Tag Archives: the shadow

Healing the Human Species

What is be done about this existential traumatic rage which sits at the heart of our human collective psyche at this time in our consciousness evolution? The solution is both extremely simple and extraordinarily difficult. What is required is for each of us to relax within the field of this consciousness, and allow a healthy expression of what exists within us. This can be as simple as taking up a discipline of meditative presence, and allowing all emotional contents of the psyche to rise, and to express them without judgment. Just let any judgment, blame, fear, rage, sadness, shame, guilt and belief to surface. The key is to observe it without believing in it. For if we beleive in the story that the trauma projects, both will persist.

There are several reasons why this simple process is also extremely problematic. The first is that the human mind tends to  resist the expression of pain. In a sense, the function of mind is to protect us from pain and suffering, so that we may live here in the world. Over time we tend to build walls to shut out the pain, and to make sure that it does not enter conscious awareness. This is perfectly understandable. All of us sit on at least some repressed pain and suffering. Many, many hundreds of millions of possess deep trauma.

For the latter folk, it may be no simple matter to allow that trauma to find expression. The process requires a great degree of understanding and skill. Most people walking the planet at this time do not possess those capacities. For those who wish to engage in such depth work, it is most likely that they will have to seek out a teacher to assist them.

It takes deep intention and courage. A lot. I have required teachers on my own journey. I could not have done it alone. Our teachers must be wise, committed and skillful. For much can go wrong doing this kind of soul work.

Many simply have little genuine intention to heal. It is much easier to project anger and shame out onto the world than to assume responsibility for it. The psychological immaturity seen in the often hysterical reaction to the rise of Donald Trump is a good case in point. Would any of those ranting and raving about Trump, including feasting on daily fixes of media and social media drama, willingly give that up and instead assume responsibility for that emotional “energy”? In most cases, the answer is no. The addiction to projection through the tribe is simply too great. And it is a great way to avoid acknowledging one’s own pain.

There is a second practical matter which is holding back the human race from healing. It is the simple fact that most of our cultures and ideologies do not understand the problem. Most cultures operate within control dramas, social and cultural procedures which are designed to maintain balance, and maintain power amongst certain groups and institutions. Again, part of the motivation behind our cultural structures is the fear of feeling this deep collective trauma. The fear and mistrust of others, of life itself, tends to create societies and institutions that seek to mandate against the expression of traumatic inner worlds, or at least the unpredictable and volatile behaviours that are associated with them.

Almost all cultures do this at some level. Religions do it. You won’t see too many Christians, Muslims or Hindus allowing deep vulnerability. Buddhists may try to meditate it away. New agers may insist upon “love ‘n light” at the expense of shadow work. Just manifest it away.

The greatest mistake in modern scientific culture is its fundamental misunderstanding of consciousness. Consciousness is not a mere expression of neuronal activity, confined within skulls. It is a pervasive, non-local “field” which transcends the physical boundaries of time and space as we commonly understand them. Our science is making almost no headway on this problem because of “scientific” culture, and the hegemonies within our institutions of learning, work, politics and finance. We have developed a conscousness-denying civilisation which spans increasing portions of the globe. It is no longer confined to the west. I have spent much of my adult life in Asia. Most East Asian countries are now heavily invested in scientific materialism. There are, of course, shadow cultures which defy scientific materialism, and they can be found in every country.

A science which misunderstands consciousness to the degree that ours does is ultimately a science perpetuating a delusion. It is making great progress cutting through the jungle… not realising it is in wrong forest (to use a Stephen Covey analogy). We have lost sight of the big picture. We have alienated ourselves from the cosmos which has spawned us. At a practical level, our scientific and education systems fail to create space for the inner work of connecting with the psyche, because they reject the very existence of that realm of mind.

Thus most of us live within societies and work and learn within institutions which deny the essential nature of consciousness. Therefore it is up to us as individuals to find the ways to work upon ourselves, including the God rage. Still, we don’t have to do it alone. We can find others to travel with. Yet in the end most of us will live and die in cultures that deny our fundamental nature. That is something we must come to understand, without giving our power away to such systems. We must learn to live with this fact. We must also learn to live and love in a world that rejects us. For if we in turn reject the world… we are back into the rage. The rage against humanity, the universe and God.  And the trauma will persist.

