I’ve been working on my next book, which is about developing emotional and spiritual freedom, and the more I delve into it, the more it seems to revolve around the following dichotomy (I’m quoting myself here):
For an ordinary person, life is about social validation and material success.
For a spiritual seeker, it’s about finding inner peace and true freedom.
How do you effect balance between these two pulls? Divine Consciousness is paradoxical, hiding from and seeking itself through each one of us, but the mind turns this into internal contradictions. We want to experience the world but we’re not willing to face the challenges or pain such experience involves. Without pain, we wouldn’t awaken to a higher reality, because we wouldn’t question our choices in search for the meaning of our suffering.
Still, we want everything to be easy and everyone to meet our needs, because we have a self-centered ego-mind pulling us away from the flow of love with expectations and judgments. You’ve heard me say that your life is a mental movie within the dream of Consciousness. That your ego-mind creates the illusion of separation from others. That to be happy you must observe and detach from it.
Or perhaps you’ve also read elsewhere that we are One and your perception of duality is a delusion. It seems pretty straight forward, at least conceptually, so why beat a dead horse by bringing this up time and again? Because to avoid getting discouraged and wanting to give it up, we need to be reminded that the path to freedom is a long, ongoing journey that goes in the opposite direction of the world and collective mainstream.
Since this is a play of Consciousness—that is, a game of self-awareness—the more discouraged you are, the more you try to hide or avoid things, or the more you want to give up, the longer and more painful the process becomes. The opposite is also true: the humbler and more surrendered you are, the easier it is for things to realign into place without too much drama. So it’s important to ask yourself, what is your life really about? Are you looking for social validation and material comfort or are you here for a deeper, more permanent fulfillment that doesn’t rely on external things?
You don’t have to renounce the world and live in a cave in the Himalayas to find happiness; you must renounce your own ego-mind, not your responsibilities or the challenges placed before you, since you are your life and nothing in it is separate from you. Are you willing to stop fooling yourself and relinquish the ego hindering your inner freedom, no matter what your circumstances? In other words, can you let go of the expectations, guilt, fear, and anger at the root of your suffering?
Now, not everyone is a spiritual seeker or yogi (yoga means ‘union with God’). Most people are pretty comfortable with a sensory perception of life, unaware of their ego-mind and how it instigates drama after drama to trap them in the wounded child archetype. They may find solace in religion, but they continue to justify their negative reactions and dwell in their suffering, because they don’t understand it; they project their shortcomings and blame others for what causes them pain, even a superior force ‘testing’ them. If they don’t realize they’re trapped in themselves, what is there to seek freedom from?
Can You Be In the World But Not Of It?
As a spiritual seeker, you must take full spiritual responsibility for your life-movie. You understand that, although often uncomfortable or unpleasant, this is the only way to reclaim the power to change anything—from within—because it’s all your own doing. Both your past karma and your unconscious decisions create the situations you must go through. You must accept that you have no control and stop fighting your own life or questioning Consciousness (God) within and around you.
Yep, those people you’re so angry at, they’re vehicles of the Divine too, reflecting something you need to learn about yourself. Spirituality is self-knowledge, and self-knowledge is self-love dissolving the ego-mind that makes you identify with and hold on to your pain. Ego does this through your sense of otherness, to prevent you from looking within and taking responsibility for your negative tendencies of thought and perception. But without responsibility, humility, and love, there’s no transformation.
Nothing in this world is permanent; life itself is constant change, and your mind is fluctuation as well. In fact, the ego-mind is nothing but past mental energy coloring one desire after another, jumping from one emotional state to another, one identification to another. Holding on to things and people, rather than to the flow of life, is the real cause of your suffering. In this sense, letting go of expectations means freedom: accepting things and people as they are, and learning to love without attachments.
You can’t experience this plane of existence without an ego consciousness, so the ego-mind weaves the karmic unfolding of your life-movie, hiding behind your desires and thoughts and emotions. It takes the form of attachments, expectations, and fears. It becomes anger and lust and greed, in all possible shades and sizes, to disconnect you from yourself. However, it also gives you individual experiences as opportunities to individuate, to discover what you’re made of and what you life is really about.
Ego is repetitive, because it fixates on the same issues over and over, tightening your emotional knots. This gives you an advantage once you start paying attention and recognizing how it revolves around old wounds, while disguising them as new, so you may stop investing in them but without suppressing your feeling. Then you can choose love and freedom rather than outdated emotions robbing you of new possibilities in your present moment and for the future.
But it is also relentless, and it holds a shape-shifting quality that makes it very elusive. Whenever you think you’ve got it, it colors your perception to remain in control, hiding in plain sight. You must be even more relentless in your self-exploration, without neglecting your duty in the world. Avoidance reinforces ego, since it’s the opposite of awareness. So contact me today to gain clarity about your life-movie and put to sleep what hinders your spiritual growth!
© 2019 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.