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Posts Tagged ‘Self’

Spark

Spark

What on earth keeps us going? What is it that gets us to the end of this, our roller-coaster ride that we call life. Of course ego claims the rights to our existence. We live in a dangerous world and ego has carried us over the line, like some Saving Private Ryan Marine type figure, exhausted but mission accomplished. I’m afraid that I can’t agree and here’s why.

Suffering is only in the eye of the beholder, and that eye is our fragmented psyche-soul, the one known as ego. The psyche is here to help us ‘experience’ what appears to be reality, this space-time simulation of existence. It’s the software that helps us feel every up and down on the wave of life. Its settings are either winning or losing, exhilaration or pain. All relational battles that cause us dismay are felt here. All circumstances are interpreted by psyche as a high or a low.

And so we travel along the illusion of time, picking up little victories here and there, along with the painful defeats that edge us ever closer to rock bottom. Now, the power of positive thinking or its New Age equivalent will get us so far. Shiny faced successful gurus point us in the direction of their secret, one usually packaged for the self-help marketplace. Now of course things seem to go better when we’re positive, the power of attraction and all that. Yet, a downer usually lurks around the bend, as we sail along reckoning we’ve got this life thing cracked. The downer in question may be a result of our presumption, but often it’s sent along for our own good. For there’s nothing worse than an ego in full flight, gliding on the winds of its own achievement. No, the downers are needed for us to reach our ultimate but unknown destination.

Now some of us feed ego with all the ammunition that it craves. Paranoia, sees defeats lying along both past and future timelines of our lives. If the sun shines it’s too hot. If everything is freezing over, it’s hell in reverse. The little interpreter within our heads is skewed, leading us into the wilderness of depression and despair. Ego, loves it, feeding our darkness to justify its role as saviour.

Religious belief, particularly the Charismatic/Pentecostal brand that predominates much of Western Christianity, gives us a measure of relief, albeit temporarily. For to be involved, is often not to think, and that definitely nullifies the contradictory ups and downs for a while. Cleverly interpreting the highs as God’s blessing and the lows as Satanic attack, we ride the Christian life, quoting the relevant Bible verses until the big one blocks our path. The Transpersonal Crisis shakes up everything, dislodging our stoical belief in the protection of God, the One who looks out for us. No wonder, such a crisis leaves us disillusioned and broken, for we later discover that ego was the sponsor of our religious ride, an ardent ‘Amener’ who backed our every move.

So then what are we to do. Well, I reckon that we need to turn our attention away from the psyche-soul, our sensor of life, and turn to another hidden participator in the human experience, the real power behind our being, viz. our spirit. Now before you think I’m getting a wee bit too esoteric, please let me explain. When I make something, I leave something of myself in the work concerned. Hopefully in my own writings, there is something of me transmitting itself to you, an inexplicable touch that is received within. Similarly I believe that Source has deposited something of its own Being within us, a spark from the Divine Fire of Creativity. An altogether other that lies deep within our consciousness, waiting for our day of awakening. A pin-hole of Cosmic Consciousness that lets in the Light, that we call God.

Such a spirit is altogether different form our wounded psyche-soul, not having a trace of defensiveness in its essence, for it has been birthed in the Divine. When all around is a high or low, spirit sits quietly, confident in its own Being, waiting for its time of appearing, waiting for ego to burn itself out in the pursuit of happiness and security. And burn itself out it most surely will. So, let’s step back from the spin of ego, smiling as it attempts to recruit us in its dervish dance of salvation. No, rather embrace the Queendom within, the portal of Divine Love, where all is well and shall be well.

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I'm A Holy Roller ~ Get Me Outta Here

I’m A Holy Roller ~ Get Me Outta Here

We glibly follow the Nazarene in many guises. One of our favourite ones is the serious disciple, the  believer whose big aim in life is to make Jesus, Lord. We play numerous church and individual basedl games in our zealous attempt at convincing ourselves that we’ve finally handed over the control of our lives to the mysterious Galilean. Now, as a recovering Holy Roller myself, one who played loads of complex Spirit games in my youth, I want to examine why so many Charismatic/Pentecostal folk eventually leave their initial, revivalist brand of choice.

