Many of us, whether involved in alternative healing and natural health, shamanism, Eastern philosophy, or other ‘new-age’ pursuits are working to ‘clear our energy bodies’, develop energetic power, be able to heal, see more clearly, inspire, develop community, and find peace and happiness.
Yet, many of us ‘on the path’ so to speak, when we get together and look honestly, are no better at love and peace and happiness than your average mainstream Christian or Muslim or Jew.
In fact, some of ‘them’ might seem more at peace, more happy, more fulfilled than we are, with all of their advanced knowledge of healing, energy, chakras, mantras, tantras, yogas, visualization boards, laws of attraction, advanced communication skills, channelings, gurus, gems, crystals, singing bowls, kama sutra positions, breath techniques, books, self-development workshops, tarot cards, astrological readings, shamanic journeys, transcendent experiences, ayahuasca trips and everything else that the new-age world offers.
In fact, many of the most powerful leaders in the fields of spirituality and self-development are, to put it in a word, miserable. On stage they have all the answers for a happy and fulfilled life. They can tell you how to resolve any emotional block. How to connect with your ‘divine guides’. How to see the truth of your situation, and how to let go of ego, find freedom, wealth, love, and success—however you define it.
Yet, behind the scenes, they complain constantly. About the food. About their partner. About the flight. About the weather.
Many lose themselves in their addictions…sex, food, alcohol, adulation, whatever.
Some leave a chain of former employees, students, lovers, friends, and connections behind them. The chain is often welded of bitterness, regret, and anger.
And they pull others into their world who will tell them how smart, how wise, how inspired they are. And indeed, they really are, in the limelight.
As Jesus said, they are often like fancy crypts with decaying bones and rotting flesh inside.
They may make a lot of money. They may help a lot of people. But inside a part of them knows that part of it is just a charade.
And, should you call them on it, you might as well try to take a T-bone steak from a raging lion.
When they get together with ‘other teachers’, there is massive competition among egos. Who is best? Who is right?
Their message is the best. Their concepts are the most helpful. Their students are the most intelligent. And they often have difficulty collaborating with anyone on anything.
One of the strongest litmus tests for a teacher is the community that they foster. Those that follow and surround them, what are they like? Is there a constant effort to compete for the attention and love of the master? Do the students feel their own light and are they encouraged to follow it? Do they generate a power which enriches those around them … “As a little leaven raises the whole loaf”? Or does their presence tend to engender hostility?
Is there an us/them mentality against other teachers, organizations, and society at large? Do they feel they have greater light and knowledge than others, in a dividing way?
Are they able to live peaceably in love together? Or are their meetings marred by conflict, competition, jealousy, anger, and all the untoward aspects of human nature?
For anyone who still thinks that the way to happiness and completeness is through energetic power…
The Proof is in the Pudding
Let me ask you a question.
Was Hitler energetically strong or weak?
Would you say this man was “in his power”? Have you seen his speeches? Have you seen his energy? What he was able to accomplish? Hitler was very interested in the occult—there are entire books about this. But was he a power for good in this world? Was his net contribution positive or negative? Would you like to follow his path?
He was obviously dedicated to his personal power and energy. Otherwise, his achievements would not have been possible.
What is the difference between Hitler and those who benefit society through their energy?
The difference is not one of size, but of direction. Those who contribute, build, and love have a different spirituality than those who destroy.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is the fundamental purpose or direction that you have for your life. Hitler’s spirituality, for example, included arcane occult concepts about the German people, their supremacy in the world, and the necessity of their domination of other cultures.
Each of us has a spirituality, whether it is consciously chosen or not.
And society is always trying to offer us a spirituality, because if our fundamental direction can be influenced, all of the energy which we produce (which includes money and sex as life energy) can be diverted to whomever controls our direction.
Spirituality is connected with the concept of a god.
“Theologian Paul Tillich once noted that a person’s god is whatever they look to for ultimate fulfillment and security. Tillich believed that everyone, including the atheist has faith in some god, or ultimate concern, around which they build their lives. It can be wealth and materialism, politics and the success of the Party, it can be health and well-being, and it can be popularity and influence..” – From http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/the-golden-calf.html
Everyone has some god. It’s the thing they go to as a last-resort to solve their problems, find peace and fulfillment, and protection against the challenges, pain, and suffering of this world. Where do you go when things get tough? What loss—health, money, family, relationship, something else—would cause you the greatest suffering? This can give you some hint of what your current god is.
I have friends that ‘worship’ everything from money to shopping to politics to religion to healing abilities. They seek security in ‘being needed’ or having a bank account that is sufficiently large (which usually has no specific number attached to it and thus is never reached), or in the ‘right’ relationship or job or guru.
The more ephemeral and illusory their god, the less security and happiness they generally feel.
Who or What is the True God?
In alcoholics anonymous, they say that to effectively give up alcohol, one must believe in a “higher power”, which one can define however one likes. It might be the sun, or Jesus or Allah or nature. It seems that when one is connected to a ‘deeper spirituality’, (meaning, one that isn’t set unconsciously through society or media) one receives a set of roots that provide one with power necessary to overcome previously completely impossible challenges.
Why is that?
Frankly, I do not know.
However, for me, a true god is something transcendent, outside of my personal ego-will, and can give me direction in my life. I feel inside what is wrong or right, and am guided in my decisions when I connect to the divine, above my own intelligence and ability.
In our physical life, we feel and see ourselves as ‘separate’ from everyone and everything else. There is a limited amount of food, clothing, shelter. ‘If someone else has enough, perhaps I will not’, is the feeling. Thus we develop fear, competition, and enmity towards the rest of creation. If we find a limited god such as money or shopping to save us from starvation and cold, we will always live in fear against when our ‘supply’ of this god runs out or is not available.
If, however, we have a belief or even experience with someone or something deeper to guide and protect us, then that fear will be minimal and our confidence to manifest whatever we need whenever we need is assured.
True Christ Consciousness
One person who gave us an example of this kind of living is Jesus Christ. An amazing man with incredible energetic abilities, he was always in communion with what he termed “my Father”. That is as good a term as any for the divine, for god, for the universe and universal.
Though he had amazing powers, he was ‘tempted’ to stray from his mission and to do things his own way, but always relied on his ‘Father’ to help guide his earthly path.
The fundamental self/Father split can be described as the difference between our limited physical egoic view of the world and the universal, all-encompassing understanding of this world and everything in it. While the ego works to its own gain, the mystical divine knows what would bring the greatest benefit to all.
Those who cultivate and hold a connection to the divine, though they know nothing about energy and consciousness and all of the new-age ideas or objects or experiences listed above, find the “peace that passeth all understanding” through their exercise of true spirituality.
This isn’t an easy path. Even Jesus asked, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me,” showing that even his ego, as advanced as it was, was not eager to face the experience which his soul was to undergo in the flesh for the benefit of not only himself, but many others.
But, it is the path to move beyond our ego in this life and to our true potential and fulfillment.
How do we develop or improve our own spirituality?