Living a spiritual life

February 27, 2012

Self-improvement, Spiritual

In duality, the good is held up by the bad, the right defines the left, and if there is an up, there is a down.

by John English and Lisa Lippincott — 

You learned a long time ago that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. You began to explore your true nature by paying attention to your life and learning about spirituality. Perhaps you read books, went to workshops and seminars, and maybe even found a teacher. Since then, your path has flowed with the force of life instead of against it.

The diligent work you have done has borne fruit, and your life makes sense most of the time. So why is it that some of the things you thought you had resolved keep coming back up? It is because you are not finished learning lessons from them yet, and you are ready for a transformation.

It can be frustrating to spend so much time, energy and money on this process, only to have issues resurface. You may wonder: Is it ever going to end? The reason it feels like this is because it does not end. Sometimes on the spiritual path, we forget a couple of inescapable truths — namely that we are human beings, and we live in duality.

When things are going well for us, we tend to forget the limitations of duality and of being human. But when things start to break down, nothing we have learned seems to help get us out of our predicament.

If we wait, though, something will come to us, seemingly out of nowhere. We may realize that everything we have learned and experienced has become another belief structure. It helps to recall that the master Jesus wept, got angry and chased the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip. All the masters have said that they cannot define the space they are in; this is the first verse of the Tao Te Ching. Yet we often forget that the great masters were still human. Then, it hits us. We have taken all that we have experienced, read about and been taught by many, and turned it into a false security blanket.

Do not panic. Every mystic before you has gone through this phase of development. To go further, you must let go of all you believe. That is right: Let go of all you believe. You will then become aware that you can move spiritually beyond duality, but physicality will always be bound by duality — as long as you are a part of physicality. In our vigilant efforts to become like the great masters, we forgot the simple truth that they were human beings.

We have taken everything we have experienced and been taught, turned it into a belief structure and made it God. We tried to become God, instead of realizing we are God. We forgot the beginner’s mind and the power of living like a child.

In the Medicine Way, we would say that the apprentice is between a rock and a hard place. This point is the ultimate and most difficult crossroads and is where many give up. We remember that all belief structures are constructs of mind and our minds cannot take us where we want to go.

If you can surrender your belief structure to God, you will move on; if not, you will continue to struggle, or will simply give up. The good news is that if you surrender all you know and believe to be true, it will come back to you outside of time and space. All the tools you have used will come back refined and ready for you to use as an empowered, fluid human being. The bad news is that knowing this ahead of time will not make this action any easier.

If you take this step, you will never be the same. You will know through your own experience that everything material in your life is not your life. You will know that you are a part of the essence that gives rise to everything — in what most people call their “lives.” You will know and use this ineffable force to participate fully in the ultimate experience of being human. Namaste.


John English is a shamanic healer and award-winning author of The Shift: An Awakening and The Little Book on Relationship. Lisa Lippincott is a teacher at Dreamtime, LLC. They offer healing sessions, workshops, The Medicine Wheel program and The Advanced Wisdom School of Shamanic techniques. or 480-473-8957.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 2, Apr/May 2010.

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