LISA RENEE (Time Shift Blog): “Assessing Character Weakness”

“Generally the negative ego needs to feel it has approval from others, and Self Esteem is hinged upon other people’s opinions and judgments. This is very unhealthy and can be toxic for all involved. No person can lead themselves and purposefully direct their life if they are afraid of others judging them. If your self-worth falls into how others perceive you, it is important to change that perception immediately and unconditionally provide self-love and self-acceptance. Your basic human right is to be who you are, so let yourself be unapologetically real.”

~Lisa Renee

 

The first stage of effectively building Personal Integrity is to perform an accurate assessment of the areas in your character that were weakened when you met strong resistance. We are all tested by life circumstances when we are confronted with something challenging and the situation really knocked us over and we crumbled.

When our character is weak, we can be easily emotionally manipulated and controlled. However, these events are great opportunities to learn life lessons and serve to inform us of what we must strengthen inside ourselves. Recovering our core, being authentic and living in Personal Integrity is similar to the concept of inspecting a building for its structural integrity. Our spiritual house is made strong and filled with inner light, when we direct our focus and attention to developing inner and outer personal integrity. Without strong personal integrity, like a building without structural integrity, we physically collapse and morally decay, because we are unable to withstand the pressure of the forces that create impact upon our lives.

  • Are you able to maintain integrity while withstanding the pressure of enduring personal challenges or spiritual crisis?
  • How well do you cope with stress?
  • How well can you refocus back into relaxation and neutrality?

Track yourself in how well you do in crisis moments or challenges, observing if can you stay in your core and withstand the impact.

The Negative Ego destroys integrity period. Thus working towards clearing the inferior and superior vacillating thought forms of negative ego, is the key to restoring balance. Generally the negative ego needs to feel it has approval from others, and Self Esteem is hinged upon other people’s opinions and judgments. This is very unhealthy and can be toxic for all involved. No person can lead themselves and purposefully direct their life if they are afraid of others judging them. If your self-worth falls into how others perceive you, it is important to change that perception immediately and unconditionally provide self-love and self-acceptance. Your basic human right is to be who you are, so let yourself be unapologetically real.

Be aware when you are hiding things or sweeping them under the rug from fear, like buried secrets, or asking people to keep secrets. This also feeds the Roots of Dishonesty and Triangulation. Upon getting more comfortable with being transparent and honest, it evolves over time and becomes more important that you tend to not hide things from others, as you may be hiding from the truth that needs to be surfaced. Truth is truth, and it stands through the test of time. Maintaining appropriate boundaries is important, yet at the same time in finding balance with living more transparently, stop judging yourself and others, and make the effort to build a stronger character with personal integrity. Personal Integrity gives you the inner strength to tell it like it is, there is no need to hide anything, when it is what it is. Truth is truth, when it’s expressed honestly and authentically.

How many times in social situations do you compromise your values or go along with something that feels bad? When we compromise ourselves too much and bend to other peoples will, this is not healthy for us and erodes integrity. When we commit to be of service to others it does not mean we repeatedly compromise our values, beliefs or integrity to do what the other person wants us to do. To be effective with managing our personal energies, we must be responsible for directing our energies, time and effort into the things that feel meaningful for us and reflect our personal values. This is important not only for building personal integrity, but in developing the self-leadership skills required to claim Self-Ownership.

Erosion of Integrity

The 3D Mind Control set up is purposed to intentionally destroy the Coherence and stability within sets of normative values that both define and model standards of behavior throughout human civilization. Through the mass promotion of the anti-human value systems, it destroys integrity and trust within the fabric of society, and directly erodes the development of Personal Integrity.

By consistently using Dehumanization tactics to invalidate the vital need for creating truly functioning and equitable humanitarian based value systems throughout society, this anti-human agenda successfully erodes the majority of an individual’s Personal Integrity. The psychopathic Corporatocracy running global society tells us that wealth and power are made King of the Throne, sitting in absolute power over any matter that is governed by Rule of Law. Human slavery is essentially made meaningless to our societal value system when there is no meaning or value given to life. As a result the tyrants stay in power and gross profits continue to be made on human misery.

The Controller Pillars of Society demonstrate recurrent victimization of those individuals that speak transparently and truthfully to the public, in order to condition persecution of any coherent value system that is deeply connected to maintaining one’s personal integrity. The Controllers do not want to produce people with genuine Personal Integrity that follow a coherent value system that promotes strong Self Esteem and self-responsibility, a person that lives by what they believe in and won’t compromise their integrity.

The psychological warfare approach of divide and conquer tactics used by the NAA to condition anti-human values and erode integrity in the masses is called the Archontic Deception Strategy. The Archontic Deception Strategy is used to socially engineer the death culture, a culture of fear, dishonesty and deception. This is achieved through Pavlovian mind control conditioning that adopts extremely self-destructive behaviors as the standard model to guide human behavior. Through conditioning these same behaviors repeatedly in mass media to manufacture Social Norms, it has produced a population of people that commonly display these negative ego qualities of fear, dishonesty and deception as an acceptable value system that guides their deepest motivations and interactions. People without a value system of personal integrity are easily corrupted and manipulated by mass mind control, producing unstable, erratic and destructive behaviors.

