The path of awakening is not really a path of becoming something more or better. It is a process of uncovering reality and uncovering your essence. It can be said therefore that all spiritual teachers do is to point out the things covering or blocking you from self-actualization and to provide strategies for that ‘uncovering’ process. But something interesting to consider is that there are common themes amongst the human race in terms of what barriers prevent awakening. For example, there are common themes amongst races, religions, countries, towns, families and genders. Today, I’m going to expose the top thing that is preventing awakening for women and the top thing that is preventing awakening for men.
Women – The single biggest barrier to enlightenment for women is: Manipulation. Manipulation is a form of inauthenticity. When we are in a state of empowerment, we have the self-esteem to be ourselves and we can meet our needs directly. When we are not in a state of empowerment, our self-esteem plummets. We cannot be ourselves and we cannot meet our needs. When we cannot meet our needs directly, we begin to meet them subconsciously and in indirect ways. This is what manipulation is. We portray ourselves in false ways so as to be accepted by others. And then, try to influence others to do what we want them to do so our needs are met. For example, a person who needs to feel safe but who cannot ask directly to be protected, may create a situation where they have to be rescued by someone else or paint the false picture that they are in danger so other people will step up and offer their protection.
For thousands of years, women have been controlled, oppressed and dominated. They had no equality or empowerment. And with the introduction of religion, they were shamed for being women in the first place and were killed, shunned or shamed if they were not the perfect image of righteous goodness. Woman had to be “good girls” or else they were treated as if they were evil. As a result, women had to disown their natural instincts, disown any emotions that were seen as bad, disown their power and disown any truth about themselves that made them seem ‘not good’ by societal standards.
This disowning process within women became very dangerous because anything buried deep enough will soon become unconscious. For example, a woman who is forced to bury her jealousy will not be aware that she is jealous even when she is actively trying to destroy the success of someone she is jealous of by slandering him or her. By doing this, she gets to feel better than the person she is jealous of. Her need in this scenario, which is to feel good about herself, is now being met in highly subconscious and destructive ways. She is manipulating other people to see her as better to get this need met through the slander. Because she cannot see any of this truth about herself (because it would make her see herself as a bad person) she will maintain that she is a good person and that the person who she feels jealous of is a bad person.
And this is what women have been left with. The primary form of personal empowerment they were left with was the skill of manipulating men and manipulating each other and manipulating their own children. And they can and do manipulate in ways that other people are totally oblivious to. For example, if a woman wants to turn you against someone, they may wait until you have a conflict with that person and use that opportunity to fuel the fire between you and encourage you to stand up against them. They will manipulate you to turn against them, but because they capitalized on your own doubts about that person, it will make you believe the negative feelings you had towards that person were entirely yours and they were just doing you a service by validating those feelings.
Women will commonly manipulate boys to distrust in their own masculinity so they never grow into men who can dominate and hurt them. They will commonly self-sacrifice only to be seen as a good person and get appreciation from others, but make you believe you are selfish and cruel for making them into your slave. They will show you one face and show the other face behind your back. They will play the victim control drama to be seen as good and right and gain control. And the list goes on and on and on.
When the attachment to being ‘good’ is too great, one cannot see themselves. One cannot see the truth of what she actually thinks, actually feels and is actually doing. The ego’s attachment to goodness becomes like a veil over the reality of oneself. As a result, women have become naturally gas lighting. They can hate someone and say that they love someone, even to the degree that they fool themselves. And even when their actions and emotions scream of the opposite truth. The opportunity for awakening in this kind of scenario is void. And if they are skilled enough at manipulation, other people will not see the reality of what is going on with them, so they will never be provided a mirror to really see themselves. This is the main reason why women have terrible and complicated relationships.
The transition out of this state is all about authenticity and meeting one’s needs directly as a result of discovering that authenticity. The specific authenticity that is the most important is authenticity about the things that would cause her to feel like a bad and worthless person if admitted to. For example, the jealousy, the anger, the desire for rescue, the desire to separate people from one another, the desire to have all the attention, the sexuality, the hatred, the revenge, the power struggle, the way each word is designed to one up someone else, the insecurity, the powerlessness, the failure. Once she admits to these things within her, she can see what she is actually feeling and address those feelings directly. She can see what she is actually thinking and address those thoughts directly. And she can see what she is actually doing and why so she can change those behaviors directly.
