It is intriguing to think that the three S's Shadow, Subterfuge and Sacrifice, the three most difficult and confusing things in life, are related. In delving into the perplexing subject of shadow and neurosis, we find that they are coincident with stress and depression as well. Since kundalini seems to expand the range of levels in the mind and greatly amplify ones energy field, while the normal body-armor/defenses that we unconsciously embody are somehow blown away during kundalini, this leaves us vulnerable and attractive to needy, subversive and aggressive members of a population. Whatever "work" we have left to do regarding our childhood will arise and show up areas in which we are inadequately developed. Archetypes that might be attracted to us during kundalini include: The Wicked Witch, The Lost Child, The Wolf: Feral Men, The Mad Woman, The Woman in Distress, The Philistine, Religious Dogmatists, The Spiritually Correct and The Mythic Angel.The law of attraction doesn't mean solely that "like attracts like." It also means that opposites attract...the lost child is attracted to the wicked witch or sage woman; the wolf is attracted to the lambs vulnerability; the mad woman and the mythic angel are attracted to the rational dogmatist. This is so because they sense there is something to be worked out to bring them to greater wholeness by incorporating the consciousness of the opposite. Both sympathetic resonance and dissonance are attractive and ecstatic opening can be very unsettling to those that are repressing and holding back part of their consciousness from full integration. The movie ‘The Secret” clarifies why the law of attraction also includes the apparent attraction of polar opposites...say in the example of rapist and victim. This is due to the weak-feminine (fear) that “attracting” the weak-masculine (anger).
The main point of recognizing the Nottwo in our relations with all beings, is that we can only see Other through the interpretive lens of our own being. It is not "them" we see, but "our" feeling, sensing, imagination, belief, judgment and grokking of them. At the Absolute level there is only one Spirit animating all things in the universe and that is good to remember as we enact our existence, but in the relative domain we are not 6.5 billion people and we are not billions of species of bacteria.
In the Mystical Mind: Probing the Biology of Religious Experience d'Aquili and Newberg say that there are 7 operations of the mind/brain...
1. The holistic operator
2. The reductionist operator
3. The causal operator
4. The abstractive operator
5. The binary operator
6. The quantitative operator
7. The emotional-value operator
In concert these provide us with "meaning." We all create a "virtual reality" according to the "way" our mind/brain operates in its holistic, reductionist, causal, abstractive, quantitative, binary and emotional-value operations. Mythic level thinkers have little "space" between the operations and the content of their mind, so they tend to take their virtual reality as real. To do so they have to expend energy to block other operations and contents which would give them more of an objective, universal and transpersonal perspective.
This enacting of the superego (prefrontals) to inhibit and limit the
range and depth of perception is key to the moral erudite didactic
nature of both myth and mythic-religions. We can readily conceive of
post-conventional spirituality in which the mind is no longer an
obstacle to the totality of Spirit (unity consciousness), but can we
being to conceive what post-conventional myth would be like. It would
be a story created by a mind in perfect dissolution/restructure
equilibrium--kind of like something that would come out of Terrence
Transcending Mythic Spirituality
"The tendency is to build acceptable traits into the persona and to keep unacceptable traits hidden or repressed. These socially undesirable aspects of the maturing personality are usually relegated to the personal unconscious, where they coalesce to form another complex, or part of the personality that Jung called the shadow. Jung felt "shadow" to be an appropriate term for this disowned subpersonality for there is inevitably something "shady" about it, hidden away as it is in the dark lumber-room of the Freudian unconscious...Much of the time we manage to ignore it, but it has the uncomfortable way of reminding us of its presence particularly in our dreams." 64, Jung: A Very Short Introduction by Anthony Stevens
I found that one cannot deal effectively with the shadow on its own level, and one cannot deal with it rationally...it is like archetypal work needs to be carried out in a different kind of fashion, and I haven't figured out how it is done yet. Engaging with ones archetypal shadow elements with other people, what I call "complexing," is especially observable during the peak of kundalini when everything archetypal is greatly amplified.
