Monday, February 18, 2019

Shifting with the Ages

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

Evolution implies advancement from the lower and coarser to the higher and finer;
from darkness to light; from ignorance to intelligence; from fragmentation to wholeness.

Life is an evolutionary process.


The world is changing.

Within the last century alone, humans have been witness to a pace of advancement unparalleled in all of recorded history.

With each new development has come an overturning of “the old” and a movement into “the new.”

These transitions away from “the old” can be very unsettling for some people.

What they had once perceived as “how life is” and “the truth,” they see crumble before their eyes.

A Shifting Spiritual Paradigm

While this concept covers all fields of human experience, the one I would like to focus on is that of our shifting spiritual paradigm.

Undoubtedly, all is changing, and all change poses difficulty to those who would put up resistance. Within this overarching change, the spiritual paradigm shift is, it seems to me, the most prone to upset and resistance due to the magnitude of its implications.

When we look at automation, for example, although we can potentially get quite invested in it, few of us would ever get that invested because, well, it’s just automation. Unless our name is Alexa or Siri, it's quite self-evident that this field does not hold the answers to life, the universe, and everything.

The spiritual paradigm shift is different in that what we’ve been calling “spiritual” or “religious” is our center of existential gravity.

Our religio-spiritual beliefs, whatever they may be, dictate to us “who I am,” “why I am here,” “what my purpose is,” and so on. How any of us may answer these questions are extremely powerful determinants of how we live every moment of our lives and how we perceive death and the afterlife.

This area is therefore no small cause of upset and resistance, driven by fear, when “the old” that we hold so dearly is challenged, if not overturned.

If you find yourself struggling in this arena, I here offer you a few alternative perspectives and recommendations that may help you to better understand your situation and navigate the transition more easefully.

Waves Break, Yet the Ocean Remains

Like many people, you may be bothered by the arising of the New Age Movement.

Since the onset of monotheism, major religions have seen their splits this way and that. However, there may never have been as big of a religio-spiritual shake-up as has happened within the last several decades with the arising of the New Age theme.

People (of the West, anyway) had accepted as true that there is a singular God and that this is an external, mysterious, and vengeful God who will save only the “Chosen Ones.” Then the New Agers (however loosely related) came along and held to a singular God but claimed that this God is internal, knowable, unconditionally loving, and runs creation by the Law of Karma, under which each human must save his- or herself (and has the divine power to do so).

Now, to be clear, there’s as much garbage within the New Age agenda as in any other way of life. But you would do well to note that there are still plenty of great concepts and practices—many of which are actually quite ancient.

For how long has the vast majority of Western man acted as though practices such as yoga and meditation were some shade of “dorky” or “evil” or “strange” or what have you? And yet now, as if the experiential fact wasn’t good enough testament, there are scientific studies being released all the time touting the holistic benefits of these practices.

Here’s something else: In the Bible Jesus says on many occasions that the kingdom of God is within us, that we are gods, that we will do even greater things than he (Luke 17:20-21, John 10:33-38, and John 14:12, respectively), and so on. For whatever reasons, Christianity has utterly ignored this and taught otherwise. Yet the words are right there. New Age-types are merely restating what Jesus had stated himself over 2000 years ago.

The point is, the deeper concepts of the New Age are really no different than most any other religion, Eastern or Western. At their foundations, these are all large-scale attempts to understand and share who we truly are and why we are truly here.

It’s important that you see that whatever way humanity evolves, we are evolving as a whole, and we are all, as we have always been, attempting to discover the same thing.

The means will change over time, but that’s not a definitively bad thing.

Scriptural Reinterpretation

At the heart of religio-spiritual tradition is scripture.

For this reason it’s important that you make an attempt to reinterpret your preferred scriptural passages to fit humanity’s latest understandings in various fields, from spiritual to scientific to experiential. In whatever forms the truth may take, they must necessarily be coherent across all fields.

You could take the scripture upon which your preferred tradition is based and interpret it for yourself. If you favor the Bible, educate yourself a little bit (or a lot) on the differences between Greek or Hebrew and English. Not all is as it seems.

Stop giving all your power away by leaving this work to other people (“authority”) and then expecting them to humbly tell you precisely “what it all means,” “what is true” for you specifically, and “what God is saying.”

It’s important that you seek to discover the right interpretations.