The next step is to meet her needs directly with the information she now has at her disposal. This is a step of personal empowerment. When this occurs, the manipulation stops and the door is open for the true power of divine feminine to flow into her embodiment. If you want a plethora of information about this step, watch my video titled: Meet Your Needs.
Men –The single biggest barrier to enlightenment for men is: Disconnection. Disconnection is the state of being detached from something. Disconnection plays out in all kinds of different ways with men. Men can be detached from their emotions, from each other, from their partners, from their own essence, from their children, from their hearts, from their true desires, from the impact they have on others and the list goes on and on.
For thousands of years, boys have been expected to deal with traumatic situations in which they were powerless, without being allowed to acknowledge or care take their own emotions and vulnerability. They were shamed for weakness. In this kind of situation, the only way to cope with these traumatic situations was to disconnect from their own emotions and to disconnect from the thoughts that created these emotions. Instead, they coped by finding ways to think about the situation that would minimize the way they felt. They coped with cruelty by detaching from their need for others and by normalizing cruelty so as to not feel the pain of others. Eventually, they had to disconnect from their own heart to do what was expected of them. This fragmenting just continued and continued. As a result, men disconnected from reality.
Some ways that this disconnection shows up in day-to-day life is that a man can be in a job for years that he hates because he is disconnected from his heart. A man can cause immense cruelty to another person and never even realize he is doing it because he’s disconnected from the experience of others. A man can be feeling sadness and tell you he’s fine, because he’s disconnected from his own emotion. A man can say things that hurt others perpetually because he is disconnected from their inner world and therefore doesn’t know them enough to know what would hurt or not hurt to hear. A man can neglect his wife’s emotional needs because he’s disconnected from his own and is disconnected from her inner world. Perhaps she is just a living trophy for him. A man can have a one-night stand and not think about the person he slept with the next day because he is disconnected to the degree that he can mutually masturbate with no emotional connection. A man can encounter synchronicities and magic and rationalize every one of them because he is disconnected from the spirit below the matter of this world. A man can be so focused on projects he is doing with his kids that he fails to connect with the kids while he is doing it and they feel neglected as if the project is more important because he is disconnected from his children’s worlds and feelings and thoughts and desires and needs. A man can do things in a certain way and have no awareness about why he is doing it because he is disconnected from his own childhood. A man can believe in a truth or do thing without questioning it at all because he is disconnected from his own inner voice and conscience. A man can look at the world and not recognize himself in other things in the world or his connection to them to the degree that he can declare war that kills millions.
Because men disconnected from themselves and others, they could then go to war with other people and impose a state of traumatic tyranny over each other. This includes women. So it is a cycle that feels itself. The disconnection of men creates the manipulation in women and the manipulation of women enhances the disconnection in men.
And wait, before you convince yourself that spiritual men are the exception to this rule, think again. Spirituality has become one more tool that men use to enhance their disconnection, but to justify it this time. For example, the spiritual teaching “pain is an illusion” is a way to disconnect from the reality of other people’s pain. The belief that the higher self has no external needs and the identification with that ‘self’ over all others is one way of disconnecting from the needs that aren’t being met by others and the pain that causes. Positive focus can be a way to disconnect from half of the reality of life and all of one’s negative emotions. Open relationships and polyamory can be a way of disconnecting from one’s own fear of abandonment and fear of attachment. Dis-identification can be a way to disconnect with life. Spiritual medicines can be a way of disconnecting with reality and with one’s physical embodiment. And this list also can go on and on.
The transition out of this state is all about connection. He must re-establish his connection with his essence, his inner truth, his heart, his emotions, his inner child, his suppressed sub personalities, his true desires, the feelings and experiences and needs and desires of others. To enhance this process, I suggest that you watch my videos titled: How To Feel and How To Connect With Someone.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to notice is that powerlessness is the root of both barriers to awakening. Both are coping mechanisms designed to resolve a sense of powerlessness. Facing these barriers directly and learning to recognize it in ourselves is the not only the way out of powerlessness, it is also the way to awakening.