The following extract is from my brand new ebook Games You Play to Deny Yourself Divine Love, which is now available on Amazon.com (if you would like a review copy, email Marcus, email@example.com). This book is part of an ebook series called The Deepening. The other two ebooks published so far are:
Trolls and Demons: How to Remain Awake in the Age of Online Zombies
The Truth about Karma
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I will accept myself when I am more spiritual
Ah yes. I am spiritual. Very spiritual! And I am becoming more spiritual. Soon I will be so spiritual that all those sheeple out there will be so far beneath me that I will not even know they exist!
There’s no more guaranteed way to sabotage a spiritual journey than to go on a spiritual journey. Where are you going, exactly? When will you get there?
Can you see the problem?
In setting up the journey, you are saying that where I am now is not okay. I must arrive somewhere else, later on – only then will I be whole and complete. This here and now is not good enough. Indeed, I must become more spiritual. Like the Dalai Lama, the Pope, Jesus, or the Buddha. Or maybe I can just be as enlightened as my spiritual teacher. Sure, I am not there yet. But I will be. One day. In the future. But not now. Not here.
The mind loves this spiritual game. It is a guaranteed way that it never has to release its power over you, for it sets up a perpetual cycle of conditional love. I will be OK when I am truly spiritual, when I get to the top of that mountain.
“I need to be perfect”
Jesus was perfect. He couldn’t be tempted by the devil, and he never had a wicked thought. The Buddha just sat around being all enlightened. I’m not there yet, but maybe one day I will be.
Sorry, but you are not going to be like Jesus, and you haven’t got a hope of being like the Buddha. No, you are just fine the way you are.
Make no mistake. There are lessons we can learn from the spiritual greats. There are subtle distinctions about the way mind and cosmos interact, between the way the ego and higher self operate. But you are not here to be like anyone else. You are just magnificent in what you are right now. If you stop and relax long enough, you might just discover this for yourself. So do yourself a favour and spare yourself those thirty years of penance or meditation you think you need to become perfect.
The key to awakening lies in the deep acceptance of all that you already are, including all those parts of yourself you deem to be unacceptable.
Get it through your thick head (or thick mind). You are never going to be perfect. Not ever!
Here’s another secret. No mind that has ever existed on this planet has ever become enlightened. That’s right. No mind has ever reached nirvana because the mind by its very nature exists in separation, and if you want to continue to exist on this plane of existence, a mind comes in very handy from time to time.
The truth is that the Deepening is a relaxation into the perfection that you already are. The mind can never live up to the ridiculous expectations which you place upon it. So don’t bother.
If you are not having a good time, why bother anyway?
Is your ultimate enlightenment worth the cost of being a boring, miserable SOB till the year 2050?
I don’t think so.
So snap out of it.
“I will be OK when I am healed”
Don’t interrupt my pain. I’m healing!
You have to give it to the mind for this one, for it is pure genius. Trying to heal is perhaps the perfect trap the mind sets up to fool itself. In this common scenario, you set out to heal yourself after you acknowledge that that there is pain within your soul. Your mind then declares: “My goodness! This is what is stopping the light from shining within me! I must go on a healing journey in order to awaken! I must get rid of this damn pain. When I no longer hurt, I will be free – and enlightened!”
Do you see the trap? In trying to get rid of the pain, the ego is rejecting the wounded child within. The ego is rejecting itself. Ironically, shutting out the light. Here the mind is saying that the current me, with all this pain and suffering, is not acceptable. But one day, when I get rid of all this damn anger, sadness and fear I’ll be okay. Not till then though!
What I am talking about involves a very subtle distinction. It is generally true that we have to acknowledge our pain before we can heal. If we suppress our hurt and emotions they will never heal. But we have to bring a loving, non-judgmental awareness to our pain. For any judgment of the wounded child will simply drive it further into unconsciousness.
Further, as Caroline Myss points out in Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can, the mind can become addicted to the healing process, especially the sense of intimacy that one gets from being part of a healing group, or sharing one’s pain with another.
“How will I connect with my wounded fellow-journeymen when the pain is gone?” asks the mind in terror. The answer is twofold. Firstly, in bringing your mind into presence with another, you connect in the intimacy of the moment. And this is a far more beautiful connection than one based on trying to swap emotional baggage. Secondly, there are plenty of ways to interact with others without bringing emotional pain into it. Join a hiking group. Discuss philosophy or gardening. Play sport.
“But these things are not intimate!” the ego complains. And no, they are not intimate in the same way. But often the sense of connectedness you get in sharing your pain emerges from a subtle level of dysfunction. In particular, the intimacy of healing groups can often be a co-dependent process, where people unconsciously begin carrying each other’s wounds. So you walk out of the group with lots of little inner children clinging to you back because you are rescuing everyone – or possessed by someone to whom you gave your power away.
To be perfectly blunt, no healing will occur while your wounded energy is in someone else’s possession. This is a blatant form of giving your power away to another individual or group.
The most effective solution to the sense of emptiness that may ensue after leaving behind the intimacy of healing groups or friends is simply to begin to connect deeply with what is before you in every moment, in deep presence. In the end, this is the only thing that will fill the void.