I caution against unskillful indulgence in and prolonged infatuation with ones demons and dragons, because of the depleting and damaging effect such fear stimuli has on the bodymind through years of perpetual stress response. Demons and dragons are only allies to the extent that we find ways to conquer them. Dragons and demons are great nutrition because we can directly see what is blocking us and rise far through opposition. But it is best to process them fast and move-through...do not recklessly play with dragons and demons too long on your plate or you will die of distraction and on your death bed, wonder where your life has gone. Taking Care of Our Opposition, an essay by Robert Augustus Masters on his website is well worth the read. www.robermasters.com
Instead of endless battle with your own or other people's shadows, I find you just have to plow ahead with your greatest contribution and expand your talents and let people have their own mind without trying to change things. If one tries to do shadow work in a lower order (unconscious) social environment then all one will ever get ad infinitum is more and more shadow...more defense, usury and competition. For people can only operate at the level they are operating on. To do real shadow work one can probably only do it with peers or superiors, otherwise it's like doing some highly self-destructive drug, and committing spiritual suicide. The bottom line is that one cannot penetrate and evolve the mythic-neomedieval superstitious mind...that mind must penetrate and evolve out of its own condition, because if you try to raise it, it will fight back and complex on itself and drown in shadow demons of its own making. Thus one gently leaves these people to their own devices for they get their adrenal kicks out of their magic interpretation of the world. We can readily see that we can only work on our own shadow, but we still have to become skillful at dealing with the shadow of others so that it doesn't undermine our well being and hold us back from our highest contribution.
Rick Jarow in his audiotapes Your Life's Work said that we don't know how to deal with shadow yet, and it might be centuries before we do. Perhaps this dealing with shadow is at the very heart of the whole suffering (non-enlightenment) issue. Of course dealing with shadow is suffering also, but there should be a skillful way to work with shadow that doesn't just automatically generate more. We could give a gross generalization and say that the say that the way to deal with shadow is through unconditional love...but do we actually personally see unconditional love in action around us, or felt the pure expression of it much? In the absence of enlightened love (which is the goal we are striving for in our shadow work), we must build an effective technology for incorporating shadow--and thus raise our consciousness in doing so.
If we come from the vantage point that God is All--both dark and light we have to accept that what we interpret as darkness is just as wholesome and useful as the that we consider to be raspberries and cream...because both can be used in the service of greater consciousness, love and achievement. Both show us what needs to be done and which way to go. If we can accept the wholeness of Life, we do not have to expend huge amounts of energy repressing and avoiding one half of all phenomena. With a modicum of nonduality we can stop reacting to, running from and doing wasteful battle with the darker side of the light.
A favorite science writer of mine, Robert Sapolsky, humorously equates the prefrontal cortex as the neuroanatomical equivalent of the "Superego." The Superego is the regulating supervisor in us that makes us do the right thing, even if it's harder. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that most defines us as "human" and it is one of the last parts of the brain to fully myelinate; around age 30. Robert suspects that there is a direct correlation between the number of fully myelinated prefrontal neurons and impulse control, empathy, gratification postponement, Kohlberg's stages of moral development, integration of shadow (i.e.: nonprojection), and "knowing oneself." That is spiritual maturity, emotional intelligence and integration of the triune brain arises with prolific neuron development in the prefrontal lobes and their interconnectedness to other brain areas. The prefrontal cortex is thus the pilot or chief organizer of the phylogenetic and ontogenetic evolution within us. The key to mental and spiritual health is to have the prefrontals operating as a compassionate, beneficent guardian, instead of a belligerent, narcissistic or nihilistic parent. Does our inner King divide and conquer, or does he unite in benevolent grace? It is our relationship to the dominion of the prefrontal patriarch, which determines our spiritual development.
