Finally there is a little more ‘uncommon sense’ sweeping widely across spiritual mindsets in Western communities. Even though there are still many ideological splits – especially in regards to those who lean towards a more gnostic view and those who engage more with new age perspectives – there appears to be a greater acceptance of the shadow across the entire spectrum.
It really got out of hand in a rainbows-and-unicorns fashion for a while, at least for some. The Eastern philosophies were appropriated into a significantly distorted and unrealistic happy-fest, which left many newer and older spiritual seekers confused about some very simple concepts.
To begin, remember the saturation of lopsided new age memes that so many people were advocating over the last several years? Thankfully they have appeared to subside in intensity as many people begin to realise that denying the dark whilst deluding themselves with a false positivity just wasn’t working for them. Why thankfully? To put it bluntly, it was foolish. Impractical. It made little sense and just disconnected people further from not just themselves, but each other, and reality at large.
So in that light - or dark - let's get on with 7 ways an improved spirituality is finally emerging on a wider scale.
1. Language is Colourful
Let’s start with the simple example of the ‘don’t say but’ meme. Some people believe that if you say ‘but’ it invalidates or undermines what comes before. Of course if you use it in specific ways it does ring true, ‘but’ when used in others it is completely warranted.
This comes down to semantics, which is the study of logic and meaning in language. You’ll see that it applies in the following examples too. And make no mistake, I haven’t identified the relevant contradictions just for the sake of doing so, it’s important because confused rationalisation can and has led to dysfunctional action.
Simply put, just because something doesn’t logically work or has a detrimental connotation in one context, doesn’t mean it applies in all others. In addition, there are most definitely circumstances where black and white implications arise from specific terminology, but there is also a rainbow of colours at use too.
And don’t forget; words are subtle spells. That’s why we call it ‘spelling’.
2. The Ego is Not the Enemy
Another example is the ‘kill the ego’ meme. As I’ve written about extensively (see here and here), the ego is simply a mechanism to experience our humanity. At its core, it is the ‘sense of self’:
“It's an ally, not the enemy. What we should be doing is empowering and enlightening it, not pretending that it can transcend itself. If we believe that we should ‘overcome the ego’, then we've utilized our ego to form a judgement that is illogical, because without it there's no context to believe anything in.”
Now of course an unhealthy, dysfunctional or outright psychotic ego that rests its identity only in separation, with no connection, is not a great way to design it. Or put another way, design ourselves. Alternatively, if we honour both the individual and interconnected aspects of our being, then we are more likely to become a more holistic, healthy and functional version of ourselves, which will result with providing a greater service to the outside world.
And one more thing: when we believe the ego is inherently bad, what does that say about our own humanity?
3. Intelligent Judgement
Another one is ‘don’t judge’. One cannot have thought critically enough if they believe that, especially because to come to that belief they had to do an assessment and come to a conclusion, otherwise known as a judgement. It’s inherently contradictory. I mean, if people want to delude themselves that’s entirely up to them, but I’ll assess-and-conclude how I want thank you very much.
Sure, judging people’s behaviour shouldn’t be done with the aim to make you believe you’re fundamentally better than them because after all, we’re all at our own unique stage of consciousness development and we all have the potential to grow into a more empowered and enlightened being. But that doesn’t mean we needn’t determine if we resonate with those around us or not, and that means we need to analyse how people effect us. We also need to determine what to eat to be healthy, what we want to do in life, how we personally need to heal and grow, what’s actually happening in reality etc etc.
How do we do that? We assess and conclude. Or put another way, we make judgements, which hopefully are wise and evolving ones:
“Judgment is considered to be a selfish behaviour in our society, however what this is truly referring to is the condemnation of people or their particular behaviors and values. (Yet), passing judgment on the world around us is a perfectly natural aspect of being human. We continually assess our environment and form opinions on whether we are safe, what response we should have and if we personally resonate with the energy of each given life circumstance.”
4. Separateness and Connectedness Coexist
Then of course there is the ridiculous concept that we are only one thing, and not separate on any level. How seriously counter-intuitive is that? Every single person who believes that nonsense has spent however many years having a very personal and individual experience, but somehow they’ve reached the conclusion – through judgement – that separation is nothing but an illusion. It’s mind-boggling.
Now of course we are connected at the most fundamental levels, at least in this particular construct of manifestation, meaning that our separation or individuality could be viewed as illusory from those levels. Whether we look through the lenses of metaphysics, cosmology, quantum physics, geometry, mathematics or ecology, it’s safe to say that there is a distinct pattern of interconnectedness. Yet that doesn’t mean that we aren’t having a unique experience. After all, why can’t both frequencies be real?
Think about it this way. Using contemporary tech fashion, the blockchain used for cryptocurrencies and cryptoservices (putting aside whether they’re a genuine decentralisation tool or not) is based on many ‘separate’ nodes or computers which are linked into the ‘one’ network. Or to use more spiritual terminology, we are an individual snapshot of infinite consciousness.
