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Isn’t it frustrating to be a person?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 by

Have you ever felt frustrated by your spiritual practice? Where are those results you expected? Here is a letter I received from a student in my Life Principles Integration Process Online courses with that very frustration, along with my answer. First, his letter to me:

Dear Bill,

My question is: Why can’t I experience anything spiritual inside that validates, in a positive way, any practice or technique I have ever tried?  Just wanted to show you there is a question to all that follows (because there is a background story that must be told. I’ll keep it as brief as I can though.)

Part of this will be a bit of writing therapy for me as (at 63) my life, both inside and outside, lies in ruins all around me, I’m feeling suicidal, and I feel a need to yell at God.(Sorry, letting whatever happens be OK has run out of steam.)

So…Beginners mind:  In the early seventies I read Zen Flesh Zen bones which blew my socks off and changed me from an atheist who was profoundly disillusioned with life on earth to a rather naive seeker. After reading that book I knew that I had to find a teacher who could guide me to the Self, the God within (my favorite image is simply ‘freedom’ though.)

Tried everything I had access to over the next seven or eight years. No dice; nothing moved me or resonated anywhere but inside my intellect. God didn’t want to know me. Each time something didn’t work I returned to sex, drugs and rock’n’ roll… which did work.

How do you reconcile the spiritual seeker’s yearning for “no self” with the equally sought-after desire for a psychologically healthy ego? Are these seeming opposites compatible? If so, how? Is one better than the other?

Since someone taking the second course of my Life Principles Integration Process online courses (which is about such spiritual matters) asked me…here’s my answer:

Bill:
Lesson 1 brought up for me 2 topics I’ve struggled with for awhile.  The first is how do you reconcile a spiritual “no self” with a “psychologically healthy “strong I.”  In other words if you truly see all as one, and practice no resistance (or as you call letting whatever happens be ok) how do you at the same time set boundaries and no longer allow “unhealthy people, things in your space” because by definition in doing that you are playing the duality game.

The 2nd is how do you reconcile – trying to control the game and therefore get the outcomes you want with the co-creative process with spirit.  Isn’t there a bigger picture or a higher self that might have a different agenda than what our ego thinks it wants at the moment?  So how do you play with the energies and when do you try for outcomes and when do you “let go and let god”.

Thanks,
Maureen

 

Maureen,

You’ve asked a key and fundamental question.

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