I want to talk today about our relationship with life and what that means for how we experience it.
I’ve talked about ego and trust a few times in the last year, but I want to develop that so that we can really unpack the implications of it in our lives.
This is not about trust in other humans, this isn’t about trust in our abilities, this is about our trust in the goodness of our fundamental essence, and indeed life.
This is important, because when we truly feel that, our consciousness becomes more and more connected with the deeper nature of existence. Whether you wish to call that Nature, the Soul, Universal Consciousness or whatever label feels right and true for you. The directionality is key.
However, when we don’t feel that, our consciousness moves in the direction of individual identifications. What some call ego.
Now in a more sophisticated debate, it would be necessary to unpack the different layers of our being, and how ego really fits into this, but that takes time and deep insight and is WAY beyond the remit of this post, which I can already feel is going to be a beast (strap in and grab a cuppa!).
However, it\’s fair to say this process of ‘ego’ identification kicks in during infancy, as a result of our helplessness, physical embodiment, and conceptual development. These things are a fact of life on earth, so it’s inevitable to some extent, and actually, contains within it the possibility of total adorability, due to the unique expression of that consciousness\’s individual form and tendencies.
It is of course less adorable when those identifications become so strong that they dominate, or completely override our connection with the soul level.
This is fundamentally important because the psychic structure of our perceived identity then crystallises our sense of who we are, and what the nature of life and the universe is, and this becomes the lens through which we experience everything, and indeed through which we project ourselves out into the world.
Of course, there are many things that shape these psychic structures. Hurts, pains, traumas are one aspect of course. In most cases, they seriously affect our sense of trust. Feeling loved, understood, seen is also deeply important, because it gives us the safety to move towards the bigger, more expansive state.
The prevailing paradigms we are born into are also critical.
For a long time, religious thinking dominated our sense of the world, because it had buy-in from almost everyone, and when they\’re a part of the fabric of our culture, we adopt those ideas even if they don’t all make sense. But unfortunately, most of the major religions – filtered through the lenses of egoic men – tended to describe the world as a fearful place, where we needed the salvation of the Church/Mosque/Synagogue/Temple in order to give us safety (just trying to be inclusive y’all!).
It was an abominable recruitment strategy. I mean, it was bloody effective, but so is putting a gun to someone’s head. And in both cases, the amplification of fear draws that person into more and more limiting psychological structures that they then find almost impossible to escape from.
Now it’s interesting, because in some of the eastern idea bases that later got formulated into organised religions, the principle of karma exists. For those of us who’ve grown up in a world of heaven and hell, good and evil, right and wrong, we then find ourselves interpreting it as some kind of cosmic punishment, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. But hey, that’s another entire Pandora’s box!
Religion slowly got replaced by The Scientific Method as a means of understanding the world, which at least wasn’t laced with God-fearing prognostastions. However, it spent its entire history trying to downplay spiritual considerations (for totally understandable historical reasons), to the point of wilful ignorance. And what it has left us with, is this idea of a totally random universe. But at an existential level, that is just as psychologically disquieting as the notion of a God and a Devil, because now we’re totally on our own.
So whilst I have little sympathy for religion’s historical influence, it did at least keep open the possibility that there were unseen realities, and spiritual dimensions that we may not have been readily perceiving in everyday life. Science just said it was all nonsense, and so we largely closed the idea to such possibilities.
Now to be fair to science, it wanted some kind of proof, but its big error was assuming that there is one objective reality that could be measured with available equipment, and anything that lived outside of that model was not only ‘not understood’ it was quite frankly a quack proposition.
Alongside this we had philosophical discourses that became more and more disconnected from the possibility of deeper dimensions, and it seems they’ve become more and more closed the more time has passed.
And so when our emotions and our intellects are telling the same story, what do we do? We find ourselves totally identifying with our individualised psychic structures, and then as we grow, we wonder why we feel so unfulfilled, stuck, discontent.
Or maybe we don’t wonder at all. Maybe we find comfort in losing ourselves in busyness. In task orientation. In the distraction of our TVs and our phones. In gossip. In our goals. In well, anything really.
Sooner or later however, there is a questioning of whether this is really as good as it gets. Some may try and double down on the things that didn’t work, in the hope/thought/desperation that if they just try harder, then maybe that will resolve it. But it won’t. It will just exhaust you. And a tired nervous system is a numb nervous system. As so all you do is become even more disconnected.
However, there are ways to reverse the process, and move ourselves back towards the soul level.
The first of course is awareness. Acceptance. An honest (or at least a more honest) undertaking of what the actual reality is.
When you open yourself to perceiving and experiencing the belief or identification as just that – a pillar of belief rather than the self evident truth you previously took it for – it opens the way for an experiential upgrade.
This first step can certainly be greatly facilitated by meditation. It can be fascinating, startling, even shocking sometimes to realise that you were so consumed by a paradigm that you never even questioned it for a moment. You simply lived with that as part of the fundamental architecture of your life.