(Source: ES News – Personal Integrity)

 

~via EnergeticSynthesis.com – Time Shift Blog – posted June 25, 2019

REALITY DOSE FOR THE DAY ~ Lisa Renee on ‘Astral Bliss’

“New Age astral bliss narratives are filled with fantastical illusions, wishful and magical thinking, self-deception and escapist fantasies of the rainbows and butterflies outlook on life that appear to be like a Disney movie. Many times, severely emotionally wounded people are led into the New Age, where they are not interested in healing themselves or taking responsibility for their behaviors. They seek instead, further excuses to continue negative behaviors and being deceptive to others, in an accepted social setting. These naïve astral visions propagated by the New Age hijack have filled people’s minds with denial, one of the most potent forms of fear-based programming. Denying the nature of reality and denying the painful truth by remaining in escapism and complacency by avoiding self-responsibility. There is a delusional psychosis that is spread and promoted to shape and reinforce very negative behavior as acceptable behavior in some of the New Age circles, in order to groom these people as hosts and sleepers for serving the Thothian Luciferians. The New Age hijack is what has been created in groups who refuse to grow up, or to become accountable for their behaviors and responsible for their lives, thus, committing to a personal value system that evolves into spiritual maturity and self-integrity.”

~Lisa Renee

 

~via New Age, Ascension And Disclosure Hijack

LISA RENEE (Time Shift Blog): “Embodying Integrity”

“The world is rapidly changing during these stages of bifurcation, in which the Negative Polarity and Positive Polarity spirals are becoming more extreme and amplified in the external. In order to stay deeply connected into our core self, and to withstand the massive impact of these opposing forces colliding, we must take conscious steps now to embody personal integrity.”

~Lisa Renee

 

Personal Integrity is the quality of being truthful and honest with yourself and others, of intentionally aligning personal behaviors and actions to be congruently aligned with your own Personal Value System, moral principles, and ethics. It generally requires personal choice and commitment to align ourselves to stay consistent with personal values and ethical standards, so that when we speak we mean what we say.

Developing Personal Integrity is essential to becoming a stable, clear and trustworthy person that aligns their decisions in life with their chosen personal values. It is the milestone of building a strong character guided by one’s chosen personal values, and is reflected in a person that is firmly centered in purpose and directed in life by their own core self. We compromise our core integrity whenever we let others make poor decisions for us or when we betray a trust, betray our personal values, or betray that which we know is the truth for ourselves. When we compromise our Personal Integrity, we allow a back door vulnerability for dark force manipulation that many times descends even more darkness and chaos into the situation where we had made the compromise. To support the embodiment of our true essential nature, achieve single soul occupancy and continual consciousness expansion, it is imperative that we understand how to generate and maintain Personal Integrity.

Self-Inquiry upon Personal Integrity

To build and maintain personal integrity takes some effort and commitment, like developing the self-awareness that is required to define your personal values so that you can measure your behaviors and actions, in order to evaluate how aligned you are to your authentic self. When you consciously participate to clarify personal beliefs and core values, the next step is to honestly assess how well you are doing, by reviewing yourself in a personal integrity report. It may be a powerfully positive process to review your core values and generate personal integrity reports annually, so that you can see how you are evolving and transforming, as you better stay aligned to your own personal value system. This begins to develop more competency in self-leadership and life management skills, so that you are empowered to make positive differences from the values that you lead in your life. Real self-leadership and Self-Ownership begins when we have absolute clarity within the context of our personal beliefs and core values, which become the guiding principles we follow in our lives.

What are the most important Personal Values that motivate my life?

Choose up to five of the most important core values that feel the most essential to live authentically and express your highest purpose. Then focus upon those themes that you have chosen and evaluate if you are practicing and increasing these important values throughout your life. In the Guardian context for reclamation of Christ, our personal core value system would be directly connected to the Law of One practices. For example, for those dedicated to be of service to the Law of One, some of our most important personal core values are:

  • Expressing Unity Consciousness, knowing we are all interconnected.
  • Expressing Unconditional Love and Compassion to Myself, Love Others and Love Earth.
  • Expressing Service to Others orientation to motivate personal actions.

Maybe upon deeper reflection or in the future you’ll find that your most important personal values are shifting, or are revealing differently in order to become more specific in their quality. The more specific we are in identifying our core values, the more accurate and clear we can be when applying those to the behaviors that guide our life. As an example, let’s say through deeper self-study you have identified a recurring pattern that makes it hard to feel confident in valuing yourself when in the company of intimidating people. One of the core values that you choose is to Value Yourself equally to others, no matter what happens. To make this an important guideline in your life will help strengthen personal behavior to value yourself while in intimidating situations, which increases Personal Integrity.

Once you’ve defined some of your most important personal values, then inquire on each one to evaluate how you can better align your thoughts and behaviors with the meaning of each value. For example, ask three questions about the core values of expressing Unity, to help you accurately assess positive changes that you can make to be more authentic and within integrity.

  • What does Unity mean to me, how do I express Unity in my thoughts, behaviors and actions?
  • How can I better practice Unity consciousness throughout my life?
  • Am I practicing empathy with others to more deeply express Unity?

Am I living in Personal Integrity and what areas can I improve?

As you meditate and reflect on your life over the past year, assess if you have been authentic to your core values and the ways that you can improve your actions, to reflect integrity and authenticity in the future. In each area when reflecting upon personal values, inquire on what is aligned to your authentic self, those things that feel they are functioning well. Then place your attention upon the personal lessons and opportunities that you have to greatly increase inner strength, the core strength you will need in order to act authentically and within personal integrity.

Summarize the key points in your Personal Integrity Assessment for reference.

As you gain clarity on identifying important personal values and how you can build and maintain authentic integrity, prepare a summary of key points that you can revisit for inspiration to help guide your life direction and purpose in the next cycle. Print out your notes to clarify in more detail your personal vision for living within core personal values, knowing that when you are maintaining personal integrity it naturally aligns to fulfill your highest purpose. Embodying core personal values, living, thinking and breathing those values is what expresses Personal Integrity. This is the key to avoid negative cause and effect or miasmatic imprints upon what you are manifesting. Then make an effort to re-read and reflect upon your Personal Integrity Assessment regularly, to keep you focused on what personal core values are the most important guiding principles of fulfilling your most authentic expression.

