When we embark on a spiritual path, our growth and expansion propels us toward new experiences and higher states of consciousness. We continually free up more and more creative life-stuff with which we can create more and more desirable experiences. This is an abundant snowball that turns out smiley faces.
One essential aspect of our creative process is visualization. Because if we can’t envision the state we want to grow into, we’ll be hard-pressed to ever get there. We need to see the prototype provided by someone who’s gone before us—a map of where we’re heading, or a blueprint of what we’re trying to build. Without an initial idea, we can’t create.
People are typically very good emulators. We look around at others, especially those with attitudes and behavior patterns we identify with—which can be either positive or negative—and it’s like their way of being is contagious. We might imitate someone else, adopt their opinions, or pick up their feelings. All this happens both deliberately and consciously as well as subliminally and involuntarily. They become our prototype for the new state we grow into.
The more free our soul substance is, the less we are weighed down by distortions, misconceptions, negativity and the impulse to behave destructively. As such, our choices become more reliable. The hardest part then is getting started. Our distortions may lead us to choose false heroes, while at the same time we turn a blind eye to the desirable aspects of one who could lead us. It takes time to start recognizing the traits that are truly desirable.
As we evolve from one incarnation to the next, this principle carries us forward. We meet just the right figure who sparks a recognition in our minds and we follow their true example. This doesn’t mean we give up our own uniqueness and just start aping them. Rather, we adapt the universal aspects of their traits and ways of being into our own self-expression. It’s only when we emulate negative attitudes by identifying with negative role models that we head down a road to self-betrayal.
For all children, their parents are a prototypical figure. If we end up strongly rejecting a parent or some aspect of them, we can be sure that a negative identification has taken place. We emulated something that we now blindly battle in ourselves.
To whatever degree the parents and the child are healthy, purified souls, the child will identify with the parent’s positive aspects and use them in their life plan. Other less desirable traits will not be adopted. This can only happen to the extent the child is capable of seeing things clearly and being in truth.
Negative identification is what leads to the development of “images.” This term “images” refers to the generalizations and wrong conclusions we make as children. When such a belief is in place, we have a limited vision of life and aren’t able to correctly see all our available options. Lots of important factors get left out of our awareness, which leaves the few remaining alternatives so out of context our whole perception of life and reaction to it are out in left field.
Positive identification, on the other hand, never leads to the creation of images. Instead, what it leads to is visualization. Unlike the closed systems generated by images, visualization is a wide-open system that is both realistic and flexible. From here, there are many ways for our consciousness to create solutions.
What this means is that we all need to find a positive model we can identify with. We need to develop the ability to recognize exemplary figures when we encounter them. Over time, we’ll grow into becoming such figures for others, inspiring them on their path when they are ready to see the truth and further develop their inherent potential.
When we’re filled with inner blocks and foggy awareness, these distortions inside ourselves will color our ability to spot true exemplary figures. We’ll either be blind to the positive traits in them, or we’ll misinterpret what we see. We can only see goodness when we’re relatively open and free ourselves. Then something clicks.
An automatic desire to develop in the same direction will crop up. It’s not that we will imitate something foreign to our nature. Rather, basic universal traits will express themselves through us. As we keep going, we will intuitively know what is worthy of emulation and we will use this vision to complete ourselves.
Like with all areas of development, we’ll follow a chart of sequences that follow spiritual laws. If we have a block, we haven’t had a good example to follow so far. Now we’re going to need to learn—slowly and realistically—how to choose a positive role model to use as our go-by. We’ll have to use our inner vision to conjure up what a person would look like who is integrated and harmonious, and in contact with their own inner divine self. With such a concept in our minds, we will become capable of recognizing an outer figure when they come along, who can inspire us and help us become our best self.
To this end, the following information will attempt to paint a picture of what to look for, both in terms of tuning into another who can lead us, and also in seeing our own dormant potentials. What does it look like when a person unites with their inner divine nucleus—when we find the inexhaustible wealth at the center of our soul? How can we recognize this in others when we have previously been blind to it?
When we reach the point on our spiritual journey of being ready to commit ourselves to God’s will, we’ve prepared the groundwork for certain vital changes to happen in our lives. What we’ve really made a commitment to is The One—the great big huge consciousness—that dwells inside every creature. We can call this whatever we want: God, the Godself, the inner self, the true self, the real self, the universal consciousness, the big kahuna. It’s all that which is greater than the little ego.
