4 September 2015 13 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part #60: Challenges of Intermediate Spiritual Development, Part 2

“Truth alone is success, and real success is truth.” ~Inayat Khan

“Reality itself is its own evidence.” ~Inayat Khan

Last night I had a delightful discussion walking with a dear friend. He’s a psychotherapist, highly involved in spiritual and self development groups. I suggested that we discuss “the specifics of the personality’s defense structure in relation to an individual’s capacity to self observe.” We had fun with that one.

I can’t say how relieved I was when he synchronistically brought up the exact conundrums I’ve been chewing on in this post series. He spoke about several spiritual traditions, and their descriptions of the perception and behavior that accompany different levels of initiation.

Models are not necessarily important to me. What is important to me is experience and resolution of distress.

I know, accept, and agree that in ultimate consciousness we are all, already, God. That is a cosmic truth. Simultaneously, on human planes of experience, we DO have different capacities to perceive, to self observe, and to express mastery within our lives.

Over the last few posts I’ve been building a context for several key points. I am seeking to communicate how difficult it can be and what it feels like to be fairly developed and to interface intimately with people who are P1130939not as self aware as they THINK they are. This is not about ego. It is not about being better than someone. It’s about trying to sort myself out and get clear about who I am, rectifying self observation with actualities.

I must assume that some of you are in your own processes about this.

If I were to lay out the body of knowledge—which I do not know—about levels of initiation and their related criteria, this would objectify the context. I might also lose most of you. I still begin to glaze over when my walking friend goes into the details.

It was frustrating and made me sad when I could not get through the leader’s defenses at the recent retreat. My walking friend described exactly how the defenses work in those who teach spiritually but have not resolved them, and which layers of defense persist the longest as one develops. I felt relieved and understood.

I am still chewing on Therese’s comment about 5 blogs back: I totally agree that we must accept where people are at, and be able to step away. I also perceive value in the ideals and processes that make me choose engagement over disengagement more often than it serves me.

I need to balance my passionate values and willingness, with applying my good discernment to CHOOSE whether to engage or step away from moment to moment.

Working with what Life gives us to manage is another value that yields important rewards in facing parts of ourselves we would not otherwise encounter. Balancing this value with a genuine need to step away is a delicate art. Such a choice is best made from our highest motivations, from not habit, policy or merely to avoid discomfort.

A friend just called me. Her partner (also a friend) said something that hit a sort point. It was readily evident to me that his comment was shaped by his defense structure. It had nothing to do with her. She was confused because he tends to be highly aware and emotionally appropriate.

In a conversation about the topics over the last few blogs, he pointed out: “We can be highly developed in many areas while other parts of ourselves lag behind.”

It can be confusing when someone who is usually self aware makes a comment from of a part of themselves that is less developed.

Self awareness is both subjective and objective. Self observation provides a degree of objectivity toward our subjectivity. In result, we do not become consumed by or fully identify with our emotions or states. This confers perspective and supports growth.

Advanced self awareness is not about what we THINK we are, it rectifies experience with actualities. We need reflection and interaction with actual peers or those who are more developed than we are to achieve this. As we develop, there are fewer people who can reflect us accurately.

Relating gets complicated when people we interact with project onto us what THEY are or think—especially if they do it with a lot of misguided conviction. Sometimes I still get confused when I receive ‘reflections’ that are not aligned with who I know myself to be—or perhaps even who they are themselves! When one is sensitive to energy, the person’s conviction and sincerity can create confusion about who we are as we take that in. This compounded when the person does not know who THEY are and lacks continuity from moment to moment.

I described to my healer an interaction during which someone was making demands of me that had no basis in the reality of who I am. His concepts of where I was coming from, what I was doing, and how meeting his demands could play out in actuality were skewed. My healer smiled gently and said with compassion, “It’s like he’s asking you for a square football.”

What is the difference between THINKING you are developed in some way and actually BEING developed in that way?

What causes a gap between the two?

How it is possible to address this gap?

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13 Responses to “Managing Your Energy, Part #60: Challenges of Intermediate Spiritual Development, Part 2”

  1. Sabine 4 September 2015 at 9:11 am #

    I wonder if issues like these can bring up old wounds and disappointments about our parents: the feelings of chaos and fear that can arise when a sensitive young child senses the “unevenness” of presence in our parents and longs for (understandably so) someone morally consistent. self-correcting, and, therefore, safe and predictable?

