• To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

    - Buddha
  • Advertisements

Prisoner of Zen

The above title explains my reluctance to promote my first book Growing Through Concrete on The Zen Healer blog. I didn’t want to contradict the Buddhist no-soul perspective even though my healing work has focused on ways to listen to your soul and keep it intact while facing health crises. Recently a colleague sent this email:

Hi Cara Michelle,

I heard this recently and it made me think of you:

Another time Mitsu told Shunryu that she was having trouble understanding Kishizawa’s lectures and asked if he could tell her in a few words what Buddhism was all about.

“Mmmmm,” he murmured breathing out slowly. “Accept what is as it is and help it to be its best.”

Your perspective on “soul” may not be very zen, but when it come to helping what is be its best you’re TOTALLY zen.

🙂

I realized that he is right and I’m very proud to share my revelations on the Soul with you. I hope you’ll click here to check out the webpage for my book Growing Through Concrete.

Warmest Blessings, Cara Michelle

Advertisements

Ki? Qi? Prana? Subtle Life Energy?

“Begin when the spirit moves you.”

I use the above words in class when instructing students to begin their practice sessions. In other words, “wait for the energy to move you, wait to be animated, wait to be inspired.” At the start of a healing session, take a moment to ensure that you’re calmly grounded in body and mind before gently contacting the client’s mind and body. Essentially, you’re waiting to feel the spirit moving through you.

It has only recently been realized that when indigenous people speak of spirit in their healing traditions, their definition of the word spirit is the same as our scientific explanation for energy.

Perhaps when a Druid Priest, Shaman or Medicine Man prayed to or called forth the spirit in an old oak tree this was not an appeal to a ghost living in the woods but reverence from an heart-felt understanding of scientific principles explaining how much energy, or how much spirit, it takes to become a 250 year-old oak tree. The indigenous healer actively acknowledges the deliberate transformation from tiny acorn to mighty tree and allows this wisdom to move through him, to inspire him, to animate his being. In my healing practice and in the classroom, I use the word spirit synonymously with the following terms: energy, Ki, Qi, Prana, Mana, life force, subtle energy, vital energy, ethereal body and universal energy. Spirit is energy; spirit is everywhere and in everything.

The word that you’re most comfortable using depends on your cultural background and on whom you are talking with. I prefer spirit because it expresses an experiential quality about energy that is difficult to put into words; elusive yet graspable and it shouldn’t be neglected when expressing one’s physical experience of the human spirit.

An example is when we talk about a person’s fighting spirit, or stamina of spirit. Here, the word spirit conveys the feeling-tone by giving the person’s energy an outwardly emotional experience. To me, when one uses only the word energy it lacks the subjective expression and subsequent transformation of character that is essential in mind-body-spirit healing.

To further clarify, here is my operational definition of spirit used for the purposes of Spiritual Healing or Soul Healing:

The Universe’s energy is Spirit, capable of infinite expansion and contraction. It is a real force that can be intuitively perceived and mentally directed. The best way to strengthen one’s Spirit is to understand and practice the unification of mind and body.

According to William Reed, author of Ki A Practical Guide for Westerners, “A Japanese dictionary defines Ki as mind, spirit, or heart. It lists hundreds of expressions, which use the word Ki; most of them ordinary ways of talking about human moods, attitudes, or character. It is sometimes given a more philosophical meaning. In the martial arts and Chinese Medicine, the word Ki refers to a subtle form of vital energy. Ki is the life force; a source of internal strength.”

I find it interesting that after looking up the word spirit in an online English dictionary it was defined in pretty much the same way as Ki was in the Japanese dictionary. Definitions include subtle forms of vital energy, divine energies, moods, attitudes, and character:

spir·it -noun

  1. the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
  2. conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit.
  3. a supernatural, incorporeal being especially one inhabiting a place, object., or having a particular character
  4. an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
  5. the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as promoting to action: a man of broken spirit.
  6. spirits, feelings or mood with regard to exaltation or depression: low spirits; good spirits.
  7. excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigor, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That’s the spirit!
  8. temper or disposition: meek in spirit.
  9. The Spirit, God.

