Spiritual Means living Boldly with an Open Heart
We see a lot of metaphysical friends posting on social media uplifting advice about staying positive and focusing only on "good' during these trying Covid-19 times. They're inspired by the "law of attraction". Let's call it for what it is, selective focusing.
Selective focusing is a wonderful mental discipline. But not when it is dualistic (judging good or bad), innately self-serving (striving for a preferred personal outcome) and perhaps mildly delusional (imagining an idealized celestial state that guarantees feeling pleasing seemingly spiritual goodness).
It's hard to imagine pain as part of our spiritual process.
Growth by Evolution or Avoidance?
Striving for only positive vibrations is escapism. We must remember following a spiritual path is not about avoiding what we judge as negative. Bad vibes, grief, anger, agitation, desire, fear - suffering - these sensations actually are our spiritual paths.
Every bit of our aggression, every act of withholding or judgment - whenever we are triggered, we're offered unique opportunities for growth. So, instead of deliberately excluding the "negative" from our experience through selective focusing, let's consider our suffering as a gateway that leads us deeper into the process of true spiritual awakening.
It's hard to imagine pain as part of our spiritual process. Life certainly would be easier if walking a spiritual path was a metaphysical journey to a mentally transcendent place where we only experience bliss and personal goodness. But if we want to fully awaken, we cannot numb ourselves.
The inability to tolerate sadness, for instance, actually reduces our capacity to feel joy. The reason is all sensory experiences are neutral excitements of our nervous system. By selectively tightening up and resisting our full feeling of any form of excitement we limit our ability to feel period.
My mentor always reminds me that when our hearts are open, pain is our constant companion. This was not good news to me at first. But, after a few meaningful miles down the path, we look back and laugh at how we once misused metaphysics to preserve identities and viewpoints that have nothing to do with our actual awakening or who we really are.
The ultimate result of the spiritual path is surrendering into the unrestricted creativity of our unique transpersonal being expressing itself authentically through us.
Understanding the Spiritual Path
Walking a spiritual path is best understood as a process rather than a mindset. It is a life-long journey that strips away falsehoods about who we are and who we imagine we should be. We surrender our defenses and move beyond our familiar identities as we become increasingly more open and tolerant of what we are truly feeling in relation to our inner and outer worlds.
The ability to stay somatically present, without disappearing into a metaphysically imagined world enables us to openheartedly descend into the transpersonal reality of what actually is. So, ultimately the result of the spiritual path is surrendering into the unrestricted creativity of our unique transpersonal being expressing itself authentically through us. This is what the apostle Paul describes when he writes, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me".
Whether you call transpersonal reality the Christ Consciousness, the Tao, Universe or Buddha-nature it does not matter. What's being indicated by Paul is a very attainable awakened state - an everlasting life force already underlying what we mistakenly cling to as "me".
As a professional psychic and spiritual counselor, my work is fraught with well-meaning colleagues and clients who confuse extrasensory perception and complex metaphysical beliefs with walking a spiritual path. In actual fact, mental mediumship, mental perception of extrasensory information, and metaphysical ideas are only sturdy building materials for creating and preserving a self-concept that makes us feel good. When what we need is to skillfully open up to our actual felt experiences - come what may.
This powerful state of being is the experience of being inwardly anchored, held by something well beyond what we mentally imagine
Giving up to Get Real
By committing to feeling life as it presents to us, we learn about who we are. Sensory vibrations and their resulting emotions offer us insight into our unmet needs and how and why we interpret life as we do. In turn, providing us the opportunity to respond to life with decisions that address our real wants while reflecting our true standards. By staying present we develop trust in ourselves and the world as a place for reliable transformation. We then no longer need selective focusing to feel good because we no longer need to manufacture and then project a world-view that preserves our false self and its preferred interpretation of reality.
Surrendering our knee-jerk "spiritual" impulses to manifest an alternative experience of objective reality sends us stumbling into embracing and revealing who we genuinely are. This can be frightening. But, the willingness to be genuinely seen and heard is an act of self-love. You see, by surrendering to reality, even during desperate times of disease, unemployment and increasing political & social instability, we demonstrate patient approval of our person. What follows, very slowly, is a trust in our authenticity in the form of our inner resources to handle whatever comes. This powerful state of being is the experience of being inwardly anchored, held by something well beyond what we mentally imagine we could achieve as a "spiritual" person who must conjure a preferred existence just to cope
Getting Real Needn't be Joyless
It is wonderful how giving up self-soothing selective-focusing as a form of spirituality accelerates real evolution.
So, in closing, selective focusing, as a method for being spiritual during trying times, is best understood as a method for skillfully remaining open to reality as a way to be of service. We can practice selective-focusing constructively when we prioritize adopting growth enabling "good" perspectives so that moment by moment we can feel and fulfill ours and other's needs most efficiently. Meaning, in the most human, helpful, compassionate and productive manner possible that's consistent with what's really going on. The benefit, such an embodied state makes us a light unto our small corner of the world. And, isn't that what our world really needs right now?
Jack Rourke is the best-selling author of The Rational Psychic, A skeptics Guide to Extraordinary Perception and an internationally renowned psychic counselor and spiritual coach. He is a contributor to the books Kids Who See Ghosts, and What Wags the World - Tales of Conscious Awakening. Jack co-authored the 2007 21c Psi Survey with the American Institute of Parapsychology and is a recognized psychic expert featured by CNN, Buzzfeed Media, ABC News, NBC, FOX, Showtime, Destination America, the BBC, SyFy, the History & Travel channels and more. Dubbed world-renowned in 2009 by AOL media, CBS television selected Mr. Rourke as the real-life version of the fictitious psychic detective featured on their hit TV program The Mentalist. For more information visit: www.jackrourke.net