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Self-mastery must come first. -- Gopi Krishna.
Awakening is not about just getting more information. -- Ralph Metzer
After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. That’s the title of a Jack Kornfield book. In it, he describes the return to everyday reality. As Jack points out, “Enlightenment experiences can happen,” but “They don’t last.”
There’s no app for enlightenment. There’s no bypass to its attainment. But it is a worthwhile state toward which to aspire. And keep it mind: as you make progress along the way, you will incrementally derive the benefits.
It’s a little like climbing a mountain. While the best view may come at the top, you increasingly get better and better views as you ascend. And if your elevated perception translates into increased contentment, joy, and happiness in life, why meander at the bottom of the mountain?
Be “Higher Self-Motivated"
Kornfield said that “When the conditions of the heart are present, the enlightenment experience can happen.” So seek those conditions in your heart now—in this life. Determine how those conditions can be developed.
If you’re facing a crisis, use it as a Chrysalis Crisis. Let it open you to that growth. If you’re not in crisis, take the initiative to advance your personal and spiritual development without the promptings of an ordeal. Be “Higher Self-motivated,” and as you grow, enjoy the fruits that come from liberating the energies and capacities that are inherently yours.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
I’m not suggesting that you have to engage in some constant self-absorbed preoccupation with personal development. Just find a balance between experiencing life and learning from it. Be a human being and a human doing. And be realistic about the gains you make as you develop in the ten key areas of growth. You don’t have to wait until they usher in some enlightened state before you benefit from their increased development and mastery.
Master Your Physical World
Why not benefit now from mastering your physical world? Start with the part that’s directly at hand: your physical body. Eat nutritious food, exercise, and eliminate unhealthy habits that you know are compromising your physical wellbeing. Discover the many ways a vital, healthy body can enhance your time on this Earth.
If you’re facing sickness or physical limitation, seek out ways those problems can least handicap you. Change your thinking, address your feelings, and improve your life despite those physical problems. Remember, your mind has the power to affect your physical world. It can be employed to bring forth healing, reduce pain, or be used to creatively come up with ways to improve your situation.
Manage your body, manage your money, manage your possessions, and respectfully manage the earth you stand upon. To the extent that’s possible, free yourself of their concerns so you can use your increased physical energy for other purposes, and derive the happiness that can be achieved as a result.
Expand Your Intellectual Capacity
Seek the knowledge you need to develop all the key areas of your life by expanding your intellectual capacity. Find the joy in learning new things about all areas of creation. Cultivate curiosity.
Let the information you gain enhance your experience of life. Let it open your eyes to the abundance that surrounds you. Let it teach you how to derive what you need to be content. Learn from others, and teach those who would learn from you.
Remember The Emotional Component
Recognize that you have the capacity to open your heart to all emotions. You don’t have to become some touchy-feely person if that is not in your nature. But you can have an open and available heart. Remember, the emotional component in life adds richness. It can be like the difference of watching a black and white TV versus color.
Feel intensely. Feel passion. Be able to connect with your feelings and learn to express them appropriately. Share them with others, and use your emotional awareness to empathize and attune to their feelings.
Be A Good, Moral Person
And be a good, moral person. Not because everybody tells you to be good. Not because if you’re bad, you’ll get caught. Because when you do things that are right, you feel better. And when you do things you know are wrong, you darken your light.
If you have any level of empathy or conscience, you’ll limit your capacity to feel so your wrongdoings don’t bother you. If you carry guilt for immoral or unethical actions, you’ll imprison yourself and create your own suffering. At some point, your mind will seek its own correction. On a deep psychological and spiritual level, we’re all self-cleaning ovens.
Engage In Community With Others
You don’t have to be a social butterfly. Discover what a social connection with others can provide. Sure, we are all imperfect humans and can be a handful at times, but if you reach out, you’ll find those of us who can be trusted, those who will befriend you.
Don’t look for reasons to exclude yourself or others. Seek the commonalities we share. We all want to be happy. We all want the best for ourselves and our children. We all want to live in peace. Remember, while we’re all unique as snowflakes, we all share the same essence. Connect with that in mind, and drink from the community of humanity. It will replenish your body and spirit.
Drop The Outdated Identity of Who You Used To Be
Try not to get stuck in some outdated identity of who you used to be. Give yourself the opportunity to grow and change. Don’t feel inadequate because you’re not like someone else.
Discover who you are and learn to relish who you’re becoming. And don’t get too attached to that self either. Recall that Erickson said identity changes throughout the life cycle. So get beyond your physical body, your gender, your race, your nation, or even your religion. You’re a spirit. You’re God in the making.
If you can’t fathom that such a grandiose notion is within your potential, dig a little deeper. Be more self-examining and discover the energies and capacities that are inherently yours.
Expand Your Range of Intimacy
Expand your range of intimacy with yourself and others. Find the courage to share what you’re finding out about yourself, and show an interest in what they’re discovering.
Share your dreams, confusions, and joys. And share your fears. Sometimes, just revealing them can lessen their intensity, and you may discover the rest of us have the same ones. You’ll feel less alone, more connected. We may all be different kinds of snowflakes, but we all think about melting, too.