Prolonged stress is associated with depression through the distruption of serotonin, norephinphrine and dopamine signaling and the sensitivity of glucocorticoid feedback regulation. Negative emotions are associated with monoamine oxydase (MAO), cortisol and adenosine GMP. Depressives often have elevated stress hormone levels in their blood and since endorphins are released along with ACTH, they likely have "elevated" endorphin levels as well. Robert Sapolsky, in his book The Trouble with Testosterone says that..."People with anxiety disorders can be thought as of persistently mobilizing coping responses that are disproportionately large." 139. Repressives have chronically elevated levels of stress hormones that are as elevated as highly anxious individuals. It is fascinating that repressors have enhanced activity in the prefrontal cortex involved in inhibiting impulsive emotion and cognition; therefore they have stronger or more rigid Superegos.
"Apparently, it takes a whole lot of energy to think and plan and avoid and deny all the time like a repressor." 144
"A lesson of repressive personality types and their invisible burdens is that, sometimes, it can be enormously stressful to construct a world without stressors." 145
This may be a direct confirmation of the spiritual potential of meditation. Meditation lowers stress hormones, and it also serves to "deprepress" the psyche. It probably does this by lowering the stress hormones which in turn would reduce the hyperactivity of the prefrontal lobes...with the re-pressure released the psyche would open itself like a flower and denial would be penetrated. Also with prefrontal energy freed up from its repressive function this would allow more liable, integrated and creative consciousness to flow.
The four main negative coping mechanisms or resistance strategies to our perceived reality are to deny, dissipate energy, block energy or distract attention. However these problem-solving methods just create more problems and turn into the "habits that become our lives." That which comes between us and Big Fun is FEAR--or the repressive, stressful dictatorship of a delinquent or tyrannical parent residing in our prefrontal lobes. Through the strenuous suppression of part of the full-content of our consciousness the unconscious shadow is incubated and proliferated.
Shadow is the partial, cut off, unincorporated and unconscious part of our psyche...that which we are ignorant of, or choose to be ignorant of. So this capacity of the prefrontal lobes to repress and deny our emotion and cognition probably plays a big part in shadow, and that meditation might be a direct way that we can act to depress our own shadow and recover healthy stress response chemistry--and integrate (enlighten) our consciousness.
"An increase in meditative ability results in a simultaneous advance in all other abilities--it closes the gap between your present level of performance and the hoped for level. It bridges the chasm between the mind and the consciousness which uses it." Christopher Hills, Into Meditation Now: A Course on Direct Enlightenment, 1979
We have established that Real Spirituality is non-repressive. That is a huge start. I notice that when that which is dark/uncomfortable/terrible is embraced "spiritually" with the heart, mind and soul in sublimation to the Reality of the situation, then even that which is difficult such as illness, death etc...can be life giving and illuminating.
Our brains have a remarkable capacity to dream up fully fledged "people" in dreams, visions and visitations. We also sense our Self as a Presence...and when we are in Grace we feel like we are in the Presence of God--which is our soul.
How our brain deals with the energies/entities/impulses is determined by a zillion things including our time and place in history. If we grew up in a house of depressives/repressives and we have a slightly more liable integrated consciousness than they, chances are we will be demonized, ie: made into the black sheep and scape goat...because our Presence and consciousness will organicly plunge those around us into a "wider and deeper" worldview, and their repressive-ego will be threatened by the greater depth of feeling and thought. Once the rigid prison of their minds is breeched they will start to see other "perspectives" and this will challenge their narcissistic viewpoint. However, we must see that if we grew up in a house of depressives/repressives, chances are that we too have that primary patterning in our brain and must do what we can to break out of it. Not just for our own sake, but for the progressive development of man as a whole.
The repression of integrated consciousness is the mechanism by which we tend to make martyrs out of our saints.
This repressive mechanism is the origins of mythic religions as well as the neomedievalism of the New Age with its walk-ins, visitations, aliens, channeled star people, ghosts, angel guides etc...That which we do not accept and incorporate as our "own being," we project out onto some disincarnate entity...because we are relational creatures...and the mind does this until the repressive mechanism is lifted and the IMPACT of the energy-packet and illumination of the impulse of consciousness rising up from the unconscious is RECEIVED IN FULL.
