“This morning I wake, to find I am a fraud. I stand in front of you on stages, I stand in front of you on camera and I tell you that everything in your life comes to bless you. I have given myself the job of convincing people that the contrast here on this planet and in their individual lives is worth the universal expansion that comes from it. I have gone back to my childhood in my sleep again; I have felt the all consuming feeling of desperation again; the unfathomable chilling atrocity that stains my life. Like oil, I cannot wash it off. Can any of us survive the reflections of our own memories? The truth somedays is that I would give back every single good thing that has ever happened in my life and anything good that came of the experience, to erase my past. Forgiveness sounds good to the heart, but it cannot be “willed” into existence. It cannot be forced, it cannot be fake. Rushed forgiveness is nothing more than a horror scene covered over with gentle yellow paint. You cannot forgive as long as what happened still effects your life constantly. Some would say forgiveness is the way to ensure that your past won’t negatively affect your life constantly. I say that those people are either lying to themselves or those people have not suffered enough to know despair on a personal level. The truth is, you have to take any step you can to heal and then any step to integrate (which is beyond healing) and only then, when your life is not negatively effected by your past anymore, can you truly forgive. Forgiveness is not the state of forgetting and letting go. It is the state of finding approval for what happened. How can you find approval for what torments you? Whoever finds out the answer to that question, will be an instant millionaire. People want me to be their savior. People want me to say that everything happens for a reason and that what you went through will be worth it and that everything comes to bless you, because it means they don’t have to face the fact that deep down, they feel desperate. Deep down, they don’t KNOW whether this is all some sick cosmic joke, or whether there really is purpose in the immeasurable suffering that they endure here. If someone like me tells them that it will all be ok and that they have suffered for good reason, they can use that as a substitute for hope. They can hold on to it like a rope and lead themselves out of hell. And who doesn’t want to give a child a teddy bear? Who doesn’t want to comfort them when they are lonely and afraid? So we keep holding seminars and workshops. We keep writing books and selling DVDs. Even when we feel the same way that they do. Is it possible that our own words comfort us? That we keep on repeating these things that we want to believe, because it’s the only way we, ourselves come to believe it?”
And how is this for raw? I have come here to destroy the division between student and master. To do that, I must make a spectacle of myself. I must canvass what was once the “behind closed doors” aspect of a spiritual teacher’s life. The previous segment of this blog was an excerpt taken from an entry written in my personal journal this week. Will it be received well? Or will it serve as a perfect excuse for people to stop following my teachings and go join the ranks as a follower of another “more traditionally acceptable teacher”… Someone who doesn’t seem to have shadows, because they have made a vow to keep their shadows private instead of publicize them. People do not need a “real” person for a teacher (or so they think). They need a spiritual teacher who will blow smoke up their ass. A teacher who can represent an ideal and a promise to them that it is possible to live a life that is unaffected by anything and everything, a state of retirement from negative emotions. People want a spiritual teacher that makes them feel better, not a spiritual teacher who teaches them to get better at feeling. Why am I unwilling to guarantee my “following” and long-term career success by giving that to you? Because I am that person who realized that by trying to help you in the way that we, as spiritual teachers traditionally have, we are separating you further from yourself. We are separating you further from God. We are separating you further from truth. And worst of all, we are teaching you to abandon your authentic self in favor of an ideal. We are teaching self-hate. I cannot know oneness like I do, and simultaneously cause harm such as that, no matter how much it might line my pockets or guarantee that I will be remembered after I die. The only way to find your own spirit is to stop seeing anything and anyone as more capable of touching God than you. The only way to find your own spirit is to smudge out the line you have drawn between the truth of how you feel in this minute and how you are saying you feel, because you think it is the only acceptable way to feel.
The truth is, even people like myself, who have developed access to universal consciousness struggle with shadow. And we are afraid to admit it because it WILL be used against us. As long as our students are still suppressing their own shadow, their level of respect for us is decreased when they become aware of our shadow. The shadow is nothing more than the unconscious, which is filled with all kinds of things that you have judged as “unacceptable” about you. That is WHY you cannot admit to them, that is why you feel the need to suppress them. But did you know what? You do not only think your unsavory parts are unacceptable, you also think your extraordinary parts are unacceptable. In society, it is unacceptable to have certain personality traits. It is favorable to be humble. And so, you sweep many of your most godlike attributes under the rug as well. We all know that we project our negative shadows onto other people. Projection is the psyche’s attempt to become aware of what it has hidden. But a little known fact is that we also project our positive shadows onto other people. It is known as “idolization”. When you become a spiritual teacher, some people hate you and other people idolize you. Their idolization is nothing but a projection of the positive shadows within themselves onto you. I am a projector screen for the people who are conscious of me. To become a spiritual teacher, is to have the entire shadow of consciousness projected onto you; both the positive and the negative of what is buried within people that come to know you.
Most people think that being spiritual means being positive. I will tell you that being spiritual means being conscious and aware. To become conscious is a much different thing than to become positive. To be conscious and aware, we must become authentic. Authenticity includes both positive and negative. We must be authentically with whatever is the truth of right now, without thinking about whether it is “true” or “not true”. This is the true freedom. True freedom is to become conscious of your thoughts and feelings, not to believe your thoughts or exist at the mercy of your emotions. The truth of how I felt when I wrote this journal entry (at top) is exactly how I felt at that moment. It did not matter whether what I said was ultimately true or false. After all, it is true that some days, when I am feeling empowered, I feel like I wouldn’t take back what happened for all the gold in the world because what has come out of it is not only worth it, but is divine. So which is true? I ask you to suspend judgment of that for a time so you can be present with yourself and how you feel right here and now as a result of being asked that question.
What if this is how spiritual practice is for all of us? One day, we feel like we are walking in the stream of universal guidance, we feel like we have made it to a place of joy and peace so serene that we are untouchable. We understand the purpose of it all. We trust the universe and we trust ourselves. The next day, we feel like we have fallen from grace. We feel like we have been condemned to hell again. We see no purpose in it all. We do not trust the universe and we do not trust ourselves. What if the truly spiritual being, is not the one who clambers back to that good feeling spot to try to escape their negative emotion, but the one who is able to experience all of it without judging it to be true or false? What if true enlightenment is the peace we feel when we are no longer resisting any thought or feeling that may come to touch us? Maybe true transcendence is the transcendence of opposites.
Now ask yourself,
Is Teal a fraud?
Is Teal enlightened?
Is Teal doing this to help me?
Is she doing this to hurt me?
Am I seeing Teal’s Shadow? Or mine?
How do I feel when I hear a spiritual teacher say that they don’t think the contrast is worth the expansion?
How do I know what is real and what is false?
How do I feel?
What do I feel?