There is a split in the world of human personal development, between the projection of propaganda (what an external “authority” tells you is “real”) and the inner knowing of an individual reality that bridges the physical, the emotional/rational, and the mystery of spirit. Many of us unthinkingly accept this first worldview: we turn to the strong assertions of others and allow them to create the map upon which we plot our life journey. We move within the constraints of this so-called “real” world, and draw comfort from knowing we are in the majority.
And then there are others, those who know in their heart that life holds more than what is commonly held as reality. They are drawn to a spiritual or religious way of living that replaces a material agenda with an alternate one. Instead of dreaming of becoming a billionaire, or of becoming famous, they long to become their spiritual ideal self. This ideal is a personal vision which you long to attain. Perhaps it can be said that this is only an exchange of one set of desires for another, replacing a material goal for a spiritual one. Both these options look toward outer authority as holding the answer. And this is a problem, because any authority to whom we unconsciously hand over our inner autonomy may have important answers … but that same authority may have other agendas running than just whatever we project upon them. We may also be giving an outside authority the power to shape our lives in return for holding an important role in our paradigm. But by aligning with any authority we run the risk of ending the searching process.
Like many, I propose that the process of searching for meaning in our lives should never end. The ending of the search for meaning (because we believe our paradigm is the right one) is the biggest problem our species faces. The moment we stop searching for a higher knowing – as well as to integrate what we already know – we give up on our spiritual evolution. It is not finding the answer that defines the human spirit; it is the eternal search for knowledge beyond us that creates us as fully human and fully spiritual. In that search for humanness we, of course, will constantly erect fortresses of knowing, bastions of commonly-held “wisdom”, and defend them from any attacking hordes of others with a different set of knowings. That is also part of being human. But our battles of one paradigm against the other is an illusory struggle, and contains the seeds of our eventual defeat. In the battle of the paradigms there is only one possible outcome: submission to the dominant paradigm, and the repression of the alternative ones. The mind then erects a left-right struggle, an internal mind set that often chooses disparagement over dialogue. It is easier to hate or to mock the other polarity (or cultural paradigm) than to relate to it, and to be changed by it. It is easier to see others as different, as dangerous, as an enemy, than to see them as a brother, or a sister. It is easier for me to hold on to being right than to accept what is right within the other.
And yet despite these difficulties there is a way out of the dilemma inherent in the polarities of left and right, of good and bad, of right and wrong. It is to first energetically relate to the other, and then to allow that meeting with them to change you. You, of course, may change or influence the other in return. And from this place of deep meeting, where contact with the other (and what they represent) moves to the foreground of your awareness, out of this comes personal transformation. Meaning increases in your life, and your goals or desires for living can manifest themselves directly. You become the author of your own life, rather than following along the script written by another. How to do this? By energetically allowing yourself to be influenced by others, and to process what is then activated within your life energies. In computer terms you choose to be an open-source system rather than locked into a proprietary one. You opt for evolutionary expansion rather than the continual defense of what you assume is true, or real. You open yourself to seeking personal growth rather than willfully reinforcing what you already know.
In seeking to understand the view of the other rather than forcing your agenda upon them you blend the material and the spiritual paradigms together into one powerful exploration of your life. You strive towards becoming free from the paradigm, rather than its slave.