At this point we could make the jump that enlightenment or the spiritualization process is one and the same as INTEGRATION of consciousness...(and this of course has tangible neuroanatomical correlates). We can see that as a society begins to derepress its consciousness, the novel increase in impulse-charge and feeling capacity coupled with the perturbation of the rigid-closed-worldview will propel the individual (or the collective) into projecting the often negative imagery out there onto the world of others, or onto imaginal disincarnate beings. At the lower neophyte levels the first reaction to the "New" is to fear it, and even the emergence of one's Self is experienced as a foreign alien invasion of a strange and unearthly being. Thus we have a frenzy of scapegoat finding resulting in episodes of persecution like the Salem witch hunt, Nazism and genocide in general.
Paraphrasing the great Ken Wilber who said, "separation is a brutal lie in the face of a gentle infinity." I say that "silence is a cruel and brutal lie in the face of a gentle infinity." Repression does not simply "make things go away" but condemns them to the shadow realms, where they incubate and infect the entirety of our lives with poison. It is silence and the lack of truth communion that is the great slayer of humanity. It is worse than death, because it is a LIVING DEATH. For silence is separation... a brutal lie in the face of a gentle infinity. Conversely spiritual Silence is "truth communion."
"...the shadow, although by definition a negative figure, sometimes has certain clearly discernible traits and associations which point to a quite different background. It is as though he were hiding meaningful contents under an unprepossessing exterior. Experience confirms this; and what is more important, the things that are hidden usually consist of increasingly numinous figures...
In the case of the individual, the problem constellated by the shadow is answered on the plane of the anima, that is, through relatedness. In the history of the collective as in the history of the individual, everything depends on the development of consciousness. This gradually brings liberation from imprisonment in agnoia, unconsciousness, and is therefore a bringer of light as well as of healing. As in its collective, mythological form, so also the individual shadow contains within it the seed of an enantiodromia, or a conversion into its opposite." Jung, "On the Psychology of the Trickster Figure"
"You must never use pressure from your will to overcome the "no" of this wall. Such forcing will remove you further from your real self within and hence from the reality of the life where all good is available. Instead, you have to interpret the meaning of the wall. Translate it into clear words...This reservation within yourself must be linked with a character defect you have not really faced, nor do you wish to, because you do not want to abandon it." 87, Surrender to God Within, Eva Pierrakos.
"Instead, you have to interpret the meaning of the wall. Translate it into clear words." I think this is the key, understanding allows change. Even if it is just an impermanent, ongoing flow of meaning-making and verbalizing, it could be that this processing by the linguistic left brain is tied more closely into the prefrontal lobes than the right brain is. Bringing subterranean material and issues to the surface of consciousness and verbalizing them, would then allow the prefrontal lobes (Superego) to "get a handle" on the emotional content and act to stabilize or grok the activity going on in the limbic brain and brain stem. Thus the triune brain becomes "integrated" and "knows itself." Once a brain is in sync and knows itself then growth, progress and maturity are possible; as well as increasing integration and self-knowledge.
It is well known that it is the left linguistic brain that is the meaning-maker, which constructs a narrative of the story of our reality. You could say that this function operates as a diplomatic interpreter that when healthy serves as a go-between the body, mind and soul. In its unhealthy forms it could serve as a misinformant, a repressor of information or a torturer--thwarting the integration of our animal, human and spiritual lives and preventing self-knowing.Anger is very useful, at least it shows you something is up. Then you can use the energy boost to inquire into the situation and come up with win/win solutions. Fear you can use in the same way but it is often harder to realize that one is in a fear state because it is so pervasive in our society. Anger is easy to spot because it is socially unacceptable, and so you can use anger as training ground to look into your fears.
Adverse, Proverse and Body Amour
Synonyms for saboteur: adversary, antagonist, assailant, assassin, attacker, backbiter, bad guy, bandit, betrayer, competitor, criminal, defamer, defiler, detractor, disputant, falsifier, foe, guerrilla, informer, inquisitor, invader, murderer, opponent, opposition, rival, seditionist, slanderer, spy, terrorist, traitor, villain.
