Friday, August 14, 2009

The Trouble with Transformations ~ Part Three Billion (OK, it just FEELS that way!) ~ Part VI)

Soooo, as I was saying, turmoil can actually be a positive sign, when one is in the process of transformation. When we allow the Light of God to shine in on all our dark nooks and crannies, we see the things we would rather avoid ... things we've likely spent a lifetime avoiding (and this would *not* be a good time to squint!). Looking at unflattering, even alarming, aspects of ourselves doesn't feel warm and fuzzy .. it's not peaceful nor calming. "Airing out" the subconscious mind ain't comfy nor pretty. The temptation to squash it all back down, forcing it into "submission" (& calling such denial "holy") can be a strong one.

Ask me how I know this ...! ;)

It's actually a cool and liberating thing to discover that our egos and personalities don't have to rule our lives. But getting there, as with most worthwhile things, is a process. Yeah, I know - another stinkin' process. Woo. Hoo.

Much of the turmoil we experience, while in the transformation process, is the kvetching and cavorting of the ego. It's sense of self-protection, of survival, is strong ... it's been king of the hill for so very long, backed up by the illusions of propaganda and group-think (for we have been in a contract with the ego since birth) ... and so it will send out red-flag signals that the journey into transformation will be a dangerous and disastrous one. We may be overcome with fear, crippled with doubts, second-guessing our insights, accusing ourselves of betraying all we've ever known ... even accusing the Voice of God within to be the "devil." Status quo always fights to the death, in order to resist its own extinction.

But, if we listen closely, deeply, there's a truer/realer Voice within ... the voice that emanates out of the spirit/Spirit intersection. It knows what's real - and it knows that destroying the ego and the personality are not the goal. Transformation is not a battle. God is not at war with man. He does not use psychological violence. How much violence is required to make the transition from a five year old to a six year old? We can trust in the process of transformation ... in fact, the more spontaneously it occurs, the more authentic it is.

Think of how a child develops ... they participate, actively, in every stage of growth, exploring the world around them, discovering what's harmful and what's helpful. In doing so, the child discovers their own amazing potential (as well as discovering what *not* to eat). We call a child who does not engage the process autistic. So too it can be with spiritual transformation (objects in mouth optional) ... if we resign ourselves to inertia and passivity, rather than actively engaging the process, we can also render ourselves "stuck."

It's no longer helpful for me to see this journey as akin to climbing a ladder ... of achieving heights, as this implies that I am "over" some, and "below" others. This perspective fosters a sort of competition that I find to be unhealthy, as well as being destructive to relationships ... in fact, it seems to be a projection of the ego, rather than of the spirit. Instead, I've come to prefer to see the journey as one that goes forward, on the path ... following Christ into Truth ... God as both the Guide and the Goal ... and yet, I've also come to see that the path is inward ... the Kingdom of God is in our midst (it "comes not by observation") - it is within us, and all around us ... spiritually perceived and experienced, rather than externally observed. And so the journey goes deeper into ourselves -- and in the paradox of finding God there, we also find our truest selves there. Sure, this can sound blasphemous, but I've noticed that all great truths are initially perceived as blasphemy. So be it. So get over it.

Now, we can't expect to leap there in one fell swoop of dramatic arrival. (PLOP! I is enlightened.) Nope. Not only would we not appreciate it, but we'd be quite insufferable to live with! What we get instead are glimpses of a deeper reality ... those "too good to be true" glimmers that make us sit up and take notice ... "could that be God?!?" "Is this safe?" "Is this real?"

Fortunately, because God is God, and God knows what-of we are made, and how-of we are stuck, God seems to enjoy giving us tangible/discernible indicators to let us know that transformation is indeed taking place. Whew! Yay, God! (The alternative would be to add to the canon of Scripture: "Transformation for Dummies," Books I through M, which wouldn't be an altogether bad idea, seeing as how we're so adept in the adventure of entirely missing the point, but it wouldn't sell, since so many folks think God quit speaking 2,000 years ago, but I digress... in the meanwhile, you can just read my blog, which is becoming quite Testament-like.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, those tangible/discernible indicators that something is actually happening.

Some of them would be pretty obvious -- a person previously consumed with fear may notice that fear is loosening it's slimy grip on their solar plexus. The concept of God's unconditional love may morph from a mere fundamentalist mantra into a pervasive cocoon of reality (and we eventually may notice that it extends to - and even fills! - the entire universe). We may find our existence altering from the daily grind to an amazing symphony of meaning ... wherein every previously-mundane activity is somehow infused with purpose (growth) and fulfillment (joy). We can find ourselves loving others -- not as just an academic concept, but in a way that floods us, even overwhelms us. Even those icky people (c'mon, admit you think some folks are icky -- confession is good for the soul!) can be seen afresh, through eyes of compassion.

But the ego cannot accomplish this manner of transformation. Of course it wants to, for it wants to earn accolades, but the best it can accomplish is a surfacey counterfeit. It will justify fear as "necessary" to be "in right relationship" with God. It will seek to convince us that God is both love and wrath -- and we'd better perform well to stay on the love-side. It will tell us that drudgery is good for "character building", and that we're really not meant to enjoy this life (more martyr-points if we suffer). It will assure us that there are some folks we can love (those who think like us), and other folks who must be corrected (all the rest), and that love is conditional (for it believes that God's love is likewise conditional).

As long as our loyalty is to our ego, transformation will be halted -- we can then find ourselves being tantalized by the prospect of liberation, but find ourselves incapable of walking out of our self-imposed prison.

"The most important activity of the mind isn't the war between good and evil. It's the sifting of real from unreal." (Deepak Chopra, "The Third Jesus" - yeah, I no longer fear finding truth in all the places where Jesus isn't "supposed" to be ... and it's amazing how often He shows up there!)

There's yet-more to explore about transformation ... I'd like to explore some of the reasons why we resist the Spirit's leading us into transformation ... and some practical things we can do to cooperate with the process.

Looks like there shall be a Part VI (sheesh, I was never good at Roman numerals ... I can only count so high!).

Shalom, Dena


MysticBrit said...

Verily, three billion blogs are like as the watch that passeth in the night...

Transformation ain't a Struggle, it's a Dance... doin' the Perichoresis Tango!:D

Amen, Sister!

PS Switch to Arabic - they could count so much better than those Romans;)

Dena said...

LOL - just one more "Trouble with Transformation" blog entry, and then I go off on some tangents ... coming out of my own recent experiences in relationships and conversations. Hoping that what I'm experiencing is something to which others can relate. Hoping to both share and to learn ...

Shalom, Dena

MysticBrit said...

Well... I relate to just about every word you've written since you started blogging, Dena.

But then I've allways been a bit weird;)

I'm sure there are many other dangerous heretics out there nodding their heads in agreement. Come on out from behind that sofa, folks!:)