The work of inner growth is only arduous because the mind has lost its way and is caught in a maze. Its confusion, caused by the split between our conscious intentions and those that remain out of sight in the unconscious—two things going in two opposite directions—messes with our will.
When we first strike out on a path of personal development, we only know our conscious wishes. We place every lack squarely on the shoulders of bum luck, or on someone else. We don’t yet know that the only one thwarting any fulfillment is us. Even when we start to get a glimpse at our inner agenda, we can’t fathom that an actual inner No exists inside. And that its only pretending to be on our side.
This idea that we have our own inner reasons for denying ourselves what we so ardently strive for is hard to accept. We’ve got to find a way to connect with this errant inner voice if we hope to unearth what’s really going on. Unification isn’t possible unless and until we heal this split.
Interestingly, we fight becoming aware of this split almost as much as, if not more than, we fight the destructiveness that drives it. This is so, even though simple awareness ushers in tremendous relief. Whoosh. In comes a refreshing wave of psychic energy. So what’s this resistance about?
Well, here’s the thing we don’t want to know: we are the ones fighting against what we want. And we don’t want to see this. The more we unconsciously don’t want something, the harder we fight for it on the surface. We become frantic, frenzied, bitter and tense. Or we cut the whole thing off, dulling our senses and squashing our longing.
But seriously—what else are we to do?
We have to unravel the many layers of human consciousness. We have to understand the theory as best we can, even though to our rational minds, some of it may at first sound nonsensical. I mean, you’re telling me that I have a negative inner will—when anyone can see how incredibly much I want this?
It can’t be stressed enough: the more frantically we strive for something, the less we trust we’ll ever get it. And this is proof positive that a huge inner No exists. We can tilt at outer windmills all day long, trying to budge the blocks. But we’ll be much better off if we calm down and try to uncover the inner negation. This is where we are blocking our own frantic outer wish.
While it won’t wipe out all of our frustration, it will knock it down a peg, just discovering for ourselves that maybe there’s something to this idea. But then we tend to get stuck at this point. Weirdly enough, knowing about a totally irrational, self-destructive part of ourselves doesn’t do a damned thing to stop it. Even once we’ve sorted out our faulty conclusions about life. Even after we’ve surfaced our unjustified fears. Nope. Not giving it up.
Sure, we’ve loosened up some lug nuts. We’ve freed up some energy and we aren’t quite so blaming and accusing of others. The fire hose of self-blame and self-accusation, though, may now be turned on ourselves. And we heap onto that some judgment for not being able to flip this No-current into a Yes-current. We are puzzled.
When facing an inner No-current, we are going to need some serious help to turn this around. It’s sort of like turning a battleship; it will turn slowly, no matter how hard we try to speed up the process.
Some of us are aware of what’s lacking in our lives and how much we suffer from it. Others of us have no clue about what we long for or what our needs are, so we suffer indirectly from feeling unfulfilled. There is no upside in the latter. Our sensibilities are so dulled that we create more self-alienation for ourselves. We are even less alive and will need to do some work just to find the layer of longing and make it conscious.
If we find ourselves in this situation, we need to listen into our ourselves as we ask: “What do I want? What’s lacking? Am I as fulfilled as I long to be? Deep inside, can I sense that more is possible than I allow myself to experience?”
If we sit with these questions in mediation, we may find affirming parts within that say Yes, and negating parts that say No. We may even have a negating part that says No to sitting in meditation. And don’t assume that the affirming part is always landing on the side of health, love, expansion, growth or fulfillment. For example, maybe we hear a voice affirming that a career choice is completely acceptable and “right.” But maybe it’s not rightfor us. In this case, the negating voice could spring from the best, most wise part of the self. This stuff gets tricky. Repeating, it’s good to go slow.
We can use this approach regarding any conflict in life that is hard to resolve. The first step is always going to be coming to a clear-cut awareness of how we say No to our most cherished desires. We have to go on record with our understanding of things, and commit ourselves. This is our part in the mutuality that opens something inside of us for healing.
We have to come out of vagueness about what is unfulfilling about our life. We may have to work to have clarity about just what the problem is. We deplore the problem but don’t know what we want to happen to resolve it. It helps to write this down in black and white so the words don’t elude us: “What do I want to be different in my life? What would I like to be different in myself? In what way?” Be clear.
The second series of questions to ask and answer in writing includes: “What are the factors contributing to this absence of fulfillment? Are they inside of me or outside of me?
The third series of questions is: “How do I go about setting things up so that it will be impossible for my conscious wishes to be fulfilled? What beliefs do I hold that support my saying No to this fulfillment?”
Allow answers to surface that are immature, negative or destructive. Our goal is to uncover faulty logic. Everything isn’t going to make perfect sense until we find the buried misconception or belief. But this alone will greatly relieve the tremendous pressure that builds up from the inner division.
The fourth and final question is: “How ready am I to heal this?” There is no shame in realizing that No, we’re not ready. Maybe we don’t really want what we want. This of course bears further exploration. But at least we can stop blaming the world for withholding from us something we ardently desire.
To recap, the layers in our soul are like this. The deepest layer is our legitimate need and longing. This is our Yes, which gets covered over with a layer that says No. This layer holds faulty conclusions about life based on childhood experiences. The logic is limited, as it is the logic of a child’s mind. Since it doesn’t make complete sense, we push it out of our awareness as we get older. So now there is a layer of unawareness—we are unaware of our actual state: that our whole being longs desperately for fulfillment in some way.
This piling up of layers creates a feeling of urgency. This can come out indirectly in the form of tension, anxiety, inability to concentrate, absentmindedness, a feeling of futility, depression, lack of energy and physical problems. All from negating a deep longing or need.
It can also happen that we have a legitimate need that gets distorted into a so-called neurotic need. We don’t want to throw the whole thing out, because it holds the kernel of a real need. Further, it can be difficult to let go of a neurosis. Here’s why.
Our soul substance is in constant motion; nothing that is living ever stands still. It moves and moves and moves. Then in comes an error in thinking—a misconception—which breeds negativity which breeds more error. Soul substance that has gotten trapped in error and negativity becomes temporarily fixed. It grows stagnant.
The challenge is to make that fixedness fluid once more. This stuff that has gotten stuck is made up of a combo of energy and consciousness. No atom on the planet doesn’t also contain consciousness. The whole universe is permeated with this energy/consciousness cocktail. They’re not separate entities hanging out side-by-side. They are one. Energy is consciousness and consciousness is energy.
So energy/consciousness that has gotten stuck needs to move again. The fixed substance must become fluid again. It must wake up out of its own stagnation. It needs a tire iron to loosen up the bolts. The awakening, however, needs to happen from within the dormant part, but free flowing energy/consciousness is repulsed by this fixed state. This means it’s not easy for fluid energy/consciousness to break up the fixed parts.
As a result, the mind gets lost in its own maze. Somehow, the stagnant energy/consciousness has to find a way to let go of itself. Until that happens, the soul substance remains stationery. Stuck. The battleship won’t budge.
These words can be hard for the mind to grasp. It may be easier to get the meaning through our intuition. If we’ve had a glimmer of the true world where all is one, we may understand this better. We will get why the enlightened consciousness can only do so much, working little by little to influence the entrapped energy/consciousness, which is what we often refer to as neurosis.
It takes a lot of patience to find and influence stuck areas of ourselves. Yet, if enlightened consciousness and fluid energy didn’t act upon our frozen soul substance, it would stay stuck forever. Eventually, free-flowing energy/consciousness prevails. Life wins.
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