Practical Application of Embodying Integrity

In the process of completing a personal integrity self-assessment and consciously choosing your value system based on what you know to be true for you, now is the time to take conscious steps every day to behave in ways that are consistent with your personal values.

  • Identify the behavioral traits that need to be addressed and are required to change.
  • Determine the underlying reasons why you have not behaved with greater personal integrity.
  • Observe the obstacles and other people that are used as excuses to lie or violate your personal values or moral code.
  • Commit to build authentic relationships through greater truthfulness, honesty and being open and direct.
  • Compile a list of tasks and behaviors in which you dedicate to become more trustworthy and honest.
  • Protect your basic human rights to be authentic and protect the rights of others, by respecting the decisions and opinions of other people.
  • When possible, be of service to others and live as an example for embodying truthfulness and integrity.
  • Be willing to honestly self-assess progress on your commitment to personal integrity, making adjustments along the way.
  • Look for the support of others who are inspiring examples of personal integrity, and have similar goals and personal values to be honest and trustworthy.
  • Develop Accountability for personal behaviors and actions, and if you make a mistake that impacts others or you break a promise, be willing to admit it and apologize.

The world is rapidly changing during these stages of bifurcation, in which the Negative Polarity and Positive Polarity spirals are becoming more extreme and amplified in the external. In order to stay deeply connected into our core self, and to withstand the massive impact of these opposing forces colliding, we must take conscious steps now to embody personal integrity.

 

(Source: ES Newsletter – Personal Integrity)

 

~via EnergeticSynthesis.com – Time Shift Blog – December 18, 2018

MATEO SOL: “11 Traps That Sabotage Spiritual Growth”

“No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain.”

~Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

 

Spiritual growth is an experience we all go through once we have experienced the spiritual awakening process. As we begin to awaken to the truth of who we are, we develop a connection to our authentic essence, higher nature or Soul.

As we progressively advance on our paths, our spiritual essence begins to blossom like a luminous flower deep in our heart. And the more we clear away the dead, gnarled and overgrown beliefs, perspectives, and emotional baggage within us, the more clearly we feel our divine essence. When we maintain our inner garden, we feel more and more love, wisdom, peace, and wholeness as our True Nature is revealed slowly to us.

Yet, like any garden, our metaphorical inner landscapes can be consumed by weeds, plagues, and forms of pollution that strangle anything beautiful we have been nurturing. Sometimes, we even sabotage the growth occurring within us ourselves, without knowing it.

What is Spiritual Growth?

“This isn’t a journey about becoming something.  This is about unbecoming who we are not.”  

~Adyashanti, The End of Your World

 

Spiritual growth is the process of awakening to your true nature, purpose, and potential. When you undergo spiritual growth you experience an expansion in awareness and insight, also known as higher consciousness. All spiritual growth has one objective: to help you embody your Soul, Higher Self or Atman. Once you are able to unite with your Soul, you will experience what is understood as enlightenment, “heaven,” Oneness or moksha.

The problem with the spiritual journey is that it is often laden with traps of many kinds. These traps are not physical, but they are instead mental and are often referred to as anti-awakening forces.

As we process life primarily through the mind, we also tend to approach spirituality with the mind. The issue with this is that spirituality cannot be contained by the limitations of thought. Once spirituality is captured within a thought, it ceases to maintain its true essence and instead becomes a constricting belief or dogma. In other words, spirituality loses its alive, ever-flowing essence once it is compartmentalized within the mind.

Think about it this way: have you ever felt immense awe and wonder in the presence of something beautiful and enchanting like a sunrise? The moment you stop immersing yourself in the feeling of the sunrise, and start taking a photo of it or describing it in a text message, is the moment you are no longer truly present with the sunrise. Instead, you are filtering it through your thoughts or through a lens of some kind. The same can be said with spirituality.

The more we use the mind to approach our Soul, the further our Soul feels. But the moment we drop our thoughts and allow ourselves to purely feel our Soul, suddenly we feel at home once again. Think of it like this: when you chase the sun on the horizon thinking you will reach it, you never will, because it is an illusion. But when you stop and feel the sun’s presence shining on your skin already, you will no longer chase anything.

It is difficult for us, as mind-oriented beings, to become conscious of our thoughts, as we have been conditioned to identify with them since a young age. But once we can observe our thoughts and how they tend to sabotage our happiness, we will experience true spiritual growth.

11 Traps that Sabotage Spiritual Growth

Below I want to share with you eleven of the most common traps that we fall into on the spiritual path. I have personally experienced these pitfalls many times, and they have resulted in a lot of pain and struggle. See how many of these traps you can identify with:

1. The trap of spiritual bypassing

Spiritual bypassing is the practice of using spirituality to avoid, suppress or escape from certain emotions or situations in life. Common types of spiritual bypassing include:

  • numbing one’s emotions through “spiritualized” repression and avoidance
  • unhealthy obsession and attachment to the positive (e.g. positive thinking) and adopting a passive-aggressive “nice” mask
  • debilitating judgment about one’s negativity or shadow self
  • anger-phobia
  • weak personal boundaries
  • blind or excessively tolerant compassion (to the detriment of oneself and the other)
  • forcefully trying to “kill” the ego and condemning it as “bad/evil”
  • exaggerated detachment
  • getting stuck in theoretical spirituality and dogmatic beliefs about “truth”
  • denial of self-responsibility by placing it on another higher being (e.g. spirit guide, angel)
  • delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being
  • using spiritual practices to escape unpleasant emotions; for example, using meditation to dissociate from emotions, rather than transmute them

2. The trap of superiority

This manifests as the tendency to “look down” upon others who are not as “consciously advanced” or “awakened.” The trap of superiority can be seen as a subtle feeling of “being better” than others who aren’t “spiritual.” In more extreme cases, this trap can appear as the tendency to lash out at people who are still “asleep,” “blind” or “sheep” of society. This kind of reactive behavior can often be seen in people who have just “woken up” to the state of the world, yet have undergone minimal spiritual growth. We need to remember that everyone is doing the best they can at their level of consciousness. When the time comes, they will awaken too.

