Our minds bounce around inside a narrow box, as it were, made up of screwy and limited perceptions. As we get to know ourselves, we gradually connect the dots about how we are related to life. One area where our judgment is particularly off is in thinking that we see the whole picture. Really, we can barely see our own little wedge. And this totally skews everything. It’s like seeing the bottom left corner of a huge painting and believing we know what the whole thing is about.
In truth, the human mind is capable of infinite expansion. And eventually that’s what will happen. In the meantime, what do we typically do? We buy our own limited beliefs and perceptions, which keeps our mind conditioned to stay in the box.
Numero uno for getting out is to know that we are brainwashing ourselves continually. Case in point, it is painfully narrow of our minds to not make the connection between our inner landscapes and our outer reality. When our main perceptions about life and self are this off-center, our minds are looking surprisingly untrustworthy.
We are so sold on this widespread illusion that outer events impose hardships on us, that it’s difficult to stop the brainwashing. There are three stages we need to go through to grow out of our present hole.
Stage One, we’re a long way from reality and nothing seems connected with us. The world is a fixed place where the mess coming our way is due to an unlucky roll of the dice. We’re not complete idiots—we can see that sometimes we have created what we experience. But we still can’t see how outer events, which seemingly have nothing to do with us, have anything to do with us. They blow us off our center, but we don’t make the connection that they have to do with something we should be paying attention to.
Our self-imposed blindness removes us so far from awareness of self-creation that we really do become removed from what we create. Then our creations don’t seem to even be connected to our actions—the things we can control. This is painful. We feel we don’t deserve what’s happening and life is a frightening unpredictable place. We truly seem to be a victim of circumstance.
This is the great human hoax: that we are victims. There is no more painful or deadly game. But there’s no resistance greater than the one that doesn’t want to give up this hoax. Blinders: on.
We need to work through some of our blocks and resistance to see that what had seemed a fixed outer event, put haphazardly in our way, was really a logical extension of our inner attitudes and intentions. Once we see this, our worldview opens up. Doing this takes courage, humility and honesty, plus a whole lotta self-responsibility. But the relief, safety and creative strength we garner from this is hard to describe in words.
Over time, we find that we wouldn’t exchange the pleasure of self-responsibility with the fiction of being a victim for anything. We will come to see that life events are incontrovertibly linked to us. They are our creations. They will no longer be connected only as symbolic out-picturings. This brings us to Stage Two.
In the second stage, we can see the outer pictures we create with our inner dots. Knowing this changes nothing. We don’t immediately stop producing our creations just because we understand that we do this. We need to release all the associated pent-up energy and stagnant feelings before we can begin re-creating. But at least it’s now obvious where our dramas originate: our own feelings, attitudes, beliefs and intentions.
We can start to see how our desires, defenses and destructive actions create negative blowback. It’s hard to feel so helpless, anxious, victimized, hopeless and afraid in the face of this. We may still doubt our ability to change anything—as we may be sitting on a deep negative intention to not change—but at least the world doesn’t appear to be so random. That’s one giant step for humankind when this happens.
And so we’re onto Stage Three. We’ve got our ducks in a row enough to start creating a mostly positive life. Outer events begin to click into place. We’re not all the way purified yet, but we have a lot of awareness about how and where we fall short. Our mind has become more agile and can readily pierce the veil of illusion.
All the clouds don’t go away. We’re still going to trip and fall and suffer from our own pendulum of moods. They will sometimes seem to come in and out without a good reason. But we can no longer kid ourselves that this is happening at someone else’s hand. It’s our own mood.
Sure, we’ll sometimes blame it on so-and-so having done such-and-such, and that may be true enough. Oops, we just slipped back into Stage Two for a moment. Maybe even Stage One. But if we’re in Stage Three, we know our mood isn’t really caused by something outside of us. Yet a cloud has come over the sun and we don’t know why. We do know, however, that the cloud is in us. So now we’re a victim of our own crummy moods. We’re still a little removed then from our inner reality. But we’re circling the target. Our footsteps through the previous stages helped us get here.
