People are organized in three major components, a mental world, a spiritual world, and a physical world …. mind, body, spirit. Wise ones have been aware of this for hundreds of years.
We live in three worlds and they all work together as one. The ideal is for them to be in balance but American culture is WAY OVER-BALANCED in the physical world, We are VERY focused upon and interested in the outer, material world. We make our plans in it and we make most everything in our lives be about it.
We see the physical world as the main thing. We think it is the most real. We love it! We want its cars, its houses, its clothes, its furniture, its food, its easy street, its constant entertainment, its electrical gadgets and conveniences, etc. The American Dream is usually a dream about life in the “outer,” PHYSICAL world.
We are UNDER-BALANCED in the “inner” SPIRITUAL world. We don’t know much about it. We don’t really much care. We don’t know how it works. We usually just leave it to run on its own. We use the word “spiritual” a lot but we don’t know what it is very well and we don’t agree much about what it means.
I’d like to define the word “spiritual” as – having to do with the inner, nonphysical world. It has to do with our emotions, our motivations, our psychology, and our spiritual self. It is the center of our value system. It is the core of our being. What do YOU mean when you say “spiritual?”
There is much to learn about the inner, spiritual world. It is the world of being … the world of who we are. It is the world or area of our values, and beliefs …our constant emotional reactions to the present situation. All of these things are spiritual. The inner, non-physical area where we know ourselves SO WELL, and that is SO FAMILIAR, is at the same time, paradoxically the part we know the least.
REALLY we live our lives in all three of the worlds at the same time … ALL the time. They are all three constantly contributing as we create our lives each day. We are always DOING (outer), THINKING (mental) … and BEING (inner) who we are. We are always learning and growing … developing. But somehow THE CENTER of who we are – the core of us – is the inner, spiritual world ,,, the one we don’t know much about.
But we CAN learn about it. We can start by SEEING right now that while we mostly stay focused in the outer, physical world, the REAL HEART of our development is in the inner and we can learn to SEE our constant emotional reactions in an accurate and more objective way. So, learning accurately and fully the true things about the inner world and applying them in our lives can be a great help. I call this process creating spiritual gold. It is the process of psychotherapy
The Grand Equation
Spiritual Development = Psychotherapy = Enlightenment = Spiritual Gold = Ah Ha = Eureka = Flash of Genius = Wake Up = High Quality Awareness = Insight = Emotional Intelligence = SEEING = Noticing = Discovery = Inner Clarity = Mindfulness =True Love = Positivity = Awakening = Realization = Positive Meditation = Positive Reflection = Positive Contemplation = Words describing the same psychological processes of spiritual progress … the discovery of spiritual gold.
There is a simple two step formula for change in any of the three worlds – body, mind, or spirit. It is;
1.) WAKE UP AND SEE THE PROBLEM
2.) MAKE A POSITIVE CORRECTION
Waking up and creating spiritual gold is the process of Realization. Increasing realization leads to increasing self-mastery.
“REALIZATION makes REAL truth REAL. When we experience REALIZATION we feel our spirits grow.”
SEEing our wrongness
So it is IMPORTANT for us to change our way of believing about being wrong. It’s better to learn to SEE the value of being wrong. It’s good to be wrong and SEE it and work on trying to correct it. This is a major way for us to get better.
But we HATE to be wrong. It goes with our LOVE for being RIGHT. We think it’s TERRIBLE to be wrong. We avoid it like the plague. We don’t want to admit it even when others see it and confront us about it.
We make up excuses or strange little explanations for why we’re wrong … all the time actually holding onto the idea that we are NOT wrong. We ARE wrong! We’re ALWAYS wrong and this is a good thing because it is an opportunity for improvement … spiritual growth.
It’s not good for us to think in that way that avoids being wrong at all costs. The costs are always quite high in terms of the growth of our spirit.
It’s not good for us to be defensive and always try to justify or rationalize our wrongness and be EMBARRASSED or HIDE from our errors. It puts a limit on our effective “truth telling” ability.
We can’t really go deep and further purify our spirits if we think this way … particularly if we do that thing that is soooo common with humans – blame our problems on the actions or decisions of SOMEONE ELSE, someone outside of us.
When we look outside ourselves and see someone out there as the reason for our problem we VERY SERIOUSLY cut off our spirit’s ability to grow stronger and wiser. It’s a technique that literally EVERYONE uses … we tell ourselves our problem is really the result of some condition or someone else’s actions out in the outer world.
