What We’re Here to Learn, in this Land of Duality
Our entire journey of growth and healing can be boiled down into a few simple words or phrases. Self-Responsibility is one of them. Wake Up is another.
While reading through the following overview, consider how we are asked to take responsibility for all of our life experiences by seeing where and how they originate inside of us. Then realize that our work is largely to become aware of aspects of ourselves that we simply hadn’t been aware of before.
There are no musts and there are no shoulds. Rather, this is an invitation to see what aspects of healing we might be missing. Then, as we go along in life, we can make different choices. For when we know better, we can do better.
- When we are born, we are already split into either a male half or a female half. Our longing to unite with another stems from this cleaving of our soul. (The Pull, Chapter One: The Cosmic Pull Toward Union)
- Each soul also contains a primary inner split; healing this split is a key reason we incarnate into this dualistic sphere. This split gets transferred onto our parents, with one parent surfacing one side of what we believe to be true, and the other parent surfacing the opposite belief. (For example, “It hurts to be seen; it hurts to not be seen.”) Neither side is in truth, which is what the adult will need to come to understand.
- Until we surface these hidden untruths, we will unconsciously transfer our inner splits and faulty thinking onto everyone we meet, seeing them through our inner distorted lenses rather than in the reality of who they are: people with both strengths and weaknesses, just like us, who in fact are not our parents. (Bones, Chapter Eleven | Our Habit of Transferring our Split onto Everyone)
- Children want to be loved 100%, caught as they are in the all-or-nothing thinking of duality. But due to the parents’ human limitations (they have their own splits and distortions) it is not possible for our parents to give us the 100% love we demand as children. As we grow older, we often remain stuck in similarly demanding love, having not received it the way we wanted it as a child. But in fact, love can’t come to us this way as adults, and if it did, we wouldn’t let it in given our now-defended state. (Gems, Chapter Thirteen: Landing our Desires by Letting Go of our Demands)
- Our parents are selected for their ability to create the ideal conditions that will bring our splits and distortions to the surface, so that we will be able to see them in this lifetime and heal them.
- Often, we wish we’d had “better, more loving” parents, but if such parents were available, we would not have been born to them, for that would defeat the whole purpose of incarnating. Again, our issues must come to the surface for us to see them before we can do the work needed to heal them. (Note, perfect parenting is not required for a child to feel loved; if “good enough” parenting is offered, the child does not suffer. To the extent our relationship with our parents is healthy and fulfilling, to that extent we are healed on our inner layers.) (Pearls, Chapter Five: Preparing for Reincarnation: Every Life Counts)
- Due our inner split and other distortions, then, working in concert with the splits and distortions of our parents (and siblings or family substitutes), our needs do not get met in childhood. This is painful.
- Our reaction to pain is the origin of our three primary faults (all other faults tuck up under these three categories): (Bones, Chapter Twelve: Finding Out the Truth about Ourselves, Including Our Faults, and Chapter Thirteen: The Ubiquitous Faults of Self-Will, Pride and Fear)
- Fear: In our immature state, we see life in black-and-white terms. Everything boils down to life-and-death, so pleasure equates to life and pain equates to death. In short, we fear pain because we think it means death. Often, in our hopelessness, we will resign ourselves to “death”—giving up on getting pleasure, or on getting what we want—but this is just an ineffective strategy for coping with our belief that pain will kill us. Since we can’t seem to avoid pain, we dive headlong into it. This doesn’t stop the pain. (Bones, Chapter Two | The Importance of Feeling All Our Feelings, Including Fear)
- Pride: This is the feeling that we are better than everyone else, which we adopt as a countermeasure against feeling less than everyone, for our less-than-satisfying childhood leaves us feeling worthless or somehow not enough.
