Monday, July 21, 2014

Having a Problem With Having No Problems

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The unconscious ego is an amazing thing. It will continue to reveal itself over and over again. Right when life is going well, it may suddenly run in shouting, "Stop the presses!" Everyone in the metaphorical room will pause and turn around, asking, "What? What's the problem?" And that unconscious part of us may say with great concern and distress, "We have no problems!"

It seems absurd. For some of you without the problem-solver ego, you will probably not have to do this dance. But for many of you, you've gotten good at resolving issues. Even if you aren't good at it, many of you also will be constantly seeing places to fix your life or are trying to get somewhere. One of the big illusions for many people is that safety and happiness are "over there somewhere." But they're not. They're always right here. And yet sometimes as we are becoming more right here and right now, we are so deeply trained to look elsewhere and to be unsettled within ourselves that we keep looking elsewhere and keep looking for things to resolve to get to that mythical "there" point where we can have happiness. Relax. You are already here.

The Problem-Solver Ego

Depending on your personal makeup, the problem-solver ego may be a bigger or lesser issue for you. Durring some of the initial parts of a spiritual awakening, it can be a powerful ally. This problem-solver ego can help you go down the road of self improvement, find appropriate ways to detoxify yourself on multiple levels, and revamp your whole life. Where others flounder without this type of mentality, you've probably found a way to excel--as much as there is any excelling to do on the spiritual path. I suppose the best way to say it is that you've actively figured out how to nourish yourself, align with what is arising, and re-align as things shift.

But then, the problems start to dissolve. The moments get clearer. Since life has simplified itself, there isn't much to strive for. Past your basic needs, somehow life becomes fuller and more rich despite having less to do. Yet, this old ego self may still want to do and fix things. It may still need problems to keep you busy and to feel useful and worthwhile. Pretty soon, you are rocking your own boat when there is no need to rock anything. And as such, your next level of work is revealing itself to you.

To Problem Solve the Problem-Solver

One of the inherent traits of this ego is doing. In Western Society, we have been taught to value ourselves through doing. To get to the core of this issue and dissolve it tends to follow this path: stop, sit, pray, meditate, be patient, and generally do very little. You don't even want to meditate and pray too much. This ego thrives on figuring stuff out and taking actions of a variety of kinds. In watching it, you'll also be able to notice deeper core messages that you're still acting out.

Many people on the spiritual path can easily get sucked into the self improvement path or the do-gooder path. The former is a kind of striving for a mythical perfection. It's often based on ideas that have been read in spiritual texts and what a person has seen from other "spiritual" people. The latter is often an expression of needing purpose to validate your existence, a means to hide a lack of self-worth, or possibly a combination of the two or other issues. Either way, these deeper issues are being revealed by the problem-solver who is constantly searching for new problems, situations, and people to fix, including oneself. Doing even less will drive you to distraction initially, but this tends to be the medicine needed to address this unconscious ego.

Highly Selective and Minimal Action

There are certainly going to be times when there is a neglected problem that you couldn't fully see or appreciate that has been intuitively bugging you. This is a little different than the current topic at hand. In this instance, you aren't have a problem with no problems. You are having an issue arise that you can't fully see, so something is needling you and trying to get your attention. This situation can look exactly like the one I am describing above, but this is why at all times you need to be cultivating your inner knowing. No one can tell you what situation you are in, although people can help by offering their reflections.

As always, I like to encourage you to stay tuned into your inner knowing when reading this blog. I don't have your truth. You do. When something resonates, that's you telling yourself when you need to hear. That's why so many of you can find so much truth here; it's your own inner knowing finding the words it needs to hear from another. Over time, we tend to need fewer external reflections of truth, and we stay more and more grounded in our own knowing, needing only a gentle nudge if anything from time to time.

But back to the topic, highly selective action will be useful at times, but you tend to not need a lot of it with this issue. As I said, the problem-solver wants to be doing something even if its thinking about something. Some problem-solvers are constantly seeking feelings such as the bliss state. As I've often mentioned here, this is a big issue for a lot of people on the spiritual path. They consider the bliss state as the feeling that they're supposed to feel all the time, but that's not how it is. Emotions are always in motions. What we are learning to do (and it's not really a doing at all) is to be at peace with whatever arises in any given moment.

For some additional thoughts on this issue, you can check out:

Seeking the Elusive Spiritual High

Cultivating Deeper and Deeper Levels of Peace

Just as we spent years learning how to be dissatisfied with life and turn ourselves and everything around us into a problem, now we are pulling out all that junk and deleting the habits and mental patterning. In its place, peace naturally arises. This is one of the ways people experience a spiritual awakening or a spiritual opening. Peace rises up in a moment of letting go. There's enough space that the truth can peek through the storm clouds. That's another reason why spiritual practices often involve doing less or nothing at all beyond breathing. It's part of allowing space to open up inside of us. When we are constantly doing and thinking and filling ourselves with noise, we cannot feel ourselves. We cannot hear our truth. As we get quieter and quieter inside, we are detecting the various levels of cacophony (I felt like using this word today. It's a beautiful word; it basically means noisy). Then we can bring awareness to what each level of discord is about, and we gradually work through it until we have no interest at all in continuing this discordant music (because we are the creators of this symphony).

Then, things get quieter. When it gets quieter, we can perceive other sounds and notes within us that we could never hear before because they were so masked by everything else. It's like the brass section in an orchestra. If that stuff is blaring, you are not going to hear much from one violin playing its sad song.

The Core Beliefs at Stake

Once again, we return to the core beliefs that are at stake. The very minimal amount of doing here is to notice what the problem-solver is trying to get. Are you trying to fix your love life? Are you trying to find purpose? Are you trying to feel good? What is this problem-solver after and why? These are the questions that help lead you to the treasure. And the treasure is that energy you have tied up in these core beliefs and in trying to make their fantasies come to life. It is amazing that even after a profound spiritual awakening and years of work, many of these core beliefs will still be trying to slink along undetected. They may be trying to repackage the remaining aspects of the unconscious ego into something spiritual so that you can "get whatever it is you think you want." It is still coming from a place of lack of faith and trust. The more we are at peace, the more trust whatever and whomever arrives in our life is the right thing or person for us. It's a profound thing to say too because life certainly sends all kinds of stuff our way. But generally, you don't take things personally the further you go and the more you drop core beliefs and deep-seated issues. Because it's just life playing out its ever-shifting game.

Enjoying the Spaciousness of Freedom

As I've mentioned many times, people often need time to get used to freedom. In all these spaciousness, you can go anywhere and do anything. And once again, this isn't naively or wantonly done. You aren't going to rob a bank when I say "do anything." While that's not precluded, the awakened self has no interest in accumulating things. Being rich doesn't matter. Being married doesn't matter. Being fed and housed matter because it's part of the basic needs of being human, but even those aren't held onto in the same manner as before. There is so much more freedom to go and enjoy your life in this space, and strangely enough, the problem-solver ego cannot handle this. The whole basic programming of this unconscious ego is to fix things, but now, you have no problems. Nothing is wrong with you or anyone else.

And here you are. Just being you. Just being.
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