15 April 2016 3 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 79: Spiritual Growth: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished? Part 1

At the spiritual intensive I recently attended, I continued to address the theme we were discussing before the last post, about the ins and outs of spiritual growth.

On the first day of the retreat, my spiritual Teacher (I’ll just call him W. in here) read a passage from Inayat Khan, who brought our lineage to the West. The quote refers to achieving a certain state of balance that maintains powerful opposites at the same time—“kemal”.

W. said, “I’m reading this because some people take one idea and walk down the road with it, and it may not be so helpful to them.”

I love that he said this! Spiritual growth is so NOT about finding some particular rule and living by that!

Here is part of the quote, in all its thought-provoking intensity: “The kemal temperament is found only in the holy beings who are living dead, who live in God, not in themselves. Every action, when it reaches kemal ceases to exist. And every person, and every plane of being, after reaching kemal, has a falling. Therefore those who study the nature of life, and who value the unchanging nature of life, drink the bowl of kemal, however bitter it may appear at the time. This is a bowl of poison.”

“So what do you think of about this?” my Teacher asked the group. “The kemal sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? Pretty extreme. However—there is a lot more to it.”

I asked, “Is this something that happens only to advanced adepts, or does it refer to the processes that happen to all of us along the path.” W. said it was the latter.

“It is the gift presented with the gauntlet,” he said, “You get something you desire—but it comes with a challenge. When you unwrap it, there is work you have to do, and it’s not what you expected.”

So much to contemplate here, but the group moved on.

I brought the topic up again the next day: “I’m still chewing on this reading you did yesterday, about drinking poison when you get to the kemal state.”

W.: “Well that’s only one place that it goes.”

“Right,” I paused to acknowledge that. “I had an experience during which my spiritual practice was intensive and consistent, bearing positive results, followed by a series of events that precipitated a prolonged dip into P1000434whatever was still left of almost every trauma I have endured in the course of my life. I found myself afraid to do my practices after that because I don’t want the consequence of having to drink the poison.”

“How do you feel about death?” W. asked.

“Well, dying seems a lot better than suffering. I’ve been thinking some about dying.”

“You could drink a cup of poison,” he said, laughing, and the group joined in.

W. knows I have a sense of humor about such things. I said, “Maybe I’m just not drinking enough! I could drink more and die instead of just suffering!” Most everyone was laughing now.

“You’re running into some ground floor conditioning that is fighting back.”

I asked whether the practice we had just done as a group—practice to surrender into allowing the personalty to die and our essence to be resurrected—would be useful at such junctions, or bring about additional suffering: “Is this a good practice to do if one is afraid of going into practice because one does not want to bring the karma on faster? Is it advisable to try and push through it by being willing to sort of die into the states, and head right into that pain and suffering?”

W.: “I understand what you are saying, and it’s a good question, and it’s a question you need to consult your own sense of Guidance around, because some people are conditioned to be martyrs, and they will jump right into the fire. —But it may not be their fire to jump into. And so, if you know what I mean, you don’t want to just jump.”

His response continues in the following post.

Have YOU ever noticed that intensive movement forward is often followed by a difficult passage?

What would you consider to be “the unchanging nature of life”?

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3 Responses to “Manage Your Energy Part 79: Spiritual Growth: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished? Part 1”

  1. Therese 17 April 2016 at 9:35 am #

    Second question answered first; I don’t know if I consider anything unchanging anymore. Actually, I don’t know if I even bother to really think about change much anymore. I think I’m getting to the point where whatever happens, happens. I accept whatever is in front of me at any given moment in time. I may have a moment of irritation but it quickly passes and I accept the moment.

    Intense movement forward is followed by fatigue for me. It’s a period of integration and seems to require my body to almost stop while a process happens for my body to catch up. I’m not sure what’s happening and I don’t concern myself with the process other than to honor my needs. I’m doing so much internal changing these days and, periodically, I have to tell the Universe I need a break. I’m asking for the changes and I’m asking for the breaks. It’s all coming about fairly nicely.

    With Love,

    • Teresa Dietze 25 April 2016 at 1:23 pm #

      Dear Therese,

      Ahk! I’ve been busy with taxes and the like.

      The unchanging thing is a kind of inside-out conundrum in a way. I first read that the way you did. Then I realized that what is unchanging is Essence, Spirit, the Divine, God–whatever one wants to name It. Everything else changes.

      Yes, it takes energy to integrate any type of adjustment, and real forward movement is always an adjustment. It is kind to give yourself time to rest like that.

      Glad you are able to get breaks!

      Wherefore art thou? 🙂



  2. Therese 30 April 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    I’m at Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area near Radcliffe, KY. The park is next to the Ohio River and about 30-45 minutes West of Louisville, Ky. I have great reception and I’m finally finding time away from everyone. The section I’m in is not popular with the locals so I have a large area all to myself. I can’t express how much I’m enjoying my time here.

    There’s an abandoned area where I can sit overlooking the Ohio River and watch the boats move barges up/down the river. It takes about 3 hours for the entire process of a barge to come into sight and leave my sight. I adore spending my time there.

    Today is the first day I’ve pried myself away from the campground and took myself out to eat and to get wifi access for email. It’s raining so that’s why I was willing to go to town. The rain has also kept the campers away this weekend. (Big smile here) I will leave here and arrive home on Friday the 13th of May, which are always blessed days for me. I’m trying to shift my resistance around being home. Some days are more successful than others. I’m grateful for what this Summer will bring me because I will be able to boondock after this Summer.

    I hope all is well with you! Now I will read Part 2.

    With Love,

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