It took me a long time to figure out that mental aspect of our journey is to be continually integrated - consistently moved through - and embraced as 'a bridge' empowering us to move along The Pathway Of Awareness from the physically manifest and into the emotional.
If we cherish 'understanding' above all else, and so place our mental body upon our altar as The Holy Grail, we may experience regular doses of frustration and disappointment - the same sort of frustration one would experience when attempting to vacuum our home with a spurting hose pipe.
For example, we are told, 'We ought to love everyone'. Why? Because everyone is a divine expression of the one creator - or some reasoning like this. This definitely sounds groovy, and undoubtedly all with heart naturally seek to love everyone.
We are also told, 'We are one', and so ought live in oneness with everyone.
The pitfall here is the mental body cannot, of its own a-chord, grasp these two revelations through its addiction to 'understanding' or 'anal-I-sing' the words that make up the sentences that transmit the vibration of each revelation.
The mental body cannot feel revelation, therefore it cannot hear it, and therefore is unable to listen and fully receive it. This inadequacy leads to overcompensating through 'control' - to the instillation of important rules, complex formulae, detailed logically-driven concepts, and prioritized lists, etc, by which it attempts to demonstrate its 'understandings' of what it thinks is being revealed.
To the mental body, the above two statements often translate as follows:
1. Loving everyone means treating everyone the same. Or, when perceiving this from a deeper, causal perspective: Loving everyone means we ought feel the same about everyone.
Accordingly, when we approach spirituality mentally, to accomplish what we assume these revelations mean, we design a persona who 'appears as being spiritually enlightened': One who loves everybody, is kind to everyone, is nice to people, resides in a constant state of 'bliss', and so on. This pretence is so exhausting we have to take retreats to keep it all together!
The mental body has unlimited guidelines, moral codes, and an entire index of behavioral traits to choose from in manufacturing this 'spiritual appearance'. The behavioral traits we choose are determined by our adult definition of what love is - and invariably - when we attempt to practically apply this with any level of consistency - we are then sabotaged by our childhood definition of what love is.
Yup, attempting to behave in a heavenly manner according to the mental body parameters of what this means is guaranteed to bring out the hell in us all.
2. Then, there is statement number two - that 'we are one'. To the mental body, the notion of 'oneness' means, we all ought to believe in the same thing, like the same things, do the same things, wear the same things, and eat the same things. Like good little spiritual soldiers.
Life to the mental body is 'a fashion' in which even being deliberately unfashionable spurns its own fashion. When our spirituality is mentally-driven, we consciously and unconsciously model our mentally-manufactured spiritual appearances according to a how we believe our 'oneness-mentality' is meant to be outwardly dressed up and fed to others.
This is all fun and games as we first explore it. We also take it very seriously too - as we ought to while immersing ourselves in the intriguing adventure. We wear sacred objects, white clothing with Mandarin collars, eat vegetarian food, attend meditation classes, raise money to save the Rain Forest, watch movies off the spiritual film circuit, and read everything by Deepak & Dyer. The mental body offers us an unending banquet of titillating treats and retreats.
Yet, we invariably arrive at the realization that despite all our mental gymnastics - there are still aspects of our development which remain stagnant.
We know this to be true, when after years of metaphysical manipulation, we still cannot sit in peace around the dinner table at a family gathering. Despite our mentally-manufactured spiritual exterior, our family experience is still not in one peace.
One of my biggest and most profoundly awakening [and jarring] insights is: That all metaphysics - from Reiki to Ascension procedures to light, sound, and color therapies - all of it - is for mental body activation, exploration, and integration. It is all mental - and if we focus too much on it, we too become mental.
I realized that, in any moment, each 'mental understanding' I receive is to be moved through, not camped around. Like a fuel cell of a space-ward rocket - each conceptualized insight is to be felt to its fullest, at which point it is automatically ejected. When this level of ongoing integration and disintegration is allowed, I am continually moved beyond 'my initial mental understanding' into a felt-faith I call 'knowing'.
A knowing to me is a felt-resonance requiring no reason or explanation in order to be acted upon.
I also now know that when I camp around my mental understandings and treat them as destination points, I fast become dulled, stuck, and consequently the trajectory of my overall frequency lowers.
I share all these insights about mental activity with you now because they are useful in jettisoning us into the next level of our intimacy exploration: The family arena. The mental body does not like to go there - to deal with family stuff - and it therefore has lists of justifications as to 'why we can be spiritual, and still reject aspects of the work which surround our relationships with our birth family'.
