Are we willing to face the good and the bad within us?
I’ve been reading articles from those who seem to be a part of a (fairly) new demographic. The demographic (another group the GOP knows nothing about): middle to upper-middle class people who have been quietly and not so quietly engaged with the self-help and new-age spirituality movement.
This group of people are often thrilled (I’m basing this off of my past experience with this movement) to find a philosophy, which speaks to their inner thoughts and seems to point in a direction of personal fulfillment—and like a drug, they are hooked. They find classes. They see where their fav teacher is lecturing and try and get them to sign their book. They buy their CD’s and DVD’s. They get a yoga mat. They try meditation and tell their friends. They look and most importantly, talk the part of a spiritual being.
Some then (myself included), as they keep reading and going to classes, want to teach too. They might even start teaching classes. They start blogs and hope to publish articles. As I stated, I’ve been reading some of these articles written by this demographic and I’ve had an insight, which prompts this opinion: some of these writers seem not to write for clarity of their thoughts (what most writers do) and service toward others (what most teachers do), but instead for affirmation they are good people.
If I were to guess, I’d say a vast majority of seekers have opened up to their spiritual side, thanks to the new-age writers and teachers. They are then filled with images and ideas of light and love, which are sprinkled throughout the internet, classes, books and within social circles.
However, I am not noticing a genuine quality of goodness within these sprinklings—instead I am noticing conflict, force and quite honestly…bullshit.
I believe this is because there is a rumbling felt below the surface (of the bullshit) and this rumbling, instead of being faced, is being resisted, feared and sprinkled with words and phrases from the new-age movement. The rumblings are of darkness. This rumbling, then, is confusing, but just.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ Carl Jung
Let’s talk about the soul and don’t take my word for it; question what I’m saying—see if it resonates or not.
Inside the soul are layers. The superficial layer is: I’m good. I want to be good. I believe I am good and I want you to think I’m good too. Beneath this—rumbling, which echoes: I’m bad. I’m afraid I’m bad. I believe I might be bad and I’m scared you know I’m bad too.
Then, is where it gets good. Beneath these superficial layers is where we can play and discover. It takes concentration and above all, willingness. We have to want to be here, in this space, because here, is where that superficial drama above will be recognized for what it is and be put to rest.
Here, we discover what is behind our desires to want to be good and to be affirmed. We discover our bad. If we are really brave we will face how arrogant we are. Arrogance is a big one. Thanks to spiritual teacher and author, Marianne Williamson, I faced mine.
This lesson wasn’t offered in a book she wrote or a lecture she gave, but from actually meeting with her face-to-face. It was during this meeting, I realized how deep arrogance runs. Marianne and some of her adoring fans, became mirrors to my own arrogance. You see, I wanted to be a spiritual teacher and author too but I was afraid to put myself out there because I did not want to be seen as arrogant.
Turns out I was.
But my arrogance wasn’t the only issue; my fear of being arrogant was, also. My fear of being bad was crippling my desires and causing me to be full of bullshit too. I was trying not to be something I was. I was trying not to see something I had inside. This, if we continue the charade, is where we cease to grow and the bullshit prevails.
Spiritual teacher, Eknath Easwaran, says in the beginning of our spiritual journey we will face many Lilliputians—little interferences inside of us. But, eventually, we will face the giants. Arrogance is a giant. And, from what I’ve gathered, the new-age movement has given a lot of people an opportunity to face that giant. I hope that we do this, instead of using it to increase our arrogance, and continue the bullshit.
For instance, we now have the vocabulary to sound enlightened: I do yoga. I’m spiritual. I’m trying to be in the present moment. It’s about being compassionate. I recycle. None of this is wrong—but, there seems to be a disconnect, and beyond this, a great inner conflict. On the surface we show how enlightened we are but, we’ve not gone deep enough to encounter the dark spaces of our being.
Remember the layers—as we dive within them we will see how we play good. We will see how we resist the bad and try not to see it. If we go deeper, we will make connections, feel our feelings, face our fears, fight our Lilliputians and our giants. Then, we will begin to see our genuine goodness. And, the journey to this genuine goodness gives us the wisdom and perspective where we don’t need this goodness affirmed and we don’t need to defend any part of us, any longer.
We are free from all of that.
The spiritual journey is about seeing; the more we see, the more clarity we bring.
This is what we need to aim for: clarity.
Editor: Bryonie Wise
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