John: Whenever I take a position in support of what I think is important, that very act makes me indulgent. The degree of that indulgence, meaning how strongly I want to impose my personal perspective on a given situation, determines how much I disconnect myself from an aspect of the natural flow.
I can see this pattern happening in me repetitively, and I can recognize its effect on my heart. It causes the cringing that I’ve been referring to (see Righteousness Rising and Inner Adjustments). This recognition causes me to sharpen my hearing, so I’ll be more aware when it arises again. Because it’s too painful and unnatural to keep hurting the heart, or feeling myself cringe, or becoming caught in a righteousness that leads to a hurt.
So I think that when my focus and attention are in the right place – becoming aware of inner patterns rather than remaining unconscious to them – it creates a reflective contrast from which I can begin to let go of those patterns.
I created these repetitive patterns during my life, yet I can see that something much greater becomes available to me if I can set them aside or diminish their effect. First of all, I have come to see how I get shut off when I get obsessed, or righteous, or adamant. Letting go of the ego, or not letting the ego have its way, requires ongoing attention and awareness. That opens me up to the faster speeds and greater knowings that come from within.
Said another way, our lower-self aspects make us feel separated from everything else; they create a me-first, egocentric view of life. When we are able to let go of these limitations, we can begin again to integrate into the whole of the universe, where there is a natural flow of energy that can carry us along. In that flow we are no longer separate, and no longer limited by our ego-based needs.
When we look at nature we can see how every aspect is integrated into the whole. There are no elements that “don’t work.” Each of us should be integrated into the whole in just this way, but humans aren’t limited to just planetary aspects, we’re connected to the universal aspects and energies throughout Creation.
To reintegrate, we first have to acknowledge the Oneness of life and surrender ourselves to the flow of how it is unfolding. That’s natural to us, and to our design. Over many centuries humans have become more and more disconnected from this flow, during which time this connection was replaced in us by our ego-driven self-interest. Not surprisingly, the journey back into the flow of life requires letting go of the idea that we are the “center” of anything.
When we try to control reality, or impose our expectations on it – which are egocentric actions – we are furthering our disconnection from the flow. This causes stress and cringing on an inner level, and on an outer level we narrow the possibilities of the way a given moment can unfold – we lose in two ways.
To pursue a spiritual life, we must reopen the doors in ourselves that prevent us. These are the doors of personal involvement, fear, anger, righteousness, judgment and many others. We get there by going through them naturally, by consciously letting go of these repetitive patterns as they arise. That causes an elevation and a reconnection, bit by bit. Otherwise, our lives become an ongoing repetition with no access to what is new, what is natural, and what is really going on.
Then, what we can experience is far greater than anything we might have anticipated.