The challenge with modern psychology and some spiritual movements is that they try to replace a painful self image with a better one. But its the self image that is blocking us from experiencing the truth of reality from a place of awakening and consciousness.

This isn't really just the fault of our modern world view. Tantra has taught this exact truth for hundreds of years. Shiva sutra 3.3 tells us either you are in God consciousness and feel one with the world, or you are not and feel separate, insecure, and fearful. So the ego and its defenses have been around a long time.

Today we are looking for ways to escape the ego and it is looking for ways to make sure we don't.  Every culture and generation has its fashionable tool to do this. Smoking and drinking, sex, music, and drugs have held long standing power in humanity's search for escape or in the longing to experience something more. And they all have their purpose and value.

In more recent history it has been the search for the guru, retreats to India or Ayahuasca journeys in Peru that have our attention. There is nothing wrong with pursuing tools that release us from self image and move us closer to higher consciousness. 

But like the earlier criticism of psychology,  if this is not part of a full commitment to awareness, it becomes another game of the ego. The medicine itself becomes an ego tool. Even the search for the grace from a guru becomes a dependency if you do not find your own connection to divine grace.

Shiva sutra 3.2
2. jñānaṁ bandhaḥ //

For this limited individual, all knowledge is bondage.

How do we move from self image to awakening?  It begins with recognizing the things with which we identify. If we identify with the body, we believe things like "I am pretty" or "I am thin" to be truths of our being. If we identify with the mind, we believe things like "I am smart" or "I am successful".  If we identify with the prana level, we identify with our energy body and believe "I feel energized" or "I feel connected". When we identify beyond the prana level, we don't identify ourselves with anything.  We are no thing. 

"When we achieve God consciousness, enlightenment, there is an inevitable detachment from the drama of all things – the ‘coming and goings’ of the external world. What do we need when we have become Everything? The capacity for non-attachment is the natural outcome of being elevated beyond self-created illusory delusions. We have moved beyond thinking we are our current individual identity and our subtle body." -Swami Lakshmanjoo

I would love to tell you I'm at that level. I have spent years identifying at the prana level and only just broke through the edges of that.  But what I do know is if it is the deepest longing you have, it is inevitable that you will attain No Thingness. It won't require a guru or plant medicine or a month in India. It will be from pointing yourself towards home and arriving.

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Comment by Gail Matheson, PhD on March 18, 2014 at 12:01am
Thanks
Comment by Kathy Custren on March 17, 2014 at 11:48pm

Hi, Gail - recommending for the website, with thanks!  ~ Blessings!

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