Sunday, November 23, 2014

Leaving the Dark Night Behind

I am not what happened to me.
I am what I am choosing to become.
Carl Jung

There was once a proud and strong nation. People were furious; humiliated by the allied forces and angry at their own shifty political establishments and the lousy economy. But there was suddenly hope; the "Fuehrer" would be making things right again. They gathered late at night and watched forceful processions of soldiers and tanks; beautiful tall, blond women were marching as well. The fire was burning in massive vessels meters high in magnitude. They were enclosed by huge buildings constructed in the Greek-Roman style; they literally felt the power of the Fuehrer in the architecture. They were also tired as they had been standing for hours. But then he came and gave a rousing speech, delivered with the help of powerful speakers at a volume they had never heard before; he was full of power, hatred and force and he sucked them right in like a vortex. When he finally asked, "Do you want the total war?", they could only shout in unison, "Yes!"

Have you experienced this dark night before? The 2 am moment when depression sucks you in;  or the phallus symbol that whispers in your ear, "I give you this power if you give me your soul"; have you felt this anger that sweeps you off your feet? The temptation that is impossible to stand up to? The fear that you want to stop somehow? The greed, that tells you you need to have this object, this person, this power or this status? If you have experienced this moment in the dark night then just perhaps you have some understanding for the German people who experienced mass madness when they elected Adolf Hitler as their Fuehrer. 

I would conjecture that most of this evil stuff that happened before, and is still happening as we speak, is mostly subconscious. Many of us are just driven by programs that are beyond our conscious control. If you look carefully it is not that hard to notice when people are somehow on auto-pilot and are just reacting to triggers that move them around like puppets. Some are the good cops in this theater play - for example the greatest nation that defeated the Nazis - while some are the bad cops - the many Germans in World War II who committed terrible crimes; yet most still just follow subconscious programs.

A spiritual path is the awakening process from this dark cloud. Like Buddha, we start rewiring our brain. Like Jesus we start understanding what symbols stand for and confidently state, " Get thee behind me ego". Like Lao-Tzu, we start recognizing the yin and the yang around the Way. We are taking off a mask that we have worn pretty much all our life. It is hard work, yet it can be done. We are not robots and once we start opening up towards life we will have many friends who are happy to help us remove layer after layer of psychological protection. It is hard work and that is the reason why so few of us are really bold enough to go all the way. Yet, it can be done. Leave the dark night behind together with us.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Big Shift

I am sitting at home and seek at-oneness, truth, love and wisdom in my spiritual writings. I am at work and live it. The Big Shift - the Second Coming - happens because there is a revolution within. We don't have to try to change a thing; God does that for us. All we have to do is to follow our spiritual path and live it in the "real" world. The Big Shift is within us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Am Here for You

My son was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3.  Yet, it was only recently when I found that over the last 10 years I’ve done my best to prevent myself from experiencing this pain and hardship of raising a disabled child. I didn't join parents' groups on Autism because I was scared of facing their and my own pain; I didn’t do as much as I could have done for my son because I was scared of all the hard work. Now looking back I realize that it was "just" my fear of facing the situation.

When your path is destined to go to the valley, you may just wander around to avoid that journey. But deep inside you know that you are just wasting your time. You are going nowhere until you have faced what is.  Yet, when we face what is with courage, suddenly, we realize, it is just an experience. Why should we be scared of experiencing something and insist that we should only have bliss in our life?  

Can you imagine the pain when you know that your child is different? Can you imagine the pain when you see a loved one is dying? Let me tell you, it really, really, hurts!  It was a special moment when I cried out loud for my child and held him in my arms?  Finally, I am ready to go through all these difficulties with him. Yes, my dear child, let me hold your hand and walk you through this dark tunnel!  I am here for you!

By Su Zhen

I am Vulnerable

I have an autistic son. For a long time, I’ve tried to keep myself positive and happy.  I meditate, write, chant, and go to workshops. I even practice healing sessions for others. But helping my son is beyond me; there is little I can do to make him feel better. Now, I understand, going to the deepest valley is part of life's experience too. I also realize that some of my positive living philosophy was an escape from the feeling of helplessness and fear. Now I accept the situation that my son and I are in. Yes, I am vulnerable, very vulnerable.

By Su Zhen

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Tao Knows Best

The Tao doesn't take sides,
It gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn't take sides;
She welcomes both saints and sinners.
(Tao Te Ching)

Socrates was more than the philosopher that the European Renaissance wanted to see in him. He was a mystic as well. He had an inner Voice - a daemon as he called Him - that could be quite mischievous at times. I recall one story were he went up a hill to a festival with friends but when he heard his Voice telling him to turn around, he promptly did. Later he learned why that was a good decision after all; his travel companions were suddenly surrounded by pigs and many of his friends found themselves covered with mud and had to go home as well. Socrates could have warned the others like every good Christian would, but his Voice didn't tell him that. The Tao is beyond good and evil.

