Most people start the journey towards awakening to their true selves in an attempt to escape their current state of mind or to heal the body. In the beginning various tools are applied, such as affirmations, releasing techniques and various other modalities, but then eventually, the truth dawns, that actually you are only re-arranging the furniture! Carlos Castanedas said that when you wake up and you realise you are in the house of the mind, do not waste time exploring the various rooms, get out of there as fast as you can! Well, that is one approach. But ultimately, we are walking between worlds and we have to learn to live with the tension of the opposites. This constitutes the middle road – that of living by Grace. (This was discussed in more detail in my previous blog Freedom through Love)
The ego or man-made mind, is the only thing that stands between you and the direct experience of God. In order to live by Grace and to live in freedom, you need to let go of your need to suffer and to receive Love in every breathing moment! I agree that when you first read this sentence, you tend to react, what utter nonsense, who chooses to suffer willingly and knowingly? But the mind, through its conditioning and its ‘learning’ chooses suffering most of the time.
It revels in its own sense of suffering. The mind identifies with the story of ‘me’ and ‘me’ cannot exist without the story! Thus it is easy to become so enmeshed in the story that it becomes your identity and all of who you think you are. When in actual fact, you are not the story and you need to remember who you are.
The truth is that you are never separated from God. Your True Self is the one behind the web of the mind. Your mind is your active opponent when it engages in self-rejection, self-deprecation, criticism of the self, breaking down your self-esteem and filling you with thoughts of not being good enough, not lovable, and so on. So now you are probably thinking to yourself, well, I know that is the problem; how do I change it?
First of all, change your belief system. At first you may need blind faith. Blind faith in an ever loving Presence that has never abandoned you and has never rejected you. Accept that you in fact do not know the true nature of the divine Presence. All that you think you know about it, you have acquired through the perception of your experiences and thus your conditioning. The mind wants to keep you safe and protected against re-experiencing any painful feelings. Thus it contracts and armours itself and does whatever it takes to keep you from revealing yourself, or from taking any emotional risks. But when you apply the mind in its higher function of self-enquiry and you follow the bread crumb trail back to the origin of the thought and the belief system, you will find that your mind’s reasoning is absolutely crazy! There is no logic and no rationale. It is a story woven and fabricated by your mind and it will most probably not even make sense to anybody else. So this is where Carlos Castanedas’ statement makes so much sense. Why do you want to spend time unravelling the many, many stories that your mind created? It is so much simpler to merely jump from the plane, knowing that you carry a parachute and free float down to a new reality.
Obviously this is not as easy as I make it sound, but with consistent effort this is well within your reach. At first it is difficult to do as you now have to break a life long habit. A habit of being angry, or feeling justified in your behaviour, or feeling sorry for yourself. Although these habits seemingly give you power and often has become the driving force and motivator in your life, they do not serve you – in fact they are your master and you serve them – thus, you are not free to reach your fullest potential, nor are you free to be happy, just for the sake of being happy.
The mind will have you know that as long as you are an imperfect human being, you cannot Realise your Oneness with what Is. But this is not true. You are both a human being and at one with God. No-one can really define the terms awakening, enlightenment and Self-Realisation, Christ Consciousness and so on. As long as you tie yourself to a belief system or a tradition or a religion, you are tied to certain requirements for awakening or enlightenment, but ultimately, this is a process of becoming less of you and more of You! And you are the only one who knows your inner world and who knows God Within. Everyone else can only know God in their own way. So the moment you rely on others’ words or experiences, you are separating yourself from true knowing and you will also doubt and discount your direct spiritual experiences.
All disease of the body is created by the mind, ultimately. This is a tough one to assimilate and swallow, but your thoughts, your belief systems, your incessant prayers are creating your body. This does not mean that you must overcome all disease and that unless you do so you are not perfect or ‘good enough’ to know God. That is exactly the nature of the thoughts of the mind that drives you toward the notion that you have to heal your life. You do not have to heal your body, nor your life. You need to desire God and only God and everything else will be taken care of.
What does it mean to ‘desire God’? It means that you accept that there is a Principle of Love – complete, unconditional and infinite Love. That this Love Principle is Perfection and that its power is omnipotent and omnipresent. You accept that ultimately your will is God’s Will and God’s Will is your will and that God’s Will is only Love. So, I suppose you have to believe that your mind is not in control, it has never been in control and that personal willpower will not get you what you want!! And then by implication, this means that ‘your will’ is not the personal will of the mind. And mostly, we only get to this point in our consciousness and awareness, through hardship and suffering, and often through disease of the body! So we have gone full circle, back to disease of the body.
You can choose to look at disease or challenges in your life as signs of ‘not doing it right’ or ‘not being aligned’, or whatever terminology the mind choooses to use. OR you can look at it from the perspective of LOVE, and that is that All Is As It Should Be at all times. You may not understand, you may not be able to see the bigger picture, but knowledge of God and the true nature of Love, will set you free to accept and surrender at all times. And through acceptance and surrender, the resistance dissolves and thus the mental pattern that created the disease in the first place.
Many alternative therapies do work for a while. I suppose they satisfy the mind that believes that it needs to understand, before it can surrender and let go. But in my personal experiences and in healing experiences with many others that I have worked with over the years, true breakthrough has always taken place when the person has accepted that no matter of self-improvement is going to fix the problem.
You see, you do not need self-improvement. You are innately whole. You entered this world in absolute innocence and wholeness. And then the journey started. And the pain that you felt, was the pain of believing you are separate from God, that you had been abandoned by God. And these feelings were created because this world cannot validate your Christ Self. So, when you looked into the eyes of another, you could not see your True Self reflected back at you. Nowhere could you see evidence of your innocence and your purity. Your True Self was rejected in experiences with others. When you revealed your exuberance, your absolute Self-absorbed happiness and joy, it was labelled as inappropriate; your pleasure in the beingness of your physical body may have been called perverse. In many different ways, your Being were rejected. And this is the truth for all human beings, in varying degrees.
When you find someone that you resonate with, your experience is always one of ‘he/she gets me’, they understand me, they ‘see’ me. But sooner or later, this is no longer true and problems start in the relationship. Do not look for acceptance in the eyes of another. As you are learn that you are so much more than your story and so much more than others’ reflections, and you start to gain this conviction, you become the Grace.
Once you realise this, you can start the journey of true acceptance and surrender : accept that you will never understand all they whys and wherefores; accept that you cannot know God with your mind and surrender to Grace. Living by Grace enables you to live in joy and total freedom despite the ‘story’ and the mind’s attempts at keeping you tied to your story.