Chinese Medicine is an example of a traditional yet highly scientific understanding of energy. The ancient Chinese described a life force circulating in the body that protected, nourished, and animated all life. This is the foundation of Chinese Medical Theory: universal, life force energy, Qi, in its various stages of vibration and manifestation. It’s important to mention that their concept was universal and widely accepted. The ancient Greeks called it pneuma; Indians from the far east, prana; Paracelsus called it quintessence; the founder of homeopathy called it vital force; and my favorite is Mr. Mesmer’s magnetism.

All of these concepts are referring to the energy that is found in the tiniest particles that create and form everything in the Universe. This is actually the same as the concept that is accepted in quantum physics: the entire Universe is comprised of the same energy in varying stages. If you accept that the word spirit can be used interchangeably with the word energy, in the same way as pneuma and magnetism, then spirit is no longer only the mysterious, such as angels and aura, divine beings and holy light, even human consciousness expressed as attitudes, but also the observable, such as earth, rock, metal and this includes you. You are spirit.

Everything that exists is spirit continually transforming itself into and being expressed by varying forms. If you consider the process of life, beginning with conception, then birth, growth and finally death you can see that there are many stages of form, or physical expression of your spirit. Spirit is manifesting as the underlying change in all processes in the Universe.

All phenomena are interdependent through Spirit.

Spirit is “the One” from the opening line in Lau Tzu’s Tao Te Ching:

The Tao begets the One,

the One begets the Two,

the Two begets the Three,

the Three beget the Ten thousand things,

All things are backed by the shade,

faced by the light

and harmonized by the immaterial breath.

“One Gave Birth to Two”

I believe that Chinese Medicine is based on man’s reverence for spirit in all things. Why else conceptualize and then express yin and yang as harmonized by the immaterial breath? The philosophy of two, always separate, yet connected includes the Universe. Well, what if we divided the Universe into yin and yang? Our temporal world of matter (planets, trees, mountains, streams) is the yang Universe, while the spiritual world full of unseen phenomena (particles and waves) is the yin Universe. Physical life and spiritual life are united. This balance is described in not only Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching: ‘the One begets the Two, the Two begets the Three’ but also in quantum physics.

In Soul or Spiritual Healing it is important to understand that even though everything can be divided into yin and yang all things are seen as their mutual source (One) and then subsequent transformations. Essentially, all things are witnessed as one source of the Spirit that creates into differing appearances.

Perhaps you’re wondering what is the point in my preference for the word spirit over the word energy when speaking of the vital principle of healing? One simple point: the strength and courage to heal and renew oneself is spirit; so, why not choose to be mighty like the oak tree?

Healing Lies In Relationship

Ease Pain With That Which Holds The Universe Together

Healing relies on a true synergism of physical, psychological and spiritual harmony within the individual. And this synergism, or lack thereof, comes from relationship.

But within our relationship to what? or to whom?

As I write this I wonder how many of us share a complete understanding of the meaning of the word relationship?

Jiddhu Krishnamurti says, “the meaning of the word (relationship) is to be related, actually to be related, to be in contact, to have empathy, sympathy, a sensitivity that understands each other completely, not partially.”

Krishnamurti’s simple explanation strongly emphasizes relating, contacting, understanding each other completely. In essence he describes sympathy and intimacy with one another. He describes communion, does he not? Communion means to have an intimate communication, a sharing of emotions.

In an older post titled Eros Heals, I wrote on an element of healing that is often overlooked: It is to approach an individual with eros for the landscape of their pain. According to Thomas Moore, “This is not eros as sex but eros in its true origin, which is relatedness.”

Prior to the Greek use of the word, eros referred to the coherence that holds the entire Universe together. I can’t give an in-depth explanation on the coherence, or fabric, that holds the entire Universe together; it’s beyond my basic scope. I can conceptualize, however, from a Naturalistic perspective that that which holds the Universe together is participating in its continuation.