    • Teresa Dietze 4 September 2015 at 9:18 am #

      Dear Sabine,

      Certainly. And other wounds as well. We have all experienced social and identity confusion. That will be exacerbated by inconsistencies of parents.



  2. Jennifer Hammill 4 September 2015 at 10:37 am #

    What I love is that you don’t seem to carry anger toward those who misjudge you. You are able to stay clear about your part and their part.

    • Teresa Dietze 4 September 2015 at 10:59 am #

      I do my Inner Work with it so I can get through it and set it aside for more inclusive values. It is not easy.

      Also, I wrote this before the incident you are thinking about occurred! I think I was preparing in advance, without knowing but in following my Guidance about what to be working with. 🙂



  3. Therese 4 September 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    I think the difference between thinking and being developed lies in our reaction to a situation. If there is no reaction, chances are you are developed at least somewhat. If you react, then the reaction shows where there is still work to do.

    Dealing with our emotional reactions, understanding what the emotions tell us about ourselves, and being willing to take responsibility for ourselves determines, in my mind, our awareness and willingness to develop further.

    I think we address the gap in our willingness to take responsibility for ourselves and let others be responsible for themselves. We can extend love, live as an example, and offer support to others but each person must do the work themselves. The support we can extend lies in appreciation for their journey, encouragement from the sidelines, and a shoulder to cry on for a short period of time. I sometimes feel like I sound like I throw people in the deep end of the pool and walk away. However, I don’t throw anyone in and I’m willing to toss them one end of a rope but I’m no longer willing to jump in the pool, grab hold of them, and almost drown trying to get them to solid footing. If they won’t reach for the rope, I walk away until they ask for my help again. I show them the rope again. I’ve learned it’s what works best for me.

    You are correct, Teresa, it’s really hard to find teachers. And, even when I do they know more in some areas and I know more in other areas. I have quit looking for someone who is better than me at everything. The way I view teachers now helps me have healthier relationships than in the past.

    Great post! I wasn’t as shocked this time.

    With Love,

    • Teresa Dietze 5 September 2015 at 9:32 am #

      Dear Therese,

      I agree with your comments about reaction with the additions that we can be developed in many ways and not in others (which you echoed below re: teachers) and that reaction can be invisible. What I mean by this is that when one denies or overlooks, that is reaction, and yet it does not show up to oneself or to those who are also not aware. In some instances, like that of some spiritual teachers, it can be very subtle and almost no one notices.

      Nice description of helping versus over-giving. 🙂

      I have known and know hundreds of spiritual teachers. Most of them are fairly normal people with dedicated hearts. My own spiritual Teacher is transparent about his issues, and has astonishing capacity. He has almost always surpassed my hopes and expectations and bypassed whatever I may think to address the actual needs of my Essence. I remain profoundly grateful.

      Hmm . . . well, Therese, the entire last clump of posts stemmed from two comments you made. They struck something I was working with internally and created enough inner fire to get me writing. I thank you for that, especially since writing them made me consolidate learning that is now proving essential. Meaningful connections often promote synchronicity or even prescience.



  4. Therese 5 September 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    I agree about the denying or overlooking being a reaction. Actually, the only thing I don’t consider to be a reaction is when I completely miss that I was supposed to react. I can see, on the other persons face, that I didn’t do something I was supposed to do but I am completely clueless as to what I missed. It usually takes a few days before I “remember” what I was,socially, expected to do/say. I just realized I need to let go of figuring out what I was supposed to do.

    I’m grateful I was able to instigate some self exploration that resulted in these posts. I, too, have learned a lot about myself while following your thought process. The only way we can learn is by running up against ourselves and sitting with the process. It can be, and usually is, challenging but it’s so exhilarating to come out on the other side.

    With Love,

    • Teresa Dietze 5 September 2015 at 4:11 pm #

      It can be pretty scary. I’m glad we’ve developed trust in one another’s intentions. 🙂



      • Therese 6 September 2015 at 10:17 pm #

        Me too.

