Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Awake to Pure Joy

Awake to Pure Joy!

Spiritual teachings can become very esoteric and confusing at times. I have often experienced that when I have an illuminating insight or a-ha moment, that I say, but it is so simple and so obvious : I knew this all along! Having said that, I do realise that that is the essence of awakening, "I knew this all along', but I persist in my optimist thinking that if someone explains it really well and clearly to you, you will be able to drop everything, pick up your bed and follow the Master Within.

And indeed, I have been privilege to witness this many times in my journey as teacher and healer.

When I was still engaged in a spiritual pursuit, I often became confused with the whole positive thinking attitude. It used to feel like denial or 'pretending'. And indeed, one of my mottos used to be 'fake it till you make it'. I also found it confusing that sages teach that the duality is an illusion and that there is Oneness beyond this world. None of this seemed to have much effect on my chronic and debilitating depression. I often became so entangled in my own mind and its struggles to figure this paradox out, but I could not conquer this dark teacher of mine. And indeed, that is the secret! You are not meant to conquer the dark teacher, but you are to 'give up', surrender, hand over. When you accept that whatever you are battling is bigger than you, and that you cannot overcome it with your own ego-mind and your personal willpower and control, and that indeed you need a Power greater than yourself, then you are enabling the divine power. That is the moment that the tide will start to turn. In that moment you understand your own limitations and by implication that there is an unlimited power available to yourself.

It is pointless to get involved in the word play of but "I am God' or All is One or there is no power outside of myself. Until such knowledge is true Knowledge (a divine knowing that is your essence), the mind will use these concepts to strangle you and drag you down into the quagmire of despair.

Whilst the ego-mind is still involved in duality, there is no such thing as neutral thinking. At that stage it is all a concept for the mind and concepts, as liberating as they may seem, are the mental prison creators. You cannot think in oneness or advaita. Oneness or Advaita is a consciousness, a state of being and once it is established, the perception and experience of duality falls away. This does not happen in the blink of an eye, but takes time to unfold and to be integrated by the self.

So, back to false neutrality. In duality, everything is in opposites. And you have to choose. Not choosing is opting out!! You have to participate, otherwise choices will be made for you and you will become a victim of the mass consciousness and your boat will be dragged down with the prevailing tides. And this is one of the places where your personal power comes in : choose positive and expansive and all-embracing!

What does it feel like when you are in the awakened radiance of life? It is joy, pure joy! And everything is experienced as 'positive' for the lack of a better word. In fact, negative just does not exist.

And now the next part will explain why spiritual teachings can be so confusing. In simple language, it is 'what came first, the chicken or the egg'. Or the symbol of the ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail, often symbolises for me what is so difficult to put into words. Cause and effect, beginning and end, are not linear. The one does not lead directly to the other, or follow on the other.

For instance, are you feeling depressed because of something that happened to you, or are you feeling depressed because of your own thinking and years of conditioned beliefs and habits (those constitute the ego-mind which is discernible in your aura). The answer is probably both, but which came first. And this is virtually impossible to identify. You are born to a set of parents, then you are raised by parents, guardians, a society, a culture, a religion and so on. You are in a body that is imprinted with seven generations of tendencies and DNA. You go through painful and traumatic experiences which imprint you with defensive beliefs and habits. And so the odds are stacked against you.

However, this 'parcel' is your daimon, your sacred opponent, your lucifer. When you can accept and eventually know that you are not walking alone, that your Soul and your daimon are one and the same, everything changes. Duality drops away. There is no difference between light and dark. They both serve you.

Without a challenger or opponent, you would not participate with such vigour and intent. How often would you do real deep soul searching if you were not unhappy or miserable. When things are not going your way and you feel frustrated and anxious?

Our dark side, or our shadow, are a part of our sacred selves. It is not something to be resisted or despised. Our needs and passions, are that which attracts us down the path of life, and eventually into the heart of Love and awakened joy!

We are the two faces of Janus. We are the dark and the light. We are happiness and unhappiness. Accepting this duality is the first step to awakening. When you stop resisting and defending against your lucifer*, you enable the self-limiting concept of separation to dissolve. By giving up the war on yourself, and the way things are, you become freed from rigid control.

Your essence is happiness and joy. Your essence knows itself as both pain and pleasure. And paradoxically, your efforts to make this happen, becomes your greatest obstacle. Your greatest power lies in letting go of your ideas of how things should be. Distance yourself from the ego-mind and its demands, and become the witness. Every day, despite how hard it is, participate in life through life-affirming thoughts and actions. Reach out to others and touch their lives in whatever positive way you can. Remind yourself that life is fragile and unpredictable and not to be taken for granted. Move into hope and trust that joy will soon be yours. This is your power and the smallest ray of hope mobilises the divine forces of love.

*lucifer is the word for a match - it means bringer of the light - when you strike a match in the darkness, you can see.

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