3. The trap of forcefully trying to wake others up

Once we have awoken out of the “matrix” it is common for us to desperately want our loved ones and fellow peers to awaken. We can see how much pain and delusion other people are in, and that riles up in us the intense desire to “show them the truth.” However, often our attempt to forcefully awaken people misfires quickly. Even though we have good intentions, our desire to “save” others causes them to backlash in ways that infuriate both them and us. The less responsive they are to our pushy attempts to “wake them up,” the more frustrated and alienated we become. Eventually, trying to force others to wake up ends up harming both ourselves and others. Not only that, but this trap generates a lot of anger and misunderstanding, which results in further ego ensnarement, sabotaging our spiritual growth. Let people wake up when they are ready.

4. The trap of wanting to help others

This trap is closely entwined with the previous trap except it is more geared towards giving others advice. There is nothing wrong with wanting to help others, as long as you respect their boundaries. But sometimes developing an expanded spiritual perspective gives the ego an opportunity to feel more “knowledgeable” than others still trapped in illusion. When unsolicited advice is given to others, the results can be disastrous (think anger, upset, offense etc.).

Wanting to help others can also be used as a way of escaping our need to help ourselves. Under the guise of being “spiritual” and compassionate, helping others can be just another form of spiritual bypassing.

5. The trap of wanting to revolutionize the world

Once we wake up to the lies and corruption present in our current societal structure, many of us want to desperately change society. We fall into the trap of thinking that freedom, honesty, and justice can be created by changing the external system. As a result, we buy into the “us versus them” and “divide and conquer” mentality that is a product of the ego’s tunnel vision. We don’t realize that we’re actually fuelling the corrupt system which depends on anger and chaos to thrive and survive. Instead of understanding that all true change comes from an internal revolution, we get caught up in the pursuit of external revolution which is fragile and transient.

6. The trap of meaninglessness

Once we experience divine and transcendent states of being in which we become One with all, we can fall into the trap of spiritual nihilism after the experience passes. In other words, once we realize, from the perspective of the Universe, that nothing we do ultimately matters because all is passing, we can fall into a depressive mindset. Using truths such as “All is an illusion,” the person who falls for this trap tends to filter life through the mind. By mentally clinging to these truths, they become beliefs that the ego uses as an excuse to paradoxically feel separate from existence.

7. The trap of avoiding everyday responsibilities

Some people get so infatuated with the spiritual path that they avoid dealing with ordinary, everyday affairs. This form of escapism can lead to leeching off others, not paying bills, evading taxes, obsessing with “living off the grid,” etc. When avoiding everyday responsibilities is worn as a badge of being consciously elevated or “more spiritual” this too is a form of egotism in disguise. Avoiding ordinary responsibilities which are not perceived as being “spiritual enough” can also be a form of distraction that the ego uses to limit spiritual growth. The more concerned and obsessed you are with living an outwardly “spiritual” looking life, the more distanced from your inner work you become. Sometimes we need to feed the sharks to keep the calm and live balanced lives.

Remember the old Zen saying: “Before Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water; after Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.” We need to be humble and recognize that ordinary daily life is the perfect place to spiritually grow and mature.

8. The trap of self-victimization

Soon after we experience a spiritual awakening and wake up to the insanity of the world, it is common for us to get stuck in self-victimization. We may start to perceive the world as a “prison” and other people as the “captives” or even “capturers.” The shock of awakening may send us spiraling into anxiety and paranoia. Inevitably, we may start feeling like victims resulting in us blaming other people and the higher powers for how we feel. The spiritual trap of self-victimization can be seen a lot on social media which often tends to become a pity party for spiritual fledglings. At the end of the day, we need to see that it is actually our thoughts that cause us to suffer, not other people or situations. Once we can take self-responsibility for our perspectives and beliefs, we can become empowered once again.

9. The trap of the Savior Complex

This trap is related to the previously mentioned trap of wanting to help others. The Savior Complex is adopted by people who feel a sense of superiority to the rest of humanity. Their sense of being “different” and more “spiritually elevated” can make them feel as though they are destined to fix the world. The Savior Complex can most often be seen within the “lightworker/Starseed/healer” circles who tend to put themselves up on pedestals, believing it is their cosmic duty to “save the planet.” This perception aligns with the belief that there is something “wrong” with reality and that other people are “broken” and need to be fixed (which is an ego perspective). This perception also reinforces the ego’s sense of “specialness” and self-importance.

The Savior Complex can go one step further and evolve into a Martyr Complex. Martyrs believe they must “bear the burdens” of others. Obviously, this is an extremely unhealthy way of living which is based on Christian conditioning (think of the story of Jesus). By “carrying” other people’s pain, Martyrs bypass taking responsibility for their own happiness and enable other people’s immature behavior. Read more about the Martyr Complex.

10. The trap of attachment

After experiencing profound and expansive mystical experiences which often come after significant spiritual growth, it is common for us to attach to the experience. It can be painful to come down from these experiences and return back to usual, unenlightened reality. We can also attach to our “stories” and beliefs about spirituality. Because the mind tries to make sense of this transcendent experience, it will often latch onto various ideas as a form of control. But the more we attach to our beliefs, stories, desires, and mental interpretations, the more we suffer. We forget that everything passes, even transcendent experiences. Enlightenment isn’t a destination, it is a complete surrender; a fundamental shift in the way we approach life.

