One of the dangers of the spiritual path is that many people come to it in hopes of feeling more special. The ability to feel special, to create illusions and thoughts in a spiritual context is exactly the sort of escapism that some people need to feel wanted, loved, and heard when they may inwardly have wounds and traumas regarding those issues.
If you are one of those people, and you are not in a place willing to look past this, I do suggest that you perhaps skip this blog (rather than sending me angry emails, for example), as this blog is not the right choice for you to read. There are plenty of other blogs, books, etc. that will tell you how wonderful and unique and talented and goddess (or god) like you are.
The truth is that if we are filled with our own power, if we fill those empty places inside, if we are healed, and if we love ourselves, we do not need to feel special. We do not need to convince others that we are special. And the tendency towards this sort of “spiritual narcissism” will dissipate.
And my objective here is not to be cruel, but to allow for people to see that perhaps, just perhaps… they are as important as the person next to them. That no matter who they are or what their “spirit guides” told them that they are not the center of the universe. It just is a common illusion that is perpetuated by the mind to separate the person, fracturing them so they cannot experience oneness. Basically, it is a test, an initiation, a way to see what choices people make.. And this is an initiation that a lot of people fail.
Most people, in fact, come to a spiritual path to fill that empty place inside. They go to the workshops, read the books, and may even meditate or do self-growth activities (yoga, etc). These are all wonderful ways to get in touch with who we really are, and to transcend some of the traumas and limitations that we have imposed on ourselves (or had imposed on us). This feeling of being “special” is really necessary for those new to the spiritual path, and considering the amount of things having to do with escapism in our culture, and in our world (anything that pulls us away from our every-day lives and physical bodies), having a myth that you are goddess, or that the trees just speak to you, or that the entire universe emanates from you is a bit better than some of the other choices on the “escapism list”
But this is really a test, an initiation, as I mentioned. And it has to do with the basic choice that many people do not recognize that they have:
Choice Number 1
Allow for the spiritual path to define you as special, important. You are fully the protagonist in your story. The whole world, even the whole universe is created by you, breathes with you, with you at the center.
This is our sort of unconscious choice, our default setting.
It is natural to have spiritual experiences that heighten our senses, that bring us to new awareness and realization on the spiritual path. It is also really easy to fear those experiences, have them stagnate us, or have them feed our personal mythology.
It is also natural to then feel like your experience is so unique that nobody else on Earth is having it.
I talk to people quite a bit where I explain sensitivities (or psychic abilities) to them. That basically my definition is that if five people walk into a room, three of them will notice five-ten things about that room (normal or non-psychic range of sensitivities), one will notice 20-40, depending on the day, and the last might notice 200-2,000 points of stimuli in that room. Both of those last two examples being to some degree sensitive, or psychic.
The interesting thing is that when I talk to people nine times out of ten they define themselves as the most of something: the most psychic, the most sensitive, and so forth. This happens with spiritual experiences as well. People will believe that their spiritual experiences are unlike anyone around them. That their spiritual experiences are so powerful, magnificent, or out-of-the ordinary that they make the person incredibly and totally unique.
But here is the thing… no matter what you are experiencing there are going to be people experiencing more (likely much more if you have not gone through this initiation)… more sensitive, more psychic, more of an (indigo, starseed, empath… whatever the popular words are these days).
We just don’t get this because we have a general built-in inability to see past our own experiences. To realize that there are other people in the world than us… people who might be experiencing the same joys, difficulties, and spiritual experiences as us.
We have a general filter that causes us to believe this myth of our own self-importance. This was an experience that was strong for the person, so of course it is the strongest and most profound thing on the planet.
And my basic point here isn’t to cause people to feel badly about themselves, quite the opposite in fact. This is an important initiation, one that comes up that can bring you across the threshold of beginner spiritual paths to depths.
But it requires moving beyond the “I” to do so.
It requires letting go of that part of you that wants to feel like the clocks are telling you something (like repeating numbers, which increasing people are talking about because they look at their cell phone 3,000 times a day).
It requires realizing that there are other people in the world. That whoever you are, you and your experiences are not that important. There are others out there just like you, having the same experiences, and going through the same initiation. There are in fact people much more than you, no matter who you are… people “more” spiritual, gifted, sensitive/psychic… people whose spiritual experiences would make you scream and run to hide somewhere.
And this is actually a freeing thought, if we allow it… if we are able to move past our spiritual narcissism beyond this initiation
Choice Number Two
This choice allows for you to release this and move into a state of humility (and eventual grace).
