Keep yourself in balance. Hold yourself to certain standards. Be responsible. Be accountable. Your life depends upon you and the choices you make. Own your decisions, but do not be so hard on yourself that you forget to soften your heart, that you miss the joy and beauty that is all around you, that you forget to partake in life, that you don’t read the signs that come to guide you until it is too late. Later will always come, but it is now that matters. Be as fully present as possible in each moment, with your feet on the ground, and yet, like the wind, know that you are just passing through this moment to the next and that a new moment is always coming. Strive to make the most of each moment. Participate in life as fully as possible, responsibly, and to the best of your ability. That is keeping in balance.
By many accounts, when we permanently leave our physical body to embark upon our definitive journey into infinity at death, we enter an energetic state of pure transparency, no hidden compartments, the exact opposite of the most salient feature of life in the human form, the ability to keep secrets from self and others. Thus, the next rung of our evolutionary trajectory challenges us all to be and interact with all “others” as we and they truly are, a distinct advance from the vagaries of human interaction and relationship.
Human relationship, lived within the self or interpersonally with others, happens mainly in the dark. Truthfully, we know little of who we are and little of the true nature of those with whom we interact. Such is the curse and challenge of life in this dimension.
Technological advances of our time have however greatly restricted the ability to have a hidden compartment. Chances are, there’s a camera or recording device of some sort that is creating a record of all forms of observable human behavior, no matter how discreetly life is lived.
The hidden identities of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, right down to Carlos Castaneda, could never be maintained in today’s world. We don’t know for certain Castaneda’s real name, where he was born, his real date of birth, nor the place and date of his death. This would not happen in today’s world.
Carl Jung managed to conceal that he was sexually abused as a youth for his entire life, save one brief reference to it in a personal letter to Freud published years after his death. The fullness of that story would never be allowed to go to the grave in today’s world.
Donald Trump, though he still tries to conceal his tax returns, is perhaps the most transparent of all political figures of our day. We know he’s behaved like a lech, it’s recorded. He makes no effort to present himself as presidential. Whether we like him or not, with Trump we are treated to a very transparent leader, he simply can’t help himself.
The truth is, you can’t reconcile with yourself or with another person if you can’t reveal to yourself or another the fullness of who you are, however sordid. The absence of transparency gives rise to intrigue, deception, and hidden subplots in life, all the ingredients of fake relationship.
It appears that full transparency is our current evolutionary imperative. Of course, revelation of the shadow self, the hidden compartments, does not automatically lead to evolutionary advance. Trump’s current transparent behavior simply means that he’s acting out power-drives in the open versus acting them out covertly, as was typical of politics in the past. With transparency comes responsibility for what to do with one’s “outed” shadow.
Though we are moving quickly, driven by unstoppable technological advances toward greater and greater transparency, what has become abundantly clear is that we must reconcile all the formerly hidden parts that become transparently exposed. Full exposure is not reconciled wholeness. This is abundantly clear with the sexual abuse issue in the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church tried to repress sexuality in its clergy. Transparency revealed the results of that decision in perhaps the greatest institutional case of sexual abuse in history. Simply outing the perpetrators does not reconcile the opposition of spirit and matter/animal/sex. Transparency merely alerts us to the truth of all that we are. Any attempt at reconciliation that merely represses one side in favor of another merely creates a new shadow. Reconciliation means creating a stable personality that doesn’t require new prison compartments.
But how does one achieve responsible wholeness? Here are some suggestions:
1) Appoint your adult self to mediate the process. The child self or the shadow self must be included in the negotiation but only the mature adult has the stamina and objectivity to work with all the points of view and emotional states of the different factions of the self. An immature child self has neither the patience nor objectivity to see beyond its own needs. Maturity is critical. Maturity must be in charge.
2) Suspend judgement. We all have parts of ourselves that have powerful “unacceptable” emotions as well as “immoral” impulses. Regardless of our reaction to these challenging parts we must accept them as part of who we are. All parts of the whole must have a place in that whole. It is the challenge for the adult self to recognize its parts, listen to their needs and points of view, and find the best place within the whole self for each part to live. For example, perhaps there is a part of the personality that truly hates to deal with people and the outside world. Perhaps that part can be assigned to securing uninterrupted meditation time, both from outside influences and inside thoughts that would dare to intrude upon inner silence. Be creative.
Our challenge, with the imperative of transparency being handed down to us from the next rung of life beyond human life, is to reconcile with our wholeness. We must find a place for all that we are, light and dark, in the full light of day. I would call this responsible, transparent wholeness.
Transparency is coming into its own now anyway. I dream that we may find our way to responsibility too. Together, let’s dream that dream, the transparent, responsible dream.
We start off the week with today’s Soulbyte, posted below, and this impassioned audio message asking us all to take responsibility for ourselves in a new way. Are we really here by our own choice? Hmm? Something to consider as we go into this week that culminates in the January 20th inauguration of our next president. Look for a blog by Chuck on Wednesday addressing some unique views on that event.