Two months into 2016, and I’m experiencing a spiritual awakening, more intense and subtle than any other growth spurt in my life.
Tracking my old journal and blog entries going back numerous years, I see that “ambling up the mountainside”, an image I’ve used in the past to describe my personal development, is a very apt description. Growth manifests for me in rapid and powerful bursts, like the stages of a moonshot rocket dropping away in quick succession. The past nine years has been such a trajectory, one that’s taken a sharper, upward angle in the past six months alone.
For the past month, I’ve been attuned to energies. Rather than just an intellectual concept, or a nice insight that makes me look good with the in-crowd at personal development cocktail parties, I’m experiencing the vibrational reality of my world. Like older Han Solo, I can declare of these direct experiences, “it’s real, all of it.”
So why haven’t I shed my store-bought clothes for a hemp-rope toga, changed my name to Jody “Togananda” Aberdeen, and started walking barefoot around the suburban wilderness, shaking a tambourine and proclaiming to anyone who would listen the evils of the Illuminati and its control over the weather?
I’m not saying that Togananda won’t ever become a real thing – look through the archives of this blog alone, and you’ll see skepticism about a lot of things I’ve since embraced – but there’s something just plain…well, inauthentic about going full tinfoil hat simply because I’m excited about a new experience without knowing what it is.
When confronted by a challenge to one’s existing definitions of reality, it’s important to test them yourself, and to do so according to one’s own standards of satisfaction, before embracing it
Historian James Burke once said, maybe overly broadly, of Aristotle that “if you rejected one bit of Aristotle, you rejected it all, because his was a package deal”. I feel a similar sentiment with this idea of holistic knowledge. If you accept a new paradigm as true, you must also accept it within the context of what we already know to be true. That means using your left brain, logic, your rational faculties, maybe even your identity and ego.
In short, if your stated aim is total knowledge, then you can’t completely throw out what you already know simply because something new presents itself.
Energy healing, for example, may supplant cognitive therapy in a few individual cases. Those people may get the breakthroughs they need from a Reiki session, or a guided meditation.
However, that doesn’t mean that we take an activist stand against psychotherapy, because that modality undoubtedly helps millions of people around the world every day.
Similarly, I’m pretty well versed on conspiracy theories of the day – 9/11, UFO coverups, chemtrails, the Lunar Landing one which, frankly, annoys the crap out of me to no end, etc.. – and I definitely don’t doubt that there are hidden, shadowy forces at play in the ruling courts and boardrooms of the planet today.
However, I’ve also stood in line at the MTO to get my plate stickers renewed, went through a divorce proceeding that took years, and even worked for a government agency and watched the molasses-like funding approval process for non-profits in action (which could just as easily be spelled “inaction”).
I find it hard to believe, from a common sense standpoint alone, that the same type of institutional government that takes six months to fill a pothole can somehow employ millions of people to pull off a wide-scale conspiracy without a single credible leak making the evening news.
But just try telling that to a True Believer.
The people who go Full Tinfoil Hat find some type of deep connection to something just outside of our accepted reality, which is fine, but they lose it when they throw out their own reason and common sense, which in turn causes them to throw out other things that they already know to work.
Why they do this is simple: the false belief somehow connected with them on a deep personal level, and they hinged their reputations and entire worldviews on it, as part of their own version of everyone’s desire to find meaning in the inherently meaningless lives we all lead. That’s why, having accepted the initial data, they then shut the door on further updates to that same information, even if the updates show that the original data was false. This makes them virtually no different in their thinking to religious fundamentalists.
We can’t completely abandon reason in the domains of life where reason works. Science, and the scientific method, may be reaching its limits in terms of what it can do for us, and it’s true that it was never designed to teach us spiritual principles. It was designed for the empirical world, and in that capacity, it has manifested wonders. It’s our own irrational economic and cultural behaviours that have created the environmental and social messes we now find ourselves in, not science itself.
All of this is a digression, in any case. Speaking personally, I will never abandon reason, but I won’t be dominated by it, either. It’s possible to have multiple conflicting realities overlapping. That’s not a failure of intellect: that is life. It’s simply a matter of integrating them into a worldview that works.
For this reason, I will never be fully “woo woo” spiritual, nor will I be a staunch rationalist skeptic. The clincher for any paradigm shift will always be, for me, direct experience of that new paradigm: that’s how I know energetic healing is real, that the Universe responds to intentions and aligned actions; that medicines and therapies and meditation all work to heal us.
Over the past few months, I’ve gotten a strong impression that my mission in life is to help birth the next great ideas that will transform the world and speed along this evolutionary shift that’s happening. That means remaining credible, looking at the Shift the way those who haven’t done any of this work will see it.
This is something that I’ve done naturally, which devotees to movements I’ve dabbled in have mistaken as a lack of commitment to the cause. That’s not what it is. Rather, it’s a commitment to a larger mission of reconciling the old and new, and making the paradox work for us.
Because, in the final analysis, if our commitment is to total awareness and knowledge, then it’s a package deal: we use all of our faculties, or none at all.
(Plus, tinfoil is expensive in large quantities, anyway).