As soon as we kick over to this wholehearted commitment, certain things will begin to happen. Of course, getting here is going to be a gradual process. It also may happen that we’ll have made such a commitment on the outer conscious level, but unbeknownst to us, not all our levels are on board. We might be full of tons of goodwill—and we really mean it—but until we surface the contradictory lower levels where we don’t mean it, where the ego wants to defeat the very act of self-surrender, we will balk.
So as always, we need to be sure to surface all our disparate parts, seeing how fear, pride and self-will may be blocking our commitment. This will shed light on why certain results may be lacking despite our stated commitment to God, to love and to the truth. This awareness is crucial if want to avoid getting tripped up by the most insidious block there is: deceiving ourselves.
What we need to be on the lookout for is that part of ourselves that says, “I will not.” It takes some courage, honesty and humility to bring this out. It often goes on to say, “I like resisting. I want to be spiteful. It has to be my way.” Only when our psyche gives up the ghost and reveals these areas can we start to change this uber-negative level. As long as this dark part of our personality remains hidden, we remain split. And we won’t understand why all our efforts to make positive changes go down the toilet.
When we have overcome this battle, we have reached the point where we trust surrendering to the divine within. But again, this won’t happen in one fell swoop. We’ll have fight a lot of little mini-battles, winning more than we lose. Self-discipline will be required. That gut-level pushback may be gone, but our ego-mind will still run on autopilot. We’re going to need to acquire some new habits, and this takes time.
In a moment of crisis, when we’re really in a pinch, we’ll remember to let go and let God. But in ordinary everyday life, while we’re doing the dishes, this won’t occur to us. Maybe we’ll do better in the areas where our soul is fairly free, but where crustaceans are still holding on, our old obstinacy and distrust will kick in. We’ll forget; problems will persist. This is how progress is made.
Bit by bit, we’ll make inroads in creating new patterns where the act of self-surrender permeates everything. Our thoughts and perceptions can then open up, along with our decisions and actions. Our feelings and reactions will be fluid instead of frozen. More on this later.
First, let’s look at how our inner and outer life interrelate. Some claim only the inner life matters. But they overlook a simple fact: that isn’t how it works. This very belief keeps things from moving from the inner to the outer, which is the natural flow. To be unified and in connection with our divine center, the inner content must express itself in our outer lives. Then our outsides will match our insides.
But if we ignore this truth, we stop up the works. Then radiant energetic streamings can’t make their way through the more coarse outer matter, and refine it. This spiritualization of matter is one of the tasks included in the travel agenda for all humans when we come to Earth. It’s a shame when we don’t do our part.
This false notion that the outer level doesn’t matter encases truth and beauty behind a wall, keeping it separate from the material world. Schools of thought then that teach asceticism contribute to creating a dichotomy between two things that in fact are one. So denying the outer life is not a path to enriching our inner spiritual life.
Of course, such a distorted reaction often comes about in response to the equally distorted opposite extreme, which posits that basically, ‘it’s better to look good than to feel good.’ Such an approach negates the importance of the inner reality, possibly even denying that it exists.
Both of these counter-currents are in distortion; each attempts to eliminate the other but fails to look in the mirror. This can happen on just about any subject, as long as we remain trapped in the illusion of duality. Over decades and centuries, the pendulum swings from one side to the other, hoping to one day find the middle where a unified and self-actualized person inevitably expresses themselves in keeping with their inner content.
When all is said and done, true inner growth must show up in our world. But it may take time to arrive; if we expect instant change, our judgment about how things work needs calibrating.
Of course, it is always possible to tweak our outer form without there being a connection to our inner content. Assessing such things is always tricky business. When we express the outer trappings without the inner content, this temporary cover must eventually break down, even if it resembles the magnificent perfection of divine reality. Indeed, it’s a spiritual law that all false covers must eventually crack and crumble. Whatever is built on the faulty premise that appearances are what carry the day must come down, with the outer disintegrating so that the inner can rebuild it by way of an organic expression.
So outwardly, we might need to crash and burn, and inwardly some serious cleanup efforts may be needed to expose and eliminate the chaos. Then inner beauty can build outer beauty; inner harmony can sing on the surface; inner abundance can flow forth with glad tidings.
Let’s now look a bit deeper into what it looks like when a person is already firmly anchored in the process of integrating their ego consciousness into their inner divine light. How does that express itself out into the world? In this situation, all decisions—large and small—are made by surrendering the little self into the will of the Godself. The ego steps aside and allows the inner wisdom to shine through. The personality realizes that nothing is not important. Every single opinion, perception and reaction gets passed through the mill of the greater consciousness.
