Connection is both protection and direction. There are many types of connection: resonant connections of love and friendship, connections to sacred space and place, connections to healthy lifestyle and spirited activity, connections that line up our personal potential, connections that teach or inform, and connections of Spirit and Soul. Seeking and maintaining connection is the most important aspect of our spiritual practice. The ultimate goal of our lives is to come into accord with our purpose and actualize the potentials of Soul. This grand notion might be easily accepted on a good day or on the lip of the Grand Canyon, but may become obscured by the distractions and difficulties of our daily lives.
Connection with integrity
There are always other viewpoints in the world seeking our attention. This is a near constant state in the universe. Something or someone is looking for a hook or vulnerability in our unintegrated experience in order to grab our attention. Advertising is an example. Media and corporate cultures are other examples. The prescription, the protection, is not to leave a perceptual void in your field of awareness. You do that by seeking your own way. If you do not seek your own way, other perceptual views will seek an entry point and try to assert themselves. It is a function of Perception that a powerful view will simply bowl over a weak or poorly attended view. This is the process of acquisition.
Here’s an example from my working life prior to my retirement. I was a director of several care facilities for mentally handicapped adults. Expansion in the company brought me into contact with the directors of a separate branch of our corporate entity with whom I needed to interact on specific occasions, such as public health surveys. The directors of this corporate branch had a strong obsessive vision for bureaucratic administration. They were controlling, and wanted the entire company to do things their way. My method for dealing with this was not to leave a hole in my own visions of how to manage staff and maintain client and staff well being. That meant occasionally standing firm with my own view. I filled myself with the philosophies that had proven themselves successful. The common ground we then found had to take my visions into account. I was able to avoid the intrusions and the control and the obsessions inherent in their managerial view.
When we are filled with the quest of our own dreams, we’re less vulnerable to falling prey to acquisition, less vulnerable to control and obsessions. One must label their own direction, set themselves on their own path. If we are unable to do so, we will fall into the perception of stronger or more prevailing views. Resistance is not futile. That doesn’t mean being stubborn for stubbornness sake. It means understanding and claiming your medicine and worth.
Dealing with abrasive circumstance
This poem may not have great poetic value, but does have practical value from a spiritual perspective:
Say: I am not my transitory problems.
Say: My problems are nothing compared to Eternity.
Say: This too will pass.
Say: Boundless potential is waiting within.
Perhaps you have spoken well.
Did your words come to life?
For words to break free,
flutter like spirits waking,
you need follow them into movement.
Now is the time to let words open a door.
Now is the time to sing, or dance,
or sit very still with the engagement
of your whole body to Spirit.
Now is the time to acquire choice.
Your actions will find their agreement.
I didn’t know how to say it any better. Put yourself in accord with the potential of your Soul’s intent, and you’ll somehow end up at the right place at the right time. That doesn’t mean you won’t end up at ten wrong places in between. It all depends on the strength of your connection. It depends on how well you resonate and connect with the songs that your life requests. Sometimes correct action sets me on a path of acquiring skillful means – the insights required to walk a path. We can’t expect to acquire skillful means through wishful thinking alone. We’re all human. But we all can sing or dance according to our predilection. And we can make choices that are guided by the motion. Sometimes it may take a little patience to become acquainted with a new direction. We may need to learn to listen all over again, like original mind.
Moments of self-realization could also be described as an integrated Presence, a state where we are connected to the Self and informed from that larger perspective. If we learn to listen (or to see), to get past egoistic distractions and focus our attention on a larger View, we can hear that transcendent Self speaking with the words that are borrowed from our personal experience as a necessary medium. To reach this state and know that we are not deluded or channeling dissociated aspects of the ego, we must bring ourselves into our most open, honest, and unselfish postures. The goal is not to get tips on the stock market. Like Socrates listening to his daimon, the goal is to seek Truth and the enduring treasure of our lives. The contact may result in practical advice as well as metaphysical musings that stretch your current understanding. Some would call this the voice of Spirit, Soul, or even God. I like calling it the Self or Soul. But because this connection often has a visceral component, I am calling that sense of connection Presence. Know the worth of Presence by the well being it produces, and by the value of the communication.
Because we are the mediums of all the communications we import, it makes practical sense to “clean the mirror,” to work toward personal integration of our experience within the wholeness of our psyche, to work at transforming and expanding our views. Any sacred conversation we have with a “higher self” will be more elevated when the thoughts and words we have to loan are less ego-enslaved, when the thoughts and words we have to loan participate more fully with the Presence alive within our world.
It is not possible to be in constant contact with Presence, as it is our job, the job of the space/time personality to negotiate the world and become the data storage of our experience. The demands of our lives sometimes overwhelm our knowledge of Soul. We are the ones who must look both ways before crossing the street (though I’ve been stirred on more than a few distracted occasions by the periphery of Presence back into focused preservation). We are the ones who must feed and clothe ourselves, and find a path through this world. But we are not alone. Presence follows us into the flow of our most sacred and attended activities. The opportunity to interact in space and time, to grow, create, experience Beauty, and gather integration are our birthright, and the Soul supports us with its Presence. It is almost cliche: “Lo, I am with you always.” That sense of belonging to a larger purpose ebbs and flows with the human condition and our own ability and opportunity to nurture that communion over time.