- Self-Will: In an effort to avoid pain and facing our unfortunate conclusion that we are worthless, we apply our will to defending ourselves. We hold ourselves back, becoming lazy, stubborn, resistant to change, withholding (including of our best self) and rebellious. (Gems, Chapter Nine: Why Lazy is the Worst Way to Be, and Finding Gold, Chapter Six: Laziness as a Symptom of Self-Alienation)
- We numb ourselves to avoid feeling painful feelings. This is a one-size-fits-all strategy that stops positive feelings right along with negative feelings. One primary way we blocked our feelings as children was by holding our breath, or breathing shallowly. We still do this as adults when unpleasant feelings arise, and often this becomes habitual. As a result, we don’t fully embody our own selves. We become alienated from ourselves and ungrounded. We also add in distractions and addictions to further avoid our feelings. (Finding Gold, Chapter Five: Self-Alienation and the Way Back to the Real Self)
- This numbing action creates frozen blocks in our energy field, which are in turn held in the body. They will remain frozen until we feel the unfelt pain held in them.
- Our bodies develop their shapes following patterns that result from the way we freeze our feelings. Illness in the body can often be traced to our early reaction to pain.
Every child chooses a strategy to avoid pain: Aggression, Submission or Withdrawal. These translate into behaviors designed to get our needs met—to get love—using accordingly either a Power Mask, a Love Mask, or a Serenity Mask. These do not work and instead bring more pain. (Bones, Chapter Four: Three Basic Personality Types: Reason, Will and Emotion, and Chapter Seven: Love, Power and Serenity in Divinity or in Distortion)
We believe that maybe if we are perfect—if we project an ideal version of ourselves—we’ll be loved. So we don a mask of perfection designed to compensate for our missing self-esteem and bring love. This also does not work. (Bones, Chapter Six: The Origin and Outcome of the Idealized Self-Image, and Pearls, Chapter Nine: Why Flubbing on Perfection is the Way to Find Joy)
- We internalize the voice of our parents—often the one we hate the most—and now, instead of someone else being cruel to us, we are cruel to ourselves.
- Negative Pleasure: Human beings are wired for pleasure. If pleasure is not what we experience as children, we will attach our life force to whatever destructive, painful things we do experience. We will then go through life with our wires crossed, needing to re-create destructive experiences in order to feel energized. (Bones, Chapter Sixteen: How Pleasure Gets Twisted into Self-Perpetuating Cycles of Pain, and The Pull, Chapter Five: Pleasure: The Full Pulsation of Life)
- Negative Intention: Our Lower Self wraps itself around our Higher Self, with the intention of keeping us in separation. As such, we resist giving or giving in, and instead stay stuck in our misery. Our Lower Self uses our wrong conclusions about life to justify our intention to cut ourselves off from life. (Bones, Chapter Seventeen: Overcoming our Negative Intention by Identifying with our Spiritual Self)
- No-Current: Hidden in our unconscious are faulty beliefs that cause us to say No to fulfillment. As a result, we will feel frantic about our Yes to having what we want. For with a hidden No, our Yes will always be ineffective. (For example, if we felt rejected by a parent, we might have an inner No-current that says: “I need someone who rejects me.”) (Bones, Chapter Fifteen: Learning to Speak the Language of the Unconscious)
Hidden Wrong Conclusions
- Our mistaken beliefs about ourselves, others and life in general, called “images”, are generalizations formed at a young age using the logic of a child. We go on to apply them to life as though they are100% true. (For example, “All men/women lie to me”, “I will never be enough”, “People want me to be lonely”.) Our beliefs cause us to behave in ways that create life experiences that make them appear to be true. They are not. (Bones, Chapter Nine: Images and the Deep, Deep Damage They Do)
- As we grow up, since our wrong conclusions aren’t true and don’t really hold water, they sink into our unconscious where we can no longer see them. More importantly, since we are not aware of them, we can’t change them using our better adult reasoning. Hence, they rule. Our life situations reflect back to us exactly what we unconsciously believe.