Think of someone you feel negative about … some guy at work or some hot dog you just can’t stand for one reason or another. You don’t SEE that you’re so negative about him. When you think of him (or her) you spend your time telling yourself the bad, disagreeable things you believe about him.
These are the things that RESULT from your negativity. You don’t think about the negativity itself and how it’s really not good for you. You don’t SEE these as lies you tell yourself even though they probably are NOT VERY ACCURATE accounts of the truth about this person. When you talk to yourself about this person you stay focused on the beliefs that you assume to be true about him
In situations like this we stay focused on these things we think of as “truths.” We keep telling them to ourselves and overlook altogether the parts that are lies. We keep believing the lies are true. We gather all the truth and all the lies we tell ourselves and throw them into the same bucket … CONSIDERING IT ALL TRUE. Here we need super-honesty.
We must sort out the truth from the lies. We must learn to be honest when it’s hard … when we don’t want to see what the superhonesty is clearly telling us. Instead we want to believe something else … something different we think we’re right about. Finding spiritual gold is about seeing our own mess ups and working to correct them.
Life is about waking up to the TRUE TRUTH … SEEING who we really are and what’s REALLY going on. But we naturally remain asleep to some of the most important and inspiring aspects of all three worlds … particularly our inner beings.
We remain asleep because we stay fully enthralled by the surface level of the outer physical world. We’re enthralled by our appetites and a bunch of things we like. Waking up to the eternal being we really are is the process of creating SPIRITUAL GOLD.
Generally we don’t know much about being spiritual beings. Personal spiritual growth and development are basic to life but we somehow overlook this. We are asleep … not asleep physically like in the bed at night, but asleep in our awareness.
In our asleep awareness we tend to pay attention only to the surface level … going through the daily motions without noticing the underlying fabric of reality. Not many of us spend much time learning about this and there is no real well thought out or organized training. So everyone is sort of rambling around in a big mixed up soupy mess of half-baked, often very superstitious ideas that each person comes up with in a sort of confused and not very well informed way.
Reality is vast, diverse, and hugely complex and elaborated, but there is a simple, mysterious, sort of hidden fabric of truth that is woven through it. It parallels and is a part of our personal spiritual reality. We CAN see this hidden basic fabric of reality but we DON’T see until we focus in an awake and earnest way.
If we DO notice a bit but don’t really care sincerely and don’t REALLY WAKE UP and ACCURATELY see the truths we may tend to understand them superstitiously. Then our growth is very slow and weak and we may distort our understanding.
This underlying fabric of reality is meant to be discovered. That is its nature. That’s one reason it’s hidden. The other reason it’s hidden is that so few people are interested. It can only be known through personal discovery and that requires a sincere interest. But we CAN discover it and understand it very accurately and usefully by waking up … being superhonest.
By being awake we can learn simple, basic principles about how life and the inner spiritual/emotional world works. We can discover spiritual gold that makes us healthier and wiser and, if we need it, the spiritual gold can help us find physical gold to help with operations in the outer, physical world. Waking up is what this lens is about.
Psychology is about how the inner spiritual/emotional world works.
The inner spiritual world
The summer after I graduated from college I came home and was talking to my dad about my plans to enter psychology graduate school. I said I wanted to become a clinical psychologist. When he heard this my dad spontaneously laughed and I asked him why he was laughing. He said. “everyone is a psychologist” and I knew he was right. In fact I can see that’s maybe why I wanted to be a psychologist because it’s so basic to being a human and I was very interested in people.
Since everyone lives in this inner, nonphysical world where who we are is we all study psychology because psychology is about how things work in this inner world. It’s completely natural and normal for us to be curious about how things work in there and try to figure it out. Then when we try to use what we understand to help ourselves get better we’re doing psychotherapy.
So studying psychology and doing psychotherapy is a normal everyday life process like walking and having friends. Everybody does it. It’s not a question of whether we’re going to study psychology and do psychotherapy, it’s a question of HOW WELL we do these things.
Psychotherapy is the SAME THING as spiritual development. When we experience them we feel them in the inner, non-physical area. This is the spiritual one of the three worlds and it has to do with psychology, values, motivation, emotions, and being who we are. This inner business of being and becoming more and more of who we are is a process of becoming more and more golden.