The second step is even more interesting, because in order to make way for meaningful progress, and indeed the infinity of goodness that is innately there, we need to let go of the limitations that prevent us from accessing that place of richness, and that can feel threatening, because we have become so identified with our beliefs, paradigms, viewpoints and our habits.
Just look at the way people react online when someone offers a perfectly cogent alternate view. They get absolutely bombed out by people who feel so insecure about their position, that their only option is to fight even harder for it, and often they will engage in mocking, abuse, bullying tactics to try and ‘erase’ the anomoly that has been presented.
Even before Facebook ruined our life experience (see previous blog on Finding Happiness) look at the way people got so worked up in political discourse. Or theology. We would rather make enemies of ‘the other’ than open ourselves up to the possibility that maybe the psychic construct we’ve been clinging to is inaccurate, because that then calls into question the entirety of our psychic structure’s relevance in keeping us ‘safe’.
The only way through is to sally forth with courage, bravery, willingness. To embrace the uncertainty. To step out of the comfort zone into the complete unknown.
This is the reason that you will never really make progress as a human being if you stay in your comfort zone – we actually need to shed our skin in order to grow our bodies and to keep them in the best possible condition. We cannot stay contained in a stagnant emotional body, and yet many of us are determined to stay locked inside of our childhood emotions (for example), because of the things we failed to process when we were younger. But in doing so, we become stuck.
And when you do, you start to realise that what your fears told you was dangerous, is actually ok. And if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, bit by bit you get more and more validation that it’s ok to surrender to life and possibility. It\’s ok to let go. To feel vulnerable. To flow. To Trust.
Tools, techniques and good guidance help of course. A lot. They’re even more useful for Step 2 than Step 1. A simple self help book is nice and all, but your concepts won’t help that much without experience of it, because your ability to trust is pre-conceptual.
With luck, or guidance, you will find yourself truly realising to the depths of your pre-conceptual being that the universe is good. That each and every human being has a fundamental essence that is good. That all that Original Sin and Random Universe stuff you were subtly indoctrinated with is laughably inaccurate. That no matter what happens, all will be fine. It will all work out. And work out well.
As time goes on, this connection, this Deep Trust becomes so innate it is now completely independent of external events. No person, event or circumstance can destroy you. Yes you may die, but it’s not the end of the world. You know with unshakeable knowledge that ‘it\’s not the end of my essence, it is simply the end of my body. I have a preference to live, and live as fully as possible, free from the constraints and limitations that have held me back for so long, but if the worst case scenario plays out, I will still be me. I will still be whole. I will still be complete.’
Now this is all well and good me saying this, but the only way for this to become your reality is to have experiential validation of it from the universe. And that’s why techniques are important. It’s also why good guidance helps, to help you avoid the blind alleys that waste so much precious time and energy, even if they ultimately become learnings.
That’s why, as we take you through the journey, and introduce you to next level techniques, we can open up the Pandora\’s box of spiritual wonder that awaits us all if we just open ourselves to it.
But it needs to be done in a gentle way, otherwise your ego and your fear snap back, and you get something called psychological reversal.
It’s why we don’t talk about overly spiritual stuff on our beginners course, because most people are just looking for phase one of well-being, which is to get rid of their stress. To make the practical aspects of life better.
And quite frankly, talk is cheap. I could spend hours, days, weeks giving spiritual lectures, but what’s the point? If people don’t have the techniques to experience these things and to see and feel just how real these more subtle aspects of being are, how are they going to connect with it? How are they going to embody it? How are they going to have the trust needed to let go of the irrelevant and redundant limitations and ego identifications if it’s just an idea? They’re not.
Instead, it’s just an exercise in spiritual masturbation that makes some folks feel good, and others feel very uncomfortable.
But for those who wish to take a deep dive? For those who feel inspired to open the doorway based on nothing more than intuition/curiosity/a willingness to dive into the unknown, well then your entire life destiny awaits you.
Before you know it, you find yourself happily jumping into the abyss of the unknown, knowing that there is more value in following those impulses of charm from deep within your being which you’re now connected to, and gently disregarding the noisier impulses of fear, greed and egoism that are desperate for you to listen to them!
And when that happens, your entire life journey becomes a spiritual one. It’s no longer a little window of spirituality you open up each day for a set number of minutes and then you spring back into the armour of your ego, trying to service your individual needs. Instead, that’s just your opportunity to plug in and recharge your connection, because modern life uses up a lot of battery!
It\’s not something you need to talk about. To wear on your sleeve to impress your friends, or to get validation from them. It\’s simply who you are at a deeper level. You can’t explain it to them, even if they’re interested. If it\’s not their lived reality, then you’re trying to explain a pre-conceptual experience via verbalised concepts. It is challenging and often futile.
Now I’ve attempted to at least allude to it here, knowing that to whatever degree meditation has opened you up to these possibilities, maybe it offers another breadcrumb in the Long and Winding Road of your pathway (Happy birthday Mr McCartney!), and I really hope it helps in some way. Equally it feels like a mere pittance when, with little effort at all, I can offer you infinity.
It’s a good job I trust that all will work out well, and that those who want infinity will know where to find it 😉