5. Destiny and Freewill Coexist
Now we have arrived at the ‘everything is meant to be’ absurdity. When we think critically about this concept, it inherently implies there is no freewill. Now of course our decision-making capacity is limited to a series of boundaries (such as current constructual, neurological and conceptual frameworks relevant to each of us), however we still have the agency to navigate through it as we wish.
Try and conceptualise it like this. Destiny is a straight path of growth that we can choose to walk efficiently, or not. Sometimes we'll meander off on tangents or even right off track, but the real law of attraction will always draw us back to give us another opportunity to live our innate fate:
“Destiny is the evolutionary path of our energy, which some people call the soul. However, there are an infinite amount of ways we can undertake that growth. That's where freewill kicks in. Our choices can manifest our destiny in manifold ways, as they emit and attract their own energy within the electromagnetic and ether grids. Combined with our energetic blueprint and our subconscious wiring, as well as all the other minds of consciousness, we then co-create our reality."
Furthermore, when somebody or some group are causing us harm, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s ‘meant to be’. It may well be true or fated on one level, or even all of them, but it also might be true it is a choice that is out of synchronisation with the energetic flow of our individual and/or collective destiny.
Ultimately, our choices have consequences that are meant to be, regardless if those choices aren't meant to be.
6. Right and Wrong Behaviour
Some spirituality advocates would have us believe there is no right or wrong, there just is. Well, on one level that might be true, but on another level it isn’t. Can you see the ‘many truths’ pattern emerging?
To continue with the previous example, our choices either align with our destiny or not. Some are right for ourselves or those around us in terms of whether they have a healthy and positive impact, and others are the opposite. Granted, sometimes we can make a so-called mistake but it leads us to a place where we can better heal, learn and grow; that’s obviously true for anyone who has properly analysed their own experience. However, if you were to disrespect another person’s sovereignty when they weren’t causing you or someone else harm, then that is a contradiction to natural law and is therefore fundamentally wrong.
It can be done on subtle levels such as mild levels of control, or on highly explicit levels such as murder and rape. Either which way, the principle remains intact:
“Now of course on the level of oneness, there is no right and wrong. They are one and the same thing. But in our dualistic construct, called 'being a human', it definitely exists. For example, the golden rule is spot on when it comes to basic law. Do no harm to others, respect each others health and freedom, and live according to your own love, honor and truth. In this construct, that is right. Anything in contrast, is outrageously wrong.”
7. Face the Shadow
Let’s finish up on the ‘only be positive’ toxicity. It’s unreasonable to live and breathe like this because some experiences are inherently dissonant, meaning we need to face them for what they are. For example, if we’re being harmed by someone it’s okay to feel anger and disappointment and respond accordingly, just as is it’s okay to utilise the entire emotional spectrum, as that is what it is for. However, that doesn’t mean we should obsessively dwell in those natural emotions and allow them to develop into various levels of self-abuse, so when the feelings arise accept them for what they are and then engage a productive twist to transmute them into a positive result.
Then finally, let that shit go.
Moreover, the shadow and all its negative, dark or even evil aspects doesn’t just exist within; it exists without too. In fact, judging by the purposeful design of our social system and the widespread destruction and harm it has caused to not just humanity on a material level, but also a philosophical one too, we’ve been greatly out of balance for quite some time, maybe even since the dawn of our known civilised history.
And because we’ve been distracted by the new age propaganda of thinking everything is meant to be and that positive thinking will save the world, we’re revealing this darkness with our beacons of light only ever so slightly. Some even argue that we’re going further into the shadow, although that is certainly debatable. Regardless, we need to as individuals and as a human tribe openly expose the dark side of duality for all the world to see, so we can start to consciously and intelligently work towards some sort of harmonisation as we continue to co-create our personal and collective futures.
It’s not only among spiritual circles that greater intellect is growing within the collective dialogue about our connection to reality. For example, there are many ex-mainstreamers who had previously fallen for the materialistic dogma who are now somewhat embracing consciousness as innate to reality itself. A ‘panpsychism’ philosophy has even slowly spread within mainstream scientific circles, even if they don’t go as far as the exploration can be taken, at least publicly.
Nevertheless, that’s a great sign.
Ultimately, there is a resurgence of radical realisations in which both rational and intuitive faculties are being utilised. Slowly but surely, we are reenchanting the world. It’s not just via consciousness models either; chaos magic, neoshamanism, animism and other spirit philosophies and practices are part of this ripening too.
In addition, regardless if we ever reach a level where we have the evidence required to truly understand the nature of reality, or even if we actually have the capacity to do so, it doesn’t really matter. As long as we’re heading in the right direction, which is the 'many paths' of truth and freedom, then we’re doing exactly what we should.
And what a ride it has, is and will continue to be.
Note: The following link is an overview of the journey of waking up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phillip J. Watt is an author and presenter who lives on the Mid North Coast of NSW Australia. Phillip’s first book, ‘The Simulation‘, is a daring exposé of the human experience in the 21st Century. His written and film work has reached into the millions of people and deals with topics from ideology to society, as well as self-development. Follow him on Facebook, listen to his Podcast on SoundCloud or Itunes, watch his interviews at his YouTube Channel or visit his website Pushing the Tipping Point.
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