For the Greeks, eros was much more than cosmic glue as it inspired a highly spiritual form of Love that united our bodies with our souls. Yes, the Greeks were wonderfully amorous with their intimations on the merging of body and soul. Their description reveals our purity and offers a complete understanding of the responsibility we have for every action on our planet.

Approach Your Client or Patient With Eros

Real Love, as eros is experiencing our oneness in the expression of our mutual origin. Approaching your client or patient with eros, with oneness in expression, is altruistic and highly intimate, it yields a complete understanding that relates to the individual’s pain. In mind-body-spirit healing this unravels the deeper wound of our shared separation.

Healing is primal: It is vital to address psychophysically and neurochemically the mechanism of distress but this is a part of a larger process: If the primal is not acknowledged then this approach risks becoming mere escape from pain, thus strengthening the pain by habitualizing the escape. For many, escape becomes ritualized within routine creating a desperate loop inviting a new pain within a new illness.

Spirit completes the process: Not what a reductionist may think of as neurospiritual, but purity in spirit because it is subjective: It is to help someone accept and honor their pain and fears as a wounded part that needs to bond intimately, to belong, to share, and to receive that which holds the Universe together.

The principle element: Vulnerability: Healers must learn to express the consistency of eros for one another effortlessly. One does not intellectualize nor even need to differentiate Love from fleeting emotions. However, one does guide the individual in sharing the truth of their pain. You’ll recall that the word communion means to have an intimate communication, a sharing of emotions.

This open sharing may or may not be expressed through spoken words. Words represent our beliefs but mean little if they do not carry our truth. My favorite Martha Graham quote is, “The body says what words cannot.” Herein, sharing through tears, gestures, tension, a sigh, cries, an embrace and trembling communicates the truth of the individual’s pain. However, the sharing that I refer to is even subtler, elusive to the senses and is intuited through our attunement to the other person; a true navel-to-navel connection.

I can only describe the experience of my shared calling to be in service: To hold the emotional sensitivities of the individual’s pain within eros’ more coherent emotional expression, fueling the person’s reverence for their whole body, their wounded parts; allowing the unraveling to begin…

So in seeking healing, look within relationship. In relationship, relating comes from our oneness. In our oneness, Love comes into being. And within Love, one’s suffering is eased by that which holds the Universe together. Thus complete healing lies within relationship.

They do not love that do not show their love. -William Shakespeare

Give Up Being Safe

Safety Is An Illusion



Today’s post is somewhat different than my usual ramblings on Shiatsu and Mind-Body-Spirit healing because it includes an oath that I wrote a month or so ago. The oath honors the tradition of Hara as it has been cultivated in the Eastern healing and martial arts.

You might be wondering what Giving Up Being Safe has to do with the philosophy of Hara?

To have Hara translates into the ability to get things done; to not shy away from the difficult and to overcome setbacks. These are noble qualities that show strength of will. The challenge here is when one is operating purely on personal power in pursuit of a goal because it is common to force our will onto the environment and onto other people. It is so easy to fall under the spell of our attachment to an expectation, which then fosters the need to control others for our own assurance and safety. To avert this end requires personal standards for accountability combined with integrity.

However, one can access the will of the Spirit-Mind, which comes from an ego-free understanding and use of Hara. In this context Hara is a thought in action, manifest, and it is connected with all that is, as all things are a manifestation of the Tao. One realizes that the will of the Spirit-Mind integrates with the will of others to assure the best path for us. Herein there is no need to cling to safety, which is only an illusion.

In Shiatsu, we are taught how to use our Hara to access the total power of our whole body while giving a healing session. We are also taught that a person with a healthy Hara acknowledges that it is in facing challenges and trying new things that we develop self-esteem and confidence.

For me the greatest aspiration of a developed Hara is for a level of acuity where you are always calm and sensitive to the developments around you. Engagement at this level is when one can “see what cannot be seen,” and responds in accord with the Spirit-Mind to coming events.

I find it fascinating that the final element of training for indigenous healers and shamans in some parts of the world is to personally face death. This spiritual calling is survived by very few since the path is meant to challenge their faith and to compromise their integrity.