May I be blunt? We can play an extremely plausible role within Spirit-focused faith, or indeed, within the many modern New Age alternatives and still not have yielded to Divine Love. I’d better explain. Ego, our wounded, and often frenetic, psyche-soul, adores religious or spiritual disguises. It’s a past master at the whole Angel of Light thing. Since time began, long ago in the mythic Garden, ego has wrapped itself in its psycho-spiritual skins to hide from the Innocent intimacy of Source, fearing that it has been spurned by Love and placed under a divine fatwa.

The Evangelicals among us were told that ‘the Satan’ used to lead the Heavenly choirs in their harmonic songs of adoration. In other words, a religious worship leader, or alternatively, a pseudo-spiritual vibrational expert. Maybe there’s some elements of truth in there, for ego, the faithful foot soldier of the aforementioned adversarial system, can certainly put on a good show. Ego loves religious devotion with all its directed hoop-jumping. It will commit itself to great depths of suffering and pain, all in the name of God. It will ‘serve’ and ‘love’ till it’s blue in the face and about to expire. Add a controlling pastoral or authoritative voice to the mix and ego will splash its cash to get some of what it appears to have.

Paradoxically, it’s all about trying to impress the Divine while being terrified of its pronouncements. Many of us, whether religious or spiritual, have played this game in our time, on the ever-spinning hamster-wheel of devotion. And yet, we all eventually fall off. Well, to be more accurate, we’re simply pushed off by the intervention of Spirit, in the form of Life. So let’s be clear; ego has vast resources of psychological strength, yet even these remain limited. At some stage in our sojourn Divine Love comes calling, loudly proclaiming, ‘Enough is enough. Time for aReality check!’

Now, it’s at this critical stage in our journey when we Holy Rollers, start rebuking everything in sight, in one last desperate attempt to remain in our religious delusion. ‘God would never let this happen to me – I’m a Holy Roller – get me outta here,’ we scream in frustrated sincerity!

And yet, in reality, this is the day of our salvation. Not the religious joining of a faith system through confessional game play, but rather, a felt and all too painful salvation. For Divine Love has decided to take us through cold turkey, weaning us off our devotional drug in a way that only Transcendence can manage. When Love strikes it heads straight for the dependency jugular. Yes, you’ve guessed it, ego. It only asks one thing – a surrender of control, an end to our illusory state of independence and strength. Of course, like some great lion with a thorn in its paw, ego doesn’t lie down lightly. Thankfully though, Source knows us better than we know ourselves, and the final act of compassion comes swiftly and decisively. We, or more accurately ego, is floored for good. Time for some thorn removal therapy methinks!

I look fondly back to my somewhat heady days as a Holy Roller. Divine Love was extremely gracious to me in many, many ways, and yet, all along It was planning to snatch me from the jaws of ego in the blink of an eye. ‘Do you miss it all’, I’m often asked. Well, to be honest no. Better to have ego, healed and reintegrated, rather than running around in its blind religious fervour.

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Dead Folk Walking

Dead Folk Walking

 

St. Paul or Saul of Tarsus to his Jewish friends, was, I reckon, a bit of a psychologist. Also a mystic, the guy would have a weird time trying to adapt to modern takes on religious thought and practice if he were around today. During the past week I had someone on facebook suggest that I get back into ‘accountable relationships’ within the Christian fold and let folk ‘speak into’ my life. Perhaps well-meaning, perhaps a reflex reaction to my unusual take on spirituality. Anyway, it didn’t take long for me to pass on the pious proposal; not due to some wild claim of perfection, but rather Paul’s radical take on psycho-spiritual health. I’d better explain.