At this stage, one no longer resists paying attention to everything that occurs; nothing gets swept under the rug. The process of continuous conscious surrender has gained habit-strength and is now self-perpetuating. It now even operates when the person forgets to establish contact, such as when an old raw area flares up and pushes the person in the wrong direction.
The inner self is now sufficiently freed to issue advice, warnings or other directions to consider, and then allows the decision for what tack to follow to be made by the outer personality. This person is living in a state of grace. The repeated proof that the divine brings forward truth and wisdom and joy has established confidence and trust in the individual.
When we first connect with the divine within, we don’t trust it. We confuse it with a parental authority who may have told us something was good for us that proved not to be so. But now, we’re past that. We’re fully aware that divine will is trustworthy and operates in accordance with all that our heart desires. Every time we overcome another crumb of resistance, we gain more trust until we find ourselves headlong in an apparent abyss of surrender, completely giving up our narrow self-will.
When a person is at this stage of the game, plugged into this self-perpetual divine-motion machine, a vital and revolutionary change happens in the person. Thoughts of truth will be sent forth into us, even though we may still follow old limiting ideas now and then. We will hear an inner voice that instructs us with a wisdom that would be over the heads of our ego to produce. This wisdom promotes a unifying spirit that nullifies any need for hate, self-rejection or denial of others. Answers will arise that reveal the unity of it all, eliminating fear and anxiety, friction and despair.
This process of surrender is what leads to ultimate fulfillment. The limited ego surrenders its knowledge to the knowing of the deeper self, focusing all our energetic resources—our courage, honesty and self-discipline—toward making the deeper knowledge self-perpetuating. Without this foundation, any joy or pleasure we experience will be short-lived.
So it’s when we give up our stake in our negative reactions, in our stubborn opinions, and our lazy ways that keep us mired in separating old habits, that we gain true life. This is the way to tap into immense security. We will discover the reality of the Spirit World, in and around us, and we will have deep peace about the meaning of our life. This won’t be some theory we hope is true or some belief we cling to, but an experiential fact.
We will come to know that there is a way out of every darkness, so never a reason for despair. We will realize that nothing happens without good cause, and every experience can be a steppingstone for creating a blissful life. Dark spots always hide a light that we no longer need to avoid, whether they are guilt or fear, pain or whatever.
Open systems that make room for everything—the good and the bad—are wide open for creating. Once we tap our divine source, we will make use of our own creative powers and no longer feel like a pawn on the chessboard of life. What a sense of peace to realize our life is our own creation. This perspective is quite the door opener that escorts us out of the two-dimensional existence of either-or. Life is a many-faceted reality and it’s at our disposal.
Our newfound confidence and fearlessness ushers in an effusion of energy and joy. Having lost our fear of pain because we are able to experience it, pain will cease to exist. Same with our fear of hate and anger; now that we can experience them, they can go away. This frees up our energy for more and better expressions. Instead of creating loneliness, we can create fulfilling relationships that include the bliss of loving one mate, as well as the deep satisfaction of good friends. We won’t fear pleasure because we will know that we deserve it. In every cell of our body, we will be in alignment with the Oneness.
Until we totally surrender to the God-consciousness within, it will take some time to work up the stamina to endure all this pleasure. Really. Our fear is due to the yet-remaining blocks we cling to and that suck our life force out of us. We wish to hang out in the grayness of not-quite-pleasure, not-quite-pain. This grayness may feel comfortable, but in the long run, it will leave us feeling empty.
Perhaps it would be helpful to have some way to gauge where we stand on the spectrum of purification and unification with the divine. These shouldn’t be used to put ourselves down, but rather to motivate us to lift ourselves up, creating inner visualizations about how life could look, and how we could look in it. Think of this as incentive to remove whatever stands in the way.
To begin with, the process of actualizing ourselves leads to incredible creativity blossoming out from within. We will be creative in our ideas, talents, rich feelings and ability to relate to others. We will navigate through our emptiness and discover the fullness of our own being. This will require courage that we can pray and meditate to receive. We have to want it. Our creativity will express multiple facets of our fullness and not mutually exclusive opposites; the times when we lose courage will become more and more scarce.
One thing we’ll create is a more intuitive understanding about ourselves, others and life. We’ll relax, not feeling the need to cover anything up or escape from anything within. This will lead to a deep awareness about what’s going on with other people. We will read their thoughts and, understanding them, be better able to help them and love them. We won’t need to defend ourselves against them using our destructive and so-not-effective-anyway ego defenses.