Initiates from some of the older traditions will be taken to a cave, temple or remote area where danger exists in the form of venomous cobras, scorpions or other deadly threats. Sitting still in meditation for an extended period while surrounded by imminent danger crawling, or, slithering over your defenseless body is not an easy test to pass.

Focus and compassion and the willingness to renounce safety are the qualities that keep these people alive and sane. Those who pass this deadly challenge become praised as mystics carrying with them the knowledge of death and rebirth and often return bringing to their tribes and communities new approaches to harmony and peace.

—————————-

I wrote the oath below after I meditated on renewing the emotional and spiritual energies associated with my navel and with my solar plexus. Both of which are anatomically housed within the physical Hara.

Perhaps you may feel inspired to awaken the will of your Spirit-Mind with this simple oath:

In honoring the fact that the world is not safe, I willingly give up my need for safety and assurance.

I have to let go of wanting everything known ahead of time in order to overcome criticism, misunderstanding, rejection, and the possibility of failure in my future.

While it is important for survival, I realize that there is no challenge to actualizing my dreams if everything I do is already removed from any real risk. It is okay for a child to cling to safety and security, powerlessly needing the world to be shaped for them. However integrity challenges me to mature, accept responsibility, and carve the shape of my future.

My personal power increases through meeting challenges and by resolving them with integrity. I am willing to take risks, be courageous, venture into the unknown, and release the familiar in order to expand upward and outward in my life’s story.

The Heart of Summer

Summer Is In Full Gear, So Let’s Take Advantage of What Chinese Medicine Has To Say About These Long Summer Days!

For me, six words come to mind when thinking of the invigorating and enlivening experiences of summertime, they are: The Sheer Joy Of Being Alive!

summer joy by Dmitry Kichenko.

I feel totally imbued with the human spirit on a long, hot summer day. The farmers market abounds with juicy fruits and delicious veggies amidst the perfume of brightly hued blossoms. Activity is effortless and life feels full, transformed and somehow complete.

Needless to say, there is no complaining here about the heat because it won’t be long before we reach the dynamic height of summer’s inspiration and settle into a cooler, calmer and more collected fall.

So what does this mean for you in terms of body, mind and spirit?

Chinese Medicine teaches us to observe ourselves as an expression of Nature’s observable elements, depending on the cycle of the season and changes in the environment.  Just as Nature goes through a process of change, the Nature inside of you also undergoes a transformation.

If you are in harmony with the fresh green shoots appearing in spring then you will feel reborn, bursting with springtime activity. And when the trees are full of mouthwatering fruits and the plants are blossoming around you, then you will feel the joys of abundance coupled with the passion of the creative spirit.

Hmmm, an abundance of energy, stamina and passion!? Yes, clearly this is why I Love summer!

In the Five Element Theory, summer is ruled by the Fire element and is expressed through growth, joy, spiritual awareness and Love.  This is the Yang-est time of the year, which translates into a surge of physical, mental and emotional activity.

To be in sync with the long days, I wake up as early as 6:00am and stay up until at least midnight (it’s actually 1:48am while I write this post). Don’t worry to balance the work and play, I schedule a midday nap. Without my regular siestas I would be totally exhausted before summer’s end.

Anatomically, the Fire element corresponds with the heart which pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout our bodies. Emotionally, we’ve been warming up, going out and connecting with others. The heat of summer flows into our deeper relationships while our bodies relax around a more open heart.

In the Elemental theory, the heart houses the Spirit, also called the Spirit-Mind. A harmonious Spirit-Mind can be felt as a heart-connection with others and, for many of us, as a spiritual connection with Nature. This is a time that ushers in sensitivity and expression with the true contentment only known by a unified heart and mind. I view summer as an opportunity to transform negative experiences into feelings of Love.

Love is an extraordinary thing; it arouses the realization that the self and others are one. Love inspires what I call altruistic intimacy and the knowledge that what you cause and affect are one. Experiencing your heart’s purity reveals the responsibility we have for every action that occurs on our planet because we are one. Love between two people is a holy sharing when each have experienced their own depths and see their mutual identity and mutual causality through the starry-eyed gaze of eros.