To say “right,” I don’t mean to suggest that any one person holds “The Only True Interpretation.” Any given passage probably has a variety of valid meanings. I’m encouraging you to seek solid answers for yourself.

Do your own research and feel into what you discover.

Same Stuff, Different Day

Take the information you gather and really chew it over. Be willing to expand your awareness. Look for alternate meanings and see how ideas may fit in with other ways of life.

For instance, consider Moses' use of a staff to command water out of a rock while in the desert. Time and again this has been considered a miracle.

Is this true? I would argue not.

Among other subtle and layered meanings, this passage could well be alluding to Moses' knowledge of the art of dowsing, or divining, by which one can receive divine guidance using the movement of any of a variety of tools. With little effort and training, virtually anyone can perform the most basic of dowsing techniques. People use this practice now, and people used this practice several millennia ago.

In a second instance, consider the concept of reincarnation. Although Easterns have long accepted this, the West has mostly rejected it like the plague. Does this rejection, however, equate with a lack of validity?

I can’t help but think of Matthew 11:14 wherein Jesus states: “And if you are willing to accept it, John [the Baptist] himself is Elijah, who was to come.” For someone who usually speaks in cryptic parables, this is fantastically direct. The fact is right there yet the very religious leaders who hold this scripture as true continue to deny this meaning.

Otherwise, the accounts are plentiful of people who claim to remember aspects of past lives (birth location, hidden possessions, family members, etc.). While it is impossible to verify the validity of all accounts (some date to lifetimes thousands of years ago), many claims are made of lives just prior and have had numerous aspects verified as true. (See, for instance: Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D. and Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson, M.D.)

As you make these connections yourself you’ll come to find that, although appearances change, the foundation of the messages remains the same across the board.

The Truth Arises in Nakedness

You may see your beliefs being challenged, maybe your religion declining, and imagine it to be the end of the world.

Is this what is really happening? Did the passing away, say, of the Greek pantheon spell the end of the world? Of course not. Humanity simply took a giant leap forward by recognizing that God is one, not many.

We don’t resist and mourn every time we take our clothes off before getting into bed. Paradigm shifting is no different. Actually, as long as we can detach, we see that what’s happening is resulting in something even better.

When we change our clothes we remain the same people, yet as our religio-spiritual traditions change, especially during a paradigm shift such as the one we’re now going through, we move so much closer to the truer answers of our most life-defining questions.

Traditions are merely a kind of dramatic clothing—appearances—under which all of the deepest truths of life, the universe, and everything reside.

Bound to Tradition

Another recommendation is to take a closer look at what your attachments to your tradition are actually bound to.

If you’re a Catholic, although you might tell yourself and others that following Catholicism is “the right thing for me to do,” you might well use such ideas to cover up that you feel a significant amount of guilt when merely thinking about doing anything the Church doesn’t approve of.

There’s no quick fix for this, but you can begin by acknowledging that this guilt and all the beliefs and fears that give it life were learnedthey are not innate to you.

Again, you might reevaluate scriptural passages. One that comes to mind is Mark 2:27: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Claiming justification under the third commandment, the Catholic Church adamantly demands that people go to church every Sunday lest they go to hell for eternity. Not only is this ultra-guilt-inducing, it’s as if the Church doesn’t even care that Jesus, the one who neutralized the weight of the Old Testament by ushering in the higher and lighter New Testament and around whom the whole religion is based, specifically says that this “day of rest” is not mandatory.

You must learn to see what is rather than what the Powers That Be want you to see. If you believe the words of Jesus, then believe the words of Jesus, not the Church’s interpretation of the words of Jesus.

Bound to Childhood Programming

For many of you, you’re probably not as bound to your tradition as you imagine.

Your resistance to change may well stem from a fear of breaking family expectation and a desire for parental and authoritative love, approval, and so forth.

You avoid turning down your tradition, and in turn your parents and authority, because you fear the absence of their love. But what can be said of this love, anyway? You have to work awfully hard to earn and maintain it, do you not? How extraordinarily conditional it is.

And do you even realize what you're seeking? The love, affection, and so forth that you desire is that which you vaguely recall your parents giving you when you were just an infant. Is that what you want, for your parents to dote on you as though you're a baby?

Perhaps you fear the wrath of your parents or perceived authorities for disobedience.

