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10 September 2010 10 Comments

What IS Positive Energy? Part 1: Clearing a Path

What IS Positive Energy? Part 1: Clearing a Path

Glamour, hype, and glitter surround the topic of positive energy. This repels pragmatic people. They may observe the antics, inflated optimism, and glee of the newly-spiritual or of brand new Reiki practitioners the way a cowboy might regard a child with a bouquet of balloons, taking an enthusiastic stroll in Pipe Cactus National Monument.

The words positive and energy call to mind spirituality as well as healing. Separate these topics if you prefer, Sept 07 Alberta 3 155and disregard the one you like less. I lump them because extensive experience with energy begs the question of spirituality, and profound spirituality usually confers direct experience of energy. Un-lumping energy from spirituality is generally—in my opinion—a courtesy to the non-spiritual reader.

I have another idea. My idea is to present you with a way of looking at spirituality that doesn’t irritate the thinking person. It is not my way to twist myself into a pretzel just to play apologist for the hyper-rational. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about approaching the topic without the container of a specific belief system that you have to buy into to be on board with the conversation. For example, I’m not planning to tell you that you have to be nice constantly, fan the fires of materialistic frenzy, or recommend one-size-fits-all solutions that you have to be someone else to apply.

I was a stubborn skeptic early on. Life had to prove itself to me. Experiences with energy and with spirituality had to impose themselves on me for me to take notice. Impose they did! I have had a vast number and variety of experiences that I would have initially rolled my eyes about if I had read them instead of having them myself.

My clients also present me with experiences with which they are attempting to come to grips. No matter how these experiences are interpreted and no matter what belief system one might approach them with, some simply don’t fit in the bag. They stick out though the fabric of whatever container you might select, shining, searing, flashing or ripping through to thud like an anvil at our feet.

As an empirical (pragmatic and experience-based) thinker, it has been my fate to re-craft my belief system over and over until what I have left is somewhere between not having a system at all and the card catalog in a vibrant library.

Perhaps it is a bit odd that I haven’t then sought to lose myself in a spiritual haze, hopping from galaxy to galaxy. I respect meditation. My way has always been practical application in daily life. As a thinker and purposeful person, one belief that remains steady is that we have work to do. Not to validate ourselves—our worth is a given, whether or not we are intact enough to feel it.

Our work is to bring ourselves to the moment with the type of attention that makes the moment meaningful—from the inside. We appreciate our time here by bringing value to it.

Many find that gratefulness helps. I love that path but it is not my own. It depends so heavily on the ability to feel a certain way on demand. For me this presents a problem.

If I tell a client in despair to simply feel grateful s/he will merely feel judged. My path is to learn through direct sensing and experience how to stay open to life, using whatever inner resources we have at theSept 07 Alberta 3 181moment to really BE here. As much as I love different paths and expressions of life energy, this is the one core element that can give the ordinary person purchase to meaning in any moment s/he remembers to attend.

Love? Yes, it is glorious. Who among us can make it happen—authentically—in any given moment? It’s a wonderful aim, but it is through learning to accept ourselves moment by moment that we become capable of feeling love without sending disregarded parts of ourselves scurrying for cover. Any part we leave behind will become problematic. (I cover this topic in depth in the post series on Inner Work.)

Rule of thumb: If you cannot sustain it in your daily life it doesn’t work for you.

Rule of forefinger: If you have to be someone other than yourself to do it, it is not for you.

Rule of middle finger: If you think you can change your identity you’re in for a wild ride. I engage in profound transformation and have written a great deal about identity. Even to alter it you need to be authentic. AND although you can radically change how you think of yourself and your behavior, your core nature remains the same.

I have a real problem here. I want to discuss positive energy with you and I keep running into walls of preconceptions about what it means to be positive. Bear with me in the following posts while I dismantle preconceptions, so we can meet on the same page. I’ve had to learn a good bit about positive energy to survive. After chewing on this topic for years, I believe I can offer you useful insights.

12 June 2010 19 Comments

Gaping Hole in Law of Attraction Thinking: Suffering from Positive Actions

Gaping Hole in Law of Attraction Thinking: Suffering from Positive Actions

Frankly I’m fed up with saccharin, pseudo-spiritual talk that leads people to imagine that getting what you want is the aim of spiritual life. That’s just marketers playing off your ego.

Why do these representations bother me? Because they feed illusion. Spirituality is aboutTransAwake encountering and embracing life in its entirety, not about insulating ourselves from life and turning the universe into a wish-fulfillment machine.

Am I saying desire is wrong? Not at all. Desire drives experience. Desire launches us into the learning ground of life.

What I am saying is that all of life is spiritual when we bring ourselves to it with full, open attention.

Quit telling everyone who is in pain that what they are experiencing is because of what they have been thinking. Yes, it IS true! So why do I say to stop?:

  • Such statements usually involve judging others for experiencing things we do not actually understand ourselves.
  • What usually happens next is that we scan our surface thoughts and try to control them instead of engaging in authentic self-exploration.
  • These trite statements usually imply that if we have any troubles we are somehow spiritually inadequate: We are ‘supposed to’ be able to control life better so we do not create and experience discomfort.

Please consider the following:

Discomfort is guidance. It leads to insight. Yes we also learn through joy, but duality and polarity of experience are part and parcel with the way the universe is constructed, and function to bring about awareness. Not denial of what we don’t like. Awareness. What makes experience positive or negative depends less on the experience than the use to which we put it.

There are two main types of suffering:

One type is caused by action that does not work with the natural laws. Pain from inappropriate eating or from harming others is necessary feedback, if we are to honor life.

The second type of suffering comes from exceptionally positive action. Examples:

  • Intensive spiritual work can bring about extreme symptoms as our bodies, emotional life, or life events go into upheaval from rapid change.
  • Prayer, like praying to be of service, can place you in painful and difficult circumstances, both to serve, and to develop the compassion and insight that prepares you to do so.
  • When you cleanse the body and become ill during detoxification.
  • Coming clean by beginning to be authentic in relationship may be initially frightening and painful but leads to much deeper intimacy.

RoseLIghtThe most spiritually advanced beings I have known do not have perfectly smooth lives. They deal with the intense issues and dramas of those they serve, and the process is not always easy on them. They may indeed feel bliss even at the same time, but this does not mean they do not experience discomfort. They just don’t make their discomfort into a big deal.

If you know what someone is creating from the depths of his or her spiritual purpose and process, go ahead and tell them what they are creating. If you do not, please avoid confusing or shaming people with trite comments that imply that they must be in error if they are in pain.

Please comment below, and pass this post along to those who may find it useful.