‘Reckon yourselves dead unto sin and alive unto to God’ are some of the most therapeutic words that our mystic thinker may have uttered. Their profundity all hinges around the wee word reckon, an ancient accountancy term that implies taking the facts of cold numbers into consideration. To reckon is to rest upon that which is beyond dispute. So dear old Paul seems to infer that we’re dead folk walking. No longer living in a state of fear-fueled dysfunction towards Divine Love, but presently at One with it. The old wiring of our paranoid ego is to be reckoned as gone, because in Ultimate Reality it is. The mystic Paul saw past the transitory nature of our psycho-spiritual perceptions of separation from Source.

The human spirit has never been on a prodigal journey of excess and happiness hunting. No, it’s always been a spark from the Divine Fire, albeit one buried under the rantings and flailing arms of ego. It’s our psyche-soul that has believed the lie of God disapproval, arming itself with all manner of weapons in its first-strike policies of attack. Paul is claiming that the old controlling ways of ego are now dead and buried. We no longer have to engage with ego’s dysfunction or ‘sin’, to use a heavily rigged religious word. No, there is, and indeed, always has been an alternative way to live, viz, to be alive unto or within God.

Now what does this mean in practice. Well for a start the guilt of ego spin is no longer to be entertained. Bad news for certain strands of evangelicalism. The old thought patterns of never being good enough can be dispensed with forever. They were never true in the first place. No longer do we have to obtain brownie points with the Divine, or perhaps more importantly, others in our space-time sojourn. For, we have finally woken up to the facts of the matter – we are alive unto God. In other words, we can’t disengage from God. We live and move and have our very being in Divine Love. Can a fish escape from its ocean home – not likely. All we are asked to do is reckon on being as close to Divine Love as is possible, for in reality we are. Paul suggests that this radical new way of seeing oneself, others and Divine Source, is the key to joy and authentic freedom – freedom from the confused, threatening world of ego.

So back to my Job’s comforter. Well, of course there is nothing wrong with hanging out with other folk of faith, those with a spiritual take on life. None at all. But is it essential? I believe not. Let’s look at my friend’s two main spiritual directions for my wellbeing.

1) Accountable relationships

Well, I have to be honest, I’ve had my fill of so-called accountable religious relationships over the years. Those who have read my wee tale of Irish pilgrimage, The Prodigal Prophet will understand why. That being said, I reckon such relationships are not in line with what Paul has declared. For, if we reckon ourselves dead to the dysfunction of ego, why do we need others to watch our back and be the Lone-Rangers of our soul. If the new life that Paul so confidently declares is real then why are Christians so hung up on being hijacked once more by the old ways; so hung up as to have pseudo-guardians cover them within religious communities. No either this new birth or awakening is real or a myth that should be confined to religious history. I tend to plump for the former.

2) Folk who speak into our lives.

Lots of folk speak into my life, everyone I converse with on a daily basis, especially my good lady Zan, who keeps me firmly earthed in all matters marital. Of course my recent adviser wasn’t referring to that kind of input. Rather I suspect that he meant a counselor who could speak words of correction and advice to me, one who knows the Mind of God regarding me more than I do. Again, I’ve experienced this in the past. Usually it eventually turned out that such a wise caring counselor was just as screwed up as I was, perhaps even more so. One of the folk who fulfilled this role in my life wondered at a time how my marriage survived the traumas that Zan and I had passed through. A number of year’s later the same counselor had an extra-marital affair with the headmistress of his Christian school and resigned from all counseling ministry. No, there has to be a better way and there is.

Once ego, lets go of its Linus-blanket control, we are once again able to hear the Voice of Wisdom within. Unfettered by prejudice and skewed vision, the musings of Spirit are always close to hand. Sometimes a gut feeling, sometimes a precise though or insight, Divine Love within knows how to maintain us in the flow of  Life like no other. Of course, when we suggest such a thing, our concerned religious advisers will quickly recoil, accusing us of spiritual arrogance and delusory self-importance. Not so. We have only taken or reckoned the mystic Paul at his word. And that of course is sacrosanct in Christian circles. Enough said.

Happy listening to all and remember to take the pseudo-spiritual words of others with a large pinch of salt. Especially mine. If the words of wisdom from a caring other don’t ring true in your spirit-gut, smile sweetly and move on.

