There is a formidable enemy on the spiritual path, and the only place you will find him is in the mirror.
When the ego is triggered, when it has a knee-jerk reaction, it takes a high level of honesty for us to feel it. It takes even more honesty to admit it to oneself, and an enormous amount of courage to do something about it. As practical and simple as this may seem, this is the spiritual path.
There is no reward, no glamour, no satisfaction or ‘trade’ we can extract from honesty - it is truly its own reward. Yet, the ego will spend many of its resources to distract us from our honest thoughts, feelings and actions. In fact, this occurs to the point that we don’t even know what honesty is, and are unable to feel when the ego is putting up a wall of resistance.
This resistance separates us from truth, and opens the gates to negativity and falsities. What happens next is that the ego begins to search for “truths” which fit within the walls the ego has mounted.
As radical as this may sound, everyone should be warned that there are false teachers not interested in our liberation, using teachings based in half-truths to further our enslavement! In fact, chances are if a teacher or teaching always makes us “feel good” and “flowery”, then it is doing nothing for our growth, but the growth of our ego’s control over us.
The spiritual path is not an event that we go to for a few hours, and it is not a part of our lives which we try to “fit in” or “incorporate”. The spiritual path is the essence of man, and it is what resonates to him on deep and superficial levels. But the ego has built up so many walls that it forgets that it once was connected to a greater source. Because we are so removed from our source (the center of the mandala) we compensate and use teachers and teachings to justify the ego’s stance and ignorant point of view. Tn fact, we recruit others to do the same just in case healthy doubt creeps in to speak to our intelligence. Since man is so impressionable and empathic, if we're dishonest we need to surround ourselves with dishonest people in order to truly believe we are doing the best thing.
The best way we can know when we are on the wrong path is when wisdom or teachings make sense, and we understand teachings without truly working hard to integrate them.
If this is the case, we need to find another path, another source of truth we do not arrogantly understand. Wisdom is not easily digestible! It needs to be requested, served, prayed for, chewed and assimilated - then eliminated! It should constipate what we know and allow us to get rid of ignorance!
When we find that our ego understands the teachings we are given without any effort to learn, we need to find another wisdom because the ego is fooling us. True wisdom goes over-our-head every time, and it brings us to a higher level as we work and pray to understand more and more. True wisdom is encrypted to the ego.
When we admit that we are in resistance and that we do not understand a teaching, we open a space for the wisdom to pour in. In other words, we allow assistance and help to enter our lives. This is how we learn, this is how we grow and this is how we remain humble as we ascend to the next level.
Conversely, we all know those who grasp, hoard and “study” books, blogs, teachers, lectures, and movies to arm themselves with information so that they can ward off wisdom and truth. This is not the point of spiritually, but is actually the greatest defense against it. The ego wants to know “what’s this made of - what are the risks - who made it - who wrote it - when did he write it - when did they make it - how much is it - where does it come from - how will it help me - can i benefit - is it organic - is it raw - was it cooked - is it free of chemicals” and on, and on, and on, and on.
In true spirituality, we are able to transcend the “facts” of our universe by acknowledging them one law at a time and by cultivating the courage to overcome them. Only then, will our choices make a difference in the upper worlds - until then, they are fear- /ego-based and will only create a temporary change, i.e. behavior modification well within the boundaries of our transparent beliefs (“facts”). In order to allow for permanent change in this physical world, we need to adopt the attitude of humility to activate the energies we need from the upper world to ALLOW for a situation of healing, escalation and miracles to occur.
Until then, the consequence is that we misplace our value, keep an eye open for the better deal, a new solution. The ego uses our powers of creativity to invent shortcuts rather than advancements for man. There are entire industries and departments, which cater to the laziness of mankind constantly feeding us with “new solutions” and “new age” ideas.
We will find the hero who overcomes this enemy when we are able to look through the mirror and find the person looking back. And again, to do this, we need to have the honesty to know when we are “triggered with resistance”, then even more honesty to admit it to ourselves, and at last an enormous amount of courage to do something about it.
May your confusion become illuminating light, or please feel free to blow away and find a truth which does make sense.