Ahh, it’s easy to get swept away reflecting on the Fire element and Love, but let’s look at our original query: What does the long, hot days of summer mean for you in terms of body, mind and spirit?

Simple answer. The heart-felt enjoyment of family, friendship, perhaps even summer Love, but more importantly the exalting experience of the sheer joy of being alive!

Finding Inner Assurance

Confidence and the lack thereof is a hot topic in my classroom. Some have it. Many are working on it.

ascetic_person-3in

But everyone agrees that confidence is an essential ingredient for their continued success. Luckily, for those who find it elusive, there are countless ways to cultivate belief in your abilities but only one true way to ensure inner assurance. Needless to say, meditation is the way.

Why meditation? Ours is a culture that thrives on how-to’s.  We’ve been taught to rely on proven methods to solve our unique issues. And many feel that meditation requires a process that needs to be verbalized as steps in order to cultivate their own inner certainty.

Do you see the irony in responding to meditation by needing assurance that you are doing it correctly? I’ve become accustomed to a few silent stares when I instruct my students to meditate. Though mute, some stares are hungry and restless for direction.

The classic challenge for the seeking mind is that it always gets in its own way. Thus, traditions and protocols are born, lessons are handed down and ‘ways’ are set in stone. Follow the leader, Simon Says, Read this How-To so that You Can Do… this is classic foundational learning. The problem for me is that then one’s boldness resides outside instead of within. There is a big difference between confidently following someone’s cues and resolutely following your inner voice. The goal is to fully apply yourself to the former process and then learn to let go. The latter requires what is referred to in Zen as the beginner’s mind. This is a mindset that loves to express, to experience and to play instead of a mind conditioned for the next perfect performance. Allow your courage to come from within.

The author of the renowned classic Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda taught that “he whose breath, life, and feeling are calm, he can have faith born of intuition; it cannot be possessed by persons who are emotionally restless.” The point is to develop an all-encompassing inner life that will keep you calm and will bring immediate comprehension of truth and your own unique steps in life. Anyone can have this remarkable realization and meditation is the way.

Meditation Does More Than Cultivate Inner Assurance.

I believe that meditation is the passageway that links what mystics call the “Great below,” the unconscious to the “Great above,” the conscious.

A discipline, an art, a child’s calling for solace… slowing down, becoming still, sitting in silence with a quiet mind mirrors the transmutation of life energy in Nature’s sacred season of the Great below; the season of water’s wisdom, winter.

All energy needs to be conserved for unseen processes to take root, to gestate, to be dreamed for the manifestation of our ideas. It’s important to understand that finding emotional peace in the state of no mind is not a sacred pardon from the cycles of pain and pleasure; it is the direct conduit to your wholeness and brings insight in the midst of pain and pleasure. It brings assurance that all experiences are valuable.

Meditation brings insight and meaning to our transformational stages and we can gradually come to terms with any anguish that we suffer. Pain that is understood from the honesty of your soul, sensitizes and opens us to a deeper communion within and to the world, making us ever more receptive to the unconsciousness in our lives.

A life without meditation is a life lived as a puppet to the dramas of your mind allowing uncertainty to reign. 

Teachers of religion and spirituality often are guides for advanced meditative practices. Observing the movement from season to season confirms that meditation is an essential process for Nature’s renewal. I believe that in our modern times, meditation is the appropriate time to experience the ‘ascetic detachment’ we read about in spiritual literature. Being naked, stripped of your achievements in the sanctity of your meditation brings forth renewal.

You must develop and maintain your own meditative practice if you’re not already a student of meditation as guidance because it is Nature’s corridor to finding your inner assurance. At any time you may purposefully tap into your unconscious to ask for guidance; answers come to those with an open heart.

One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.

James Earl Jones

The Wisdom of Conflict

Do you avoid conflict? Does your throat tighten-up when facing confrontations or do you tolerate other people’s emotional outbursts in the name of ‘peace’?

If this sounds like you then read on, perhaps there is a way to turn conflict into your best opportunity…

It is only through the understanding of conflict that you can realize your best opportunity in life.