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The Search For Wholeness

The Search For Wholeness

 

After we realise that we are a separate entity of sorts, following the awakening of infancy, we set off on a journey that lasts a lifetime. An inner angst that all is not quite right drives us along a path that searches for wholeness and completeness.

Of course our newly formed ego pulls out many tricks to try to get us there. For a young child popularity seems to be the golden chalice to return us to our original state. Yet this desire to be number one in the eyes of our playground others just initiates us into a path of conflict and competition, one that can last well into later life. No wholeness there then.

In our teenage years the wonders of sexuality and its promise of a deep union with another, preferably an attractive one, beckons. Sex is the new healer we are told by mass media and the advertising industry. Just find the right sexual partner and all will be well – a libido utopia that promises much but ultimately deceives. For in seeking an appropriate partner to complete us we are actually looking for one with the negatives and positives of our early carers, viz. our parents. Behind the hormonal urges we are looking for a replay of our early wounding and affirmation. Hoping to get it right the second time we project and transfer the memories of past events onto the one before us – our better half as we foolishly believe. Of course reality eventually kicks in and we either settle for separate lives, giving up the dream of marital wholeness, or continue on in a numbing illusion to our end of days.

Of course some of us were sold the god of a particular religion as the key to wholeness. If only we believe and receive the divinity of choice with its rules for right living then all would be well. It certainly works for a while, especially in the heady days of our 20s and 30s. Initiated into an instant family of fellow believers we once more set about the reconstruction job of our early family life. Often the leaders of our local religious brand become our parents in our dance of restitution and recovery with god smiling benignly upon our efforts. Eventually though the old sense of being half-filled returns as our projected parents let us down once more, revealing their fragile feet of clay. Indeed they too are searching for wholeness in their role of leading others. But that is a story for another day.

Of course the pharmaceutical industry jumps in to take the edge of our inner angst, this feeling of  being somehow flawed. Antidepressants, whilst initially helpful in treating our dark depressions can never take us to the place that we desire. Every alternative addiction is tried and found wanting. Initially, tobacco, alcohol, recreational drugs, money, career development etc all promise much but with a heavy price. We feel worse and less of a person than when we started.

So this sounds all rather depressing. Well, yes I guess it is, and yet that is our experience for much of our lives. There will be occasional highs of connectedness and well-being but generally we feel like half a person or three-quarters at best. A little hole resides deep within, one that many of us choose to ignore, for heading there only triggers past pain and rejection.

So can we find a level of wholeness. Well, I believe we can, but it takes courage and dare I say it a measure of madness, according to ego that is. For, rather than trying to move people and things into the missing jig-saw space within our sense of Self, we just let go. Finally getting the message that we just are, Something other moves in like a flood to fill our angst strewn caverns. In giving up, we find what we have always searched for, A Source Presence that holds us in the palm of its hands. The bigger picture that we’ve missed in our days of frantic search. In going through the pain of  fragmentation we come out on the Other side, the Reality behind the screen of isolation and despair. The Cosmic parent who has not cracked our sense of Self through rejection and judgement. Our carer par excellence.

The Nazarene knew what lies beyond and lies within. Our wholeness lies in the depths of spirit under the fear-fuelled world of ego and illusory relationships. It is ours to give; a gift to our space-time Self.

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Little gods

Little gods

 

The major religions claim that we are made in the image of God, or the  Divine Source. Most of their adherents walk around believing it but without much of a clue as to what it may mean. I guess that sums up most of our metaphysical  beliefs. We just believe them and continue merrily on our way.

In this new little series I thought I’d look at two aspects of the Divine that we can reflect in this space-time reality, viz. creativity and compassion. Today we shall look at creativity.

I guess it’s pretty obvious that Source must be a creator; by definition we wouldn’t be here unless it had done its thing. And what a creation it’s come up with. Surrounded by our man-made concrete jungles we’ve lost touch with the wonders and simple complexities of the Natural Order. To gaze and ponder on a wondrously blue dragonfly is to touch base with a drop of the Mystery that is God. Multiply such experiences by a thousand fold and we are closer to believing that there is a purposeful Designer somewhere out there, perhaps even within.