Find Meaning In Your Life
Find meaning in your life. It can provide a reason why you get out of bed every day. It doesn’t have to be some grand objective in life, but it can give a greater purpose to your existence than just being on this side of the grass.
It’s okay to ask the big questions, like why am I here, or what happens when I die? These are the existential questions of life. They’re each of ours to answer. Use the wide lens on your life so you can see the forest of your existence, and not myopically get your forehead stuck on the tree in front of you.
Learn To Use and Trust Your Intuition
When you widen that lens and open to the forest, you’ll start registering perceptions beyond those of your objective senses. You’ll learn to use and trust your intuition. It’s just as available as your touch, taste, and hearing.
Don’t let your uninformed beliefs or fears about psychic intuitions close your mind off to their actuality. Why not employ your “First Sight” to assist what you see with your eyes? Remember, believing is seeing.
Let yourself have a personal experience that will provide confirmation of your intuitive capacities. Keep the words made famous by Yogi Berra in mind: “If I hadn’t believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it.”
Let Your Spiritual Consciousness Manifest
And let your spiritual consciousness manifest, too. It also needs to be personally experienced to be affirmed. You already have access to its energies and capacities. No religion has exclusive inroads to its awakening.
Spirit is a non-sectarian actuality. Whether you choose to believe it exists or not matters not. You are still a spirit in a body. You’re more than your meat and bones. Physical death does not bring an end to your spirit. It only brings about a transition into an alternate state of its manifestation.
Recognizing that your spirit consciousness transforms and does not disappear with the death of your body aligns your thinking with natural law. And knowing that it is on a trajectory of developmental evolution will broaden your perspective on life.
Your spirit expands and evolves from direct personal experience over lives of learning. If it’s hard for you to believe that because it can’t be physically proven or logically deduced, at least open to it as a possibility. What do you have to lose? Doing so will enable you to personally start registering the subtle and transpersonal phenomena that will ultimately verify this truth. Don’t close off your perception of those potentials from the restrictions of disbelief.
Awaken Your Capacities
You are a multidimensional human being who has access to the energies and capacities of the consciousness that created you, comprises you, and surrounds you. As you gain that awareness and mastery of consciousness, either through Chrysalis Crises or otherwise, you will reap the potential benefits that come from its manifestation. You will awaken your capacities and energies, and experience the enlightenment, bliss, joy, happiness, and peace that it can produce.
But in addition to these potentials, there is another capacity and energy that you will increasingly be able to realize. And it encompasses and surpasses all the others. It’s one you’re already familiar with. It’s an overused word. Its familiarity, and the preconceived notions of how it’s defined, may incline you to dismiss the significant part it plays in consciousness.
Open Your Heart and Share Your Love
It’s our responsibility to realize the existence of love and our potential to experience it fully, and once we learn to open our hearts to its experience, we need to extend it to others in all the ways it can be expressed. The love we awaken and share returns. Love Returns! Like a beacon, it draws us back to the spirits with whom we’ve directed it, and leads us towards those who’ve directed their love to us. Because at the level of spirit consciousness, love never dies. Love unites us.
I have this sense that my family, my wife, my children, my friends, everyone I loved, and everyone who I’ve been blessed to have love me are all connected, and we will always be united. It was very liberating and assuring.
Though I know that should any of them give up their body, I’ll miss their physical presence. But I’ll understand that my work will be in the grieving, accepting, and growing in whatever ways the crisis of their loss can serve as a Chrysalis Crisis. And should a future crisis result from my physical life drawing to a close, I’ll pray that I can discover how it can be used to contribute to my continued evolution.
Live Life In The Now
In the meantime, I will aspire to live my life in the way we are all advised: To live life in the now. To allow the past to inform the present when it’s needed to enhance the now. And to use present experiences to awaken future potentials.
Should your present experience be met with crisis, once you recover from its initial impact, determine if it can be used as a Chrysalis Crises. Let the crisis lead to your transformation. Let it expand your awareness of consciousness, heighten your capacity to love, contribute to your happiness, and enable you to increasingly abide in a state of peace profound.
©2019 by Frank Pasciuti, Ph.D.
All Rights Reserved. Excerpted with permission.
Publisher: Rainbow Ridge Books..
Chrysalis Crisis: How Life's Ordeals Can Lead to Personal & Spiritual Transformation
by Frank Pasciuti, Ph.D.
Recovering from a life ordeal―be it the death of a loved one, a divorce, loss of a job, or a serious physical injury or sickness―can sometimes result in personal and spiritual growth. When it does, Dr. Frank Pasciuti calls the transformative experience a "Chrysalis Crisis." If properly managed, these kinds of crises can result in increased physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and moral development. This book offers a model of human development that enables everyone―not just those in crises―to transform their lives, and create for themselves an increased sense of peace, happiness, and well-being. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)
About the Author
FRANK PASCIUTI, PhD. is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified hypnotherapist. He is founder and president of the Associated Clinicians of Virginia, where he provides psychotherapy and organizational development services to individuals and businesses. Dr. Pasciuti is chairman of the Institutional Review Board at The Monroe Institute, and he collaborates on research related to NDEs, psychic phenomena, and the survival of consciousness at the University of Virginia School of Medicine's Division of Perceptual Studies. Visit his website at frankpasciuti.com/