Let me explain. When facing a conflict your fight or flight response is signaled and most of us then start exposing our fears and vulnerabilities because you end up acting out your deeper issues.

Turning conflict into your best opportunity means to learn how to override your fight or flight response and to shine by expressing your virtues in that given moment.

It’s an opportunity to express the best part of yourself and if you will allow me to say… even express the highest part of yourself.

Conflict is both a verb and noun; an action and state. It describes a collision or disagreement, a fight, battle, or struggle, even a prolonged struggle within yourself. Certainly conflict is not something that most look forward to.

Seizing your best opportunity and learning how to override your fight or flight response requires the knowledge of the secret side of conflict. There is an unknown purpose to conflict that has only been shared in the major esoteric circles and I am sharing it with you today.

What I am about to share will sound controversial to most, which is why it has to be said:

Spiritual growth doesn’t come by seeking to avoid conflict. Spiritual growth is the act of consciously overcoming our basic will to survive.

Yes. You read this correctly—I wrote overcoming our basic will to survive.

Before you laugh at this notion of acting against our survival instincts, please let me clarify .

It is in the face of conflict that most make a choice for survival that is usually based on his or her first state of consciousness. However, if a choice is made that supersedes your first state of consciousness then you move forward in your psychological development and perhaps your spiritual growth, which can only be expressed or explained as an opening of your heart, or, as Love. Real Love.

Perhaps you’re wondering What is the first state of consciousness?

A decision or action from the first state of consciousness comes from personalities that we all developed to survive when we were completely dependent as children. I like to call these survival companions my survival-psyche.

The instinctive impulse is your survival impulse. Whether aggressive (like screaming or having a tantrum in public) or passive (like agreeing to something that you don’t want to do), these first impulses are ways that people have learned to deal with conflict to provide for and protect themselves. Childhood is when all of us learn how to tell a lie in order to avoid punishment or to act a certain way and to like certain things in order to be loved, to feel loved and protected by family, friends and the world at large.

This is why Good People Sometimes Do Bad or Downright Stupid Things because they are making choices from their survival-psyche that developed from when they were children.

Let’s say that you are in a conflict at this very moment. This shouldn’t be a stretch for most of us: You have experienced the conflictual nature of your thoughts and desires and their outcomes as you go about from day-to-day.

You have certainly experienced conflicts specifically with friends and family and randomly with strangers as you live your life.

Perhaps you had a morning squabble with your spouse. Or you’re afraid to tell your boss that their behavior is offensive. Or you want to end a friendship because your values do not align. Certainly the recession and the massive lay offs have been a huge catalyst for stress and creating more struggle and conflict.

There is no argument that conflict is inherent to the planet, it has always been observed in the natural world and is a long thread in the quilt of our history. Your choices and actions in the face of conflict are indications of:

1.  your issues

2.  your fears

3.  your vulnerabilities and

4.  also your virtues in that given moment.

For most people choices are really fearful reactions, rather than expressions from your heart. A fearful reaction will indicate your issues and fears. This can be anything from believing that you aren’t good enough, not having trust and faith in yourself to the fear of being suffocated by the needs of others.

Vulnerabilities are usually hidden behind an armor of thickened skin and it is in conflict and under stress that we get a glimpse of how sensitive someone may be about the shape of their bodies, their background or even the color of their skin.

However it is in a conflict that we can be empowered by our virtues and experience growth.

The instinct to survive is powerful. Conflict is a necessary program in all of creation that supports the continuance of the differing species. Male lions wrestle it out over territory and the right to mate with the pride. Even weeds have the instinct to survive by choking the roots of the plants around in order to have all the soil and sunshine to themselves.

Survival instincts have supported the progress of humanity without it I’m afraid we wouldn’t be here today. Without the will to live most of us wouldn’t make it past the first week of life.

However if left unchecked most people’s survival instinct will lead them down a dark path—the path of fear. 

