PART ONE: “Yes, Virginia, There is a Shadow.”
There is something widely overlooked and highly underrated among spiritual seekers in today’s world: the absolute necessity of having humility if we are to deeply change ourselves and achieve enlightenment. As we take on the New Year of 2011 and the much-heralded 2012 ahead, it might be a good time to take a thoughtful look at where our beliefs and attitudes have mistakenly taken us…and how we may want to correct our course.
If we don’t do this, then the potential of human destiny will be nothing more than a repeat of human history, with our excited expectations unrealized just the same as the ages gone before us. As the saying goes, “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing expecting different results.” If we don’t change on the inside and thus, our actions on the outside, neither will the outcome of our future change. The precedent needed to establish change is an attitude of genuine humility: we have to admit to ourselves that we don’t know it all, because if we did we wouldn’t needlessly suffer.
We all need to be asking ourselves, “Why don’t things in this world ever substantially change for the better?” Despite the teachings of endless spiritual gurus and appointed mortals claiming to speak for an infinite God; despite the so-called evolution of consciousness; despite thousands of spiritual books, conventional religious texts and their assertive interpreters along with a heaping smorgasbord of spiritual modalities; despite more restrictive laws, political promises, and lofty proclamations; despite countless charitable organizations and movements for positive change…we still have a world overflowing with injustice, violence, hatred, ignorance, inequality, corruption, deceit, and so on.
What we believe we are doing to change the world isn’t working. We need to examine why.
This is a world on the edge of precipitous change, as our treasured sense of what is real and what is true is unraveling slowly and quite naturally…because all deception and extreme corruption is destined to disintegrate eventually. Often in our history it is people and their societies that self-destruct, but even so, the very state of Existence itself perpetually seeks a state of balance and so the pendulum that swings to extremes inside of vast cosmic cycles will eventually return to rest, momentarily, at the center. A place of peace and balance.
Just how far to an extreme we have to go with our human suffering, before regaining balance in the world, is up to us. This very day is the moment of decision that will determine the world of tomorrow. Why? Because as the social systems begin to fail, (and they are) chaos will replace faux stability. The structures upon which people have so heavily relied, and which have provided an artificial perception of life and reality, will not be in place to hold them up. Even religion, philosophy, and many a person’s spiritual certainties are destined to fail the test of time and truth. The only thing that will not fail us, is the deepest truth about who we really are and what we are really capable of. Before we can know that, we have to meet and know our inner shadow self, from which the darkest experiences of being human emerge. The disintegration on the outside is not the byproduct of external forces but the result of internal forces at war with themselves.
Next Post: Part Two