Then beyond all this inner work there are better institutions to build, better scientific and spiritual cultures to construct, and a better world to create. But all these must be founded in a deeper awareness of the consciousness structures which will underpin them.

Marcus

Discover Your Soul Template

Master of the Mind, Champion of the Soul

Life coaching with Marcus T Anthony

 

Is looking into the shadow necessary?

infinite-possibilities

Today’s question for the Five Minute Mystic comes from Penny. This is a very important query. Why should anyone do shadow work, and is it really worth all the effort? In this video I address the pros and cons of delving into the murky depths of the human psyche. Penny’s question is below.

I have divided this into two videos. In this video, below, I address the idea of the “shadow” in its standard form as meaning the human psyche. In the second video here, I move the discussion onto the question of “darkness” as a consciousness field – is evil really a “force”?

Marcus

 

Dear Marcus,

I’m reading your The Mind Reader book right now, about half way through, and loving it but it is also difficult for me because there is a lot of darkness in myself and so the book is rather disturbing. I know that I have a lot of hard work to do and I hope I will have enough courage. It is a good book to read as a companion to your Discover Your Soul Template. You sure have had an amazing life and I thank you for sharing it with us. I’ve also found your videos on youtube and they are so very helpful too. And I like your sense of humor.

Penny

Faking it for God: Are you a spiritual fraud?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a spiritual fraud?

Because I am. Just wondering if you are too.

But before I talk about what a fake I am, let me go back a few days to what has been – for me – the most notable news story of the month so far.

On Wednesday, June 5th, the bodies of two Brooklyn self-help gurus were found in their apartment. Lynne Rosen and John Littig died of asphyxiation after inhaling helium, leaving behind suicide notes apologising for their actions. At this stage there are no reports of why they took their lives.

Littig was, according to his web site, a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and personal life coach. Rosen was also a life coach, speaker and consultant.

Rosen and Littig’s company was called “Why Not Now”. The pair hosted a monthly radio show on WBAI called “The Pursuit of Happiness,” where they urged listeners to seek happiness and embrace spontaneity.

The pair encouraged people to take risks, be spontaneous and follow their intuition  – to live their bliss. John Litting was clear on this:

“Intuition and impulse are extraordinarily important things in life. You will not be well-served if the impulse is shut down or you think about everything too much. Sometimes you just do it.”

So what happened to this couple? How is it that people who talk of happiness and teach spiritual principles can be so desperately unhappy themselves?

It is not my intention to pass judgment on John Littig and Lynne Rosen. If I did so it would be rather hypocritical of me, as I have felt all the feelings and experienced many of the things that I suspect they did. Nor are they different from many, many people in the self-help movement and “spiritual industry”.

So what did they experience? We have no definite information from official sources. However as my “job” is that of an intuitive (amongst a few other hats I wear), and I do have a strong sense of certain issues surrounding the couple.

Both Lynne Rosen and John Littig lost hope.

There is a strong sense of depression around John. There is also the idea of financial debt, the feeling of being a failure, that there is no way out. No future.

Lynn was deeply confused, looking to Littig for help. My perception is that there was a co-dependency issue. She also had a strong desire to escape, to “go to a better place”.

For both there is the overall belief that there is a better existence awaiting us on “the other side”.

In the end they felt themselves to be frauds, unable to live up to their own teachings.

They gave up.

I am now going to move onto discussing something I refer to as “spiritual fraudulence”. Let me just emphasise that this is a common issue in the self-help age. It is relevant not only to the lives of Lynne Rosen and John Littig. It is almost pervasive amongst generation X and even more so for generation Y.

Spiritual fraudulence occurs when the reality of our lives, and especially our inner worlds, becomes greatly dissociated from the face that we show the world; and different also from what we are willing to admit to ourselves about our emotional well-being. Spiritual fraudulence is a significant issue in just about all spiritual and religious traditions, and amongst their organisations and teachers.

