One of the greatest forms of self-delusion that we’re all prone to comes through our natural tendency to create a “false image” of ourselves as we’d “like to be seen” instead of as we truly are. This image starts in childhood and is set into place through our conditioning and how it is that we were judged and how we were taught to judge others in the same manner. While it can be easy for us to build up an idea about ourselves as being this way or that way, denying whatever it is about ourselves we deem unpleasant or unworthy of being loved and admired, we only truly know who we are when things fall apart and events that are somewhat shocking and intense begin playing out all around us, challenging us in the most basic sense by bringing us face-to-face with who we truly are. As the outer world that we built out of our false perceptions about ourselves and the way the world is begins to fall away, so does our ability to pretend. We can say whatever we like, and we can makeup stories about ourselves and how we are all day long, but it’s our actions and how we behave in the most critical moments that truly reveal our character.
All true spiritual knowledge is knowledge of ourselves that’s only attained through self-realization and direct awareness of universal laws and principles as they play out in every aspect of our daily life. Wisdom is cultivated through the practical application of spiritual knowledge as laws to a real life situation, where we actually “attain it” through the realizations it brings. It’s the realizations born out of experience that’s the “actual” knowledge. All knowledge as laws comes “through us” based on how we apply ourselves in those moments, however brief and fleeting, where the illusion fades to the background and we come into direct contact with the true reality of the subtle realm that’s being played out in secrecy and silence. When the “veil of illusion” that normally obscures our perception is raised, we momentarily get a glimpse of the truth that’s contained within it, and that same “truth” is awakened “within us” in response to it. This is because “like always begets and calls forth more of what’s like itself”.
Whatever we come into direct contact with in the outer world gives rise to its polar opposite in our internal world. This is what allows us to come into direct contact with that power so we can work with it deliberately and learn how to utilize it to develop that power into a moral strength as a natural part of our character. What we refer to as “integrating an idea in a way that modifies us” comes through and as “experience”. While the material world attempts to teach us that our souls purpose and means of developing ourselves comes through material ideas of various kinds, such as a house, job, relationship, car, role, position in society, possessions, and so on, in reality it comes as qualities we embody in a consistent fashion as the means of expressing our self. Whatever qualities we use on a regular basis as the means of creating our reality also serve to develop our character according to those qualities.
While we have a tendency to focus almost exclusively on the material reality involved, the outer world is simply a stage where ideas play out that brings us into direct contact with the qualities being expressed “through” that reality. This is because we can only work to develop our character through events and live situations that serve to awaken and bring out those same qualities in us as an experience of ourselves. It’s not the outer world of form that matters, but rather what it causes to come alive within us in response and relationship with it. The outer and the inner are a continuation of each other as an energy-field (greater mind) that takes the same information and organizes it to produce polar opposites of the same thing that serve to “arouse” each other into existence.
The Psychology of Polarity
While we have a tendency to see the world as a dynamic series of separate objects that often seem to exist independent of and unrelated to each other, it’s actually composed of a unified field that’s populated with complementary opposites necessary to create the illusion of both an inner and outer as the basis for creating “experience”. All experience comes as a “whole pattern” or idea comprised of varying degrees of intensity and opposing roles necessary to act it out. It’s only in moments of intense fear that we also come into direct contact with courage. It’s in situations that provoke a strong moral judgment that we also have access to compassion as understanding and relating. It’s in the moments when we feel the most insecure that we also gain access to our personal power in being able to remedy it.
A life that goes unchallenged goes unlived. We only grow in life when we’re being challenged in a way that causes us to willfully employ our higher capacities for transformation. Happiness is not something we attain outside of us through a situation, it’s something we cultivate within us by how we develop ourselves morally in relationship with life outside of us. The moments that bring us into contact with a weakness, allowing us to form realizations around it, is what also provides us with the basis as an opportunity to transform it into a strength by how we work “on ourselves” to change ourselves. All vibration as a state of mind is modified through employing the principle of Polarity, because the movement between opposite poles is what causes vibration.
Weakness and strength exist in polarity to each other as complementary opposites, and one is used as the means of working with the other, because proportionately they’re diametrically the same. When we’re feeling afraid due to something that happening outside of us or to us, we have a choice as to whether we’re going to be a coward and be overcome by it, or employ bravery in rising to meet it with a sense of confidence in our ability to overcome it. In every moment we exist in relationship with our self in everything else and make all of our decisions based on asking ourselves one fundamental question, and that is “who am I going to be in relationship with this”. Even when this doesn’t come as an actual question, it comes as a feeling inside of us that sets an entire conversation with ourselves into motion as a decision making process.
