Kundalini Splendor

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Carolyn Myss on the spiritual life (part two) 

(This is the second part of the interview with Carolyn Myss which appeared originally in her newsletter. Part One was posted on kundalinisplendor May 4. The final section will be presented later.)

If we are craving spiritual experiences and encounters with God, why is
it that we have such deep
fears about the Divine and the ways that encountering God and our own
Soul will change our life?

You can thank the Catholic Church, and many Protestant denominations as
well, for the groundwork
on that one, because they have done such an effective job of separating
the authority of heaven
and earth, body and soul, church and state. As a result, many of us
still have a child's polarized
view of God that goes something like this: "If I am good, I will be
protected by God and that's
all I really want. I want my things to be safe. I want a good job. I
want my family safe. I want
my health, and I want access to a few miracles in an emergency. In
exchange, I will, on occasion,
go to public worship and behave myself as best I can (within reason, of
course)." At some primal
level, most people are afraid - indeed, terrified - that getting
close to God will result in the
loss of their money and earthly goods, and will end up causing them
untold physical suffering, not
to mention celibacy. That's the role model from centuries of saints
and monastics who did live
lives of poverty and celibacy and physical suffering. But as I point
out in my book, years ago
sophisticated medicine, hospitals, and emergency rooms did not exist.
During medieval times and
before, everyone suffered from disease, not just those devoted to God.
But those in the
monasteries chose to respond to their illnesses as spiritual devotions
and thus the association
was born that God makes people suffer who enter into a deeper spiritual
path. But for all our
medical advances, people still suffer with illness and disease. Disease
and suffering are a part
of life, as the Buddha pointed out long ago. One need not be on a
spiritual path to know what it
is to experience depression, the loss of a partner, betrayal, or a
devastating loss of one's
finances. Look at the Enron crisis. You think all those people who were
betrayed by that company
suffered that experience because God wanted it to happen? That's
ridiculous. Actually, that's just

How do we avoid being spiritually isolated after experiencing an
encounter with the Divine?

Isolation is as highly misunderstood as are the consequences of a
mystical experience. Mystical
isolation does not result in an individual feeling that she is lost in
a sea of confusion, or left
to encounter life within the experiences of her own soul for the
remainder of her days on earth.
That is the outsider looking in through a terrified imagination. A
mystical experience is a
profound awakening to a cosmic truth in which that truth goes from
being a mental idea to an
animated force within your soul. Such an experience does not isolate
you. It empowers you. A
person can talk about healing in theory, for example, and he or she can
even believe that people
can be healed. And then there is the mystical experience of healing
grace, in which you feel that
grace running through your veins. In that moment, you understand how it
is that people are healed.
That doesn't isolate you. It empowers you and fills you with a depth
of compassion that you did
not know you were capable of feeling for another person. It requires a
maturing prayer life to
cope with the growing requests for help that come to you after that.
Prayer is your support
mechanism - and not petitionary prayer, but mystical prayer. I teach
that in my workshops.

Why is this "spiritual life crisis" unique to this era of human

Many times during human history people could have said that they were
living at a time of
unparalleled change and it would have been true - for example, during
the Great Plague or the
beginning of the Nazi era. But the ingredients that make up our complex
personal and social lives
today present unrivaled challenges, and so, it's fair to say that we
are in the midst of a
Mystical Renaissance. Three factors come to mind. First, time has
become the servant to
timelessness; that is, we have entered the era of timelessness. We are
now linked to the internet,
to systems of communication that are essentially instantaneous -
timeless. And people are addicted
to this timeless medium. Timelessness is a characteristic of their
interior self. Secondly, the
speed of change has increased as has the breadth and width of it, so to
speak. All change is now
universal. A change in Iraq affects the whole earth, as does a change
in California or Washington
or North Korea. Instantly the entire world is affected. All news on the
Internet affects the
whole. We have never been instantaneously affected by the whole of the
world before. And third, we
have evolved into the body/mind/spirit template, although most people
only pull out that template
at the doctor's office and remain unaware the rest of the time that
they are, indeed, a
walking-talking-functioning, multi-dimensional creature of
consciousness. Yet, you are exactly
that, a multi-sensory human being, who is now fully connected to a
global system of information
and energetic data, and who, for the most part, lives unaware of the
impact all of that
information has on you. Amid all of this energetic chaos, the practices
so necessary for inner
balance are completely missing - practices such as reflection and
contemplation. Instead, we are
offered therapy and tranquilizers in their place. Reflection is the
practice of taking time to
reflect on the information that has come into your body and mind that
day and how it has merged
with your conscience and your soul. How are you being affected by the
new thoughts that have come
to you that day? And how are your choices affecting you and the people
around you? Are you able to
live with your choices? Do they have integrity? Are they honorable? Did
you take the time to pray
before you made your significant decisions? And if you say that you
didn't have time to pray
before significant decisions, what does that tell you about your inner
life and how you maintain
your spiritual devotion and your priorities with God? It says that you
don't take your interior
life seriously at all. God, for you, is a crisis operation, a
superstitious force to turn to when
things are confusing. God is a panic button and nothing more.

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