4 Claiming our Total Capacity for Greatness

There is an endless force flowing in us, through us and around us. If we’re in that flow, we’re growing and moving in the direction of universal oneness. If we block that flow, we’ll still feel its effects—but as pain and suffering. The charter of this flowing force is to transform negative life-stuff—that energy-and-consciousness combo that has gotten twisted and blocked.

But before we can do our transformative work, we have see exactly what it is—inside of us—that needs a make-over. This means we need to allow our negativities to surface so we can see them, poke at them and make peace with them. We need to get on the same page with reality, agreeing that, yep, this is our stuff.

It won’t do to have a vague, general sense of our destructive intentions. We’ve got to see our personal version of evil, in all its ugly glory. We’ll need to come face-to-face with our shame and fear if we want to overcome it; we’re going to have to stop all our whitewashing and camouflaging of our putrid parts; we need to come out of hiding; overblown self-blame must come to an end.

Short and simple, we have to own up honestly to the full force of our devilish ways, down to the very last puny detail. Only by doing this will we set ourselves free. But—and this may come as a surprise—it’s not as bad as it may sound. This isn’t a make-me-out-to-be-a-monster process.

Why, oh why, you may wonder, do we have to put so much emphasis on the bad? Is this really necessary to be an honest-to-god spiritual person? Perhaps we’ve tried other approaches, hoping to bypass the unpleasantness of the work we need to do. But sorry Charlie, that’s not the way it works. Real solutions and true integration can only be reached by following this rougher road.

We may come to realize that in some areas of our lives, we’ve already gained full purification—we’re free and clear. Others, however, may still be stuck in grave distortions. We need to not kid ourselves about what is what, watching for spiritual pride—thinking we are further along than we really are—and wishful thinking that we escape any pain by simply avoiding it.

But if we get the ball rolling, soon enough we will taste the fruits of our labor. Making such an effort will bring us a wonderful kind of protection. Because we’ll be helped immeasurably through our greater courage and honesty, which will gradually become second nature. We’ll become more intimate and perceptive with ourselves and learn to share ourselves with others.

We can continually gauge our progress by noting the richness and fullness of our life. We can probe ourselves honestly to determine how we’re doing in terms of living in truth. How much are joy and abundance opening up? Are we less reluctant to expose our inner flaws? Are we willing to explore any disharmony to find its roots, and then feel more fully ourselves? We need to eye-spy when we’re stuck or deceiving ourselves, hoping against hope that unpleasant feelings will just go away all by themselves.

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As we humpty dumpty our way down the road of personal healing, we will increasingly come to believe that it’s possible to resolve our inner problems; we can put ourselves back together again. As each of us steadily work through the stages, we help transmute the energies of people just now entering a spiritual path. Our courage and faith are contagious, and our momentum and convictions affect everyone who bathes in our surroundings. We become living proof that healing is possible.

Our own heretofore-unheard-of successes fortify us with courage to go even deeper, exploring inner nooks and crannies where evil lurks. Level by level we go, traversing a spiral configuration until the circles become so small they converge into a point. Then the way becomes so simple—we just walk out of the final turn of the spiral into the simplicity of love. When we fully embody what love really is, we will comprehend how everything is contained in that word.

When the circles are still quite large, this simplicity doesn’t mean spit to us. At that point, everything is complicated by the machinations of the ego that believes itself to be separated from the Oneness. In that split-off state, the word “love” is, well, just a word we bandy about; it’s devoid of any felt sense of what loves means. Worse yet, we misuse the word love in place of any number of things that, in true fact, have little or nothing to do with real love.

So in the beginning, our work must be focused on facing whatever negativity is within us: our faults of self will, pride and fear, our wrong conclusions about life, and our selfish, destructive attitudes. Slowly and steadily, we unwind our distortions of both energy and consciousness, transforming our life-stuff back into its positive, free-flowing state. All this must continue as we roll forward into the second phase of our work: claiming our total capacity for greatness. This is what is truly ours—our fully unique self that has been hidden behind our darkness. It’s time to get it back.

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It’s an odd fact of life that people are often reluctant to be all they can be. Of course, our overgrown egos will try to stake a claim of greatness, but that’s not the same as our real greatness. When it comes to the read deal, we become shy and inhibited, holding ourselves back out of fear and shame. We put a lid on what we could be—on what we sense we already are.