Yes, Divine Source, this Transcendent Creator is full of intelligence, an intelligence bursting with the passion of expressing itself on the canvas of space-time. Creating is part of the Divine DNA – it can’t help itself, dancing its way through the virtual-reality fields of Being. And, its masterpiece is us, those little humanoids that populate planet Earth. Like a mischievous Rembrandt, the Artist has placed something of Himself in each and every one of us.

One such aspect of this Spirit brushed image is our own ability to create. Like the Divine, we too can’t help ourselves. We have been hot-wired to create. Each of us has been equipped with a well-spring of creative energy with which to express the wonder of our individual perception of Being. Such creativity, brings a flow and sense of purpose to our daily lives. Show me a creator and I will show you one that has phoned Home. In the act of creating, we know we are linked to something much bigger than our psyche-soul; in releasing the energy within we are opening up a conduit with the Divine, a pipeline back to Source.

May I suggest that much of our internal angst stems from a blockage of this creative flow. Stuck in the rat-race we work to survive, often in jobs that call for little or no creativity at all. As we take our dutiful places within the production line of our material world, we yearn for the fields of freedom, space where we can be Me. If this sums up your particular situation what can be done?

Well, I reckon that we all have a little creative project on hold within us. Swamped by the pressures of supposed ‘life’, it lies waiting its release. It lies bubbling under the hardened rock of our ego demands and fear-based control. Getting in touch with our creator within is the first step to release. Being brutally honest with ourselves in the silence of contemplation enables us to hear the whispers of our liberator. Once we know what we really WANT to do, will is on hand to energise our escape from the confines of our non-creative life. As we take the first steps towards our creative project, power flows from somewhere deep within. It is the energy of Divine Passion, released like a caged tiger on the plains of ordinariness. With one leap we are free to be a more authentic version of our Self. Once complete, a new creative surge will present itself to carry us even further forward.

I’d better make clear that this new creativity may or may not be part of our daily 9-5 job. If it is, then much  workplace stress will disappear. If not, then it will find its river course in another slice of our space-time existence. One ounce of creativity outside the workplace will enable our psyche-souls to bear the load of much hum-drum grind. Yet, once experienced even the predictability of our regular jobs may begin to change. For, once the creative genie is released from the lamp of ego boredom, anything is possible.

So, may I suggest that as we set out along the path of creativity, we are on a journey that will inevitably lead to a meeting with the Creator of all creators, the Source I Am. To jump on the creative train is an act of faith or trust, one that can take us to places that we can’t imagine – a place of inner Knowledge and Divine encounter.

Now where DID I put that manuscript?

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Feeling Down

Feeling Down

Some days we just feel down. Within our conscious mind there doesn’t appear to be any particular reason. We just feel alone, unloved and most of all insignificant, just a collection of atoms waiting for our inevitable demise. Of course, if this goes on for any considerable length of time, we may be suffering from some form of clinical depression. However, that’s not what I wish to address in today’s wee blog. No, I just want to focus on the bog-standard,  feeling down kind of day.

May I start by suggesting that the term feeling down isn’t just a linguistic accident. It genuinely reflects how we feel. We sense that we’re at the bottom of some psycho-spiritual pile. It’s this sense that I wish to explore further.

Let’s look at this heightened feeling in terms of our dual Self , viz. psyche-soul and spirit essence. Our psyche is the part of us where we feel down. It’s not an area that’s easily understood in our day-to-day sojourn. In its fragmented and wounded state, it operates as ego, that extremely shrewd, defensive operator who seeks to protect us from further attack and rejection. It’s important to realise that ego perceives life to be a ladder. Those at the top (the winners) feel good, while those at the bottom (the losers) feel bad.

