I would like to share with you my understanding of the trances of everyday life. If there is such a concept as the trances of everyday life, then there is also an experience of being out of trance. Religious and spiritual traditions have a concept related to the idea that "We have been created in the image of God". Our essence or innermost self is aware of this connection.
Balance, harmony, and compassion is the natural state of our innermost self. Since spirituality is an experience, the degree to which we reflect the qualities of balance, harmony and compassion in our everyday moment-to-moment experience while we remain conscious of our connection to the Source, is the degree that we are out of trance.
Unaware and Out of Balance and Harmony?
There are different gradations of trance, and any moment in which we are unaware and out of balance and harmony, then we are in some type of trance. When we think that nature is separate from ourselves, we are in trance. When we are feeling superior and assume a self-righteous position and feel justified in our put-downs or judgments, we are in trance. When we feel inferior, unworthy, or less than others, we are in trance.
Streams of past, future, or worrisome thoughts that surface throughout the day without our permission are examples of trance states. These thoughts are passing through our minds without our conscious awareness. Are we thinking our thoughts, or are our thoughts thinking us? When emotions arise from buttons getting pushed, we may not be aware that we are stewing in these emotions. This is why relationships are such wonderful teachers. When I observe how I react in any interpersonal situation, then I have the opportunity to experience the projection of my own trance states.
Trances Change from Moment to Moment, from Up to Down and Back
Trances can change in quality and levels of density from moment to moment. One can move from a trance of superiority to a trance of inadequacy within seconds, though people tend to have particular trance states that dominate their experience and color their vision in certain ways. Some people may have a tendency to beat themselves up or to put themselves down, while other people may have a tendency to be too judgmental or critical of others.
If someone ends up having an excessive emotional reaction and ends up not feeling good about themselves, then they are in a particular manifestation of trance. Their buttons got pushed without their permission. I may be having a conversation with you and instead of being fully present, I may have drifted off and begun worrying about how you were reacting to what I said. Or maybe I slipped into a past or future worry. These are examples of the trance of anxiety.
Being Conscious of What We Are Experiencing in this Moment
So for me, a crucial question is "What are we experiencing in the unfoldment of each moment?" It is in the experience of the moment where we have the opportunity to examine our trances of everyday life. That is why I feel it is important that we learn to recognize the different ways in which we are personally in trance, and to understand that it is a gift to be able to recognize them with openness.
When we come to realize that many of us spend a significant portion of our lives in trance, then being in trance is nothing to be embarrassed about. If being in trance is all we have known, then we will think that we are looking at who we are and might fail to realize that we are looking at a particular manifestation of trance.
Recognizing the Process of Spiritual Evolution and the Journey of Awakening
The universe is guiding us in a process of spiritual evolution which is intended to assist us with experiencing that "trances" are not who we are. They are patterns of limited identification that color our vision and interfere with our ability to experience who we really are on the deepest level of our existence. It is our spiritual birthright to know who we are as a soul created in the image of God, the Tao, or whatever you may choose to call the higher power. This is what the journey of awakening is all about.
The sages throughout history have demonstrated to us that human beings are capable of awakening from trance. They have modeled for us that our lives can be lived with integrity, balance, harmony, and compassion. That is why, by greeting our trances with joy, we get to see who we are not and that helps us learn to get closer to who we are on that deepest level.
Psychological Issues: A Crucial Component of Our Spiritual Journey
Addressing what we call psychological issues is a crucial component of our spiritual journey. If someone does not learn to deal with their anger, the ways their buttons get pushed, or limited thought patterns and beliefs, then they will be confined regarding the degree of their spiritual growth. Living our spirituality is about learning to live in balance, harmony, and compassion. It is about learning to be soul conscious. This is a realistic goal.
Compassion is a natural byproduct of having balanced energy. The universe is designed to lead us in this direction, and we are capable of breaking through the barriers that limit our personal and spiritual growth. Understanding the trances of everyday life, trances that apply to all of us, is a crucial aspect of this spiritual evolutionary process. Unless we are willing to examine and overcome our trances of everyday life, our spiritual unfoldment will be limited. So the next time we have the privilege to recognize who we are not, maybe we can consider that this might be a blessing and spiritual opportunity presented to us in that moment. This has been a great teacher for me. Enjoy.
Book by this author:
An Awakening From the Trances of Everyday Life - A Journey to Empowerment
by Ed Rubenstein.
Visionary fiction based on psycho-spiritual self help concepts and techniques applicable to young and older adults. A confused young man named Dillon meets an elder he calls Gramps. During their summer together at Gramp's mountain place called Stillpoint, the wisdom of nature becomes Dillon's teacher as he learns to recognize the trances of everyday life.
About The Author
Ed Rubenstein is a a licensed psychologist who has been at the forefront of the human potential field for over 30 years. Ed’s focus within psychology is on a heart based approach and its impact on psychological and relational well-being. His transformative approach to psychology demonstrates a natural way for developing resiliency, emotional management, and for building positive relationships. Facilitating professional workshops internationally, Ed shares his insights and in-depth knowledge about living a heart-centered life, supported by tools and approaches that contribute to a deeper experience of personal fulfillment. He has successfully presented workshops at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Pan American World Health Organization (PAHO), and other agencies. Visit http://heartbased.org for more information.
Listen to a December 2016 interview with this author.