For instance, let’s say while in a public restroom you find a travel bag with exactly $5,000 in cash and you have just been laid off from your job. It’s a miracle! A gift from the Universe—wow, the law of attraction must really be working. The impulse to take the cash and leave the bag supports your survival. Biologically you are making the best choice, right?!

But you hesitate because something doesn’t feel right. Internal conflict indicates that something is amiss; perhaps another choice would support a higher interest. If you attempt to return the bag and its contents then you are overcoming your first state of consciousness and putting your survival at risk because it can take months to find new employment and your cash flow is going to dwindle. Returning the bag to the owner is honest and liberates you from your survival-psyche but endangers your welfare – a dilemma since you know to respect your first state of consciousness as your biological protector.

However, by relating to the anonymous owner you acknowledge that if it were your money you would want it to be returned. So you choose to return the bag regardless of the assessment that the owner of the bag is well off and won’t miss the money.  You make a choice that appears to oppose your survival-psyche but it empowers your integrity and will open your heart to opportunities that you wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.

Perhaps your divine nature to be conflictual should be understood as having two separate purposes:

First, as a valuable biological tool that keeps you alive in service of your genes and second, as a psycho-spiritual springboard to know yourself and evolve beyond your survival-psyche or dark survival companions.

Being in some sort of conflict is a normal life process. It is only through understanding that conflict has a dual purpose that you will have the experience of what the great mystics call integration. Becoming highly conscious during conflict is the healing elixir to your fears and traumas.

It is the dark survival companions from your pasts that ultimately expose the intimate weaknesses that allow you to negotiate your personal peace and world peace.

Fully realizing a dark survival companion that shapes your emotions in conflict reveals your inherent weaknesses. Peace is Love and respect for your inherent weaknesses.

In the world of Nature everything is made up of opposites. We have night to balance the day. We seek heat when it gets too cold. Summer is for play while winter gives us rest. Nature loves to create in the name of opposition—opposition is conflict–but in the natural world opposition is often understood as being complementary. Whether you see the opposition or the complementary forces there is always two sides to a coin.

Lets look at conflict as having two sides…

Conflict could be understood as a biological program in Nature that exists to not only ensure humanity’s survival but also to steer humanity’s development and spiritual growth.

Spiritual growth is the act of being enlarged with wisdom, to put it another way, to be at peace according to the true process of the divine within you.

Take a moment to consider how your darker survival companions are inhibiting habits that supported you in the first phase of your development but now oppose your personal and spiritual growth.

How do my survival instincts oppose my growth? By either being concerned with only:

1.  your own well-being

2.  by feeling sorry for yourself for what seems unfair

3.  by selling your integrity and your vision for comfort and security, or

4.  by suspecting that you aren’t good enough to accomplish anything on your own.

Many more than these four formidable oppositions exist to prevent the empowerment of your whole self.

It is very isolating to be concerned with only your own well-being and incredibly exhausting to those around you. This is living your life through the eyes of a two year old but we see it in tv dramas, with our friends and neighbors and even in politics today. Whereas feeling sorry for yourself for what seems unfair is completely draining, it depresses your whole body, it depresses your immune system, it depresses your loved ones and you are barely engaging in life because you act as if you’re a victim.

Then there are those that will sell their integrity and dreams for comfort and security. Often you don’t even know that you’re doing it until it is too late and by then you’ve compromised yourself to such a degree that your heart has to completely shut down. This sometimes happens when we don’t feel that we are good enough to accomplish anything on our own.

So I will ask you: Is there a better way to encourage your spiritual progress than to make transcendent choices in the face of conflict? To make a choice that overcomes your first state of consciousness? To make choices that overcome fear?

The basis of the conclusion that conflict has a dual purpose, first, for survival and second, to usurp the agenda of your survival-psyche sounds contradictory. In the most linear way it is true that conflict’s dual purpose appears to be in opposition with one another.

Let’s re-cap with this one thought: Integration does not come when you seek it by avoiding conflict.

In the words of the late Indian mystic Krishnamurti:

It is only through the understanding of conflict that there is integration. A complete unification of your whole being in all that you do, in all that you say, in all that you think.

——————————————————————————-

(Please do not use any part of this post without written permission.)