Of course, this take on reality is an illusion, but nevertheless a powerful one at that. Most of us see our relational network as this ego ladder. Everyone we meet is subconsciously slotted onto a rung by our inner desire settings. Those above us we desire to be; those beneath we shun, feeling a smug superiority that deceptively makes us feel both safe and valued. Our position on this ego ladder shifts from minute to minute – at a moment’s notice, a glance of disapproval from someone can rearrange our psyche-soul’s pecking order and its associated feelings.

The person whom we admire most on our inner ladder of self is our Model – the one we insatiably desire to be, albeit of course on a subconscious level. They appear to have the safety and power that we crave. Their desire becomes our desire as we inadvertently initiate the cloning process; allowing them into our inner world to mold us in their semi-divine image. Initially, such a possession can be exhilarating, as we perceive ourselves morphing into the one who is all that we are not. The sense of empowerment that flows from our fascination with our relational model seems to cancel out our prior feelings of inadequacy and shame.

However, over time our inner promotion on the relational ladder only leads to further problems. For, as we attach ourselves to the desired persona, our Model begins to sense the vampire-like approach of our life-sucking desire. This usually results in a dramatic shutting off of the emotional pipeline running from our desired hero to our cloned sense of self. Somehow they suddenly perceive us as a threat to their own sense of self, an invading psycho-spiritual cuckoo who wants to take over the nest of their individual being.

Of course, this break in affection hits us for six as we frantically redouble our efforts to share our Model’s elevated rung. Once more, we are pushed back, demoted down the ego ladder to a much safer position for our Model idol. And so our hyper-sensitivity to rejection is further heightened, landing us in a lower position on our ladder self than we initially occupied. Our Model has now become our Model Obstacle, the one to blame for our lowly position. In this way our emotional world quickly shrinks into a frantic battle for approval, a much sought after authentication from our now wary Model. The one we worshiped has morphed into our enemy, a love-hate relationship having been established.

Of course there’s an answer to these ego games, viz. the discovery of our other, authentic spirit Self, that inner Divine spark of inestimable value and worth. Once we willingly detach from ego’s psychic vampire hunt for the blood of approval, we discover another Self within. The Source of All resides within the dark, inner spirit chambers of our being. There the embrace and transfer of Divine affection takes place without rivalry and conflict. We have returned home to find a psycho-spiritual freedom in the embrace and welcome of Divine Love.

So, if you’re feeling a wee bit down today just look within and see if you’re climbing on the old ego ladder of relational desire. It might just be the key to stepping out from under the heavy burden of a Model Obstacle. By letting our Model Obstacle play their own ego games, and walking away, One will draw close to validate and authenticate us. Our spirit Self will be touched by Divine Love, the One without rivalry, the One we call God.

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Illumination

Illumination

In these dark, somewhat dismal days of winter our appreciation for the balmy sunlit days of summer knows no bounds. In the darkness we yearn for the light and warmth of Nature’s greatest gift, that burning gaseous globe, aptly known as ‘sun’.

As with our space-time environment so too with our inner world and its accompanying darkness. In the gloomy caverns of our wounded psyche-soul, we seek a Light, one to relieve us of our heaviness of spirit. The trinkets offered by the commercial and social world of man don’t do it for us, leaving us with a yearning for something deeply authentic and pure.

I believe this balm to be the illumination of Divine Love, the Source Light from which the spark of our Being has sprung.

When the Light touches us we know it. A resonance reverberates around our inner Self, one that cries ‘Yes’ to the approaches of Spirit Breath. A knowing enters our unknowing Self, an inspiration that rings true to the very roots of our deepest core. We have touched base with the ‘Other’, that previously hidden Light that energizes us with its own Life and Light.

We cannot receive this illumination by our ego efforts to study and focus on the one known as God. It is a gift, but one that is given freely to those with an open and honest heart. It’s worth is more than all the silver and gold of men, a priceless sense that all is well and shall be well. A transfused trust that a greater Reality and indeed a greater Being lies behind this vale of tears.

May we all have these flashes of illumination in the new year approaching. May they initiate us into a new sense of Self, our fellow-man and most importantly of all our Divine Lover.

 

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