When ignored, this aspect of the intimacy work leads into us camping for long periods on the outer edges of where we feel we ought to be within our lives.
Consequently, we attempt to 'save the world', yet, we despise our birth mother. We attempt to listen to God, yet, we refuse to hear the words of our birth father. We attempt to bring an awareness of peace onto our planet, yet, we fail to accept our brother exactly as he is. We attempt to heal the heart, but when our sister talks to us, we become indignant.
What the family intimacy work reveals to us experientially - more efficiently than anything else - is that, 'loving everyone does not mean we ought feel the same about everyone', nor does 'living in oneness entail betraying ourselves to try and fit in, or expecting others to fit in by insisting they behave just like us'. Living according to such mentally-manufactured assumptions drive us mental with frustration.
Our birth family is the cross we bear.
During forthcoming entries here on NAKED, this above statement becomes a revelation transforming our awareness about The Crucifixion, and what Jesus and Mary Magdalene are actually up to. Intending integration of our family emotional imprint invites personal crucifixion - and just as significantly - it initiates conscious resurrection. [Or, as some of us like to call it, 'Getting our sexy back!']
It is useful as we approach this profound family-related intimacy work, that we are open to a dismantling of our spiritual-mentality around what we think of as loving and oneness behavior. No amount of mental anal-I-sing assists us in integrating this family stuff! Therapy in this context is a complete distraction. It is, to borrow Adya's terminology, "a spiritual cul-de-sac".
What may be useful to you at this entry point into the family intimacy work is a teaching come to me through my cats:
I now take care of four house cats and three backyard strays. They are all completely different. I love them all dearly. However, this does not mean I feel the same about them all. I also intend them to live amidst each other 'as one family'. However, this does not mean I require the same behavior out of them all.
These cats have individual names, colors, and idiosyncrasies - and initially it was through these physicalized mediums that I interacted with and identified them. However, one day I realized that each cat triggered within my heart a slightly different felt-resonance. I realized that when I, through felt-perception, became aware of this resonance, I automatically said to them, "I love you." I felt this love even before it became words.
Consequently, as an exercise, whenever I encountered them, I consciously began seeking out their associated felt-resonance. I noticed how each one is slightly different. Yet, each just as beautiful. Same, but different. Same difference.
I also noticed that some of them had behavioral traits which, at times, annoyed me. Especially the strays. I again used felt-perception to energetically trace these annoyances into my own heart. By continually applying this practice of felt-perception, I realized that right within my heart - side by side with their individually beautiful felt-resonance - also nestles this felt-dissonance.
It is all, always, felt inside me.
The love and the imprinting - side by side - part of the same inner, felt-reality.
When around the cats I now choose to honor both these inner feelings, to perceive both as valid, and to allow myself to feel both exactly as they arise. However, when consciously identifying with each cat - I choose to consciously interact with the felt-essence of their individual loving presence that causes me to feel, and sometimes say, "I love you".
Whenever I now encounter them, I observe this loving feeling within my heart related to the felt-resonance I pick up when I look at them. I listen intently to this felt-resonance as I stroke them. I have already noticed, that through this shift in the placement of my attention, this beautifully individualized felt-aspect they radiate is fed and increases in presence. I have also noticed an increased unity and harmony flowing throughout the entire cat clan.
This beautifully, individually manifest, personal felt-expression of their vibrational actuality is obviously what they all have in common - even though it radiates uniquely from with each - and consequently, is felt like different chords of a tune within me. A-chord-ingly, conscious acknowledgment of this felt-resonance by me appears to unify the clan without any outer enforcement. [It also helps to de-worm and de-flea them.]
Through this revelation - through interacting with them consciously as unique felt-resonances - the cats around me are gradually transforming into vibrational beings whose individually manifest felt-resonances are becoming as familiar to me as the different names by which I address their physical manifestations.
I don't have to feel the same about each of them to love them all unconditionally. Nor do they have to behave the same way around me, or toward each other, to facilitate harmony within the clan.
Why bring this all up? Well, have you noticed how catty families can be? Some are 'in', while others behave like strays.
Believing we have to feel the same about all our family - and that they should behave in a certain way - and that we are supposed to behave in a certain way when around them - only leads to cat-tastrophe.
Fortunately, there is a more inspired approach to integrating family-related issues.