Patrons: This is an abridged version of this article.
YOU are the Motivation and the Awakening Choice.
In any spiritual teaching about “how to awaken” what is being presented is not just a series of mental ideas for you to consider, but the repeated presentation of the awakened state of consciousness that you must not only come to conceive of, but also make a conscious choice to engage.
Any spiritual teaching can only point to awakening — the rest is then up to you.
At the core of accepting this is the taking of responsibility for your own experience. This is essential because, at the heart of spiritual teaching, is the understanding that we are each — as creators — living within the experience of our own beliefs.
To not take responsibility for your own experience is to not believe you are the creator of it and, for as long as you believe that, you are not free. When this is understood the realization is that there is no teaching in existence that can break through, or somehow erase your doubts, because reality must always reflect your doubts to you.
You must believe in the possibility of freedom to experience it.
Because freedom is a state of consciousness that exists outside definition (which can be thought of as pre-definition because it is the creator of definition), there is no teaching that can give you information which takes you from not believing in that possibility to believing in it. Spiritual teachings can only point to it as a space inside your own consciousness that you meet through an inner state of allowance for and acceptance of everything in existence. This is to discover the space where allowance and acceptance are found to be the taking of self-responsibility.
The taking of responsibility for your own experience is at the core of getting the most from your spiritual journey.
No spiritual teacher (or teaching) can do the work of facing the doubts and fears you carry — they can only point you to the possibility of existing without these states of resistance. Therefore, if you are perceiving from a state of resistance, then ALL spiritual teachings will evoke some level of doubt within you.
Despite this, people tend to convince themselves there is a spiritual teaching out there that is “so right” or “so much The Truth” that it has this power to eradicate their blocks. This is to look for something external to “save you” from something inside of yourself.
The light you seek is how to love yourself as you are.
There are many exciting “spiritual truths” within this world to explore… but NONE of them are “the answer”. EVERY spiritual teaching has the power to offer you a new and valuable perspective on life — yet none of them can give you something you believe you are missing. This is because awakening is the realization that you aren’t — and have never been — missing anything.
No spiritual teaching can “fill in” any gap within you — because there are no gaps.
No spiritual teaching (or teacher) can “give you happiness” because your natural state is happiness. That which keeps us from happiness are the fears we hold. Somehow finding a way to “give you happiness” won’t take those fears away. Or, put another way, if there are dense obstacles within a person that cast powerful shadows, then turning up the light source may make everything else brighter, but the dark areas will still be dark.
Awakening is not about finding what you have been missing. It is about remembering you are already whole.
To realize you are whole is to realize that you are valuable just as you are(even when you do not see yourself as whole). This is embraced through the realization of the equality of being — the realization that ALL perspectives are valid and that freedom comes from seeing things from all sides (rather than from just one particular angle that is judged to be superior).
So, with this idea understood, I now want to turn to look at the idea of taking responsibility for the emotions you feel and the reactions that are evoked when you engage in any kind of spiritual exploration. This isn’t about taking responsibility in terms of being accountable — it is about being aware of what levels of resistance are operating within you (through the understanding that you are the person they are most having a potentially negative effect on).
Only by bringing consciousness to what is going on within you when you read spiritual literature will you stop bringing the same resistances — and therefore areas of blindness — to all that you explore.
Without your belief in the possibility that something can change you, there can be little change.
To see this is to see how your beliefs shape your reality. We are each living within the reflection of our beliefs.
What you believe about the power of these words is what most gives them that power.
Reality says to all that we believe, “And So It Is”.
There is simply no escaping how significant this effect is. No spiritual teaching can penetrate a consciousness that does not want to be penetrated. No spiritual teaching can be absolute. All consciousness has the right to say “yes”or “no” to any experience. This is YOUR freedom.
You are free to have obstacles within you that cast shade regardless of how bright the light that is shone on you is. This is freedom. The freedom to be as you choose. The freedom to be in the shade. The freedom to be polarized. The freedom to be a victim. The freedom to be righteous. The freedom to be afraid. This is why you cannot realize what freedom is by NOT becoming these things. A victim does not become free by ceasing to be a victim — they do so by realizing that victimhood is a choice (which is to realize they have always been free).
You are the determinant of your state of allowance.
You are free to be as open or closed to your own spiritual unfolding as you wish. You are free to be closely engaged with these ideas before you, or you are free to passively observe them from a distance. You are free to be a doubter or a believer. There is no judgement in any of this — you are free.
You are free to put a toe in the water or to dive right in.
Do you feel how it all connects? Everything from how you feel about me as a person, to how you feel about spiritual teachers in general, to how you feel about the power of writing to change you, to how you feel about the power of any spiritual teaching to be effective — these ALL come into play every time you read or listen to any spiritual teaching. These emotions and beliefs all determine whether you are excited to dive in or if you are tired, frustrated, and full of doubts. And THAT state of consciousness largely determines the benefit you will or won’t receive.
In all of life — no matter what it is — we must meet each other half way. This is a part of taking of self-responsibility.
The freedom of this choice — which births through self awareness — will be the greatest factor in what you receive in life and this is determined by the power of the feeling in your heart and whether that can penetrate the fears within your mind.
The best that I can do as a spiritual teacher (beyond producing the best materials possible) is what I am doing in this moment, which is pointing you to your free will choice to engage or resist. This is self-awareness of the flow of consciousness within you and the taking of responsibility for how it affects you — which is to say, where it takes you.
You cannot “make” someone free — it must come from within the awareness of the choice to be free. Spiritual teaching is therefore about creating awareness of the internal choice, but it cannot make that choice — it can only point at it.
Spiritual teachings can point at the water, but you must choose to drink.
You — your own navigation of yourself — are the key to everything you want.
There is no external factor opposing you in your spiritual journey — you are only every meeting more of yourself.
Your spiritual journey is a choice — not a curriculum.
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