Life is a School that provides us with the Opportunity for facilitating our Own Growth
When we acquire knowledge in theoretical form, either by reading and contemplating, or through a teacher and instruction, it simply provides us with the basis for applying through experimentation. As we apply it in some manner, we produce reality as consequences that bring realizations around its true nature, which allow us to make constant adjustments until the inner and outer result in the same thing. If the inner can’t be demonstrated in the outer, then we need to reevaluate it in order to find where our errors are. Each time we make modifications based on realizations that come from practicing, we shape the theory that gave us the initial template into a personalized version that we can then develop as a form of self-mastery. Not mastery over others, but mastery over ourselves and our ability to self-regulate and create in an intentional manner.
Once we really understand this, we can learn to not only perceive all things in a different light, but also see them as the true opportunity that they are for developing ourselves by way of them through the experience they afford us. Events and situations of an intense nature bring us face-to-face with our true nature, allowing us to see the aspects alive inside of us that we can’t readily see in normal circumstances. Many feelings remain latent within us until they’re awakened by outside activity. The outer world is always providing us with an absolute mirror into our inner world. Whatever we profess a belief in as a faint-hearted idea about ourselves and who we are, dissolves instantly in the light of truth. Life provides the stage necessary to play out the dramas needed to develop specific traits in us.
Transforming Weaknesses into Strengths
All ideas are whole and complete in nature and contain the potential for expression through polar opposites that are complementary in nature. The illusion of separation is necessary in order to create experience. What this means is that what we perceive as an outer and feel as an inner, act “on each other” to stimulate each other into existence as a joint reality. One aspect of a whole equation only exists in direct relationship with the opposite aspect of the same equation. They need each other as the means of defining themselves in relation and by contrast to each other. If we create a scale by drawing a horizontal line that’s a few inches long, and put fear on one side and courage on the other, with a series of gradual steps or degrees in the space between them, we can create a mental model of the process involved in transforming one into the other. In order to transform fear, which is a weakness, we have to choose to employ courage in its place in the moment when it’s happening.
In order to develop courage, we have to be in situations where we naturally feel afraid. As we feel the fear well-up inside of us with intensity, we can use our will as self-awareness to subdue and tame it, while evaluating it with a rational and non-reactive mind. Once we realize that it’s not a warning of an actual danger or immediate threat, we can decide to respond in a way that employs a sense of courage in its place. As we move into it with a sense of courage, the fearful feeling either immediately begins subsiding, or turns into a feeling of excitement and exhilaration, while also fostering and giving rise to a feeling of confidence. In this way, we dissolve the feeling of fear and transform it into one of power.
As we do this repeatedly we begin moving from one side of the scale towards the center of the scale. All transformation comes from “accumulating experiences” that are built-up through consistent steps. As we produce more and more experiences of being courageous we steadily move along the scale towards the opposite. We begin producing more and more memories of ourselves that change how we feel and naturally respond to things. The ideal isn’t one extreme or the other, but comes rather by balancing them in a harmonious state of equilibrium, where both come as a decision we make through a balanced state of mind, and then act out intentionally. The ultimate goal from a spiritual perspective is to be able to manage all of our emotions in order to be able to utilize them as tools for creating rather than allowing them to create us. It’s always a question of who’s in charge, you or your emotions, and acting to direct the situation.
When we learn how to see any situation or event that causes a strong emotional reaction as an opportunity for transforming ourselves by way of them, we learn how to value what is otherwise stressful and challenging situations that only serve to foster and give life to our weaknesses. When we allow our emotions to run away with us, we lend our will to our weaknesses and live a life of fantasy born out of hysteria as a result. While we can picture ourselves as being brave in the midst of nerve-racking situations that normally freak us out, it’s only when we actually experience it that we have the opportunity to work with the fear and transform it in a deliberate manner. It’s only in the moments that we’re challenged to our depths that we not only get to see what we’re made of, but also have the ability to willfully create ourselves in a much more deliberate and precise manner by being able to take control of our innate ability to create our own experiences. We only transform the outer world by working first to transform the inner world that’s producing it as a mirror image.
Dr. Linda Gadbois