. The truth still remains that no matter what manifestations we make of our lives, we are always worthy, safe, and loved.
Bridging The Split
The lotus discovers it is a lotus through its own growth and unfolding, which such an unfolding cannot be forced, it merely happens through the bloom’s own awakening. Once awakened, the bloom then gains the ability to know its own reflection as separate from the muddied pond upon which it floats…
What can we do about this split we serve? How can we live in more alignment with the truth of who we are as spiritual beings within our earthly, material dimension? While I cannot speak for any true process, I’ve applied the following principles to my own life:
1. You Will Need or Want Something, Until You Do Not Need or Want It Anymore
In the The Alpha and the Omega, Vol. 10 (1978), Osho is quoted as stating:
So pleasure seems to be a trick of desire: to trick you into pain. First the painful will drop, and then you will be able to see that the pleasure is illusory, unreal, a dream. 99.9 percent of desires will disappear through understanding, and then the final happens. It happens simultaneously: 100 percent of desires disappear, and the original mind arises in a single moment, not as cause and effect, but simultaneous, together.
This statement resonates with what I feel I have learned up to now: we have free will, so we will always have a choice of what we want our life purpose to be.
A second truth that I have learned: we will have or want something, until we do not need to have or want it anymore. It will cease to offer us any benefit or purpose.
We can truly have whatever we want in life, including any life purpose or dream. And, the more that we become conscious dreamers, the more we may experience an awakening process toward:
- seeing the dualities that we are creating
- seeing what is manifesting on a larger scale
- seeing our role, however small, in what is manifesting on that larger scale
- seeing how what is manifesting is being affected by what or who we choose to serve
As we continue to awaken to these actualities, we may even find that what we thought was our life purpose begins to change.
As an example, in 2006, I was just beginning to receive information from an energy that I knew as Archangel Gabriel. I asked this angel about my romantic love situation. At that time, I wanted to experience the passion and devotion I thought a loving romantic bond could offer. This is what I wrote down through automatic writing:
For a little while longer, romantic love will appeal to you. You still operate within the boundaries and structures that having a romantic love has to offer. There are things you can learn about yourself through your relationships. However, relationships are not the truth. Seeking without and into another causes pain and can pull you farther away from the Self.
I did not really understand this message at the time, because I could not imagine my life without having or seeking a love relationship to define me as love-worthy. Seeing the channeled message now—after coming to a point in my life where I really do not feel I will ever need another romantic relationship—the message makes more sense to me.
So, I now believe that the Truth or ‘Secret’ lies not in anything we have, own, or experience within the material world. It lies with understanding that we will continue to materially need and want something until we simply do not need or want it anymore—and do not need to control our minds and thoughts in an attempt to receive, avoid, or acquire it.
2. Dealing with Dualities
Overcoming duality is a process of beginning to see where the good or positive overlaps with the bad or negative, and the shades of gray in between. These shades of gray are what I like to refer to as ‘isness,’ i.e. when something is not deemed one duality or another, it simply ‘is.’
The negative things or emotions we run away from are not necessarily negative, except within a mind that is afraid of pain. Even the man-made destruction that is happening to the earth’s environment is not necessarily negative, except within the mind that is afraid of pain (i.e., of being negatively affected). This is because the environment is just the environment. It is simply reacting to a cause and having an effect. In fact, some people perceive that environmental and other global disasters can be a ‘good’ thing. How can global disaster be good, you may ask? If extreme enough, we could experience a collapse of all of our cherished systems and economies. This would force us to face our fears of loss. Mankind could be freed in catalytic ways from various oppressive dependencies, relationships, habits, governments, systems, etc.
In similar fashion, what we may consider as ‘good’ might not necessarily be something we need to run to or acquire. Good things are only considered good within a mind that is focused on wanting—a form of insecurity resulting from fear of lack. Additionally, what some might consider good, others might see in a less favorable light. (See chapter 5 for examples.)
The truth is, if anything can be perceived as both positive and negative, then defining it as one polarity or the other is based on misunderstanding; which I’m using the term anything to include all of our emotions, states, manifestations, losses, conditions, experiences, ego, etc.
While a perception of duality will still exist for us until our minds decide that we do not need it anymore, we can still allow ourselves to embrace an understanding that beyond the dualities, all that truly exists are conditions of ‘isness.’ Isness does not need to be denied, run from, chased after, or even adored, except within a mind that desires to take such action, until it does not desire to anymore.
3. Neither Force nor Perfection Is the Way
While I do believe that we will need certain realities until they do not appeal to us anymore, I do not believe that we can force this process through sheer willpower. Even a mental orientation toward non-duality is not something we can force. Awakening and change can only come through stillness, awareness, and being ready to let go of something in order to experience a void. I love one of Eckhart Tolle’s quotes from A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2006, p. 73) which states:
The ego isn’t wrong; it’s just unconscious. When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it. Don’t take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh. How could humanity have been taken in by this for so long? Above all, know that the ego isn’t personal. It isn’t who you are. If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego.