The essential problem is that people within these organisations  – and the individual teachers themselves – find it very difficult to embody the ideals that they teach. The mind attempts to personify an ideal – to be happy, spiritual, Christ-like, Buddha-like etc. – but the ideal remains distanced from the reality.

Christianity, for example, teaches us about the compassion of Christ, the importance of forgiveness, and the love of God. Yet in reality the history of Christianity has been dotted with war and bloodshed, intolerance and persecution. In recent years there have been endless sex scandals involving the clergy. The hypocrisy and the lies are astounding.

The history of the Church is largely a history of spiritual fraudulence.

If only it was merely the Church that is guilty of this! But no. To some degree it is true of almost all religious and spiritual traditions, both ancient and modern.

It is also true for all of us – we the spiritual seekers of today. The human ego does not differ that greatly from person to person, nor in its expression from group to group.

The ego emerges from your biology, and the need to stay alive, drive away competitors, establish safety from external threats, to procreate and to seek power and gain attention. Hatred, anger, judgment, violence, jealousy and narcissism define the human ego. It gets attached to ideas and beliefs, believes that it is special, and demands that God give it what it wants.

It is also very stubborn and highly prone to self-delusion. Part of the ego’s desire to be special is thinking that it is spiritually advanced or above others.

It is prepared to do this even though there is a very big price to pay to maintain the delusion.

That price is keeping itself imprisoned in a world of separation and alienation. The ego refuses to surrender to the present moment, to what is real in the here and now. It can never really know life, and it can never truly love. For its nature is to attach importance and meaning to ideas and objects, and strive relentlessly to make sure that those attachments are not threatened.

Now here is the key. Spiritual ideals and rituals – including all the stuff that you read about in self-help books – are a favourite target of attachment. There are no ideas or concepts – no matter how pure or “spiritual” you think they are – that are exceptions to this.

This includes the very words you are reading now.

Now!

When the mind or ego attaches itself to a spiritual ideal or philosophy the result is the expansion of the spiritual ego. The spiritual ego is what the mind creates so that it does not have to live the very spiritual ideals it worships. This is a truly insane agenda.

What lies behind this silly little game is the mind’s terror of the “fall” it must take to actually live the ideals it espouses. It has to surrender control to the present, to what is real. That means that it has to let go of the dream of a better future, and especially the dream of being elevated above everyone else and life itself.

The second issue is that letting go into presence requires that a person feel all that is within themselves, including the emotional body. And most of us carry a lot of pain. Indeed it is this emotional pain which was largely behind the creation of the ego in the first place, way back when we were children.

My fellow self-help gurus and life coaches are amongst the very worst offenders. Many of the spiritual and self-help teachers I see – both those who are well-known and the little ones like me – are spiritually fraudulent. Their overall motivation stems not from the “big I”, but from the ego. For this reason they just cannot walk the talk. As soon as the workshop is over and the last participant has left the room, their mind is wondering around full of doubt and fear. They drive home and scream at the idiot who pulls out in front of them. Then they set the next agenda to secure control over the world and to shut out the silence of presence.

If they are particularly foolish, spiritual teachers go public with their fraudulence. They go on FaceBook and rant about how horrible and shitty humanity is, all the while complaining about how they are not getting what they want.

Many times I have dealt with people like this. All it takes to bring out the “little i” is some misplaced sense of grievance, and the judgment and rage explodes from them. I could list many examples.

But I won’t, as I would be a hypocrite.

We are all spiritual fakes sometimes. After all, we are only human. And therein lies part of the problem. In so many spiritual traditions and cultures we are supposed to be perfect, to be Buddha-like or Christ-like. But you are not Christ or the Buddha. You are just you.

I am just me. And your imperfection is perfection itself.