And subterfuge: artifice, cageyness, canniness, contrivance, craftiness, cunning, disingenuity, duplicity, foxiness, guile, shrewdness, slyness, trickery, wiliness.
A certain percentage of minds wherever they are on the spiral are subversive antagonists. It's in the wiring, perhaps from birth, to not exhibit native traits of being an ally, benefactor, friend and supporter to people in general. I would say probably about 5% of any population are subversives, though that would depend hugely on the culture of the country and times. I notice too that these are the neurotics, and their brains have messed their bodies up so they suffer arthritis and structural problems and body-armor to the degree that they are mentally ill in this way.
I noticed once again the difference in the way we build ourselves through two men I massaged one after the other. The first was a guy in his 50s who was a subversive neurotic (saboteur) with arthritis and hip replacements and stiff joints, second nature and injuries. The second was an exquisite, non-neurotic, pro-versive guy in his seventies with total flexibility in his joints and just some arthritis in his neck.
The fact is being a saboteur is bad for the health. The type of neurosis that leads to inflammation, degenerative disease conditions and rigid body armor are saboteurs that are "Thanatos based"...this is the key to understanding the biochemistry. Note the term ad-versery--and associate it with the term Uni-verse. Universe means the "one song" and saboteurs are against the one song of the Universe--that is they have departed from the Grain of the Kosmos--have separated themselves. Having left the grace of Eros they become a dried up living bag of deformed bones.
Cortisol the stress hormone is produced along with norephinephrine when the adrenals kick in. Saboteurs inflict psychological poison onto others in order to get the adrenal rush...but along with this they get a good dose of cortisol. The presence of corticosteriods in the blood increases the damage done by any degenerative disease condition be it arthritis, cancer, stroke, heart attack, diabetes. At the very foundations of these conditions are two causes...stress and cellular inflammation.
Saboteurs are in a terrible bind literally and figuratively because they cannot get away from themselves and they cannot be healed, because they will attempt to sabotage their healer. So they in essence poison themselves in the process of trying to heal. And very few healers would stick around for the depth and duration it would take to make a difference. There probably is a very effective way to try to help these people...the core of their problem is that they demonize the unknown and fight against it. Anything that does not fit into their tight little conventional worldview is a target for their attack. In a biopsychological sense they define themselves through opposition and they are addicted to having their adrenals firing in order to feel worthy and alive.
In bioanalysis of their character structure the development of the saboteur was probably compromised very early on in fetal development. Hence they have an adversarial adaptation mechanism and probably have little genuine biological or psychological faith...thus their bodies pay the price in chronic muscular contraction, arthritis and bone deformities. They are also usually ectomorphic (skinny) because cortisol works against cellular uptake of fat and glucose and promotes the catabolism of tissue used as an energy source.
"We fear earthly death because we believe it will extinguish the ego and because we over-emphasize the importance of the ego. We fear pleasure, the awareness of free and flowing energy, because we see movement as threatening to the control we exercise with our ego. We fear living because it floods us with invitations to merge with it, to run with it, and to expand with it. Our limited ego is baffled by the multitude of choices. Thus we trap ourselves in fear when we identify with the ego, which is our only instrument of self-awareness. But the real Self is not the ego; it is the core...The myriad forms of dysfunction all derive from the separation between self-awareness and awareness of the whole...a separation that the negative aspect of the ego battles to maintain...The aim of core energetics, is to guide the fearful and isolated ego to its vital source, the core." John Pierrakos, Core Energetics
In order to help the saboteur personality to free themselves, the field of Positive Psychology might be the answer, because if you address the shadow of the adversarial character upfront, then more defensive aggression will be generated. Pierrakos says that the mask of fear is largely unconscious. That is, if oppositionists were truly conscious of what they were doing and why, and aware of the harm they are causing to themselves and others, then they wouldn't be that way. Thus positive psychology provides a means by which the attacker types can learn new ways of being and widen their worldview without simply building higher walls.