What is this strange phenomenon that limits us from being what and who we truly are, from being our greatest, wisest, bestest version of ourselves, filled with generosity, loving kindness, creativity and self-assertiveness—our cup running over with awareness and courage, humility and inherent dignity. We are all this and so much more. We have our own original thought processes, talents and brilliance; we each have something special to contribute to the whole. God isn’t in just some of us, God is in all of us, making each of us special in some important way.

So then just what is it that would make us deny claiming all this greatness? How could that be so hard? The problem lies in our fundamentally dualistic understanding that we are two apparently opposite things at one time. So if we are our best self—special and unique—we are, at the same time, not special at all, just like everyone else. Because every stinkin’ one of us is a manifestation of the divine. And we all—each and every one of us—have faults that obstruct our light.

While our faults may not all be the same, and from person to person, our level of openness and willingness to be in truth may certainly vary, there’s one thing we all have in common: an ego. Everyone has to go through the same basic struggles to transcend the ego, by becoming disciplined enough to work on removing inner obstructions. Then we can allow our specific flavor of greatness—our God-given wonderfulness—to ooze forth. Then our genius will shine through. For again, everyone is God.

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This is not welcome news to the ears of the little ego—the one that claims superiority over all others; let’s be clear, the true Godself makes no such proclamations. The light-blocker, then, is the little ego that wants to tower above everyone else, demanding admiration; an unhealthy ego constantly compares and competes, subduing others if necessary to prove its elevated position. The correct word for this behavior is evil, and it must be rooted out. This brand of evil is like a Pandora’s box full of a whole host of other shame-producing attitudes and other destructive patterns; it is the cause of great suffering.

In its own defense, the ego my pipe up and say, “I wouldn’t wish to be more than others if I didn’t feel less than nothing.” Perhaps, but what if we were to turn this around: Would we feel less than nothing if we weren’t trying to be superior all the time? Probably not. Would we be filled with malice, jealousy, envy and spite—in short, unloving—if we weren’t so busy denying others their own rightful Godself, setting ourselves above them?

It’s not possible for our God-consciousness to ever be in conflict with someone else’s God-consciousness. It’s just the ego, in its limited, blind and separated state, that’s in conflict. The ego is not and never will be the Oneness because it is divided—in conflict and in contradiction. The God-consciousness in us is the One. So the Godself doesn’t need to push for recognition; it is happy with its own recognition and is sufficient unto itself.

Here’s something else that obstructs our ability to realize our own intrinsic genius and greatness: our fear of the evil that still lives inside us. If we boil down all fears, they are ultimately a fear of that. When we do what we typically do, which is to deny the real nature of this fear and project it outward, people and situations line up in our lives that seem to justify our fears.

You would think the evil is the thing that’s hardest to grapple with, but really it’s this fear of the evil. The closer we come to transcending the fear, the more we are going to need to face ourselves in truth—which means we have to overcome our reluctance to doing so. But this fear puts up a tremendous wall that is a much bigger obstacle than the evil itself.

This fear makes us want to rise and shine, being glorious in other people’s eyes. It’s as though the little ego is crying out, “See me, I’m better than you. Love me for it.” And that, of course, is the grand folly.

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When we untangle all the threads, we realize that all evil is, at its untwisted core, made up of beauty and love. So it’s quite superfluous for us to fear evil. The devil in each of us was originally an angel. We can confront our inner devil by admitting it, revealing it, and taking greater responsibility for it. Then transformation can occur with ever-greater frequency.

But if we are still in fear, our ego is hanging on to its pride, which is connected with our not quite grasping the situation regarding our devilish ways. Not only do we think this devil is who we ultimately are, but we also think our devilish parts are basically foreign and oh-so-not-divine. Hate to say it, but this is ignorance.

So let’s make some room for another perspective. Open up to the idea that this same devil with all its cruel and pigheaded ways, including dishonesty, pettiness, hatefulness and fear, is, when all is said and done, an angel. Allegorically, Lucifer was an angel of light, and then he turned into Satan. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to bring about a re-transformation, turning Satan back to Lucifer—turning darkness back to light. That, people, is the process taking place inside our psyche.

