June 10, 2015 9:48 AM
After yesterday’s post, I drove into town and found an artsy, locally-owned coffee shop where I spent the morning pulling in blog posts to serve as real-world examples for The Way of Mystical Oneness.
Though it was never my intention when I started blogging, I am so grateful for keeping up with it all these years. Not only does the blog provide a wealth of information for the book, but as I mentioned in the BATGAP interview, blogging basically forced me to integrate the absolute truth (unity) with the relative truth (the manifest world). In a very real way, the blog acts as an online diary slash public confessional. When one blogs day in and day out, you simply can’t keep your spiritual aspect (absolute truth) separate from your physical aspect (relative truth) because you are constantly “confessing” your day-to-day actions to the public.
Later in the afternoon, I dropped in at the Kodger’s camp where Randy and I discussed this very topic of integration (or lack of) and about how so many spiritual teachers have a “fall from grace” because they end up abusing (verbally, emotionally, or sexually) their devotees under the auspice of “spiritual practice.”
If a teacher or spiritual practitioner hasn’t integrated the absolute and relative truths (transcended the Paradox) they will find themselves living an oddly (and ironically) dualistic life: Their inner spiritual teachings separated from their outer, physical and social world.
In a conversation with Michelle recently, I was reminded of this oddly dualistic nature of spiritual practice—of the inner versus the outer. Looking back at my former life, my spiritual practice was kept (unintentionally) separate from my normal day-to-day life (unintentionally because I simply never thought about this separation). I’d read and meditate, but in dealing with the mundane and everyday, my words and actions were (mostly) just as ego-centered and ego-motivated as my peers.
My spirituality was separate from my actions.
Michelle was struggling with this inner/outer dilemma also—trying to bring a balance between her spiritual practices and her practical, day-to-day life. In response, I wrote the following:
I try to think of Her/the Divine/the spiritual as the source of what I should bring into manifestation. When what I do comes from fear or self-concern, it feels clunky and usually screws me. On the contrary, when I open and allow the spiritual to flow into the world and my actions, things go well.
And that is really what is meant by integration. Your manifest actions arise from your absolute self.
In my case (now, post-awakening, post-integration), I use my relationship with Her (absolute truth) as the source and inspiration for my manifest actions (relative truth).
In other words, my values arise from Her and are brought into this world via this physical me-thing. There’s no conflict. There’s no separation. There’s no room for any “that’s just the relative me” types of abuses.
The relative flows from the absolute—they aren’t separate, they aren’t two different truths. The manifest, physical world flows from the Divine.
Any spiritual person can integrate their spiritual practices in the same manner—whether they focus on a religion, or on the Soul, or on Love, or Emptiness, or nonduality. As long as they use their spirituality as the source of all their actions—as long as they bring together the paradox of the Spiritual and the Manifest—then their inner world will be united and in harmony with their outer world.
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