"You have to do things my way!" I see this quite often in the spiritual community, whether it's in regards to specific practices, diets, or beliefs. There's always a few people are eager to spread a new set of commandments for being "spiritual" and are quick to condemn those who don't follow. I'm not going to tell you that you have to do things my way though, in fact, I'm going to tell you the opposite, that if you truly want to realize God, Source, Enlightenment, however you choose to conceptualize it, you have to find you own way.
Your own way, your inner beauty, your Uniqueness, your gift to Creation, your True Self, is your connection to God. You can't find God without finding Yourself, and you can't find Yourself through following someone else. A true Master can assist in this process, they can help clear away the crutch of belief systems, they can help direct your attention inwards, but ultimately it's up to you to take the step. A true Master doesn't make you reliant upon them, they help you rediscover self-reliance, self-responsibility, and self-empowerment. The phoney-baloney master will give you a list of rules, requirements, disciplines, practices, the standard religious fare, and usually things that didn't even come from the "master" themselves, they learned it from some other phoney-baloney master. Much like a disease, these beliefs systems are spread from person to person through the generations.
What I'm telling you is fundamentally different from that sort of thinking. Don't look to me to tell you what you should do or shouldn't do, and also notice the paradox in me telling you that. You want to become a Hare Krishna? While I wouldn't recommend it, if that's what you really want to do, go for it! Just be aware. Are you really being yourself? Or are you imitating someone else?
Many of these spiritual practices do produce results, but not because of the reasons most people believe. If you repeat some chant over and over again with the intention of feeling peace, chances are you will feel peace sooner or later, at least temporarily. This isn't really because of the practice though, but because of you. Those feelings were already within you, all you did was give yourself permission to feel them, albeit in a rather complicated manner. Your own Consciousness holds incredible power, yet you give that away when you put faith into these external systems.
Awareness is what's needed most, but all your shoulds and shouldn'ts, all these preconceived notions and belief systems, work against awareness. When you already know how things are supposed to be, there's no need to pay attention to the way things actually are. If you believe some practice is going to bring you happiness, then you repeat it mechanically. Finding happiness in this life is no more complicated than breathing, but something so simple is also the most difficult thing in the world. Your mind is fixated, almost non-stop, on the things that drain your energy and take your happiness away.
You can't just simply breathe because of the hysteria of the mind. It needs constant attention, or else all the precious nothingness you've horded in there would start to disappear. Most are too proud to admit that the vast majority of their lives have been wasted on things they find no real joy in. They've been building castles made of sand, empty and trivial things. Admitting this is such an enormous blow to the ego that very few people can do it, at least not until the inevitable comes and they realize they have no choice but to let go.
A nurse started recording the regrets of those who were dying, she even wrote a book about it, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Here's the #1 regret:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
That's the whole point of what I'm saying here, for you to live a life true to yourself. It's also the path back to lasting peace, joy, and Source. Exactly what that means is unique to you, and that's part of what makes you so amazing.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Helen Keller
We live in a world full of people who are more than willing to run your life for you. Parents, governments, bosses, teachers, spiritual gurus, spouses, while many are good intentioned, it's ultimately a form of self-denial to listen to them over your own feelings and it's also a recipe for misery. If you can't find your own direction in life, you're like a leaf blowing around in the wind, being pushed around by external forces.
You're supposed to feel obligated to serve this external system, you're supposed to be dependent upon it, yet the system that's been created has no use for individuals. It needs machine men, predictable automatons. A unique individual is a threat to the system, a unique individual can't be predicted, they can't be fit into a little box. They threaten the whole stability of the system of greed and ignorance that runs this world. It's no coincidence that unique individuals who stir things up often end up with holes in their heads. Psychiatrists even drug children now simply for being outside of the norm. Everyone is supposed to learn the same things in the exact same way, and if you don't you're "diseased". It's really the norm that's the disease, a type of madness that refuses to see its own self-destructive nature.
Society is literally self-destructive, that's no hyperbole. A bit of you has to die, or at least be suppressed, just to fit in. That's exactly why people who are dying wish they'd been true to themselves. They can finally be honest with themselves and others, the old and the dying don't have anything to lose anymore. But you, you're not allowed to be yourself, you're too weird, so you need a cookie-cutter personality if you want to avoid being mocked, judged, rejected, and perhaps even locked away.
I know according to the New Age belief systems, I'm supposed to think only positive thoughts. It's all supposed to be rainbows and butterflies, and while the Planet has plenty of that, the human world still has a ways to go. I don't believe you can just ignore away the negative, in fact, ignorance itself is a type of negative thought. I seek the roots of negativity, the roots of dualism, I want to heal the core, not gloss it over. Too much focus upon the surface without seeing what's underneath is why society has become so superficial. We need awareness, especially inner awareness, and not more denial. We need joyous self-expression without judgment.
The Galactic Free Press
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