False Beliefs

need to be in control

The overriding need to be in control.
For such a person, with overwhelming fear, wanting to be safe, seeking security and control, it is common for the ego to co-opt the Path and to see no further than attempting to use the teachings as a more sophisticated set of techniques to get what they want. Like ‘The Secret’ on steroids. This person therefore never develops the inner purity of motivation and heartfelt sincerity that make the Path the magical journey that it really is. They remain stuck in a world of spiritual materialism, always trying to control life, now with better tools. They succumb to the view of these precious teachings as no more than a ‘toolkit to solve difficult […]

Paralyzing fear and self-judgment

Paralyzing fear and self-judgment.
For many egos, there is so much background anxiety, so much fear and clinging, that their life is a story of lurching from one urgent crisis to the next. In such a state of restlessness, the mind is often unable to calm down long enough to actually concentrate on anything of a deeper nature. When the mind is in a crazed state (which many people live their entire lives in), it is unable to grasp the subtle nature of things, which requires making space for contemplation and introspection. Insight comes naturally, all by itself in this state of allowing. When the consciousness is overwhelmed by fear, however, it is common to be perpetually seeking to control […]

Blame and criticism rather than self-responsibility

Blame and criticism rather than self-responsibility.
When a person is experiencing a great deal of dissatisfaction with themselves and their life, it is common to project this onto others as blame and criticism. This compulsive behavior is a poor attempt to deflect attention from one’s own misery. A person stuck in blame and criticism will tend to project these energies onto any person around them, which may include the Path itself, teachers, teachings, relatives, friends and strangers, even God. It is not uncommon to be angry with God for one’s life or past.

The difficulty with this position, is that it is a way of avoiding taking responsibility for you own life and feelings. It is a way of not doing […]

I don’t have any major problems. Why do a retreat?

“Life is good, I don’t have any major problems, I am happy, so why do I need to do a retreat?”
This kind of complacency affects people who have not been exposed to the Path, as well as those who have. It is the most common position amongst those who are at least moderately successful in conventional life terms. The difficulty lies with the conventional social view of success. The conditioned mind growing up in society is bombarded by constant media images of the rich and famous. The unquestioned model of success in modern culture is to be wealthy and to reach a high position in society. Some cultures emphasize this social dimension more than others, which means to be […]

I already understand. Why read Truth?

“I already understand and agree with all this, why do I need a retreat / more exposure to Truth?”
The ego hears the eternal Truth, and it is difficult to argue with, difficult to refute. You may have heard the teachings, and your mind may have decided it all makes sense, and it agrees with it all. So it says, “I already agree with all this, I have heard this before, I understand it now, why do I need a retreat, or more exposure to Truth?” Again, this is all about the refining of your energy, and coming to a place of embodying the Truth within you, living it fully, becoming it utterly in your whole being. This is very […]

Hiding out in a spiritual identity

11. Hiding out in a spiritual identity.
Perhaps you have grown beyond your earlier life programming, having been exposed to the Path and these very powerful teachings. Maybe you have let go of some karma, and you are now more centered than you have ever been before. People around you notice this, and start to see you as spiritual, as evolved, as special, etc… And your ego loves this and clings to it. It gets all this approval, admiration and attention, (which it may never have had before) and it is SO tempting to just hang out here, rather than continue to let go, remaining humble, and using your life as an offering of Love and service to all. The […]

“Spirituality is about becoming a better person”

“Spirituality is about becoming a better person.”
Many of us have been exposed to mainstream religion, or at least to a culture that is steeped in religion. Even if you didn’t go to mass every week, or your parents didn’t force you to go to confession, you may still notice that you grew up in a culture that thinks in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. This is the world of morality. From the point of view of morality, higher teachings are confused with the aim of ‘being a better person.’ The problem with the goal of being a better person, is it already implies a judgment of oneself as needing improvement, by some outside external standard of […]

Pressure from friends and family

Pressure from friends, loved ones, partner and others.
One of the most common reasons why people resist the path, and avoid doing the work to clear their karma with more sustained effort, is peer pressure. When a person begins the Path, it is inevitable that they will be surrounded by loved ones, friends, family, colleagues, and others, who do not understand this journey of Self-discovery and Freedom. The ego is easily frightened by what it doesn’t understand. It worries that if you are sincere and committed to your growth, that maybe you have joined a cult, a sect, or a movement in which you could be brainwashed !! The ego of others has many reasons to fear you going Free. […]

“Everything in moderation”

“Everything in moderation”
The ego has the tendency to mistakenly apply this seemingly wise adage to the Path. This often happens when loved ones see you immersing yourself in higher teachings, and they may become frustrated, not understanding why you have thrown yourself into the Path with such enthusiasm or passion. “Everything in moderation !”, they say, anxiously. “Not ANOTHER retreat !!! … You just DID one!!”

