My ideas about justice and injustice are shaped by reverence for the Mystery of the Divine All-In-One and the commandment to do unto others as I would have others do unto me. This is not exclusive to any religion or God-image. Living with Consciousness and Compassion is the basis for all authentic spirituality.
How do I want to be treated? With care. With understanding and tolerance for my differences. With respect for my sovereignty. With entitlement to equal rights under the law and in relationships. With fairness and freedom from enslavement: physical, psychological, spiritual, sexual, and social (familial, religious, legal, economic, educational, and political).
I should treat others the same way: with compassion toward everyone without hurting anyone. Do I try to do this? Yes. Do I ever fail? Of course. Why? Because I have a Shadow made of all the fear, pain, strong emotions, instincts, needs, attitudes and assumptions I don’t always see well enough to keep under leash. It’s what makes me human. It’s why I do inner work. It pains me so to see the hurtful things I sometimes think, feel and say, and I want to right the injustice of it.
One other kind of injustice bothers me as much as my own: that perpetrated by religions. Injustice in the name of God occurs daily, probably everywhere, and we’re so used to it we often don’t notice or care. Sometimes it drives me nuts.
I’ve done my share of work for social causes. But lately I’ve been zeroing in on my true passion: to overthrow the tyranny of the ignorant, unconscious, self-righteous attitude which, in the name of God, ignores human pain and need in the interest of feeling safe, superior, self-important and powerful. In modeling intolerance, indifference, blame and fear, it spreads toxic divisiveness and incites hatred. In bestowing approval in return for obedience and correct belief, it commits the unpardonable sin of thwarting the soul’s growth into Consciousness and Compassion. As a Christian alumnus, I have to ask myself, if Christ is about bringing healing light and life into the world, what is this attitude if not the antichrist: the opposite of everything every authentic spirit person has ever stood for?
You know what? I have some of that in me. So do you. In a dualistic world, humans cannot contain the Christ without also containing the antichrist. My intense dislike of people who try so hard to be spiritual that they come off smug, critical and self-righteous shows me my Spiritual Bully Shadow! So do my dreams where he occasionally shows up to torment me. Does this shock you? It shouldn’t. You also project what you don’t like about yourself onto others. Be careful what you hate lest you become it. I have met the enemy and it is me.
My cause is to right the injustices of psychological ignorance and spiritual brainwashing. I began my solitary arm-chair crusade thirty years ago this year. Since nobody else understood me or knew how to fix the injustices I experienced and inflicted on others, I decided to understand and fix myself. I didn’t know this was my cause, nor did I realize it was a social cause. But the progress I’m making with my inner work convinces me it is the most important cause of all. Join me if you agree. We don’t need a formal organization — in fact, that would probably ruin everything — and we may never meet on the physical plane, but our souls will know one another. What shall our slogan be? I know: “Inner Workers of the World, Unite!”
Ego and God-Image: Part VII
Intellectually the Self is no more than a psychological concept, a construct that serves to express an unknowable essence which we cannot grasp as such,
Any story with a horse, hot cowboy and Indian makes my best seller list! More pictures please!
Mine too! I’m glad you like the pictures, and thanks for writing!
dear and divine….wisdom of inner
silence….put as charter of every human
through many centuries watchmen
were guiding the world so called religions
but now in last 50 years a new awareness
is happening….expressed in music..art
..culture…games…and hopefully it will
bring together inner workers of the world
together without forming any closed circle
so let be neutral inside and natural outside…
Bad is definitely bad…but notion to
be good is very bad…..be ordinary…
a quote from…God = childhood friend
when you know me, do not criticize anybody. you will criticize anybody due to ignorance , anybody will react due to ignorance .
let inner workers together become
a sea of humanity where all are at same
level irrespective of depths….
open mind ..open heart….in everyday
art…..journey of creative enlightenment
I agree that the notion to be good is very bad. Jung said something to the effect that the person who tries hardest to be good often has the darkest Shadow. I love your image of inner workers being a sea of humanity where all are at the same level irrespective of depths. That sounds like justice to me.
Why has the Tea Party become such a popular political force? It appears to me that the Tea Party is feeding the ” Spiritual Bully Shadow”. It also appears to me this is a very powerful force to appeal to: it sure is working.
I think you’re right. Jung said, “…today most people cannot see the beam in their own eye but are all too well aware of the mote in their brother’s. Political propaganda exploits this primitivity and conquers the naive with their own defect. The only defence against this overwhelming danger is recognition of the shadow. The sight of its darkness is itself an illumination, a widening of consciousness through integration of the hitherto unconscious components of the personality.”
The kind of propaganda that brings out our Spiritual Bully Shadow works on the psychologically ignorant; hence, thinking psychologically is the only force that can counteract it. This is why I don’t go too far down the road of criticizing the Tea Party. Before long I start feeling self-righteous, then morally superior, then watch out: my Spiritual Bully shows up and I start seeing motes everywhere! It’s a waste of my time to try to fix anyone else’s Spiritual Bully, but I sure can take the starch out of my own when I see it.
About the Tea Party movement. It may at some points be feeding the spiritual shadow, but also in our quick reaction to these folks who are feeling economically and politically impotent and frustrated, we must be sure that our own shadow of quick judgment and “superior” spiritual impulse is not projecting. There is always such danger when politics and religion are lumped together, for the validity of both are lost.