Recreating Childhood Hurts
- We will go through life creating vicious circles, over and over, caused by the traps of wrong thinking and unfelt feelings that keep us spinning in old hurts and defending ourselves against the pain caused by our own inner distortions. (Bones, Chapter Ten: Unpacking the Pain of our Old Destructive Patterns)
- Beyond this, the fractured young aspect feels it was defeated, and This time, it thinks, we are going to win! It’s not true, however, that we were ever defeated, and so it’s equally untrue that we if we remain lost in illusion, we will ever win. Victory lies in seeing the greater truth of the situation and dying into our feelings of disappointment. Remember, doing so won’t kill us; feeling all our feelings is what sets us free. (Bones, Chapter One: Emotional Growth and Its Function, and Chapter Eight: How and Why we Recreate Childhood Hurts)
- While every person has, at their core, a Higher Self—imbued with the divine qualities of courage, love and wisdom—we each have gone through the Fall (see Part Two: The Prequel) and acquired a Lower Self. The goal of our Lower Self is to keep us separate. To go the way of the Lower Self, we only need to follow the path of least resistance. (Bones, Chapter Three: The Higher Self, the Lower Self, and the Mask Self)
- This means the ego must make an effort to transcend the Lower Self and follow the quieter inner voice of the Higher Self. Meditation can be helpful to hear what our Lower Self is saying—to see where our work lies—as well as to listen for the wiser direction continually streaming from our Higher Self. We typically need to clear the loud clamoring of our Lower Self—by feeling our old pain and surfacing our wrong conclusions—before the truth emanating from our Higher Self can be realized and imprinted in our soul substance. (Bones, Chapter Eighteen: How to Use Meditation to Create a Better Life, and Pearls, Chapter Fourteen: Meditating to Connect Three Voices: The Ego, the Lower Self & the Higher Self)
- Doing the work of healing will require us to have a strong, well-disciplined ego that is willing to make an effort and pay the price for what we want, while not skipping steps and not trying to cheat life. (Gems, Chapter Ten: Spotting the Tricks of our Ego and Getting Over Ourselves)
- The ego must also learn to surrender to the greater self, asking for help, listening for guidance, letting go of results and learning to trust God. A strong ego knows it can give up having what the little self wants, at least for a limited time, as a necessary step for finding God within and ultimately getting what we really want, which is to be at peace. (Gems, Chapter Seventeen: Discovering the Key to Letting Go & Letting God)
Once we do the work of releasing old pent-up feelings and reorienting our thinking to align with truth, we will experience a deep inner freedom. (Bones, Chapter Nineteen: The Giant Misunderstanding About Freedom and Self-Responsibility)
- Our belief in something greater than ourselves will organically unfold as we apply these teachings to our lives and free ourselves from our self-made prisons. It is hard to describe the joy and serenity that unfold when we are in alignment with truth. (Gems, Chapter Eleven: Four Avenues for Reaching the Cosmic Nougat at our Core)
- There is nothing here we are asked to believe. But by doing our work, one step at a time, we will come to a firm knowing that healing is possible and that these teachings can take us home. (Gems, Chapter Twelve: Four Pragmatic Steps for Finding Faith and Addressing Doubt)
- The value of visiting this dualistic sphere lies in the friction that naturally arises at the interface between our distortions and the inner distortions of others. Because we often don’t see the distortions in ourselves, we project them onto others, where we can see them. Too often we stop there and get mired in blame and victimhood. We need to go further and find the truth of the untruth where it lives, and where we have the ability to correct it: inside us. Over time, if we get all the way to the other side of our obstacles, our frictions with others will resolve. (The Pull, Chapter Four: The Spiritual Significance of Human Relationship)
- As we mature, we will begin to give love, and in return, receive what our hearts desire. We will come to know what we want, instead of relying on the unrealistic demands of our immature fractured selves. These young inner parts of ourselves are in need of healing so that we can re-integrate ourselves and become whole once again. (Gems, Chapter Four: Claiming our Total Capacity for Greatness, and Chapter Fourteen: How to Visualize Living in a State of Unity)