Attachment is perhaps the most common trap that sabotages our spiritual growth. On one hand, attachment to ideas helps us to grow, but ultimately, those ideas that we are unwilling to let go of end up stagnating our growth. When ideas become protection blankets rather than catalysts for our growth, there is a big problem. We need to realize that freedom cannot be experienced through the mind. Freedom is felt when we can be liberated from attachment to our thoughts.

11. The trap of relying on external answers

As we progress through our spiritual paths it is normal, and beneficial, for us to seek out external support. Reading books, attending workshops and seminars, going to retreats, practicing holistic techniques, and getting a personal guru all help us experience spiritual growth. However, after a while, it is common for us to become too dependent on external answers for our freedom and happiness. This pitfall can be seen in many spiritual seeker’s obsession and glorification of their gurus (in other words, projecting and disowning their divinity onto another).

Eventually, as we become accustomed to constantly searching outside of ourselves for answers, we forget the presence of our own Souls. We forget that our ultimate source of guidance and wisdom comes from within us, and instead, we keep chasing things outside of ourselves that we believe will “enlighten” us.

We need to stop, pause, and reflect on our spiritual journeys. Are we seeking out first-hand experience or second-hand experience given to us by others? Don’t forget to look within for your answers as well because it is by connecting with your Soul that you will ultimately experience freedom.

Final Thoughts

In order to see through and extricate ourselves from these traps, we need to be radically honest with ourselves. We need to be willing to see that we have indeed gone astray and have fed into the ego. We will also immensely benefit from exploring our Shadow Selves and exploring our mistaken beliefs.

Don’t worry if you have fallen into any of these traps. We all become ensnared by the ego. It can be particularly difficult for us to see clearly when the ego “spiritualizes” certain beliefs and ideas. The more open, humble, and honest you are, the more you will be able to see through these tricks and liberate yourself.

Finally, don’t be afraid of the dark. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. Everything, no matter how painful, is a learning opportunity. At the end of the day, your Soul is everything you have been searching for.

If you have any extra thoughts or insights about traps that sabotage spiritual growth, please share below. I would also love to hear your own journey.

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

MATEO SOL: “6 Ways You Hinder Your Self-Growth Without Knowing It”

Our “self-esteem” is a very delicate illusion. We are so off-centered when it comes to locating the origin of our self-worth, that the smallest realization of an imperfection in ourselves can bring up all kinds of insecurities.

When a person begins working with their soul, they will start through self-exploration to gain energy, vitality, and clarity. They will also, however, notice the ‘shock’ of beginning to see their own unconscious selves and their deep inner fragmentation (e.g: all your sub-personalities).

These contradictions within ourselves that speak of who we truly are beyond the social and cultural conditioning in our lives, are humbling, but more importantly, they can also be disturbing. If we were to discover and consciously become aware of all these contradictions at once, the shock would be so great we would most likely go insane.

Our brains have a limited capacity to process all the intellectual and sensory information that we encounter at any given moment, and because of this the unconscious mind exists. In essence, the unconscious mind is a psychological “buffer” which is a part of the brain that stores all the unprocessed information the conscious mind can’t handle.

The unconscious mind works as a shock-absorber, and in psychology this is known as a “defense mechanism”. There are an infinity of defense mechanisms going on within us at any given moment, but these are some of the most common I’ve observed in our practices:

Innocent Bystander

One of the greatest hindrances in anybody’s journey of self-growth is to fool themselves into thinking they haven’t done anything wrong. This may be why the recovering addict’s first step is to acknowledge they have a problem. Most people live in denial or avoidance of exploring themselves because it keeps them from properly recognizing their more unsavory traits and capacities.

“The world is screwed up but I’m completely guilt free” is their basic outlook on life. They refuse to see the interconnection between their actions and lifestyle with the external world around them.

Innocent Critic

This defense mechanism is very similar to the Innocent Bystander, only this one avoids guilt by actively criticizing the world and people around them. Criticizing is our way of rebelling against society and wanting to find a way out, of wanting to be outside of the ‘herd’ while still feeling a sense of false participation.

Critical thought is a necessary instrument in any persons self-growth. But often these “critics” use critical thinking as way of boosting their ego, to feel smarter than the ‘herd’ who haven’t realized what the critic has. Unfortunately, noticing what’s wrong with the state of affairs of the world isn’t enough unless you actively apply a solution to the problem. It’s the essential difference between the paths of self-discovery and self-understanding.

Suppression

Unquestionably, a major obstacle in living a fulfilling life to the maximum of your potential is your inability to be authentic to yourself (it’s the key element in Self-Love). All too often we live with an inner tension of controlling desires that we fear will be socially unacceptable. Let’s say you like a movie or a song that you know your friends don’t like, or maybe you are attracted to someone you know everyone will disapprove of, so you suppress that feeling.

The suppression won’t make the feeling go away, in fact, what happens is that you might be so good at suppressing the feelings that your unconscious mind learns to switch between your authentic self (“I like this person or thing”) to your false sub-personality (“I don’t like the person or thing anymore”).

In the end, the unconscious defense mechanism of “suppression” is protecting you from experiencing confusion as to whether you like something or not by jumping from one extreme to the other. Not only does suppression hinder your self-growth, but it can also contribute towards emotional, psychological and physical repression resulting in a host of sicknesses.

Repression

Repression differentiates from suppression in one important way. While suppression is initially a conscious process of having a desire and learning to avoid or ignore is, repression is an entirely unconscious process.

For example, you might have had a traumatizing experience as a child that unconsciously affected your feelings towards whatever the experience involved. This unconscious defense mechanism basically serves to protect you from feeling pain or other difficult emotions connected to the memories of what is being repressed.

Sometimes, religious beliefs or social conditioning can be so strong that desires that would normally be consciously suppressed (such as sexuality for instance), become automatically unconsciously repressed. You don’t even become aware of what exactly were the desires of your original authentic self, and this makes you completely out of touch with your true self. This self-denying defense mechanism makes it very difficult to learn and cultivate Self-Love.

