This letter has been edited…you can read the whole letter as a response/comment to the blog on Kundalini, Spiritual Awakening, and Control here (click on comments).
My dear Mary,
I understand that there is a pervasive attitude in the new age community which seems to be telling us that we can affect all aspects of reality by means of our will alone, at least in theory. This is interpreted to mean many things and a lot of what is touted as “law” or a consequence of this “undeniable truth” does often seem naive and misinterpreted (or just straight up wrong), and can result in a ‘blaming the victim’ sort of approach to “helping” people, (or advising them on how to help themselves); nonetheless, I must admit it: even though I accept fate, I also believe in the affecting of reality via the will!
Is it not both?
I have read a lot about the methods of becoming more successful at ‘manifestation’ (ie prayer, meditation, visualization, affirmation, ritual, spell, cultivation of subconscious belief, etc.) — and with actually many years of practice now I am of the opinion that something more than confirmation bias is responsible for what appears to be a development in my ability to affect reality. This belief, that I have a degree of power and control previously unrecognized, or undeveloped, has been a major catalyst in my spiritual development and study of philosophy and other abstract matters. I have a better life now than I once did.
But in those moments of intense existential fear, or of strongly disliking some aspect of my life and very much wanting it to change, I am deeply comforted by the illusion/knowledge of control. And the idea that it’s an illusion really scares me, as do the existential/Buddhist concepts of life having no inherent meaning. This can be extremely depressing on lonely, rainy days.
I guess the main thing I want to ask is, are you sure that those of us at the lower levels of awareness really benefit from the idea that we have no control, or mightn’t some of us be nourished by our ‘law of attraction’ paradigm? I feel that I am, but at the same time, I’m still rather fearful and as much as I hate to admit it, I do feel that as long as life is going well, it’s easy to look at other peoples misfortunes and comfort ourselves by saying ‘well, they attracted that at the subconscious level’ and I suspect that this is a head-in-the-sand thought maneuver. At the same time, in all honesty, I do believe that at some level this is utterly true, wrong (both morally & theoretically) as that may seem to some.
Also, and this is in response to a certain message you’ve gotten across in other blogs about our individual puniness, are you not in line with the concept that we are united in essence with God, and an extension, yet identical in substance, of this Force, and therefore powerful little limbs in our own right? Cheesy as it may seem to some, the LOA idea that we are “co-creating with the universe” remains one of the most profound spiritual concepts I ever embraced, and as an added bonus it seems to solve the free-will/determinism problem in a way that western philosophy never could (and I literally majored in philosophy). I guess I just want to know if, due to being at a kundalini-unleashed level of awareness, this idea also has been blown to smithereens, and/or could it still be valid at the same time?
With love and respect,
Thank you for your thoughts. I find it easier, and more beneficial, to respond via blog because other people have made similar inquiries. What you are coming up against are paradoxes, and in simplicity what I would say is that when people gain spiritual awareness/awakened state something can easily be true and false at the same time.
By that I mean that the LOA is true… but it is also very false at the same time. At the deepest spiritual levels we do not have any control. Things flow as they are intended to… and when we are awake we can realize that flow and capitalize on the opportunities and energies of that flow. This is one of the deepest, and most difficult lessons for anyone who is undergoing a spiritual awakening to deal with.
We love control. The idea that we do not have any on the deepest levels is terrifying. Most people come to spiritual matters, to spirituality itself because they are unhappy with their lives. They are unhappy with themselves. The spiritual precepts (that are very true by the way) that we are divine, that we are beautiful, that we are something, and that we have a specific spiritual path with specific unique attributes to bring to this world is extraordinarily appealing. Most of us have felt so horrible about ourselves and dislike our lives to the extent that these precepts are what we look for.
The same is true about oneness. We are lonely. We are isolated. We feel like nobody cares for us. Many of us feel like screaming out about what our lives have become, who we have become because in our hearts we know that things could be different “if only”. So the idea that we are all connected, that we are all part of one big flow of divinity is immensely appealing.
And these precepts are true, by the way. They just are also false. There have been illusions created on top of these precepts, intellectualization of these concepts, and these concepts are read and seen by people who are still dealing with the very real experience of feeling isolated, of having poor self-worth, of hating their lives. This intellectualization has created a lot of mythology about what these experiences, what the direct experience of these states is actually like. And a lot of falsehood.
So yes, it is very comforting for people to believe that they alone create the Universe, or are co-creating the Universe, it is very comforting for people to believe that we are all oneness like a congealed blob, and that if they were only “awake” enough, or went to go to yoga or did certain meditations or got the right spirit guide that their lives would be bliss, that all of their self-worth issues, their isolation, and their hatred would disappear.
But, quite frankly, I do not talk about that or to those people because 99 percent of the information in the spiritual community is for those people. Those concepts are comfortable, and people are welcome to them. But there is a certain percentage of the population who is ready to go beyond those ideas, and there is very little material out there for those people who are actually awakening, or actually struggling with realizing that the intellectualization of these spiritual precepts is false.