I believe that is why religious freedom is one of the most important political tenants and “do unto others (i.e. listen with an open heart) as you would have them do unto you” a fundamental of all religions.
Absolutely. Unfortunately, we can’t listen with open hearts if we don’t see the closed minds of our own shadows. The missing ingredient responsible for all the injustice in God’s name has been psychological ignorance. If organized religion is to survive it will have to find ways to nurture the growth of self-awareness in its members.
Jeanie, my meditations these days are sitting beside a pond, watching the geese floating in the clouds reflected in the morning stillwater. after a couple hours, I realize that I have been watching my mind progressively grind to a halt, thought by thought nullified by the radiant perfection bursting through my senses. the Divine Mystery of the All-In-One, caring for me again today, caring for all beings again today. In such moments I almost remember what it is like to have no shadow. Without the sun, of course, my body has no shadow. Without duality, my soul has no shadow. In those moments of communion with the world as it is, I am nearly transparent. I can harbor no hatred. No distrust. No fear. Surrendering to the Divine Mystery of the All-In-One, I am allowed to merge like a teardrop falling into the sea and I can harbor only goodwill towards all. Ennobling moments, passing only too quickly, but I am committed to stretching them out longer and longer, until one day, they are no longer the exception but become the new normal.
On the other hand, a nice catchy slogan can say it just as well—
Inner Workers of the World, Unite!
You have nothing to lose but your shadow chains……
All My Best,
Thank you for one of the most exquisite illustrations of the goal and reward of inner work I’ve ever read. Your word picture stands alone and speaks to the soul with no need for interpretation. Yet, for the sake of my readers, the teacher in me cannot resist highlighting the connections between psychology and spirituality which you, with your x-ray inner vision, know to be the bones of my blog:
Your commitment to meditative explorations of inner space is a work of love which leads to no-work and all-love.
Your willful surrender of an ego normally clouded with desire leads from no-life to a place of all-life that is vibrant with transparency.
Your shadowless communion with the world as it is is the journey home to the Divine Mystery of the All-in-One.
May we all follow your example, and, in the words of T.S. Eliot, “not cease from exploration, and [at] the end of all our exploring…arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
P.S. May I quote your comment in my next book?
love your interpretation. so interesting to look into another’s mirror: same old reflection but the frame is different….
and yes, of course, if my words fit in the discourse of your next work, please use them as you deem best!
summer is vying with autumn suddenly here in southern oregon–the sun is in a blue sky, chill nights give way to warm windless days and the leaves are just starting to turn…..
blessings to you and yours,
Yes. Same old castle, but different connections to different rooms.
Thank you for the permission to cite you. We’ll see what happens with the next work: it’s in the works! (Has been for umpteen years.)
Central Florida is having a blessed reprieve from 90-something weather which has recently morphed into 70-something weather. We had a glass of wine by an open doorway in a local restaurant a while ago and enjoyed watching the world go by without arctic blasts from AC’s or humid seepage from the street. It’s starting to feel right again.
Blessings to you as well,
a quick p.s.
you quote my favorite line from eliot!
and, moving back from spirituality to psychology, i remember that i wanted to say in my original comment that i believe the institutions of religions lead us away from them into an more awakened spirituality–one that leads to a personal, first-hand, experience of the sacred.
the institution’s shadow, in other words, drives us to look deeper for something purer, less contaminated by conventional social mores–a quest that makes us aware of our own personal shadow (that corresponds to humanity’s own collective shadow).
this is the hard part of the work–both psychological and spiritual: crossing this inner shadowlands is passing through the long night of the soul: it is confronting the animal nature of the human body, i think, and coming to terms with it: taming it a bit, loving it, forgiving it, training it a bit more, admiring it for facing its inevitable death so bravely, reassuring it that its memories will not be forgotten…..
…..and recognizing the shadow within others, not expecting perfection out of them, being grateful for those who tolerate our imperfections, and as you have made a strong point of, not projecting our own dark side onto others…..
so, what i’m trying to say is that i think the psychological work needs to be done hand-in-hand with the spiritual work–i know that is your feeling as well–but i really meant to preface my comments with that aside, since it would have made a better bridge to my other thoughts…..
sometimes the gentle breeze of your posts just carries me away,
Your take on how organized religion is actually leading us away from traditional spirituality and into a more awakened one is one I’ve never heard before: totally original. Like the Mystery meant for it to be this way all along. I love it and couldn’t agree more!
I also totally agree that the long, dark night is about confronting our animal selves: moving out of the head and into the body and Nature. Scary stuff for those of us who’ve been conditioned by heady spiritual theories based on fear of what we humans really are instead of truths about where our animal bodies are ultimately headed.
This is also an idea I’ve never entertained in quite this way before. No wonder we have to be forced, kicking and screaming, into the desert way: no happy, sane person would ever deliberately choose this path for him/herself.
Thank you for the enlightening new connections.
I love this . I can’t read every week because I need time to read and absorb. I can really relate to this!
Donna, I’m so happy this speaks to you! We don’t need to go at anyone else’s pace. Just trust your own, dear friend. Love, Jeanie