“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery,
rather than to choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness
that would last the rest of our lives.”
~ Marianne Williamson
For a long time I have been perceiving things along the lines of this quote, believing it to be a primarily a question of individual courage if someone walks a path of self discovery and self work.
But the years of the pandemic have illuminated this and allowed me to perceive and reflect on it in a more detailed way.
There is a lot more to this ongoing choice of self discovery, and there is a distinct difference between those who will keep choosing this path and those only willing to follow it up to a point, until it causes too much discomfort or begins to undercut too much of the beliefs and desires of the ego.
Sure it takes courage initially to follow the call of the soul, to listen to the voice insisting on change and a different way of being. That could be already achieved by comparatively small and superficial lifestyle changes, changing our diet, choosing yoga and mindfulness practices. This is how far most will take it, and they will benefit in ‘functioning’ better in a sick and exploitative system. And that is all they wish for.
Some will take the path of psychology and delve into certain aspect of its insights, get help and work things out to the degree that they feel balanced and well enough to engage with life in a new and less painful way. Some adjustments are made to beliefs and perceptions with the focus being predominantly on helping the personality better navigate life.
Others will move into esoteric and occult teachings and belief systems, incorporating those beliefs into their daily lives and practicing relevant rituals. They might also strive to be more loving and compassionate, molding the personality, without delving too deeply into spiritual self discovery and the work and changes arising from it.
And then there are those whose soul’s are willing to immerse themselves more fully into self discovery in this incarnation. Who will seek many different sources, or maybe just one, and utilize them to go beyond the personality, to touch on the Self, to let it rework their being. Those who will go through all the challenges, pains, and losses it takes to make the personality and mind take the backseat as the Soul/Self take the lead. Those who learn to ‘step out of the way’ as the forces of life change them and their life, who are willing to unlearn all that they have been taught, to experience the mystery of life unclouded by the misperceptions and deceits of ancestors and the cultures and conditioning handed down to them.
From where I am at in my journey and knowing I realize how little these paths, and how far we are capable and allowing in walking them, are dependent on the traits of the personality or the resistances of the ego. That which is decisive lays at the core of our being at the Soul level of our being. It is there, where the choice of experiences and learning for this lifetime are made, not in the mind or personality – those only get to rationalize them after the fact.
The complexity of factors that have to come together to create an ongoing and truly evolutionary trajectory of growth is more aligned with the mystical teaching that separate and individual agency is an illusion and that as ‘all that is is affected by all that is’ life, including personal choices, is a collective unfolding.
Which has taken away the wish to ‘help others know and understand’ and replaced it with a knowing of their understanding perfectly well for their soul path and intentions. No need to interfere or wish for change. And if it puzzles me, I may try to inquire into their perceptions and inner trajectory to make sense of their beliefs and behaviors, but it no longer is necessary beyond teaching me lessons needed to for my own becoming.
With it the burning desire to find others, who know more than me or have explored differing paths, in order to expand my knowledge has mellowed out. I still enjoy deep and expansive exchanges on philosophical, cosmological, energetical aspects of our experience. But exchanges focused in awe and delight in the mystical unfolding of life have taken their place and leave me charged up with delight and joy like the earlier never could.
There is no longer a need to judge another’s path or confront them about it. Instead there is an experience of a loss of interest and willingness to engage with certain dimensions of consciousness. To engage with these feels like constricting into a limited and painful way of perception and engagement with life, a form of self abuse, and wasteful of my energy and time.
You would think that it makes for a lonely existence but in fact it has made being rich in what feels like another dimensionality. Which in turn seems to feed a sense of wholeness and wellbeing I have not yet felt in this level of calm imperviousness. And it seems to open to a kind of encounter with the being, or is-ness of others, which provides a reciprocal level of luminous nourishment for the Soul which is very different to what used to feed the ego or heart.
What is emergent is what I call Self-sufficiency, being whole unto Self, deriving everything needed from Self – regardless if through this being, another, or cooperative energies. To rely solely on the Self means releasing all attachments to things perceived as a security in life (jobs, homes, family, friends) and leaning into the spaciousness the detachment creates. A spaciousness that can be mistaken for emptiness and therefore scary to the personality/ego. In time and with persistence the fears eventually melt away and so does the interference of the personality with experience.
What follows is what we can taste in a lesser form in moments of ‘flow’ – pure being. Zero point consciousness in embodiment. Which in turn is but a beginning of another multidimensional adventure in embodied consciousness and experience.