While we cannot always disengage from an emotional attachment to a certain person, belief, desire, or thing—including an outcome we may want—we can choose whether or not to overindulge ourselves.
Sometimes, all that is necessary is to allow awareness to filter in and for our intention to be unwavering, even if for a while we do waver a bit. I still partake of duality, but the more I allow awareness of my lotus nature to filter in, the more it has a filtering effect; more so than if I struggled against the various conditions, emotions, and states that I was experiencing. What I learned most from Emotional Freedom Technique (see glossary) is that what we are aware of, and what we can love and accept about ourselves, cannot control us. What we run away from and deny often will.
Letting go of what we fear, and letting go of a focus on outcomes, must come in its own time and its own way, the same way one would have to mourn a broken heart if one truly felt broken-hearted. This is not the same approach as ignorance. Ignorance allows no awareness of the split to filter in and the ignorant person must continue a life of obsessing and wanting. A better approach is to become conscious of the split, allowing it to mend naturally as shifts in our wants and needs take place. Everything within our consciousness must happen within its own timing. We see this timing expressed throughout nature. For example, a flower cannot bloom in a cold winter. It must wait for the warmth of spring.
Here is another part of the channeling from Gabriel that stresses this point of letting go of force:
AAG: You do not have to try so hard nor understand it all. Instead, allow yourself to be yourself, in the moment. Know your beauty, your worth… from a Heavenly perspective that transcends form. Venture into the void. Be at peace. Know your destiny and that all happens for a reason.
Me: What is our destiny?
I am not sure man needs to drastically pursue either side of the split absolutely. If we did, it is likely the ego would try to predominate. I completely believe what Buddha taught in regard to helping mankind find a middle way—a term Buddha used within his first teaching, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which referred to a path of moderation between extremes of sensual self-indulgence and self-mortification. We can use this middle way to gently and lovingly dissolve splits or disharmony within our world and within ourselves. In fact, when I think of what could change the entire world, it is really all about simplicity—the path to true peace. I will discuss this more in chapter 10.
In summary, in order to try to deal with—or justify—a split, mankind must rationalize that he possesses both a spiritual self and a material self. Each self has opposing needs, goals, and desires. He must further rationalize that the material self must meet its needs through the current structure of the material world, and its systems and dependencies. He must rationalize that pursuing such duality is still ‘spiritual.’
Through observing the ego without denying it, or attempting to force it to be another way, Truth can then have an opportunity to filter into the consciousness in order to enlighten and transform it. I really do believe that our egos are not our enemies, nor are our thoughts, personalities, or fears. The more we can see them as friends and allies, while detaching from them enough to find them amusing, then the more choice we can experience in who to be or what to serve, if anything.
In addition, the Law of Attraction, when not used to serve the split, can help us understand that everything which manifests around us, including various fruits within Mother Nature herself, can be used for our own enlightenment—if we can see ourselves through her mirroring process and how we truly are One and Holy.
Where Do I Start?
I offer only what is my own path, as I know there may be others. So, in essence, this book is a culmination of various articles I have written on the path that I am taking myself. Chapters are organized to allow the reader to progress through various stages toward awakening to our lotus nature:
Stage 1: The Lotus petals begin to open. A sleeping lotus recognizes that it has been a non-lucid dreamer within the pond of life.
- The Dream of Life (chapter 2)
Stage 2: The lotus petals begin to open a little more. An awakening lotus becomes more lucid concerning the various levels of consciousness and thought that affect the pond.
- The Law of Attraction – Its Real Secret (chapter 3)
- The Various Levels of Consciousness & Thought (chapter 4)
Stage 3: The lotus petals open even further. The tips of the petals draw closer to the surface of the pond it floats upon. The mud and slime is seen more clearly and less mistaken for the Self. Illusions can be seen for what they are, without judgment.
- Functioning In a Dysfunctional World (chapter 5)
- Illuminati Conspiracies – As Without, So Within (chapter 6)
Stage 4: The lotus is now more than half-way open. As it matures, it seeks its own identity and rules itself. It no longer needs the rules or parental structures of the muddy pond to tell it who and what it must become.
- Do We Serve the Lotus or Do We Serve the Pond? (chapter 7)
- True Abundance – Finding Our Innate “Enoughness” (chapter 8)
- The Non-duality of Our Emotions & Experiences (chapter 9)
Stage 5: The lotus is almost fully open. It knows it is not the muddy pond on which it floats. Its dream of life becomes more lucid, and the lotus becomes more conscious toward maturing into a more holistic embodiment of purity, truth and love.
- Earth Feng Shui – The Lucid Dreamer Dreams of Peace & Love (chapter 10)
Stage 6: The lotus is fully open and understands its true nature as one that is eternal, beautiful and whole. It understands it is not the dream of life, just as much as it understands it is not the pond and its scum. It floats in the muddy pond, but knows not to become lost within it. It understands that the dreams it dreams are less important than its knowing of its Self.
- Releasing the Need for Dreaming & Creating a New Mantra for Life (chapter 11)