*** This 4-part article series explores the ways aspects of fear, depression, and desire impact our happiness and spiritual evolution. My hope is to be practical about this topic and relate it to life, where the “rubber-meets-the-road.” ***
Spirituality, whatever that means, may seem very distant to many hard-working and time-constrained individuals. Bills, kids, errands, and endless unexpected events are real and right in front of you. Spirit – maybe it’s something you feel on Sunday at church, or occasionally during the day, or maybe you believe it’s something you have – but it’s somehow not real enough when facing everyday situations. Well, fear, depression, and desire are very real and tangible in our lives – and these relate quite directly to our spiritual evolution. It turns out that the meaning of spirituality evolves as you evolve…. So let’s begin Part 1….
You may be accustomed to thinking of yourself as a thing – a living thing, but a thing nonetheless. What if, instead, you considered yourself to be a dynamic process that makes the physical “you” possible? Your body is constantly remaking itself and even creating new cells to replace the old ones. Something is going on to continuously update your physical form and your nervous system. Even if it’s not true that all your cells are replaced every seven years, there are enough changes in all bodily systems to potentially aggregate a whole new you – as happens after stabilized transformation. So, it cannot be that you are simply a static thing – you are clearly something else altogether.
Furthermore, if you consider yourself to be a physical unit – isolated and bounded by your skin, then you operate much like the driver of a car. You may know that you are not the car, but you may also believe that the boundaries of the vehicle make you separate from the other “drivers.” This may be your experience right now. However, spiritual evolution takes you deeper into who you are and you observe, first-hand, the perceived “walls” dissolve. Your sense of who you are is very much based on perception and its interpretations. However, as your awareness evolves, the way you perceive also changes. Consequently, the mechanism that interprets your world transforms.
You are far from a static being peering at a static world through your eyes, ears, touch, smell, and taste. How complete is your perception of reality? Research shows that people observe and interpret a very narrow fraction of any event, and eyewitness testimonies of the same event often disagree. You are more than your senses, and reality is more than you may currently sense.
This brings us to the next point – where are you? Well, if you believe yourself to be a living thing, then you feel that you exist among other things – living and nonliving – in space. So, the world may appear to be a collection of interacting things in space, constantly moving around. An alternative perspective is that you are a fragment of One Being alive as a unique process, and having the capacity to tap into both the complete interconnection of all and still recognize your uniqueness. In fact, being human is the embodiment of this seeming paradox. This implies that everything that looks like a thing is participating in the unfolding of the One.
There is a long history of Meditation Masters who share this realization of all beings as divine fragments of Unity, over and over, in presentations and their writings. However, until experienced, this realization remains a working hypothesis. Having an open mind about your reality is helpful, and it is never necessary to blindly accept anything until you are alive with truth.
If you’ve come this far with me, then it’s time to talk about the broader reality in which our perceptions participate. It is almost second-nature to believe that “what you see is what you get.” However, as your awareness expands, you begin to be aware of subtler aspects to our world that only become apparent beyond the physical senses. Again, when you tap into this way of seeing reality, your first reaction may be surprise – “how did I not know this was there all along?” But, until then, it is right to be skeptical and question everything. You can’t see radio waves that transmit signals among cell phones, but you don’t doubt they are there because we have instruments to measure them. You are continuously immersed in a soup of electromagnetic radiation that is the basis for most of our communications, but not too many people really think about it.
At this time, only the human apparatus appears to be the instrument that can sense beyond the physical. But not everyone is attuned to the same degree, and – depending on the level of freedom of the soul – there can be various interpretations of perception. Some day, we may have scientific confirmation of this unseen reality. But right now, we rely on the common elements of shared experiences among Masters who have also demonstrated their evolution in many other ways.
When you come into awareness of the “unseen” reality, it can be very disorienting and confusing. There is a lot – a lot – going on. Nevertheless – it is all there, happening, whether or not you are aware of it or are paying attention to it. What’s more important, is that it does affect your life in various ways – your emotions, thoughts, and general well-being. We all live in this ocean of forces that results from the interplay of all life. Everything is interconnected. Everything.
Many people have come along in the recent decades and blew the lid off the idea that not everything you think or feel originates from you – not everything that passes through your system is yours to take on. Discernment then entered our vocabulary, describing the ability to tell the difference between the various forces at play in our reality – to know what we are responsible for and what is not for us to absorb.
Discernment is also the ability to know what we can take on without becoming ill or otherwise dysfunctional. Many make the error of believing they are up to the task of protecting and helping humanity, but are quickly overtaken by the very forces they attempt to tackle.
Many believe they are the heroes who will save everything and everyone – sometimes under the guise of false humility – without paying homage to the fact that evolution is a collective effort that requires people to want to work together for a common goal. Imagine that, without fear-based tactics and manipulation, people begin to sense and align to believe that we are truly together in this same ocean. Imagine further, that we attain critical mass of souls who can ignite greater unity and cohesion without sacrificing even a bit of our beautiful uniqueness.
If you are with me thus far, then stay tuned for Part 2, where we explore Fear….