Monday, March 17, 2014

Spiritual Awakening and the Sharpness of Your Brightness

The light cuts through the dark.

Sit with that thought a moment.

Let's not go too fast.


A lot of you have been feasting and gorging yourself on words and ideas, but I am not playing a conceptual game. I can meet you on the level of the mind, but this the beginning of the spiritual path, not the end. If you feel you have gained a few more useful ideas by the end of the post, then we have actually regressed. It's not that ideas are bad, but the mind has become an intellectual pack rat. You need to start learning to see through it's games and machinations to start to see the truth.

With the light, things are seen. Belief systems. Emotional distress. Physical ailments and disease. It is all seen. Everything that was lingering in the dark is brought to light in a spiritual awakening. That's part of why it feels so intense. You have come alive, and every sense in your field of experience is now operating when maybe only a few senses were working if at all. You have come out of numbness, and in that thawing, you are probably noticing that there is pain.

But the pain was already here, and the sharpness of your clarity may bring additional intensity and directness like the setting of a broken bone. In that sharp intensity, true healing can begin. The divine is direct in its work like that. This isn't a hand-holding path even though we are held throughout it. We have some powerful lies and darkness within us, so the light that has come must be equal to the task. So as we journey together through this spiritual blog post, I encourage you to see it as a whetting stone to help you sharpen your inner light to cut through the lies, attachments, and karmas that you find yourself entwined with.

The Spiritual Chopping Block

We're really not mincing words today. A broken leg is a broken leg. More painkillers do not fix it. Your relationship is broken. Your desire to help others at your nonprofit is nothing but a sham for making yourself feel good and getting validation. Your fast car and fast girlfriend are ways to hide from your deeper feeling of impotence. On and on it goes. The brightness of you in awakening sees this, and the ego part of you is probably wailing in agony because it is trying to hold onto all this stuff.

External stuff is one thing too. Internal stuff that we cling too such as ideas are generally much harder to get rid of. We tend to place even more attachment here. The paring knife of your own wisdom and love tends to cut through individual layers. Yes, it can feel like it cuts to the heart, and during the initial phase of a spiritual awakening, we tend to feel the fullness of our love. Then that bliss state goes, and the light burrows in more deeply to show us where we have actually been living. Yes, the palace and kingdom of God are already here, but we don't live there. We live in the outhouse in the swamp surrounded by brambles, thorns, and razor wire. And yet we think we lives like princes and princesses.

These ideas must go straight to the spiritual chopping block. If you hold on, you will think that your own hand is being cut off. If you let go, you can find more freedom. A few good swings of your own awareness can make all the difference in the world. Yet each time we tend to find a new layer of things we are clinging to, and it can feel just as hard to let go once again.

Sharpening Your Awareness

Your own awakened awareness is the sharpest tool there is. Well, I suppose God's is the sharpest, but I've found that when we drop more deeply into the "I am" awakened space, we naturally merge with God. We can then use that divine whetting stone to sharpen ourselves. This is where I talk a lot about having a spiritual practice, but if you've had an awakening only you can know what the right practice is. While you hear me talk about journaling and meditation ad nauseum on this blog, these are only a small fraction of the many types of spiritual tools available to you. All of life is a spiritual tool for you when you know how to engage with it. However, journaling and meditation seem to be necessary for 95% of people as a form of deepening into their own awareness and making space for the awakened self. When that aspect of you erupts, the best thing to do is to listen to yourself. In that way, if meditation and journaling help you to listen to you, then go for it. If it is having a spiritual teacher or energy healer, find them. If your self-care and spiritual integration involve lots of time in nature and a different kind of diet, do it. Listening to your own inner guidance is essential to sharpening your awareness, your brightness.

Trusting Your Brightness

A lot of times people write to me because they are doubting themselves. They often even tell me what they know they need to do. So naturally, all I can say is "Do it." Listen to yourself. Follow your inner knowing. This is the way we learn to trust our brightness, but we must do it without expectations. Life is vast. Everything is possible, and every soul is here to experience something slightly different in this life. There is no safety--not like the mind thinks there is. There is only a cage or freedom. The choice is yours, but with the growing intensity of your brightness, your lightness, and your love, your sword is getting sharper. You may suddenly cut another hole in your life without expecting it. The truth comes out when a friend asks you how you feel about something. That friend leaves your life. The old ego bemoans the losing of a friend because that ego needs the validation of certain people. It may not even fully understand all the reasons why that person was in their life. Mainly people are mirrors who reflect similar issues and blindspots. Most relationships are karmic relationships, and everyone is tied up in knots of pain and attachment (even the seemingly good ones).