The causes of that inner cloud cover will vary, of course. Maybe we repress a feeling we don’t like. Maybe we are sticking with our perception of someone who bugs us because we don’t like how they frustrate us. Or maybe it’s just that something new is now surfacing. It’s like that on a spiritual path. Whatever the cause, we should watch for the signposts of our moods. Without them, we wouldn’t have a clue which way to turn next.
This inner reality of which we speak isn’t only a psychological or emotional state. It’s the wide, vast universe of potential that we are standing at the edge of. We’re right there on the cusp between an infinite inner space of you-name-it creation and the outer void that’s ready to be filled with love and light. Our body is the boundary—the border state.
Our consciousness behind our bodies is the carrying agent whose mission, if we choose to accept it, is to bring our inner reality into that void. Here’s the catch. We, living in this border state, usually forget that that inner reality is the real world. Heck, we forget that there even is an inner world. Our brains aren’t big enough to comprehend the idea of an actual world within ourselves that leads to infinite spaces. We can only conceive of space as being an outer reality. But outer space is just a reflection of inner space. All we can see as being real is what exists in 3D space.
Physicists understand this relationship between time and space and movement, and that the possibilities are infinite. Therefore the time-space-movement continuum we live in—our state of consciousness—is relative, and just one of many possibilities. It’s not a fixed “reality” that applies to every inner state. So when we “die,” as it were, what is really happening is that a person’s consciousness is withdrawing from its shell and going into another time-space-movement continuum. And that exists in the inner world.
In our world, the relationship of movement to time and space results from the way it matches a certain state of consciousness. In a similar way, everything that surrounds us, including landscapes, things, natural laws and the climate, are a result of the specific state of consciousness they correspond to. As such, our inner world is a total product of our overall state of consciousness.
In our inner world, we hang out with other beings who are a match for our own overall state of consciousness. Together, we share a sphere that creates a temporary reality for us. Same for here on Earth, except that here, it’s harder to see others’ inner states. Our own consciousness isn’t just one unified state, either. We’ve got lots of varying levels of development going on inside, and these inner aspects are often in total disagreement.
So when we, our real selves, are in the Spirit World, getting ready to inhabit another body and tackle a certain task, we choose certain aspects of our consciousness to bring along with us. Our goal, which our real self was really clear about, is to unify disconnected aspects of our consciousness. We also want to reeducate, refine and purify these fragmented parts. Clean things up a bit.
Our ego, which is the active, determining part of our consciousness, has to make a choice: try to come to an understanding about all of this, or avoid it. It stands at the border between the world of light—our inner world—and the outer void. Then we get here to Earth and get distracted by the bright shiny objects of the 3D world and we forget we had a mission.
Now we’ve got to fight to get our awareness back—to wake up. It’s worth noting that we are given a ton of help to do this in the form of spiritual guidance. But often we thumb our noses at that too, not willing to pay attention.
When we, in our closed-off minds, forget this greater truth of our being, our ego will temporarily identify with the parts that need re-educating. So then we’ve lost a sense of our real identity. This is a painful state that comes about when our three big faults of self-will, pride and fear run rampant. In our ego, we become identified with these faults and think they are us—that we are them.
Once we expose this and own our faults, identifying them instead of being identified with them, our shameful isolation will cease. Then these aspects can be seen for what they are: aspects of the total self. Not such a biggie after all.
So it’s critical then, on a path of self-development, to stop hiding our negative parts. The more we hide them, the more lost we are in them and the greater our desperation about this whole illusion becomes. We need to crank up some courage and adopt some humility to expose the underbelly of our beings. Then a miracle can happen: we can come free from secretly feeling we are what we are hiding.
The more we expose, the more we see of our true creative self. What a profound paradox. If we unearth the ugly, we’ll start to see our beauty. If we tear up the hatred, our already existing state of love can shine through.
Just think about how much pain we cause ourselves by hiding what we’re ashamed and afraid of. This hiding serves to compound our self-hate. Further, the shame we feel as a result of our concealing convinces us that our worst parts are the real us.