People are negative. From the very beginning of our lives when the inner self first begins to tell itself who it is it does so by using comparisons. It says, “I am who I am because of how I compare to others outside of me.” This comparison is generally negative because we tell ourselves who’s BEST. Negativity is always about better and worse … and we all feel we should be better and the others should be worse.
At a deep place inside it is built into us to feel we are better than the others. This is the basis of all our chauvinisms. Deep in our unconscious we follow a negative, comparative principle about being better than the others from the earliest days of our lives … and this principle operates in us throughout our lives.
We feel we must be better than those with whom we compete. We must be better at all of the life skills that are important to us. All of our groups must be better such as our church, our school, our city, our race, our sex, our company or work group, our nation … the list goes on and on. We also feel all of our THINGS must be better. These include our car, our house, our clothes, our pets, our books, our furniture, our tennis racket, our tools, etc. etc. etc.
This negative need to be better is the source of many of the lies we tell ourselves inside. We make up excuses and explanations in order to hide how we ARE NOT better than someone else. And we make up the same kinds of excuses and explanations to prove how we ARE. This negativity that we feel about so many different people causes problems everywhere. It makes us feel bad about ourselves and be intensely involved in a competitive struggle to be the best.
This negative competitive emotional/spiritual material is deep inside and it is basic motivation. It carries our fear and drives much of what we do and a great amount of it we do not notice. We don;t like to see ourselves as negative and competitive in this way. We like to see ourselves as nice and positive so we hide our negativity. We don’t see it clearly. But it is there and it affects how we are and what we do. It blocks us from seeing and taking a more positive path. We are asleep to it. This is some of the basic unconscious psychology that we need to see and learn about. We do this by waking up.
Getting away from the blocks of our negativity is a matter of psychotherapy and psychotherapy is a matter of spiritual development. When we learn to quell the deep fears and urgent desires that make us negative about huge numbers of things we can actually become more of the spiritual being that we really are and the blocks begin to melt away. Through this process we transform our negative into positive and create spiritual gold.
In our deep inner selves we are responding emotionally to each moment of our lives. There are thousands of emotional responses but it’s VERY interesting that they all fall into two categories … negative and positive. Negative emotions are at least potential sources of problems and positive emotions are sources of solution.
Being and Becoming Who We Are To Be
Psychotherapy is about the transformation of negativity to positivity. To do this we must first SEE the negativity. We must SEE it, admit to ourselves that it is there and that it is not the way we really want things to be.
Negativity is also not the way of seeing things we want to base our decisions on or form our action plans around. When we see these things we have set ourselves up to be able to change from a negative motivational situation to a positive one.
Really we live in beauty and wonderfulness every day. It’s always there for us to see … the way she moves her mouth when she talks, the way he walks like my grandfather, the interesting stories being told and right here unfolding around us, the dry witty quips they say as they go about living together, the quiet, sweet calming time we get to spend with ourself when we’re getting ready in the morning, or walking the dog, or lying down in the bed at night just before we fall asleep. We could really feel and notice it all and truly see its beauty if we could keep our wretched fear and negativity from blocking us.
We grow spiritually if we just leave ourselves alone and let our spiritual being run on automatic. But if we do that (most people do) we grow VERY VERY slowly and often not too healthy. A fair amount of our negative stuff will probably become locked into habitual patterns of functioning and we become bogged down by resentment, greed, jealousy, anger, a kind of merry-go-round pattern of going over and over our “favorite pains” and negatives.
But if we learn to be intentional about caring for our souls, telling good truth, becoming wise with our psychotherapy, being awake to important stuff in our lives and situations, we can grow a bit faster … MIND YOU spiritual development ALWAYS goes slow. But if we are intentional, sincere, and awake about it we can move a little faster and ALSO we can make our inner selves MUCH healthier.
We can bring ourselves to be GENERALLY much more positive and a positive emotional/spiritual coloring can begin to pervade our functioning more and more. Spiritual growth always goes slower than we want it to. It always demands that we work on our patience (after all – we’re eternal), but life CAN get better in thousands of ways. We can find happiness, and we can grow stronger and wiser more and more. This is spiritual development and it is what is “meant” to happen. It is creating spiritual gold.
Positive is the high quality natural state. It’s where we’re all headed both individually and as a group. We reach it and attain it the more we believe it. The more we believe it the more we make it happen. The more we’re positive the more we SEE truly and fully what’s really going on.
ritual Development and Psychotherapy Are the Same Thing. They Are Natural Everyday Ways Of Living. Everybody does them. Everyone Tries To Get Better.