How old are you? Are you not, most likely, well beyond an age at which your parents need reign over your life?

Unfailingly obeying the fourth commandment of “honoring thy father and thy mother” is hardly appropriate when thy father and thy mother threateningly and forcefully dishonor your individuality by manipulating you so that they can avoid facing their inner discomforts and distortions.

At this level one’s religio-spiritual tradition is effectively irrelevant; it’s merely a backdrop in front of which greater psycho-emotional disturbances play out.

As with the previous guilt issue, there’s no quick fix for this. But I would have you consider these 2 vital points:
  1. What if the commandment to “Honor thy father and thy mother” is not so much about unconditionally honoring your parents as it is about honoring and balancing both your male and female “parent” energies?

    Men, for instance, so often act like “tough guys,” but the truth is that this is a facade. When a man is centered and true to himself, he also exhibits female characteristics of profound empathy, compassion, etc. He may never be able to exhibit these traits to the degree women can, but he does carry them and he must integrate them to be and feel complete. Women, remaining true to their womanhood, must integrate their male energies.

  2. You already have the love you so dearly thirst for.

    If you did not, how would you know such love exists to desire it at all? If you think because your parents had originally given it to you in childhood but then stopped, what about those who hadn’t received much if any love in their childhoods yet still seek it? Is not love known by its resonance within?

    And what, exactly, resonates? Surely you inherently resonate with and yearn for unconditional love. But simultaneously, being that your parents had carried their own psycho-emotional distortions which you had picked up and labeled “love,” is not this “love” merely some lesser energy-form that resonates with their distortions?

Stinking Herd Thinking

Due to humanity’s profound self-insecurity, one of the biggest inhibitors to change is the herd mentality so prevalent in religio-spiritual traditions.

I was talking with someone recently about the Catholic Church’s major pedophilia scandal that’s come to light recently in Pennsylvania (and other states).

What really grinds my gears about it (beyond the obvious) is how, rather than clergy members who are personally responsible coming out and personally apologizing for their personal misconduct, it’s seemingly acceptable practice for them, whether deacon or Pope, to continue hiding behind “The Church.” “The Church apologizes for…”

In the conversation, I said something like, “It would be so powerful if some average Joe Congregant would stand up and say to the preacher, ‘Dude, would you personally apologize already!? Stop hiding behind the Church! We come here every Sunday to learn the Word of God, and there you are, a bishop who it has been proven helped cover up the child sex crimes when they’d originally happened, and now you’re preaching love and salvation like you’re not guilty as sin!’”

The other person replied to me by saying that lots of people are probably thinking the exact same thing but won’t stand up and speak up because they’re afraid of what the other parishioners will think of them.

I agreed. It’s pathetic. That “God-seekers,” of all people, would rather repressively listen to unrepentant hypocrites than stand up for the truth and for the innocent, victimized children—long now traumatized adults—who the Church has spent decades overpowering and covering up. They would rather allow the guilty to walk free—even preach to them!—because they’re afraid of how the rest of the herd would judge them if they spoke up or walked away in disgust.

If you’re involved in this, you really need to make some adjustments. It’s like when someone asks, “Who polices the police?” or, “Who fact checks the fact checkers?” If you follow someone in a position of power, it is your responsibility to demand transparency, honesty, etc., and if they don’t give it to you, throw them out. It is only by your power, after all, that they have their power.

You need to take a deep look at what you really want. You may say you want love and peace and all that, but that’s clearly not what you’re getting which means that your actions, intentions, and strongest beliefs are not aligned with your words. And now, because we’re in a paradigm shift, you’re being forced to see all the suppressed evils so that they can be healed.

The more forcefully you refuse to acknowledge the truth and act upon it, the harder this change will be for you. Should you choose to act upon what you already know to be true, the change will likely still pose a challenge, but it will become far easier.

Life Is Change

It’s reasonable to sometimes show reluctance toward change; to feel uneasiness when moving into the unknown. But if you experience dread toward “the new” and reject those who align (or appear to align) with change (or merely what is “different”), your reaction is hardly reasonable.

This latter reaction indicates that something within you is calling out to be healed.

Again, keep in mind that the causes of your reluctance to change are all learned, for what is written into your very nature is change, is evolution.

Such is the way of all existence.

Is it not silly, then, to be so adamant about standing still?

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