This makes us more determined to hide, so that we feel more isolated, more negative, more destructive—all because of our hiding. Because hiding requires that we project our real guilt onto others, blaming them, whitewashing ourselves, being a hypocrite, and on and on.
And doesn’t all this just work to serve the point that we are worthless and there’s no hope? We’ve got a big job to do, people—we’ve got to expose this whole hot mess. There’s just no way around this. If we, as spiritual seekers, think there’s got to be a better way, well good luck. We’re in for a rude awakening when we discover that, no, this was the way to go, exposing what needs to be healed.
The silver lining of doing this work is the realization that exposure brings in its wake awareness that our worst opinions of ourselves aren’t justified—no matter what the junk is in our trunk. They’re the isolated parts that the real self has taken charge of. We’re already on the scent. We just thought we were lost.
As we start whipping out our flashlights and shining them into our dark corners, we are going to become aware of our Higher Self—because we will be holding hands with it. This part of ourselves—our light—isn’t theoretical. It’s the stark reality of who we are, right here, right now. This is the real entity that we are, have always been and always will be, no matter what our isolated aspects dream up in the way of delusion and folly. Our tasks are so awesome, there is simply nothing to be ashamed of here.
This notion of an inner landscape is not just a colorful analogy. Our life experience is a reflection of it. As we move through the three stages of development, something interesting will start to happen. It’s like things start to go in reverse. Instead of outer events seeming like a cause, they will start to become an effect. What seemed like a symbolic analogy—our inner landscape—will now be stark reality. Outer events then turn into symbolic reflections.
In the wake of this comes a whole gamut of new reactions to life. We gain an inner security from knowing that our thoughts, desires, feelings and attitudes are the creative agents. So we stop treating them like they don’t matter. We get that we are a creator in the grandest scheme of things.
Going beyond the faulty limited logic of the material world into which we have been plopped, our outsides will come to match our insides. Peace, joy, security and a sense of oneness are inevitable results of this, making our former resistance seem a bit ludicrous. And yet we struggle against this awareness more than we struggle against anything else. We can explain away just about anything. Now who’s the crazy one?
We’d rather do just about anything other than discover that we’re the ones deliberately building up our stake in having spite and malice. We’re the ones justifying our faults. We’re choosing unhappy experiences for our own nefarious reasons. We create crap and then resent the hell out of it, becoming bitter, resentful, punishing and withholding. We’re not making this up—our suffering is real. On and on we go until we’re so lost, we think nothing that happens to us has anything to do with us. We think our thoughts and intentions don’t matter. That we don’t matter. We don’t realize what power these very thoughts have to create.
Often we ignore the connection because we get fooled by the time interval between cause and effect. But the universe doesn’t respond immediately the way our childish demand for immediate gratification thinks it should. It’s only with maturity that we can discern an effect that doesn’t follow right on the heels of its cause.
By the time we reach Stage Two, we may still get stuck from time to time in this way of thinking, but we’ll start to catch on. At least when we get stuck, we’ll know we’re stuck. We won’t just spin our wheels and hope someone else will pull us out. Then we can direct our focus in a meaningful way. We can track backwards from actions, or lack thereof, to the intentions and thoughts that launched them.
So the way out is through the doorway of commitment to seeing ourselves and our lives in these terms. To ask: What’s lacking? How did I create this? How much am I willing to be in truth? Really—all the way? That’s the big question.
So let’s go back to those moods that we’re peering into in Stage Three. When we’re in a good mood, we think the pleasant times should last forever. So not surprising, when in a bad mood, we think the sun will never shine again. We’re beyond blaming others as a scapegoat for our bleak moods, but when they come about without seeming provocation, we’re stumped. So then we need to learn to listen with greater perception, to get into the flow of our inner life stream. Remember the river under the ice and snow—it’s always moving.
When we dream about journeys, we are symbolically experiencing this inner truth: our spiritual path is in constant movement through the stages that we need to traverse. This journey isn’t just a word—it’s a movement. Our personal paths will carry us through some landscapes that will include vistas from our Higher Self, which are beautiful and brilliant. That is assuming we’re moving through the parts of the landscape we came here to work on. If we get stuck there, well, it isn’t going to be pretty.
