Our contemporary world and the society are ill with the predominant disease of this era – the syndrome of every individual wanting to be special and validated for being a special, different and unique being. Our society validates it and supports it from within through its educational, political and spiritual systems. Everything we do has to be special and is expected to be acknowledged by others as such. This way we support a false sense of meaning within the self and a false sense of existence here on earth in this man-made reality. This syndrome, if not duly recognised, leads us to more imbalance and mental/emotional/physical sickness. Yet, it all starts as a normal way to live and that normality is unquestionable, until the moment that something within ourselves explodes, and we can no longer go on the same way; we can no longer believe in the normality of what happens to us and we no longer want to be validated, special or the chosen one. Here is the moment of awakening and the change, and it is not any less painful, yet it is a certain way out. It is this realisation that keeps one going and searching for the way out of this social madness and the world of shadows, illusions and projections of the corrupt and hungry-for-validation self.
After this awakening, we are faced with the moments of pain (that resemble the pain of addict’s withdrawal) when our used-to-validation and being-special limited selves go through the moments of rebound and self-sabotage, pain and meaninglessness. And who says the world is not a mental asylum? Even after having more or less balanced the self into the point of equilibrium and contentment, the tendency of the world to drag us out and feed its hungry beast is still there. So how do we deal with it? And how do we initiate the process of self-healing from this deep corruption and the disease of the collective being?
There are moments when we may feel like we are greater, more inclusive and wholesome, that we have somehow expanded, but such a shift always comes at the expense of having truly let go of something within our awareness. Such dramatic words like ‘surrender’ and ‘sacrifice’ only have a meaning when we think that we are letting go of something that is genuinely important to us yet which we have to shed ourselves of in order to reach a higher, vaster goal. It is only because we keep so many things within our awareness on an emotional, mental, and crystallised-in-the-physical-body level, that the spiritual path seems to have some kind of a dramatic arc or journey-like shape to it, where we still feel like an individual that is going from ‘here’ to ‘there’.
Eventually, the idea of a spiritual ‘journey’ or ‘path’ has to be let go of too. Whatever internal patterns or movements of consciousness that craft the bewitching image of the world of separate objects, people and distinct and unique meanings, have to be sacrificed into the free consciousness without gross and distortive movements, the consciousness which does not engender and project the constant display of a dual fragmented world.
Sacrifice is change, change from the circumstances and conditions that we have attached our consciousness to, and since sacrifice, in the dual world of names and forms in which we cling to impermanence, simply means change, it is therefore inevitable. The more we align our awareness with that which is inevitable, the more we begin to merge our awareness with the very underlying space-like awareness of existence.
We need not read any books or visit holy places to achieve this alignment. The greatest spiritual wisdom is right there in the simplest observations of nature, and when our awareness is simplified, we are able to take the greatest teachings from the simple movements of life. When we look at the natural world, we behold a constant seamless and selfless movement: in spring, the buds bloom out; in winter, flowers and leaves fall, and sometimes the plants wither never to see the light of day again. Does nature mourn this seasonal bereavement? Does it grow pompous in its vernal flourishing? No. It flows, in a constant and effortless change. So, why are we as humans unable to flow in the same way?
If the trees spoke to us in the autumn about their fear of letting their leaves fall, even the most spiritually conservative of us would encourage the tree to just let go. So, why is it then, that we, who portray ourselves as so intelligent and evolved, are unable to flow with life in a natural, effortless, joyful and content way? We cling to ideas and we cling to what we believe ourselves to be because we are afraid of what may lie beyond these limits. Perhaps at the core of us all we detect the true might, force and majesty of life, and unknowingly we often shrivel before it and choose to remain rigid and boxed into a life based on fear and an illusory sense of control – a life devoid of our natural essence, that does not nurture but drains, depletes and disregards our very being. Surrender is the process by which we sacrifice what we think we are (but are not in actuality), for what we actually are but have tragically forgotten.
The spiritual path is the most natural thing in the world, but in this day and age, when what is natural and simple is either buried, forgotten, trampled on or ignored, we miss the real path, we miss the signs and wisdom of life itself. In order to truly reconnect with it, we must start shedding everything that we have accumulated which has separated us from what truly is – we must unravel and dissolve all that which we have taken on and accepted as a part of ourselves, all that which has insulated us from the true majestic force and bliss of natural life.
When we come to understand that life in all of its manifest forms is impermanent, then we see that the act of sacrifice is not a question of loss, but one of time, it is a question of when the inevitable separation and falling apart is going to happen. When we begin to inhale with every breath, the impermanent free-flowing nature of life and let go of the congested breath based on the erroneous projection of eternity onto fleeting objects, then we begin to flow in life like a leaf floating downstream.
Spirituality is not about any kind of abstract absorption into a vacuum of annulled feeling and sensation, rather, it is a deep and palpable connection and unity with the seen and unseen essence of life itself. This essence manifests and displays itself as a myriad of different forms that grow, nurture themselves and eventually die. Spiritual evolution is about learning to become one with all of these flows of creation, sustenance and dissolution. In this case, there is no escape but rather an absolute involvement in life in all of its fascinating forms.
To think that we have to escape anywhere or renounce the world is one of greatest delusions perpetrated in the name of spirituality. This idea comes from a fear of the world, and a fear of the creative aspect of reality. The corrupt spirituality of the present day and age was born out of a fear of the power of the world and of nature. From that point, humans began to enslave nature and the creative force of life; we began to hold, grasp, control and dominate instead of flow, nurture and intermingle ourselves with the natural waves of living existence.
Sacrifice and surrender are the most natural things in the world. For those of us who have ceased to live naturally, they initially seem to be foreign, and our over-stimulated nervous systems may initially rebel as we begin to tune it back into the natural rhythm of being-based life and existence.
The best way to correct our flow is to come into the spiritual orbit of a being who is already established in such a natural flow. By coming into contact with such a flow, which is naturally stronger and more powerful (because it is impregnated with the very uncorrupted power of existence itself) we are able to correct our own flow by tuning to that being’s greater natural unconditional flow. The dissonance between the differing flows may cause pain to the student, through the conscious exposure to the destructive patterns within their own corrupt flow. However, as long we are able to feel deeply within ourselves the pull to surrender all that we are of a conditional, rigid and stunted nature into that which is free, boundless and selflessly flowing, then we will continue to open up to greater and more sublime spheres of life, being and existence.