Your expectation of something unique and dramatic, of some wonderful explosion, is merely hindering and delaying your Self Realization

“Your expectation of something unique and dramatic, of some wonderful explosion, is merely hindering and delaying your Self Realization. You are not to expect an explosion, for the explosion has already happened – at the moment when you were born, when you realized yourself as Being-Knowing-Feeling. There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion and no new explosion will set it right! You have to think yourself out of it. There is no other way.”

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

Integrate into Wholeness

I have been on an authentic living kick lately and I came across this blog, rebelled society, that outlines a 12 step program for living an authentic life. The whole article was great but what stood out for me especially was step 8. It was called integrate into wholeness and you can find it below:

Step #8 – Integrate into wholeness.

Accept all parts of your life. All parts. This is one of the deepest healing elixirs you can ever offer yourself. Allow it all to integrate — your mind with body, your body with spirit and your entire being with all of the experiences of your life. Accept your irrevocable wholeness. When you accept what has been, what you thought was and what is, you loosen your grip on delusions, limitations and stale beliefs that hold you back. What’s left? Space. Space and room to expand into the shape you are naturally, wholly and fully with a deeper sense of truth, wisdom and compassion.

The Relationship Between our Individual and Collective Spiritual Journeys

Our spiritual journey is unique. It will be different than anyone in history who has ever undergone this transformation before. Such a realization can be incredibly lonely and frightening.

When we start down this path we find our first guru and we read about the circumstances of their enlightenment. We understand their suffering deeply and believe that we feel exactly as they did prior to their shift. We read about their dark night of the soul, or their dramatic shift in perception, and helplessly try to recreate it for ourselves.

We start out treating enlightenment as if it comes with a manual. Sometimes even the most profound spiritual texts initially sound like this. We all know the instructions. You must surrender. You must accept the present moment. You must be still. You must be the witness. It’s almost like a to do list that we need to scratch off to become enlightened.

And after numerous attempts at mimicking the transformation of spiritual gurus I came to the realization that my journey is completely my own. I don’t know if, or how, I will become enlightened so I can not walk on the path as if I know where it’s going. I can not do something and know if it is helpful or a hindrance to my transformation.

It’s at this point out of sheer desperation that we reach out to the collective. We share our experiences and listen to the experiences of others. We scour the internet for wisdom and then share it with those like minded souls. We meditate, do yoga, have a realization, and then have this powerful instinct to communicate with those undergoing the same struggle.

It is this desire to share with the collective that fuels my individual journey.

What if I couldn’t blog? What if there was no YouTube? No Twitter or Facebook? Many of us may think that the world would be a much better place, and to a large degree I believe they may be right. But from another perspective social media has enabled me to create this huge community from which I find wisdom, and hopefully to which I contribute some myself.

The simple existence of this community has kept me moving forward. It has propelled me deeper into spirituality than I ever would have gone without them. Through my community I find encouragement, compassion, empathy, guidance and knowledge.

However, there is most certainly an element of sharing that strengthens the egoic “I”. It is the part that feels good when a post gets a lot of likes, or the part that feels excited when an original quote gets retweeted. The irony can get quite thick when you get a large response on some wisdom you had shared about not being your thoughts, and as a result start thinking how clever you are.

But perhaps the ego has a vitally important role to play in my personal journey. That as my ego seeks validation through a increasingly larger spiritual community I am also pulled deeper into the realm of spiritual seeking. As I surround myself with vast amounts of spiritual texts, lectures, and gurus, I increase the chance that I will ignite my transformation through encountering the right person, or hearing the right bit of wisdom.

Or maybe, and this is what I believe now, the greatest lesson I will learn through immersing myself into all things spiritual as a means to enlightenment will be its complete and undeniable failure. Perhaps this is where I will finally learn what surrender, acceptance, and stillness truly is.

Forgiveness in the News

Two stories in the Canadian news have touched on the theme of forgiveness lately. The first one is about a very well known, and well liked, local priest named Joe Leclair who was secretly stealing money from his church. He was scheduled to marry me and my wife until this scandal was exposed. He has now served time in jail, was released on good behavior, and given another job with the church in New Brunswick. Check out the story here.

The second story is about those Dalhousie Dentistry students who created a facebook page and made misogynistic comments about their classmates. According to the news stories the students are very remorseful for their actions. The 6 women who were the target of their comments said they didn’t want they offenders segregated from their class and added that they feel safe with the 12 offenders back in the class as they undergo a restorative process. As a result the suspension of these 12 students was lifted and they were re-integrated with their class. Check out that story here.

We forgive because we all do things that need forgiving. There is no perfect human that has not negatively impacted another human in some way. We have all been in the wrong about something. The extent of our mistakes is often linked to a life situation that we have little control over. We did not choose our parents, we did not choose the values they taught us, we did not choose the struggles we may have, we did not choose our genetic characteristics, and we did not choose who are neighbors are.

Saying this is not meant to absolve these instances of unconscious action but to open the door to forgiveness. We all must suffer the consequences of such action. But when you forgive someone you are telling them that they are still worthy of the light that shines within.