And that’s not just a reference to our time here on Earth. All aspects of our personality stay with us, unified and integrated or not. So when we withdraw after a lifetime, they’re coming with us. And we are going to have to live in them—not just with them, but in them—alternately, in the inner universe. So whatever fragments remain that we haven’t integrated with our Higher Self are going to remain separated in their own little self-created worlds. And there’s no phoning it in—we’ll have to occasionally live in these worlds for an amount of “time,” for lack of a better word, that matches the intensity of each state.
Each of these worlds will have their own conditions, dimensions and laws, just like here on Earth. And just like here, when we’re in them, we will think that is the only reality there is. They are each worlds of consciousness and action. And there are a lot of them. Only in the highest worlds, development-wise, will we know that these are not the only game in town.
It’s sort of like being here on planet Earth—but worse. There, when we forget our real identity—just the way every human being does—it will seem like we will be in those lower worlds forever. Such finality is an illusion, just like here. But it’s a good illusion. In fact, the only final reality is beauty, love, truth, light and bliss. Every other state is temporary.
So back to those bad moods. When they come along—and they will—clouding things over and making us despair, we’re not following our inner movement. We’re struggling against the current—against the mood. And we believe we are in a final world of darkness. But if we don’t panic and get fearful that this is the end, we can sense the movement that is taking place. We can get curious about what this movement into the cold is about for us. We can accept it and move with it.
By fighting it, we stop the movement. By accepting it, we follow the movement. And that’s what will carry us through. The moment we accept pain and consciously connect with its meaning, it will stop being pain. Same with bleak moods. Every cloud has a meaning, and if we commit to comprehending it, the answers will be revealed to us.
A great tool for doing this is to do a daily review. Look at the moods that “overtook” you during the day—although the notion that feelings overtake us is like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. We are the ones who produce the mood, not the other way around. But still, they do seem to overtake us.
In this way, we can bridge the gap between psychological and spiritual realities. We want to avoid using psychological tools that stop short at seeing our self-responsibility for what we create. We also want to avoid spiritual tools that don’t make practical use of the truth that we create our own reality. Spirituality can then be used to bypass doing important psychological work. We want to unify these two sides of this same truth. Because if we leave out the spiritual from our psychological reality, or leave out the psychological from our spiritual reality, we can wind up with an escape and an incomplete approach to our struggle here on Earth.
There has been a historical progression in terms of self-responsibility. In ancient time, people lived as though they were completely dependent upon the gods. Later, in centuries not so long ago, a religious counter-movement had come about in which peoples’ failings in the areas of poverty, illness and insanity were chalked up against them. We ostracized people who were judged to be sinners and therefore treated as outcasts.
Any time we misuse this teaching that “we create our own reality” in such a loveless, judgmental spirit, this truth has been turned into a dangerous half-truth. Historically, we had to move past this and allow a better balance to come about. And so, during the past century, we scrapped this idea of self-responsibility. In the big arc of things, this was the pendulum swinging over to the other side on the journey of evolution.
Now we’re into this tendency to see the suffering person as an innocent victim. The call for self-responsibility gets all tangled up with previous blaming and an arrogant, punitive attitude. As a result, we are misled about peoples’ own potentialities.
It is only now, as a part of the spiral movement that humanity as a whole goes through, that we are ready for assuming responsibility without the distortion of blame. Now we can own our negativities without despairing. We have become spiritually matured enough to find the balance, the love, and the truth of creative self-responsibility. So now we can gain self-responsibility on a whole new level.
We don’t need to use truth as a weapon against others, trying to elevate our egos above theirs. We can use the truth on our own selves. Self-responsibility can now be practiced as the highest form of human dignity, not used as a weapon for finger pointing. It’s now, when we want to be in truth about our negativities and destructiveness, that we can find the grandeur of our creative selves. We can know that we are all creators and carriers of God.
The pendulum must keep swinging until love and self-responsibility aren’t split any more into opposites, but become necessary halves of one complete whole. That’s the way to the oneness. When we arrive, we will have found ourselves.
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