Thank you for the positive response to last week's post entitled, "Dead New Agers tell no tales." This is the continuation of that post. As the material sunk in and I spoke to several wise friends about it, more areas of discussion and exploration arose.
Number #6 Ego Inflation
Dr. Carl Jung warned us about this and so did the brilliant Buddhist lama and teacher, Chogyam Trungpa in his groundbreaking book, "Cutting through Spiritual Materialism." Here he writes, "The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality. Ego is constantly attempting to acquire and apply the teachings of spirituality for its own benefit. Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of ego's display, part of the grandiose quality of ego. We display them to the world and, in so doing, reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure as "spiritual" people." The world is full of these people. You see them whenever the Dalai Lama or another popular spiritual teacher lectures, in workshops you attend and at your yoga class. This has become a huge issue, especially in North America in recent years. Many upper and middle class people who have their material needs met go seeking the latest guru or teaching to make their lives complete. This is evidenced in the tragic events recently surrounding self-help guru James Arthur Ray and his followers. Just like a smart Ponzi scam operator will tell you, if you offer something special for an elite, in-crowd you are guaranteed success. As P.T. Barnum wisely said, "There is a sucker born every minute" and sadly, this also applies to the spiritual world. I have actually heard members of the spiritual community refer to outsiders/non-spiritually inclined folks as "little people," which was a bit shocking. If we are here to serve our fellow beings, getting into an us vs. them trip is not at all helpful. How are we part of the solution if we judge others in such a fashion? More EGO at work folks!
Delusion is another key element of ego inflation and the higher you rise, the more subtle it gets. The Buddhists refer to this state as the "Golden Handcuffs" where one is in a high "God Realm" and becomes lazy, indolent and smug. To me there is nothing sadder than to see a man or woman who walked their path with diligence and discipline for many years succumb to the temptations of ego through sexuality; which can manifest as infidelity and/or exploitation of young men or women putting their trust in an authority figure, abusing drugs and alcohol and list goes on and on.
Issue #7 Confusion of Spiritual Levels
Anyone that has been on a spiritual path has experienced different levels of awareness and consciousness. Whether you have gotten there through psychedelic experiences, shakti or meditation, they certainly do exist. There has been a lot of discussion about dimensions lately with the "Shift" happening upon our planet and the evolution from the 3D to a 5D reality. As some of you know, I am an Akashic Records reader and these records exist in 5D which is part of the reason why the work tends to be very accurate and healing on a mental(4D)and physical(3D)level. We can certainly all agree that we while we are in a physical body we have lessons and tasks to perform and we can't spend all of our time in the higher levels. We certainly wouldn't get anything done! We used to refer to these people that use obtuse metaphysical language and spend most of their time out of their body as "wind chimers" or "lily pad people." In all seriousness, spending big chunks of time out of body can not only be detrimental but can create serious problems. This can also be masking a hidden problem such as abuse or mental illness. The body can become an unsafe place to inhabit, and these folks seek refuge in the higher realms.
Ram Dass has some great teachings about this. He got to a place in meditation where he could see that it really IS all perfect, even the suffering and pain that exists. Most of us are not really there and pain is still pain to us. Yes we can understand that perhaps there is a teaching in it, but it is still not pleasant to go through. As I said in my previous post, sh*t is still sh*t, and many things in life are not pretty or fun. To try to put an "It's all good" philosophy in someone's face that is suffering not only lacks compassion and understanding, but it is simply not useful. One of my favorite teachers Pema Chodron has a great saying, "Start where you are." This is indeed something that we all must do and take into account of where other people are vibrating when you are interacting with them. Some people clearly cannot understand using high consciousness language and the meaning gets lost in translation.
So what can we do about these issues? It has been said that the age of the guru is over and as we move into the Aquarian Age who are being asked to seek our own wise council and be our own guru, so to speak. In the worlds of the wise Lama Yeshe, "Check up!" For those of us who do not operate under a spiritual teacher or lama, AWARENESS is the key factor. If you do not have a good personal BS detector, the best gift you can have is a good friend or mentor who will tell you the truth, and call you on your "stuff." Also, have a disciplined spiritual practice and stick with it! Meditation is a great tool and friend to show us the inner workings of our minds and thoughts, which we are wise to not take too seriously.
Are we using spiritual teachings to open our hearts to heal ourselves or are we just using it to escape the pain and discomfort in our lives? Are we growing more balanced and humble in our years of practice or just getting puffed up? We must constantly check in with ourselves and practice due diligence. As Chogyam has said, the path is very tricky and filled with many pitfalls and traps. If we get stuck we can seek the guidance of a wise mentor or friend.
In the end it really is all about us and the contents of our own minds and motivations. We must climb the mountain alone but when we do there are untold blessings for us and for others. The greatest gift we can offer the world is our own true nature which is expansive, compassionate and filled with joy.
Wishing you peace and starlight in these magical times. Namaste.