Reactive Extremes

In psychology the technical term is “reactive formation”, and this is something you’ll observe everywhere. The nature of the unconscious mind is that it requires absolute certainties — it needs to see the world in black or white. There is no grey, or “in between”.

Many people who had a very strict religious upbringing for example, grow older and become disillusioned with the dogmatic ideas they’ve been taught. These people unconsciously find atheism a very attractive option, and become fanatical anti-God advocates, almost dogmatically. Another example of a reactive extreme is the person who finds it difficult to deal with, or understand, other people, and as a reaction decides to become a hermit and go live in the mountains.

Going to reactive extremes can also be illustrated in the case of sour grapes (or the false pretense that we don’t care for something we really do care for, which can be illustrated in the Fox and the Grapes fable). In this situation, our unconscious mind realizes that we are fixated on a certain topic so it protects us by going from one extreme to the other, e.g. from love to hatred.

Blameless Victim

I’m sure we’ve all come across an angry victim of life, someone who blames other people or the world for their difficulties. But everyone uses blame as a defense mechanism to some extent. In truth, what we’re defending ourselves from is our own responsibility for dealing with the unpleasant experience we’ve been given.

To indulge in blame is to give up personal responsibility and mentally delegate it to someone else, convincing ourselves that we are not responsible for the state of our lives, instead blaming it on some “outside force”. The blameless victim mechanism blocks us from seeing clearly just how we are contributing to our own suffering.

Essentially, the blameless victim is one of the fiercest protectors of our ego. It causes us to feel that we’re never failing ourselves, or that we lack the maturity or strength to come to terms with the reality of the situations we’re confronted with. Whatever happened is not evidence of our own inadequacy, but of someone else’s.

Have you observed any defense mechanisms in yourselves or in others? Let me know in the comments below!

 

~via Wake-UpWorld.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “10 ‘Spiritual’ Things People Do That Are Total Bullsh*t”

“My vibration is so high, man. My chakras are so aligned. F***ckkkk, I’m a spiritual beast, bro.”

 

No one ever told me spirituality could be a self-sabotaging ego trap.

I spent about three years reading about spiritual teachings and incorporating them into my life before ever learning that spirituality has a dark side.

Naturally, I was taken aback. I felt kind of betrayed.

How could something that seemed so pure and good be harmful?

The answer has to do with something that psychologists call spiritual bypassing. In the early 1980’s, psychologist John Welwood coined the term “spiritual bypassing” to refer to the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid confronting uncomfortable feelings, unresolved wounds, and fundamental emotional and psychological needs.

According to integral psychotherapist Robert Augustus Masters, spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, to hide behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices. He says it “not only distances us from our pain and difficult personal issues, but also from our own
 authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of
 exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality.”

Painful Realizations: My Own Spiritual Bypassing

In Robert August Masters’ groundbreaking book, Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters, he writes:

“Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated
 detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, 
anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous 
boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead
 of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s
 negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the
 spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.”

 

I encountered the concept of spiritual bypassing for the first time in Masters’ work. Although I was reluctant to admit it, I immediately knew on some level that this concept applied to me.

As I continued to reflect on spiritual bypassing, I noticed more and more shadow aspects of spirituality, and I realized that I had unknowingly been enacting many of them at one time or another.

Though painful, these were some of the most important realizations I’ve ever had. They’ve helped me to stop using a warped form of “spirituality” as an ego boost and to begin taking greater responsibility for addressing my psychological needs and the issues that arise in my life.

10 “Spiritual” Things People Do That Sabotage Their Growth

The best way to understand spiritual bypassing is through examples, so now, it’s time for some tough love.

I’m going to go into detail to describe ten specific shadow tendencies of spiritual people.

Caution: Some of these may hit pretty close to home.

Remember: You need not feel ashamed to admit that some of the items on this list apply to you. I suspect some of them apply to everyone who has ever taken an interest in spirituality. Most of them applied to me at one point or another, and some I’m still working through.

The goal here is not to judge, but to increase self-awareness in order to progress toward a more honest, empowering, useful spirituality. Let’s get into it.

1. Participate in “spiritual” activities to make themselves feel superior to other people.

This is probably one of the most pervasive shadow aspects of spirituality, and it takes many forms. Some people feel superior because they read Alan Watts. Or ride their bike to work. Or refrain from watching TV. Or eat a vegetarian diet. Or use crystals. Or visit temples. Or practice yoga or meditation. Or take psychedelics.

Note that I’m not saying anything about the value of partaking of these activities. I love Alan Watts and think meditation is quite beneficial. What I’m saying is that it’s alarmingly easy to allow your spiritual ideas and practices to become an ego trap — to believe that you’re so much better and more enlightened than all those other “sheeple” because you’re doing all of these rad #woke things. Ultimately, this sort of attitude toward “spirituality” is no better than believing you’re better than everyone else because you’re a Democrat or a Lakers fan. This dysfunction actually inhibits genuine spirituality by causing us to focus on one-upping other people, rather than cultivating a sense of connection to the cosmos and feeling poetic wonder at the sublime grandeur of existence.

2. Use “spirituality” as a justification for failing to take responsibility for their actions.

The essence of the point is that it’s very easy to twist certain spiritual mantras or ideas into justifications for being irresponsible or unreliable.

“It is what it is.” or “The universe is already perfect.” or “Everything happens for a reason.” can all function as excellent justifications for never doing much of anything and never really examining one’s behavior. I’m not commenting on the truth or un-truth of the above statements. I’m just saying that if you’re consistently hours late for appointments, if you frequently neglect your close personal relationships, and your roommates can’t count on you to pay rent, you might want to stop telling yourself, “Whatever man, reality is an illusion anyway.” and start becoming someone others can depend on.