Most people are creating a lot of illusions out of these precepts. They only “think positively” because to think negatively is “bad”, they only “journey” to specific places in Shamanism because everything else is “dangerous”, they will not think about other cultures and how they are appropriating their spiritual precepts because they are entitled to them without doing any work or actually understanding (which may take decades) of what a specific spiritual path is. They think oneness means to not judge anyone ever and that we are all the same, because the person thinking this feels inferior. They think spirituality is somewhere “out there” because of hatred for the physical form and their physical realities. They think that if only they were spiritual enough they would be able have complete and total control over their lives… because in our hearts we realize that we could die tomorrow, we could be murdered, we could be in a plane crash or be raped or be homeless… and the illusion that if we only think hard enough or are spiritual enough that this stuff wouldn’t happen to us is very, very comforting.
To dispel that illusion though… for complete and total clarity… the homeless five year old child who is starving didn’t do anything wrong, the woman who lost her job with three kids to support and is being evicted didn’t do anything wrong, the woman who just got raped down the corner didn’t do anything wrong, and the man who died after being mugged didn’t do anything wrong. On the surface level, we can judge them, or say they were wearing the wrong clothes or it must be “karma” or not look at them at all, because to do so would ruin our illusions of control. That if we were in complete and total control our lives would totally be ours and we would never have to worry about death, taxes, and hierarchy of needs type issues (food, clothing, shelter, etc). Nobody wants to think about that there are bigger energies, bigger issues out there, than self-created issues. And there are.
We create our world to a certain extent. But other people are creating theirs. And they might not be willing to deal with their issues, or unable to deal with their issues. And they might break into your house and harm you. As communities we create our world, as a society, as a world. And then the cosmos creates our world. And we have some control, we have our individual will… but we do not have control over others to the extent we think we do (i.e. not everything/everyone is a mirror), and all of the new-agers who only want to think positively and judge everyone who is poor or homeless or whatever else because it will never happen to them because they are “spiritual” and “think right” is actually actively participating and creating the cultural and world shadow that creates the situations in which black teenagers get shot by police, or wars, or hate crimes… because they are not willing to look at their own shit, basically, and it enters the communal and world shadow.
To get to the heart of your question, though… The LOA is true to a certain extent. To achieve something we must have spiritual, mental, and physical alignment (basically). The simplest way to talk about this is getting a new car. If we focus our mental awareness on manifesting a new car (LOA or mantras or vision boards or simply thinking about it) and we focus on the physical aspects of it (saving money, getting another part time job, doing research on cars and finance plans, etc) and it is in the appropriate spiritual alignment (meaning that it is the divine right time for us to get a car, the energies of the Universe, so to speak are creating the opportunity for us to have one) then we will likely get the car. If one of these is really out of balance (spiritual, mental, or physical) we will not. So yes, you can think your car into existence. But you also need to have a job that can pay for all of your daily expenses and a car. And it also needs to be the right divine timing for one. If one of those is somewhat off, we will get the car, but struggle. When everything is in alignment– physical, mental, and spiritual– we generally get what we want out of this world. But when we are in that state, what we “want” changes, and the realization that profound spiritual energies flow through us and create our world and that no matter who we are we die, get diseases, and have stuff happen in our lives, also happens.
It is easy to think that if we were in control we would get whatever we would want. We would be rich, we would have the perfect body, we would feel connected to everyone, we would love everyone, we would love ourselves. Finally. We would know what we were intended to do here on Earth and our misery would cease.
Most people who are awakening get to the “highs” of spiritual happenings and stop, just going from experience to experience looking for that high like an addict. They do not progress. Most people who are somewhat awake (awake enough to be interested in the subject) go to the gurus, the spiritual precepts, and the books that will facilitate them feeling better about their lives, that make them believe that if they only took this class or did this thing or were more awake that their lives would be total bliss and they would be multi-millionaires. They do not move on from this understanding because they do not want to, and they are left in a state of perpetual wanting, always seeking the next guru or book or meme or Oprah show to show them the next thing they should do, the next surface spiritual path they should take.
For others who are actually awakening they discover that the direct understanding of these spiritual precepts is true. We are all connected, we are all one, we are all divine, we are all in bliss… we find our purpose and know why we are here, we have access to power and feel “big” and discover our self-worth and are embodied and integrated and know what is going on in the world… but we are simultaneously very small, and not that big of a deal, and that we can have stuff happen in our lives no matter how “spiritual” we are… and that looking from the vantage point of being awakened you can be simultaneously in oneness and also isolated, that you can feel bliss and full of self-worth and embodied and also feel sorrow, and pain at the same time.
I hope that provides food for thought. I wish you the best on your path. It is admirable that you are willing to be uncomfortable, that you are willing to look at things beyond the level you are currently at. This trait leads to true awakening… which is beautiful and blissful and wonderful… just not in the ways that is marketed to you.