The devil is our fear. It makes us feel guilty for the cruel and hateful workings of the mind, and for unpleasant feelings that show up in the way we act. It is only by staring directly into the headlights of our guilt and our fear—fully travelling through whatever inconvenient feelings smolder within—that they will disappear. Then the angel will show its face. We will be infused with warmth and confidence, flowing softly in joy and expanding in creativity.

Again and again we must navigate tough places until all the evil matter inside us has been transformed. Then it won’t seem like we’re being asked to give up anything—except our struggle, which is nothing but the mind holding on to being negative. We are under the illusion that we will lose something. In truth, there is so much of our valuable life force trapped in evil—energy we don’t want to keep doing without—even though we’re doing our utmost best to turn away from our badness, every single day.

Once we stop squashing and denying these aspects of ourselves, and start genuinely transcending evil, we will gain back every ounce of vitality we had to inactivate in order to avoid looking at the evil. In the end, we lose nothing; what we gain is ginormous.

We must learn to open our arms up wide enough to take in the devil in us. Calling on our faith and confidence in the ever-present guidance of our Higher Self, we will be able to dispel all fear. For real. We’re not ducking under some illusion that we can cheat life or escape anything; we’re not trying to overcome or cast out anything from ourselves. We’re meeting our demons in a dark hallway and turning on the light.

Then they will dissolve and reveal their original nature. And know this: the stronger the devil, the stronger the angel. For strength is strength, in whatever form it appears. If some aspect seems particularly difficult to tackle, it holds an exceptional amount of light. Seeing things from this perspective may help us be less inclined to pull the wool over our own eyes, trembling at the mere thought of an inner demon.

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Only through such a transformative approach will we be able to reconcile opposites and thereby transcend duality. Any time we bump into what appear to be mutually exclusive opposites, we have found an obstruction. Wah, wah, wah. This is a sign we’re still a house divided. We are split off from our deeper consciousness out of fear, pride and self will, along with ignorance, hate and greed.

But we can look at these same aspects in reverse: fear will turn back into faith and trust; pride into humility; self will into a supple and resilient giving-in and going-with attitude. We’ll once again become flexible enough to flow with the rhythm of our life. Our ignorance will reconvert into awareness and perception, together with wisdom and understanding; our greed will become a certain trust that if we reach out, we will be met by abundance in every possible way. As such, abundance will flow so that being greedy would be ludicrous. Above all, our hate will flip over into what it’s always essentially been: the power of love.

Also, consider this: no one uncovers their inner greatness who is not, at the same time, dedicated to a cause outside themselves. This isn’t some therapeutic ploy, so don’t try to force this in a dutiful way, hoping to be selfless and dedicated in an effort to reap the goodies of life. We can just use this as a signpost offering information about where we really are on our spiritual journey.

As always, our work is to honestly admit where we are at the present moment. Do we see fulfillment as a one-sided enterprise where everything is geared toward making us happy? We might want to explore our fantasies from this perspective to see what they reveal. It’s important to note if, with honest introspection, we find we have no genuine desire to serve a larger cause. Then we may want to try to forget our little self-interest, at least for a bit, for the sake of something greater.

Here again, our ego is the culprit, blocking our innate capacity to get over ourselves. This may stem from a belief that we will be deprived through our giving. But the shoe belongs on the other foot: only when we make our unique contribution to creation, sharing our greatness, will we know abundance in all ways. Note, sometimes we may hide our selfishness behind a mask of do-gooder giving, wanting to appear good in the eyes of others. Not so good.

In truth, the desire to dedicate ourselves to a greater cause is an organic unfoldment that develops as we face down the vanity of the little ego. As we grow into a more mature state, we will naturally feel the fulfillment of serving a spiritual cause, making our giving flow more and more freely. It’s only when we cower in hiding from our inner evil that we can’t capture the glory of our wonderful egoless self. This impoverishes us more, causing us to become bitter and more withholding. The. Vicious. Circle. Grinds. On. But as we transform the vicious circle into a benign circle, we embrace true giving. And when we give to others, we are simultaneously giving to ourselves. For in truth, all is one.

So there is an exacting correlation: if we give the best of ourselves to life and following God’s will, to that exact same degree we can open our arms wide and receive the best life has to offer. If we hold back out of concern for our puny fears and self-interest, to that degree we can’t partake of life’s riches. There can be no mistakes: this follows a finely calibrated mechanism that works deep in our psyche and runs like clockwork. For life cannot be cheated, and our life speaks volumes about the truth of who we are.

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