It is a conscious choice in many ways, a realization that no matter who you are, there are others out there experiencing things similarly to you.
It is a conscious choice to realize that you are not the leading protagonist of the world
I talk to a lot of people who have this great fear of what other people think of them. And most times, most people really don’t think about you at all. They are too wrapped up in their own story, their own struggles, and you are simply a character that supports the narrative in which they are the protagonist.
People are so wrapped up in themselves that most people lack the ability to look outside of themselves. It is a rare quality for someone to be able to step out of their own shoes, to move beyond their own “protagonist” creation, their own illusions, to see that everyone is their own protagonist.
I get a lot of flak for talking about this subject, as a lot of people are simply not ready to process it. It is a rough teaching, to be sure. We love to create and be the center of the universe, for our stories and our myths about ourselves to be not only important to ourselves, but deeply significant to those around us.
In many ways, working our way through this world on a spiritual level is a search for meaning. Who are we? What are we here to do? What is our destiny? How can we fill that emptiness inside?
But if we are able to move beyond it we can experience freedom.
To move beyond the myth of our own self-importance allows for us to truly experience oneness, for example. In which we are not the center of the universe, but simply a part of a giant web.
One of the most profound “waking up” experiences that I had early on was driving in my car and looking at a mountain, and suddenly I realize that I was breathing with that mountain. I had to pull over because the experience of oneness, the feeling of truly being part of something, filled me with such joy and bliss and sheer emotion.
Truly “waking up” causes us for to switch our vantage point. This is what happens as a result of this specific initiation. If we are able to let go of our own myth of self-importance, we realize that we are simply a part of things. In the grand scheme of things, we are but a small part of universal flows.
We cannot feel this if we need to realize ourselves as gods.
And we do not need to feel like gods if those parts of ourselves that are screaming how terrible and awful and empty you are are no longer there. The myth of self-importance is really a creation, a sort of escapism, to move past these parts: the lonely, misguided, traumatized, empty aspects of us that are longing to feel special, heard, and loved.
If we reconcile those wounded parts, we no longer need to be gods. We can simply be ourselves.
If we are to move beyond the threshold of self-importance, and pass this initiation, a lot of the stress and fear and anger of the every-day begins to dissipate. Things are just not that big of a deal, simply. Whatever you are going through, you will likely go through it again, or you will heal it (again, another choice). Or you will heal part of it.
That part of you that is in battle– the parts of you that are telling you that you are not good enough and the illusory aspect of you that keep on telling you how special you are– are quieted. There is no need for battle– no need for you to convince yourself (or anyone else) of how special you are or how profound your experiences are. Because there are people ahead of you, and people behind you, and people exactly where you are.
Realizing humility is not relinquishing power. It is the realization of oneness, a movement towards oneness, a realization that yes, you are special. You are a part of the divine. But so is the person next to you, so is your cat, so is the tree in the park. You, the cat, and the tree are all having spiritual experiences of this world, and no one is less or more important.
This realization always allows freedom. It allows perspective. It allows for you to let go of the opinions of others, requiring the approval of others, it allows for you to move beyond requiring the approval of yourself, and for the parts of you that tell you how awful you are and the parts of you that are telling you how special you are to put down their weapons and end the war.
It allows for you to move beyond the “I”– the myth of yourself as the protagonist of this world. And moving beyond this myth allows for you to simply be, rather than explain or convince; to look at others struggling with spiritual narcissism and this sort of initiation and failing again and again with compassion. They will pass if and when the time is right for them. It allows for you to see yourself as a small drop in the ocean of divinity.
The myth of being special, of the “I” is one of separation. If we are convinced of anything we are, we are separating ourselves.If we believe that the whole centers around us, and everything emanates from us (and only us) we are lost in illusion and cannot see that we are a small part of the world, and the cosmos. We will be unable to see the duality that we simply place our myths and wounds on others (thus creating the world) but that other people are creating their worlds as well. This myth is the ultimate separation, because it does not allow for us to transcend anything, or to move beyond this initiation. It only allows for us to participate in our own mythology again and again, and believe the sort of illusions that we create about ourselves as valid truth.
If we convince ourselves that our spiritual experiences are like nobody else, we cannot receive help and support from the whole, we remove ourselves from oneness. If we convince ourselves of how horrible and difficult we are, then we also remove ourselves from that whole.
By transcending this, by consciously realizing that no matter who we are, we are but a small part of things, we can move beyond the self-important “I” and experience the whole. We can move beyond the battles and the illusions into wholeness and peace.