Yesterday I was complaining to someone about how truly awful it is that I have to put so much time and energy into online book promotion, even when the recent results have not been as good as I’d hoped for. Yes, life has been unfair to me of late. With my book promotion I have even followed, to the letter, the detailed advice of one best-selling Kindle author. This fellow has gotten rich best-selling his books about how to sell your books best. Indeed he best-sells tens of thousands of books a month. That’s why he’s a best-selling author, no?

I applied Mr Best Seller’s advice to the letter. And it has made absolutely no difference to my book sales.

Poor me.

But that is what most of us do at least sometimes, no?

Who is your favourite spiritual teacher? Now, picture that teacher in your own mind getting back from his/her latest public gathering in a particularly shitty mood, swearing out loud and kicking the cat.

Now you get what I mean.

Yes. Hard as it may seem to believe, every self-help and spiritual author you have ever read lives a life which sometimes – maybe often – deviates from his own teachings.

And as far as I am concerned, that is perfectly fine. The problem is not allowing the “small I” to run the ship of your being for a while. The problem is that many remain there, while pretending that they are living life from the “big I”.

Most of the time they are not aware they are doing this. Remember the bit about the ego being sneaky?

My essential point is that the real problem arises when we have no default position from which to shift out of that ego state. Many, many people on a spiritual journey find their default position has unconsciously become spiritual ego.

They are unable to relax into presence. There is nowhere to go when the darkness descends, and the world does not grant them what they want. When this occurs for an extended time they become very frustrated, angry, disillusioned. They may even hate themselves because they know they cannot walk the talk. 

None of us can walk the talk all the time. None of us is perfect, and the world will never give us what we want all the time. That is not how Spirit works. “Spiritual” philosophies like the naive law of attraction, as found in The Secret, can be quite harmful because they tell people that they can have whatever we want. They wrongly suggest that the focus of life should be upon manifesting our desires. The inevitable result of this false teaching is that the spiritual practitioner becomes angry and bitter when the world refuses to manifest his will. Then he turns upon himself, as he knows that he is a “failure”.

There is a simple solution to all this. We must make simple presence the default position in life. We must not set our default position within the world of belief and expectation, of spiritual philosophy and grandiose futures.

This is what I did the other day when I found myself being a spiritual fraud. Not long after complaining to my friend about my lack of book sales, I sat down and surrendered to presence. Breathing fully into my body and into the real world of the present moment, I fully acknowledged to God all the thoughts, attitudes and feelings that were circulating within myself, including all the judgment, anger and pain.

Within moments it was all gone. All the beliefs and expectations vanished too. My attachment to book sales vanished into nothingness, and I was free.

Freedom is a space of infinite potential within the present moment. This is the space of “I don’t know”; that sense of “I know nothing”.

In such moments I do not even know who I am. I am simply silent surrender.

I am.

And that is when the most beautiful of all human experience unfolds.

Not happiness.

But peace.

If there is one thing that the unfortunate story of Lynne Rosen and John Littig teaches us, it is that there is no such thing as perfect happiness. Happiness comes and goes like the wind. While there are many things we can do to encourage it, I do not believe that it should be the basis of the spiritual journey. Nor even the life journey.

Make peace your essence. It arises spontaneously from the moment, and it is as free as the air we breathe. And it is very, very simple. It is also incredibly powerful, for it may harnesses the forces of Grace.

And Grace, by definition, is beyond our control. You cannot wield that power. You simply allow it.

Of course, none of this negates the importance of common sense when dealing with depression or mental illness. Don’t be afraid to seek help – including professional help – if you need it. You cannot do it all yourself, and if you isolate yourself you may actually worsen the problem.

In relationships the Grace of presence can fill us.

But no matter what you do or where you find yourself, just be here. Now. It is from this foundation that you can then move through the world of space and time, and create your world. But this will not be the forced, rigid movement that emerges from the mind’s quest for power and control. It is flow itself.

You will find that there is an infinite power that comes with you in each and every one of those moments of surrender. As you yield to it, your momentary attachments fall away like sands through a child’s fingers. That is the joy of perfect presence. Presence passes playfully before us, smiling, teasing us. Inviting peace.

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