With your inner brightness sharpening, you cut through these things. As you adjust to feeling more expanded and full of love, you start to see why a bond was cut. You start to see what a healthy or at least a healthier relationship looks like, and you may then start to more consciously cut away old ties to make even greater space for you.

The Identification with the Ego

Much of the initial and pervasive suffering that arises on the path often has to do with the ego and how we identify ourselves as certain types of people trying to create certain types of lives. It's almost all coming out of fear of a wide variety of sorts and flavors. Shame, anger, and the usual suspects are often arrayed around fear in a broad set of assumptions and ideas that maintain our suffering while supposedly offering us safety and certainty. Additionally, there are older and deeper pains hidden past these initial guard towers and watch dogs that must be addressed to truly free ourselves. That's why dis-identifying with the ego is important. Learning to watch your thoughts and the thought patterns is critical for many people to notice the swamp that they are stuck in. The ego is a shifty little fellow, so you may notice that you suddenly try to create a new identity around spirituality. But the true spiritual ego is the one who knows the ego is just a lens to seeing life. It's just a mask that can be discarded at will, and the more you reside in your deeper awareness, you'll see how infrequent the need for having a specific point of view or preference (which is what the ego does) actually is.

Cutting Through More Ego Lies

You really are the only one who can cut through your ego lies. Another person can tell you the truth, but if you are still committed to your lie, that truth will bounce away. The ego has learned how to be the toughest and cruelest of armor. Make no mistake about it; we know how to keep people out. Even people with strong victim identities who feel like everything is invading their space and that they have no armor may have the thickest kind of ego armor there is. They may defend that victim ego at all costs. They'll do and say everything they can to avoid empowerment, ownership of their issues, and everything else. It's always someone else's fault or something that happened to them once long ago. Trauma from childhood is particularly awful because it develops a victim identity that is always on guard. As a result, getting to the core pain to heal it tends to require tremendous tenacity, dedication, and love to keep the sharp awareness focused on cutting through the outer defenses to get to that inner space that is being defended and needs to be healed.

For others of you, it may not be so dark. The spiritual path doesn't have to be a grim thing. I know I can make it sound that way, but I do so because we live in a quick-fix sort of society. People are looking for the easy way out. Or rather, the ego is looking for the easy way out. Many of us have been taught to seek luxury and ease, and that has tended to create an aversion and avoidance to difficulty of all sorts, including anything uncomfortable we feel within. Thus, there tends to be a backlog of unfelt and unexpressed upset emotions that have been festering inside. The brightness of a spiritual awakening brings that to light.

The Many Layers of Healing and the Intensification of Your Lightness

For some of you, you will go through countless layers of healing. Some of you have to detox your systems first to even begin some of this healing. Keep in mind, that our body is our temple. If the body is really sick because of drugs, alcohol, poor diet, and so forth, then the body needs to detox enough so that you can start to hear your inner wisdom more clearly. Heart, mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected, and we also tend to start working on whatever is most sick first before being able to heal the next thing. In that way, we naturally go through layers. There's no real order to it, although some people tend to go from the mind to the heart and to the body, albeit everything is still being worked on simultaneously. So perhaps, it's a little clearer to say that there are emphases. While everything is healing and shifting, sometimes it feels like your focus is mainly on the emotional body, for example.

Each time more layers are healed, your own energy naturally expands. As many of you know, I've talked a lot about expansions and contractions, and with an expansion more of your light is freed and embraced. That intensifies your luminosity, if you will. With greater light, you can see even more deeply into you (and others, but that's a topic for another time). And it seems that most of us need that greater intensity as we delve down into older, more core issues that truly don't want to be looked at. I often use the metaphor of building a crucible, and with this metaphor, I encourage people to appreciate that the fire must get hot enough for some levels of unconscious to burn out. Once the burning starts, all that you need do now is accept and stay engaged while the light burns and cuts it all away. It will not be fun in most likelihood, but freedom is worth it.

Today's nature photo is a gift from my student, Tingting. Thanks so much, dear one!
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