The saboteur character is drowning in self-pity, frustration, anger
and blame...while the proactive agentic character is originating from
confidence, optimism, self-responsibility and positive action. If the
new learned positive personality becomes strong enough it will heal the
inner-adversary in its own time by learning positive adaptation skills
and new ways of being. We've just got to accentuate the positive!
You can set prior intention and energy state before engaging in a
social situation and this will change the chemistry of the interaction.
The saboteur % are stimulated by increased coherence, magnitude and
self-assurance, which activates them to try and tear it down. The
secret to dealing with the saboteur is knowing how to fall with the
punches and to get right back up. To be nonattached to external
opinion. Thus the wolf sector of the population offer the gift of
keeping us awake. This waking process involves gaining a sense of
mastery, however not the mastery of the counterpunch. The key to Emotional Aikido
is to absorb the punch, breathe into the epicenter, circulate the
energy around the body and give deep thanks for the extra stimulation
and lessons learnt. This can be done with any emotional response, fear,
anger, shame, guilt, hate, jealousy, intimidation, exclusion etc...
This we could call training in direct emotional nonduality.
Compulsive competition implies a lack of self esteem and an adversarial perspective...it arises when the self has not be adequately reassured and affirmed or has been openly abused. It can also occur from brain damage due to threatening childhood origins, say constant parental fighting and such. Compulsive competition is a symptom of borderline personality disorder, showing that the self-system has not been adequately defined and nurtured. Mostly I think it happens because siblings are not taught inclusiveness, sovereignty and respect/reverence of the individual. Then people go on using everyone else they encounter in their subconscious sibling rivalry. Compulsive competition arises in an enmeshed and usury family system and combine enough of this family type and the culture at large is malcompetitive. In power-over authoritarian systems spirit is denied and those in authority use malcompetition in their subjects to keep them weak so they can maintain their power.
Malcompetition is aggressive; it means that "I do no want you to succeed or be happy and that I am only here for my own ends." It is the tactic of a weed, predator, pathogen or parasite and you will see any competitor use these various tactics. Compulsive competition arises from the mentality that there is not enough to go around so I have to fight to get your piece of the pie also.
So much for negative competition...now as for healthy competition in the various areas like art, writing, science, sports etc...these are good. Healthy competition provides structure and opportunity for growth and excellence. I think the issue is in defining the difference between healthy and malignant competition...one bids goodwill to all, the other is egocentric, arises from low self-esteem, damage and deficiency and bids badwill and power-over others. "Love knows no comparison." Osho
Basically we have to agree that we are all mad, but if we can see that we are mad, we are not quite as mad.
Because of the clandestine, avoidant nature of shadow, this might be one area in which tarot is useful: Light and Shadow Tarot and the book Tarot Shadow Work by Christine Jette.
Ralph Blum's outstanding Book of Runes and Healing Runes might be useful shadow tools.
Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, Robert A. Johnson; HarperSanFrancisco, 1993
Shadow Work: A New Guide to Spiritual and Psychological Growth, Michael Ruth; Growth Solutions, 1999
Jung and Reich: The Body as Shadow, John Conger; North Atlantic Books, 2005
Shadow Dance, David Richo; Shambhala, 1999
Soul Without Shame, Byron Brown; Shambhala, 1998
Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas, A. H. Almaas; Shambhala, 2000
Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism into a Creative Asset, Hal Stone, Sidra Stone; HarperSanFrancisco, 1993
Transforming Your Dragons: How to Turn Fear Patterns into Personal Power, José Stevens; Bear & Company, 1994
For projection and transference one of the most precise books is Jung On Alchemy by Nathan Schwarz-Salant; Princeton University Press, 1995
Martin Lowenthal, Embrace Yes: The Power of Spiritual Affirmation; Red Wheel, 2003
Martin Lowenthal, Alchemy of the Soul: The Eros and Psyche Myth As a Guide to Transformation; Nicolas-Hays, 2004
Here are excellent audio lectures on positive psychology by Harvard professor Tal-Ben Shacher. His class became the biggest in Harvard history due to its popularity.
