An essay by Avikal.
Let’s clear up! Let’s throw down from the altars the idols of the past and the idealizations of a spirituality stuck on transcendence and far away from daily life. Its time is past! What is the sense today of sitting under a tree deep in one’s own realization while we ignore life, affects, challenges, creativity and evolutionary responsibility and all the other good stuff happening around us now?
My personal experience, my life as Osho’s disciple, the very longing of my soul and the passion that I feel – these are driving forces that compel me inexorably both to scrutinize any idealization of enlightenment I might have (often reductive and de-humanizing) and – perhaps more important – to recognize the optimizing thrust of cosmic consciousness that indissolubly combines love and awareness. To recognize, too, that awareness is the clear and impersonal presence of the Universal Mind, and love the embodied and very personal manifestation of the Universal Heart.
There are three points that appear fundamental to living fully in the present. The same three points serve to open us up to the natural fulfillment and completeness that our superego (inner judge) continuously denies us. These three points manifest the understanding that we are ALREADY free in Being. This intrinsic freedom also implies full responsibility for the actualization of our individuality, which is both the embodiment and higher expression of that freedom.
Conscious evolution as expression of the freedom of a responsible individual implies:
- Emotional maturity: consciously letting go of our identification with the inner judge and the child inside.
- Recognition of one’s own shadow: the capacity and willingness to integrate it, thereby purifying it of its own reactivity.
- Becoming visible and accountable: embodying one’s understanding and transformation day after day.
What does it mean to become an adult? What does it mean to mature emotionally?
In my life everything was a big mess until I started understanding the following points (and I’m speaking from my perspective as a man) from my daily experience:
- There is a fundamental difference between emotions and feelings. Emotions are feelings locked in time. They are charged with values, judgments, beliefs, habits and, more than anything else, attachment. Expressing these feelings (‘emoting’) then has nothing to do with the present, but it is rather a reactivity that repeats acquired patterns.
- I had learned to feel from the feminine side (primarily, my mother!) and therefore I had no clue about what it meant to feel as a male.
- The only way to really feel became possible only by being present in the here/now; also that I could be present with experiencing my feelings without immediately attaching a definition or a name (a ‘trick’ I’d developed to make me feel at ease and in control).
- I needed to stop being scared of women’s emotionality and progress to enjoying the immense richness (and inventiveness) of their emotional world.
- I discovered that my heart, as it generates feelings, creates reality alongside thought-forms generated by the intellect and actions generated by my guts.
So, to be mature means that I am present. It means that I am interested in being present. And it means that I am fascinated by being here in this mystery that I am and the mystery that the world around is – and that I allow myself to feel HOW ALL THIS CONTINUOUSLY DISSOLVES AND REGENERATES ME.
Cleaning up: to know my shadow and purify myself of my reactivity.
Most people believe and hope that a final moment exists when everything is done, concluded, when only light is left, when integration is complete and perfect. This hope prevents them living this moment fully and denies the reality of light/shadow.
A clinical psychiatrist questioned Suzuki Roshi about consciousness. “I don’t know anything about consciousness,” Suzuki said. “I just try to teach my students how to hear the birds sing.”
When we let go of the hope of living only as love, light, compassion, and all the other elevated ideals that cloud our perception, then we learn to hear the birds sing.
Let’s clear out hope and the illusions of perfection from our home. Let’s listen attentively to the words of our reactivity; let’s observe its actions, without self-judgment, without putting ourselves down and without manipulation – and let’s discover through this process the FULLNESS of our humanness.
Avikal is founder and director of the Integral Being Institute which is active in Europe, Asia and Australia. In his newest books published by O-Books – Freedom to be Yourself and Without a Mask – with the respective, revealing subtitles Mastering the inner judge and Discovering your authentic self – Avikal provides far-seeing insight into his world of training and personal development. Avikal lives in Sydney, Australia. www.integralbeing.com