In a similar vein, it’s surprisingly easy to deceive yourself into thinking that anytime someone has a problem with your behavior, it’s because that person “isn’t honoring my truth” or “just needs to grow spiritually.” It’s much more difficult to acknowledge the moments in which we act brashly, selfishly, or thoughtlessly and inflict suffering upon someone else. It’s much more difficult to admit that we too are far from perfect, and that growth and learning are never-ending processes.

3. Adopt new hobbies, interests, and beliefs simply because they’re the latest “spiritual” fad.

Human beings want to fit in somewhere. We all have a deep need to feel that we belong. And we form groups of all kinds to satiate this need. Spirituality is one interest area around which people form all sorts of groups. This is potentially a great thing, but it also has a shadow aspect.

For many people, “spirituality” is little more than a hip thing that a lot of people seem to care about. These people get the idea that they want to jump on the spiritual bandwagon, so they start practicing yoga, wearing New Age fashion items, going to music festivals, drinking ayahuasca, etc., and they tell themselves that this makes them “spiritual.” These “spiritual scenesters” dilute the significance of genuine spiritual inquiry, contemplation, experience, and realization. They also, in my experience, tend to be the “spiritual” people who are using “spirituality” as a reason to feel superior to others.

4. Judge others for expressing anger or other strong emotions, even when it’s necessary to do so.

This is one of the first patterns I noticed in myself after being introduced to spiritual bypassing. I realized that when people became upset or angry with me, my response was to say things like, “Getting angry doesn’t help anything.” or “I feel we would have fewer problems if we could remain calm.” Internally, I would silently judge the other person, thinking, “If only they were more enlightened, we could avoid this drama.” In many situations, this was my way of avoiding deep issues that needed to be addressed.

When you become interested in spirituality, one of the first quotes you’re likely to encounter is: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of harming another; you are the one who ends up getting burned.”

This quote is commonly mis-attributed to the Buddha, though it’s actually a paraphrase of a statement made by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century. The subtle point of the quote is that we shouldn’t hold on to anger; we should feel it, express it if necessary, then let it go. However, it’s very easy for the lay person to assume that this means that anger, in any form, is a sign that one is unwise, un-spiritual. This is untrue. Anger is a natural human emotion and a perfectly justifiable response to many situations. Often, anger is an indicator that there are serious issues that need to be countenanced within oneself or one’s relationships.

Ironically, many spiritual people repress all “non-spiritual” emotions and artificially heighten “spiritual” emotions/traits such as compassion, kindness, and equanimity. This leads to inauthenticity. One struggles to constantly present oneself as calm, gentle, nice, and in a state of perpetual peace, and ultimately ends up looking and feeling like a fraud.

5. Use “spirituality” as a justification for excessive drug use.

A lot of people, myself included, believe that psychedelic drugs can occasion mystical experiences and enhance (secular) spirituality. That’s all fine and good, but some people take this realization too far, using it as a way to rationalize self-destructive patterns of drug use and to blind themselves to the dark sides of various substances.

In the most extreme cases, “spiritual” people end up “performing cannabis ceremonies” during all their waking hours; taking psychedelics too frequently or in unsuitable contexts; and completely denying that these substances have any negative effects. Now, HighExistence tends to be pro-psychedelics, but let me give it to you straight: Psychedelics, including cannabis, have a definite dark side. If you’re irresponsible or simply unlucky, stronger psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms can occasion traumatic experiences with long-term negative ramifications. And cannabis, a mild psychedelic, is a seductively habit-forming drug that will subtly cloud your mind and erode your motivation if you indulge too much, too frequently. Respect the substances, and utilize them wisely.

6. Overemphasize “positivity” in order to avoid looking at the problems in their lives and in the world.

“Just be positive!” is often employed as a deflection mechanism by “spiritual” people who would rather not do the difficult work of confronting their own internal issues, wounding, and baggage, let alone the problems of the world. The “positivity” movement has exploded in Western culture in recent years. The Internet is overflowing with seemingly endless memes and articles repeating the same inane messages: “Think positive thoughts!” “Just be positive!” “Don’t focus on the negative!”

Though there is surely value in cultivating gratitude for the many marvels of the human experience, this movement seems to overlook something critical: The darker aspects of life do not disappear, simply because they are ignored. In fact, many problems in our individual lives and on the global scale seem only to worsen or complexify when they are ignored. In the same way that it would seem absurd to offer a heroine addict the phrase “Just think positive!” as a solution to their problem, it is absurd to believe that positive thinking offers any kind of solution to major global issues such as climate change, poverty, industrial farming, and existential risks.

This is not to say that we ought to take the world’s problems onto our shoulders and feel shitty about them all the time. It’s healthy to recognize and feel optimistic about the fact that in many important ways, the world is getting better. However, we need to balance that optimism with a willingness to confront real issues in our personal lives, our communities, our world.

7. Repress unpleasant emotions that don’t fit their “spiritual” self-narrative.

“No way, I can’t possibly be depressed or lonely or scared or anxious. I love life too much, and I’m too [Zen / wise / enlightened] to allow that to happen anyway.”

I ran into this issue when I moved to South Korea to be an English teacher for a year. I thought I had cultivated an unflappable chill, a Lao Tzu-esque ability to just “go with the flow” and float, bobber-like, atop the rising and falling waves of destiny.

Then I experienced culture shock, crushing loneliness, and acute homesickness, and I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t some kind of Zen master after all. Or rather, I had to realize that the ability to “go with the flow” and accept whatever is happening is perennially valuable, but that sometimes that will mean accepting that you feel like a steaming pile of shit.