        Love you,

        • Teresa Dietze 7 September 2015 at 7:57 am #

          It strikes me that for two people as seasoned as we are to be real about the scariness is significant in a number of ways. I’m thinking not only about what it takes to be open, and how much it takes to trust, but about all the people who are afraid to bring their thoughts and feelings forward, and why. Most of it comes down to what you nicely termed “running up against ourselves.” This is exactly what we need to do to grow. I think we fear it more than we fear anything that happens with other people, because at the end of the day, it’s what we think of ourselves that most matters. It gets strange when we head into uncharted waters inside, and we are not certain where we stand with ourselves. The Mystery is tremendously powerful and even overwhelming. Most of us stick to charted waters where it feels safe.



  5. Therese 11 September 2015 at 6:23 am #

    You hit the nail on the head. People stick with what feels safe and safety lies in fitting in with the norm. To feel safe requires doing what everyone else does, no standing out. Yet the normal admire the standouts (All great inventors, great writers and artists, great leaders who have changed the world). These people are honored AFTER they have succeeded and vilified while they are first starting out.

    It’s a challenging road to be different. You’re alone in the beginning and you’re alone in the end. A person has to be okay with that. And, the person who is okay with that finds they are not alone because they have themselves and their connection to Source.

    Sorry, I didn’t see your comment until today.

    With Love,

    • Teresa Dietze 11 September 2015 at 8:08 am #

      Well put! I’ve been thinking about writing a post about this topic. Yesterday I was contemplating some of the things you just said as I walked in the mountains. Fun to find your comment the next morning. I love the synchronicity and flow of deep connection.



  6. Kelly 4 August 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    I’m late to this response (I’m reading through old posts and felt compelled to post)and it may not be exactly relevant, but what came up when reading this is that there are so many energies at play, some of which are not personal in terms of growth needs or healing yet to be done for the person you are connecting with that can distort perceptions and expressions.

    I’ll give some specific examples. I am extremely sensitive and draw energies deeply and digest them physically. I use homeopathy to help build some boundaries as well as go deep to find issues that may have brought about this über sensitive state. One of the side effects of my sensitivity is that I can pick up and express something floating in the environment in a heartbeat. I could walk through energy, sit where another sat or pick something up through a phone call and become its expression. I would love to spend a day as the person who could not imagine this to be possible. I bet they have a quiet energetic life….aah the envy… The above happens often for me and it takes time to register, especially if multiple things came in or a complex being emerges. This can make me appear ‘off’. This could be misunderstood by another easily.

    I have also done deep work that removed energies imbedded in me while in the womb that have been with me until that moment. The expressions of that energy left after 40plus years of expression. Did I change? Become more me? It’s the above issue but in a reverse scenario of always presenting a certain way, then I’m different, actually less other. How is this taken or understood?

    So who are we really and how much congruence can we rightfully anticipate?

    Homeopathy can do the same. I am a great prover of remedies. This means I will express the mental,emotional and physical symptoms of the remedy. I am that state of consciousness until it subsides.

    I guess I wanted to put some light on things that could be happening other than areas of delayed growth or healing, which I believe we all must contend with, the growth that is, not everyone draws energies and expresses them.

    Perhaps the thing to contemplate is how do we respond to these instances when we see something that is off in another or it is brought to our attention? That is more likely the measure of the person. However, should they be inside the experience of intruding energies….who is to say.

    Unfortunately, I have run up against this much of my life and have felt painfully misunderstood. What really gets under my skin, more than the free floating energies, etc. is when the material expressed is something that actually belongs to the other person all the while the finger of disapproval is pointed at me, the expresser. There is very little understanding of these dynamics so there is not much room to explore this in the mainstream without further hardship and isolation on my part.

    I think the measure of who we are and our growth is likely how we relate to the movement of life interpersonally and intrapersonally rather than some congruent expression alone. Who can really say that the person they are today is whom they’ll be tomorrow. Life is fluid and always emerging. Those clinging to a stable identity may be recycling dead ways of being. This is different from recognizing areas of learning and working through truama and by no means do I think my way of being in the world is ‘correct’, but I also cannot deny all the input and output that is not necessarily personal to my life experience.

    There is complexity we may never fully understand, so how do we relate and with what? Ultimately my relationship with what moves within me seems to be the center of what should concern me. This includes my reaction to someone pointing the finger at me for expressing their unconscious. I can’t show most people the dynamic, although there are some truly brave souls on the path of self knowledge who can and do do this work. The only place I can really make change is within me. Even if I can’t just change and keep energies out, I can work on how I relate to the complexities that come with it.


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