What does that mean, “everything in moderation” ? That may work when you are eating ice cream, or watching TV, but how about when you are growing and discovering how life really works? When you start a new business, do you work one day on, one day off, just to keep the spirit of […]

“Being spiritual means I have to be poor”

“To be truly spiritual, I will have to be poor and renounce the world.”
Then the ego thinks spirituality is about renouncing the world. So it fears giving up its home, its clothes, etc… all the things it clings to for security and approval. The ego thinks that it will have to be poor in order to be spiritual. Again, influenced by the beliefs of the new age marketplace, and the image of Indian yogis and wandering hermits meditating on the mountaintop, it worries that “spirituality has nothing to do with me or my life, with my own business, a wife, a network of friends and 3 kids, etc.” Of course, none of this is true. Again, as Kabir says, […]

“The spiritual Path requires giving up fun”

“The spiritual Path requires giving up fun, worldly enjoyments and all the ‘good things in life’.”
This is another myth that scares the hell out of the ego. It is so convinced that its current strategies of living are leading to having the life it wants, one day in the future. It is counterintuitive that by letting go, all the best things in life will come to you by themselves, with no effort. The ego thinks you have to work hard to get love and approval and respect, so it is addicted to struggle. It strategizes in order to build and safeguard its image and reputation. This by itself absorbs a great deal of available energy. It struggles to amass […]

“If I take this Path seriously, I will be alone, etc”

“If I take this Path seriously, I will become weird. I’ll be alone.”
This is a common fear. Before exploring how Truth REALLY works, the ego has only superficial reference points to work off. It sees Indian yogis, and enlightened beings dressed in strange clothes, whose lives are often unconventional. Many such Masters are not in conventional relationships. This scares the hell out of the ego, and it secretly fears that spirituality is about giving up having love or security in your life. Surrounded by others who do not understand the Path, and who are afraid of where it might lead, this intensifies fear. Nothing could be further from the Truth. The Path is only about freeing yourself from your […]

Spiritual Life versus Practicality

Spiritual Life versus Practicality.
This is a continuation of (3), above. The ego is conditioned to believe that taking care of the most practical aspects of one’s daily life is one thing, and spirituality is another. This false separation does not exist in Reality, but is merely an invention of the mind. Life works the way it works. The integral Truth is the integral Truth. All beings and all things are subject to the subtle laws of the Universe. Freedom and practicality are not different spheres of life, or different pursuits.

In any life situation, if you are stuck in wanting to control people or the situation, you will feel out of control, and your resistance will influence things around you […]

“I don’t have time right now…”

“I don’t have time right now. I am too busy, too many important things going on.”
This is one of the ego’s favorite tactics to keep you off the Path. If your life is a direct living out of your karma, and you decide you are too busy to explore and release these patterns and beliefs, then you are making the choice for your life to not change. (You may not realize that this is what you are creating for yourself.) Somewhere you need to break the cycle. If you continue to be the same person, with the same beliefs and responses, then you will continue to manifest the exact same patterns and types of conditions in your life. It […]

“I know this already, I have already been to a retreat, etc”

“I know this already, I have already been to a retreat, etc”
The ego likes to hide out in pride. It is an undiscriminating way of making itself feel good, and a distorted attempt to be positive. In some cases, it likes to look down on its ‘less spiritual’ brothers and sisters. Pride is one of the surest ways to block your growth. In other cases, it may not be a prideful position. The mind may genuinely believe it has got all the good from a teaching or a retreat, and sees no point in repeating it. It is like repeating a course. “If you have done the course, then why do it again?”, reasons the mind. The problem is, […]