It’s easy to delude oneself into believing that spirituality is going to make life feel like endlessly floating upon a cloud, but in practice, this is not the case. Life is still full of suffering, and in order to really grow and learn from our experience, we need to be honest with ourselves about what we’re feeling and let ourselves feel it fully. In my case, my desire to always be “Zen,” to “go with the flow,” and to project an image of inner peace to myself and others prevented me from seeing the truth of various situations/experiences and taking responsibility for dealing with them.

8. Feel deep aversion and self-loathing when confronted with their shadow side.

I noticed this in myself pretty quickly after learning about spiritual bypassing. I saw that my narcissistic image of myself as a wise person who had attained “higher” realizations was causing a ridiculous amount of cognitive dissonance. I judged myself scathingly and felt colossal, crushing guilt over any less-than-virtuous decisions.

When you become interested in spirituality, it’s easy to idolize people like the Buddha or the Dalai Lama, and to believe that these people are Perfect Humans who always act with complete awareness and compassion. In actuality, this is almost certainly not the case. Even if it’s true that some humans reach a level of realization at which they uphold “right action” in all circumstances, we need to acknowledge that such a thing is reserved for the very few. I personally suspect that such a thing does not exist.

In actuality, we’re all fallible humans, and we’re all going to make mistakes. The deck is stacked against us. It’s virtually impossible to live even a few weeks of adult human life without committing a few blunders, if only minor ones. Over the course of years, there will be major mistakes. It happens to all of us, and it’s okay. Forgive yourself. All you can do is learn from your errors and strive to do better in the future.

Paradoxically, the seemingly spiritual lesson of self-forgiveness can be especially difficult to internalize for people interested in spirituality. Spiritual teachings can leave one with stratospherically high ideals that result in immense guilt and self-loathing when one fails to live up to them. This is a major reason why it’s so common for spiritual people to deflect responsibility — because being honest about their shortcomings would be too painful. Ironically, we must be honest with ourselves about our mistakes in order to learn from them and grow into more self-aware, compassionate versions of ourselves. Just remember: You’re only human. It’s okay to make mistakes. Really, it’s okay. But admit to yourself when you’ve made a mistake and learn from it.

9. Find themselves in bad situations due to excessive tolerance and a refusal to distinguish between people.

This is me, 100%. For a long time, I’ve taken very seriously the idea that every human being deserves compassion and kindness. I don’t disagree with that idea nowadays, but I’ve realized that there are numerous situations in which other considerations should temporarily override my desire to treat every other human compassionately.

In multiple foreign countries, I’ve found myself in potentially life-threatening situations because I was overly trusting of people I did not know or overly kind to people who I should have recognized as shady characters. Luckily, I’ve never gotten hurt in these situations, but I have been robbed and swindled several times. In every case, I wanted to believe that the people I was interacting with were “good” people at heart and would treat me with kindness if I did so for them. That line of thinking was terribly naive, and I’m still trying to re-condition myself to understand that in certain contexts, being warm is not the answer.

The sad fact is that although you might be insulated from it, the struggle for survival is still very real for vast numbers of people on this planet. Many people have grown up in poverty, surrounded by crime, and have learned that the only way to survive is by preying upon weakness. The majority of people worldwide seem not to have this mentality, but if you find yourself in a city or country in which poverty is fairly prevalent, you should take certain common-sense precautions — basic things, like:

1. Don’t walk anywhere alone after dark.

2. Try to stay away from vacant areas.

3. Don’t stop to engage with people who try to sell you things.

4. Make distinctions between people; let yourself know that it’s okay to trust your brain’s highly evolved pattern-matching mechanism when it tells you that someone looks like they’re on drugs, deranged, desperate, or dangerous.

10. Want so badly for various “spiritual” practices to be correct that they disregard science entirely.

There’s a pretty heavily anti-scientific streak in a lot of the spiritual community, and I think this is a shame. It seems to me that many spiritual people become hostile toward science because certain beliefs and practices they find valuable are considered unproven or pseudoscientific within the scientific community. If a belief or practice is unproven or pseudoscientific, this only means that we have not yet been able to confirm its validity through repeatable experimentation in a lab setting. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t true or valuable.

The scientific method is one of the best tools we have for understanding the mechanics of the observable universe; it allowed us to discover the profound truth of biological evolution, observe the far reaches of space, extend our lifespans by decades, and walk on the moon, among other things; to discard it entirely is to lose one of our most powerful lenses for understanding reality.

As Carl Sagan memorably put it:

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

We’re All Learning…

I think that in order for the various interconnected global spiritual movements to be maximally impactful and useful, they need to address their shadow aspects.

In this essay, I have attempted to illuminate some of the blind spots that seem to be prevalent in the spiritual community. As I’ve said, most of the items I discussed applied to me at one point or another. It’s decidedly easy to fall into some of the traps of spirituality and to harbor various limiting beliefs and behaviors while feeling like one has reached a “higher” level of being.

The lesson here is that growth and learning are unending processes. If you think you have nothing left to learn, you’re probably sabotaging yourself in a number of ways. It can be profoundly difficult to admit that for a long time one has been incorrect or misguided, but the alternative is much worse. The alternative is a kind of spiritual and intellectual death — a state of perpetual stagnation in which one endlessly deludes oneself into thinking that one has all the answers, that one has reached one’s Final Form. In a rapidly changing world, continual learning is of paramount importance.

At its best, spirituality is a force that can help humanity realize our common identity as sentient beings, gain ecological awareness, feel connected to our cosmos, and address the most pressing issues of our time with compassion, ingenuity, equanimity, and what Einstein called a “holy curiosity.”

At its best, spirituality is a force which propels us toward a more harmonious, cooperative, sustainable future. Here’s to refining our collective spirituality and co-creating a more beautiful world.

 

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com