"The Difference Between True Teaching and Data Transfers." The essence of that spirituality blog is that wisdom comes from within and that spiritual teachers are only meant to help you return to your own wisdom. There's lots of information and data in the world around you, but only you have your answers. That is the beauty and simplicity of this path. Yet it seems to be one of the most elusive truths for a lot of people.
So where did we veer onto another course of thinking that sees answers as being external to us? Let's take a look at some of our social conditioning.
The Structures of Religions and Schools
Part of the big social problem has been institutionalized into religions and schools. These structures tend to teach us to accept everything as presented. Many people don't even touch on serious questioning and intellectual discussions until college if they happen to go. There are plenty of other ways blind acceptance of facts is present in our daily lives. It comes from parents when they order their children to do something "because I said so." It comes up whenever we don't believe in ourselves and what we already know. It comes up all the time unfortunately. You may have even come to this Web site hoping that I'll have your answers, but I don't.
Yet, from almost since birth, a lot of people have been taught to simply accept whatever it is someone in authority has to say. By being in a place of "authority"--teacher, parent, leader, etc.--there's this idea that somehow whatever they say is right for everyone all the time. Obviously, better teachers and parents help people to think for themselves, but clearly that's not going on for millions or maybe even billions of people. Instead, it's a lot of rote memorization. People try to swallow as many facts as possible and follow prescribed formulae. In following those formulae, they think that they'll get what they want. But how many people come to the realization that after doing all the stuff that supposed to make them happy, they suddenly notice that they are miserable.
The Deepening of Misery As the External Search Continues
Initially, people aren't really seeking answers either. They don't know what they're seeking. They just want to feel better. They don't like what they've got, and they think someone else has got something that they want. It's a miserable situation. It is the current plight of this planet if you really look at it. Why does anyone need a million dollars? They don't. They think it'll make them happy, but it doesn't. Money will come and go. Having the biggest country doesn't mean you have the safest or happiest people, but we went through several world wars because some people thought that getting that external goal would make them happier in life. Instead, it brought intense misery and death to millions.
This may seem overly macabre and morose, but that external world is just a reflection of the deep longing, desperation, and emptiness of the untended inner world inside all of us. It is often shocking to people when I turn them towards themselves. One of my students made a comment about how if she starts shoveling (i.e. writing in her journal) then she'll be at it for a couple of hours. It can be a little dismaying just how much crap we're carrying inside. But as a person who has shoveled a lot of his own garbage out, I can tell you it is critical, and it makes you feel soooo much better.
Becoming A Spiritual Finder
I really don't like the term spiritual seeker. Seeking often makes people get lost in searching externally for things. They don't know how to seek within. Seeking has not been set up right in the cultural consciousness, which is part of why I write this blog. Some time ago, I wrote a guest post on EvolvingBeings.com called, "Become a Spiritual Finder, Not a Spiritual Seeker." In essence, I'm advocating turning inwards because that's the only way you can find your answers. Everything else in the external world are just mirrors and reflections of you anyway. If you see and sense great light from me, you are most likely just seeing the wisdom you already have. In much the same way, if you are really angry and pissed off at me after reading this, you are seeing your anger within you. It's a humbling thing to realize how much of ourselves we project onto others, and then it's even more humbling to start to look at all the crap that we thought was someone else's is actually ours.
That's the end of spiritual seeking, and the starting of spiritual finding.
And this is a wonderful moment. Because now you can recognize that there's a problem. You're letting go of denial and the search as well as the blame game that you play with the external world. In so doing, you bring more of your attention and your energy back to your inner world. And it really needs it.
Getting the Shovel and Pick Axe Ready
Looking into the gunk of your soul can be intimidating, but the good news is that it's just one shovel-full of dirt at a time. There's no rush. Just start by bringing some gentle awareness to what is there. See what its story is, and see how it's influenced your life. This can often be the first and last step, and it purely depends on your own process. At the heart of the spiritual path is letting go. When you let go of pain and attachments, tremendous light and love can open and unfold in your life. It is that simple. But I also understand that it's nice to have some tools and other techniques to help with the letting go. In essence, a lot of this blog is simply a bridge back to yourself and to letting go of the things and pain that you don't need to carry any longer.
So the shovel and pick axe may be what you need. That can be journaling, breathwork, meditation, addiction counseling, energy healing, and many other things. There is a whole world of tools now available to you, and I encourage you to use them. Clearing away all this sludge and healing pain will make you feel so much better.
Answers and Spiritual Gifts Bubbling to the Surface
Then, something curious may happen. Those answers that you'd long sought elsewhere may start to bubble up to the surface. It may come slowly. It may come quickly. Some of your answers may be incredibly simple. That alone may blow your mind. Deeper spiritual revelations and realizations may suddenly burst to the top level of your consciousness, and after the initial rush, you may feel slightly overwhelmed as you realize all the things that now need to change in your life to come into alignment with those epiphanies. A lot of things may happen, including getting a clearer idea of your gifts that you are here to share with this world.
The good news is that it's still just one step at a time, just one breath at a time. And it will always be this way in life because you can only ever live in this one moment.
Finding the Next Round of Blocks and Issues
But often, we've set up different gates inside of ourselves. So we get out of the prison cell, and then we run up against a new set of iron bars. Sometimes, it's because we're still caught up in the illusions of the world. Sometimes, it's helpful because you don't have to integrate too much too soon. Regardless of the situation, after you've had a sampling of your own answers, you probably want more. It can be a little addicting, but in a good way.
So you dig deeper. Maybe you need different tools for a different set of issues or to more deeply heal a recurring issue. Or maybe these will release by just going back to that deep presence and your intention to let go. As I said, it begins and ends with letting go. It also begins and ends with love. So if you feel frustration and self-judgment nipping around the edges of your consciousness, go to your heart. Go to love. Let that help you to let go and to dissolve this next level of blockages so the deeper truths and answers you already hold within you can come up to the surface.
Today's picture comes from my reader, Becky Stiller. Thanks a bunch!