Lightmind Extract 041


~julian 6.7.05
i am so struck today by a particular dynamic in the psyche. a powerful dynamic that seems to be universal. it pivots on the feeling of shame; self hatred, the feeling that in my very core something is wrong with me, i am unworthy or just plain bad.

i am struck today by how religion is a collective psychological attempt to redeem this feeling of shame – either through belief a saviour figure who reconciles our sinful nature for us with a transcendent god, by shedding his blood to pay for our sinfulness, or through diligently practicing in a way that will purify us of negativity so that we may be god-like and therefore worthy.

i am struck by the huge vacuum of intelligent, honest, humanistic technology for dealing with the shadow, ie: our disowned feelings, experience, thoughts etc…in traditional religion and a lot of pop spirituality.

so struck by the fragmented condition most of us seem to live in and how that fragmentation is reflected in our religions and philosophies.

so in light of all this i am thinking about the dialog around what enlightenment is, and the closest i can get today is that if there is such a thing as an enlightened person, it is someone who can hold a compassionate accepting presence in the face of the vulnerability and shame of another revealing their shadow.

if this “enlightened person” has “faith” in anything, it is in the treasure that lies hidden in the dark cave of shadow-work.

if this enlightened person knows anything it is that there is an authentic spiritual experience that blossoms out of the willingness to turn our backs on self-hating fantasy and resistance of our humanity, and open to being compassionately present to the truth as it is – to allow the “voice of the soul” (as our very imperfect human struggle) to speak to us and through us and in so doing to be filled with the peace that passes all understanding and the shakti that defies intellectual definition.

in a way this is why kornfield’s work resonates so deeply for me; he has touched on and expresses again and again this simple yet profound and essential truth.

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