(See Archetypal Validation in the Schizophrenia section.)
Self, Selfishness and Selflessness
In attempting to clarify the various stages of self, selfishness and selflessness, I have a natural intuition that this represents a progression from immature to mature forms of being and energy exchange...through which we grow. That is from preconventional, to conventional and then postconventional service. Service here means simply developing, living and expressing the innate gifts of w ho we ARE. Another word for it is magnanimity, or largeness of soul.
The transactional exchange of "generosity" evolves from: Submissive (danger), Servile, Addictive codependency, Conciliatory, Bargaining unconsciously, Trading consciously, Non-competitive truce, Intellectual concourse, Creative synthesis, Merger of souls (mature monogamy).
I have correlated the stages of consciousness from page 633 of Integral Psychology, by Ken Wilber with the various types of giving or service:
1. Presocial autistic (Reactive, fusion)----Dependent
2. Symbiotic (Naïve)----Submissive
3. Impulsive (Manipulative)----Servile
4. Self Protective (inferiority)----Addictive codependent
5. Conformist (industry)----Conciliatory
6. Conscientious-conformist (role confusion)----Bargaining unconsciously
7. Conscientious (identity)----Trading consciously
8. Individualistic (consistency)----Non-competitive truce
9. Autonomous (differentiated from ego)----Intellectual concourse
10. Integrated (authentic)----Creative synthesis
11.Transcendent (active genius)--Merger of souls
12. Unitary (Saint, Sage)----Pouring forth of Divine Grace
13. Nondual (Noetic-Self, Avatar)--One Being, no separation,
How do we know if our giving is codependent or of a lower-order of service? If we expect or need the recipient to actually "change" in response to our offering, then we are co-dependent on them. The fundamental principle involved in all relational transaction is that each individual is the sole determiner of their own will. Our giving must therefore be void of "control and manipulation," even toward what we "think" is best for someone else. Respect for the Divine Spark, the individual monad or perfect seed in each person or lifeform is the only way to assist them to find greater wholeness or healing.
One has to be a self before becoming self-less. If our attempts at service are compromising our self-system's base of operations so that the power of our "highest" service is undermined, then we are failing in the primary directive. And we have fallen down the scale of being to lower more unconscious forms of self and service. Higher service flows lightly from the heart on a bubbling river of joy. The main point to guide the whole process of the development of service is that we must keep our sails trimmed toward the primary directive: to promote the greatest depth of love-consciousness for the greatest span.
To heal the world, heal yourself. To evolve the world, evolve yourself. To save the world, save yourself. The Janus symbol of the two faces looking in opposite directions represents the realization that there is only One--that the inner and outer journey are the same and so is the inner and outer man. It also hints at the enlightenment realization that there is only one Spirit animating all things in the Universe. Thus it symbolizes enlightened awareness where both the inner and outer phenomena are witnessed objectively as being the same, no different, no separation, the Nottwo. What dies in spiritual emergence is the mask of pretense and denial that there is any difference.
Through the prescience of Divine Nostalgia each of us are either on a slow or accelerated path to recognition of the One Spirit that animates the holozoic Universe.
Prescience, (apprehension, foresight, intuition, preconception, premonition, prevision) of Divine Nostalgia (of the memory of our Always Already wholeness and unity with the Source). This is the realization of the inflowing breath of consciousness moving into matter--involution...a rememberance of the knowledge of Truth...it is the "part" having an epiphany of the "One." This sense of unity prior to differentiation into the many drives us passionately forth on our spiritual journey via the transcendental homing beam of Self's love. The prescience of Divine Nostalgia is "gnosis" or the inborn knowledge concerning the "secret of becoming." It cannot be formulated with the mind, it must be realized as a spontaneous Eureka experience, by which the heart is called home in the great dance of cosmic unfolding.