Outwardly, it would be hard to miss our inner light. Our cheeks will glow and we will have more energy and vitality than ever before. Whatever energy we expend will be continually renewed. Our physical systems will all stay in good working order. Our outer looks cannot help but be beautiful when we are in such vibrant harmony and health. It will be apparent in the grace of our movements, in our balance and our overall coordination, in the tone of our voice, in the way our eyes sparkle, in the brilliance of our skin, and in the suppleness of our body.
The degree of improvement will vary, but this is what is always possible. We are each already essentially that person; we only need to materialize it. But we can’t make it real if we have a stake in believing it’s not possible, or if we want all this vitality, health and radiance to serve our ego or our competitive drives. In that case, our inner guilt will eat up all the oxygen in the room and not let it happen. Further, if we seek these desirable qualities only on the outside, they will break down.
Knowing the truth about the power of inner unity means we know what amazing creators we truly are. We can even apply the self-discipline we have learned to experience the eternal state that exists beyond death. This will only be reliable if we no longer fear death because we know that we can die, in the same way we now know we can survive pain.
This is an experience that can only arise from our sense of our fullness, but never from our feeling of need and poverty. To find our fullness, we need to walk directly through the door of whatever we fear. Going in the opposite direction from what we fear is an escape that leads to a split rather than to unification.
Right now, every single day, we must die—we must survive a million little ego deaths to find eternal life. Then we will be ready to live fearlessly. How do we do this? We let go. We surrender. We give up the little opinions of our little ego, and all the negative reactions we’re invested in. We have to die to these. The little ego with all its little investments has to die. That’s how we transcend death and intuitively experience that, son of a gun, life keeps on going.
Once we experience death enough times, we’ll start to live without fear of death, and then we’ll know that this is the same principle that governs “real” death. When we temporarily let go of the little self, we find the larger self waking up, and then the two come together and unify. In the end, after all that death, we realize that the little self of the ego never even really dies—it unites with the greater self. Nothing is given up.
Mind you, along the way, it will feel like we’re giving something up. And we have to be willing to take the plunge. But when we do, all of eternity shows up. It will not only manifest by eliminating our fear of dying, but in a more practical sense, it will keep us youthful and vital. We’ll get a foretaste of the timelessness and agelessness of life ever after.
Another gauge we can look for is abundance. Since, for real, spiritual life is limitless, abundance must begin to manifest when we actualize our divine self. In our consciousness, we can make room for outer abundance that reflects universal abundance. We can create it. But if we want it so we won’t have to feel our poverty, we’ll create a split.
Creating abundance from fear is not living in reality. This is a house of cards that will need to be crushed so we can dissolve our illusion of poverty. Then real richness can grow in the plentiful soil of unity. If we can allow ourselves to be empty—to be poor—we can then allow ourselves to be filled—to be rich. Then our richness is an outer expression of our inner content. We won’t want to be rich for the sake of gaining power or esteem in others eyes, or out of fear or greed, but as a true expression of the natural abundance that surrounds and infuses us.
We can also gauge our connection with divine life by looking at how well we are in balance. We want to have proper balance between giving in and asserting ourselves. The spontaneous knowing of which is appropriate does not come from our ego. Or there’s proper balance between right selflessness and right selfishness, which shouldn’t be confused with wrong selflessness and wrong selfishness. Again, the intuitive knowledge of which is needed in just the right measure, where and when, can’t be decided with the mind. This can only come as a manifestation of inner truth and beauty that expresses into the outer levels appropriately.
We will have poise in our bearing, emanating courtesy and chivalry that will never be ridiculous or encourage others to take advantage of us. Our lives will be in complete order without a trace of compulsivity, and there will be generosity in our giving and receiving that will flow as one unified stream. We will be grateful and appreciative of the whole creative universe.
Finally, the loneliness that is the self-chosen lot of so many people will fade. We will learn to be real, functioning effortlessly without our masks or defenses. We will feel more and more comfortable with close intimacy. As we simultaneously get over our fear of both pain and pleasure, we will experience true ecstasy and deep fusion on all levels. We will explore the inner universe in union with another, discovering new heights and greater depths. We will no longer be tortured by fear of closeness.
The abundance of the universe expresses itself in every area of life. We will enjoy it in our intimate sharing with another person, and the security of our own feelings will make us feel secure about being loved. We will know the warm satisfaction of giving and helping, and of being devoted to fulfilling our task.
There is great cause for rejoicing over the ongoing creative process that is alive within each one of us. We only need to visualize it as reality and then set to work at clearing anything and everything in our way.
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