I have discovered a very similar feedback from the Tao. Don't get me wrong, we spiritual travelers are here to heal and unite and not to cause mischief. Yet if someone crosses our path in a hurry there is simply nothing we can do to stop him. Yes, we warn and we advise, but if the resistance on the other side is too strong the Tao will always tell us to step aside. After all, a little mud along the way can be a good eye-opener too. The Tao always knows best.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Seize the Opportunity and Experience Grace

Sometimes something that we labeled as terrible happens to us. We are deeply shocked, or hurt.  Maybe this incidence is too hard for us to bear at that special moment.  To keep our life functioning, sometimes we unconsciously close our heart.  We just temporarily block this incidence, this killing feeling from our life.  We keep our life running.  However, deep inside, part of us is frozen.  We somehow by instinct, know something is wrong with us. Unfortunately, we have no idea how to fix it.

We probably all have come across people who have been in this situation, or we have experienced this ourselves. It could be a personal challenge, some difficulties at work, some irritating habit that you just cannot shake. It could be the pain that people experience who have lost a loved one or face severe illnesses in their families. When we hang out with them, we can easily sense something is wrong with them but we cannot really tell what it is.

The Tao is kind. In some point of our life, this wound will resurface again with the opportunity to be healed. If this is happening to you right now, please be brave and cherish this holy chance and heal the old wounds. The Tao wants to heal us. To heal us, He creates a similar situation to free up our frozen energy and let it flow again. It could be as little as a liberating dream. By experiencing this injury completely, by opening our heart and allowing this killing feeling to touch our heart, enormous energy is released, while the disturbed soul is healed.  Now we are ready to move on. We are alive again!

We have to be able to recognize this golden opportunity and realize what is going on inside of us.  With courage, with openness, we can experience it completely! Paradoxically, after we accept this situation, after we fully open up to this occurrence, a seemingly tragedy turns to grace.  Love and kindness suddenly flow through us.

We are hurt by the past to launch us onto the homecoming journey and we are hurt by the concurrent challenge to be healed. These tragedies help us reconnect with what it is and experience true grace. We see through what is. We know our life is beyond what we see.  A new world opens up to us. Really, there is nothing to be scared of. The Tao is watching over us.  Whatever is happening, we receive His grace.

By Christian and Su Zhen

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ego or Love - There is Nothing in Between

When I was younger, I enjoyed watching pornography; today I can't. I mean, of course I can, but I don't feel well afterwards. It is a little like drinking alcohol. When I was young I could drink a lot; these days, two glasses of wine is as good as it gets, afterwards I just don't feel so well.

So what is this all about? The alcohol has something to do with the aging of my body; I am sure some in my age group have had a similar experience. The porn experience is about the aging of my soul; it is a spiritual thing. It is hard to see love in pornography. It is a deliberate act to take us on a pleasure ride. The ego says, "yeah", but the spirit turns away. By the way, I didn't write this note to beat up on porn, I wrote it to explain the intrinsic choice in everything: love or ego. 

As long as we operate in this body the ego will always be meaningful to us. There are dimensions that we simply need to satisfy. The desire to have our means of living; the right for a healthy body; the hope to see our children and spouse do well economically and health-wise, et cetera. Yet, as the decades go by, we grow also spiritually. Longings that in the olden days sent us on a robot-like hunt we suddenly experience as a conscious choice: ego or love; the answer is simple indeed for us spiritual traveler: love. There is nothing else in-between.

The laws of spirituality, philosophy and life more generally, can be boiled down to one simple choice: love or ego. The world appears so multi-dimensional because we are pulled in all kind of directions; our animal instincts, evolutionary biology, the influence of our parents and environment and the longings of our soul. There often is a voice in our head - a feeling in our heart - "what can I get out of this situation". Enlightenment happens when we realize that we are not necessarily this voice or this feeling. Yet, the spiritual super-ego, "choose love no matter what", will also not be without conflicts. It takes spiritual maturity to experience that we are not this drive.

True liberation happens when we feel that we are part of this moment and when we see love in every interaction. The voice "What can I get out of this situation?" may still babble in the background, but we know that we are experiencing this moment with the intention to choose love. That's when we are finally Home. When our intention is love and when everything that we see is love, the Way has become a no-brainer.