The art of spiritual presence
As above so below
When the inner and outer are One
The alchemical marriage
Of masculine and feminine
Spirit without fear
The ultimate healing
To offer your highest priorities in service of the community you have to have transcended people pleasing. Since as a society we are already in such stress, pain, lostness and addiction...we have to look very hard at what we are doing and why. Are we trying to appease, buy, shut up, push away, dominate or intimidate others with our service? Are we really serving their highest good, or are we placating and flattering their egos and pain-bodies and manipulating their mythic minds. Just how do we serve others "at their level" and in a way that is true for us. Without intimidating them, or riling their competition through our superior intellectual and spiritual stance or intrusive generosity. Generosity can suspend peoples' growth by keeping them in child-mode and it can invoke jealousy because they themselves cannot yet be so generous. The greatest danger of careless generosity lies in the perpetuation of learned helplessness through giving people the idea that things will come to them without effort on their part. Plus we must also avoid the trap of giving to them simply out of the impulse to reward positive behaviors and effort.
Spirituality and relationship is synonymous to the "energy" of consciousness and its "exchange." And "virtue" is a value measurement determining whether there is a "buildup" of energy-love-consciousness, or a draining and depletion of these. All thought, action and relationships that are life enhancing are syntropic or Eros generating and obeying. While all thought, action and relationships that are life depleting are entropic and Thanatos generating, thus obey the laws of death (self-sabotage). Figuring out which is which is the Art of Life! Usually we flip around between the syntropic and entropic energy systems, until we gain enough self-discipleship (Will) and awareness to make more of a beeline for God (or the Universal)
We might think that we are living in service, but it might be a lower order of service because our self-system is unsustainable. However true service is when we get our self-system in operational order to facilitating us to live our larger purpose properly instead of self-sacrificially. Self-sacrifice is a lower stage pathology because it collapses the whole chain of the emergence of consciousness. So one has to reorientate towards the Individualistic, Integrated and Transcendent levels of consciousness in order to align to the correct self-system vs. contribution balance...so the incoming and outgoing energy flows are not working "against" each other, but "for" each other. To comply with universal principles self-development and service should be a creative synthesis not a war.
Self-development is a higher responsibility than self-sacrifice. Self-transcendence or true sacrifice is to let go of that which interferes with our "highest" contribution. Whereas it is immature sacrifice or self-sabotage to forfeit that which leads to the realization of our self-development and creative gifts. In true-sacrifice only our limitations and that which is lower and no longer needed is transcended. There are three ways that the egoic separate-self-sense can die to itself: through regression, repression or by transcendence. Self-transcendence is the skillful means by which the Enlightened Self draws us inextricably toward self-realization.
Once Will or self-discipleship is developed we can attain
true-sacrifice...through a "blooming out" of satisfaction leading to
the satiation of desire. Such satiation is both the cause and effect of
self-transcendence. True sacrifice demands clarity, boldness and power
and thus must always be an act of the well developed "Will," i.e.:
deterministic rather than reactionary.
The difference between prepersonal and transpersonal giving is that, prepersonal service is undertaken in order to find happiness through giving, while transpersonal generosity is enacted because we are already happy. The first is entropic or dissipatory and the second is syntropic and regenerative.
The answers to the question of how to integrate a healthy growing self system with active service can be found in Yasuhiko Kimura's article The Virtues of Enlightened Selfishness.
"The human being has two wings-the wing of universality and the wing of individuality-with which to fly above the earth and to soar into the heavens. The wing of universality grows in the awareness of selflessness, while the wing of individuality grows through the creation of selfhood. In this seeming paradox lies the secret of human evolution-and of human happiness. To be universal is to be indivisibly one, in the oneness of which there is no separate self. In being universal, you come to know what Emerson calls the Over-Soul, and in being indivisibly whole, you come to realize your singular individual soul. With both wings spread freely, to soar into the whole sphere of the Universe and to fly in the entire realm of Reality is to live a Life Immortal. And that is the ecstasy of Enlightened Selfishness." Yasuhiko Kimura, The Virtues of Enlightened Selfishness