It’s now only six weeks away from the launch of my book Discover Your SoulTemplate, which comes out on November 15 via Inner Traditions. This is the first of several short extracts from the book which I will post here from time to time. I think the following is very relevant, given the rocky economic times we live in. It refers of the tendency to disguise unbalanced materialism as spirituality in some current philosophies.
More Stuff Is Not Enough
We need to acknowledge the essence of truth that the New Age movement and a “can-do” attitude contain. However, we also have to examine the dangers inherent within these approaches.
The current world crisis is a wakeup call. More money and machines are not enough. Spirit needs the integration of self and soul, in the simplicity of your presence, here and now, fully extant within your body. It is this which will allow your love to shine through into this world.
The materialism of the modern world has created the delusion—the distraction—that what we need is more stuff. This is not just an American problem. It is a global issue, and developing countries like China and India are buying into the mindset. We have slowly fallen into a collective drowsy numbness where consuming products and amusing ourselves with gadgets is the central meaning of life. The current world crisis is a wakeup call, telling us that money and machines do not free the soul.
The truth is that we don’t need all that much stuff. What Spirit genuinely calls for and needs is love: the integration of self and soul, and to express that love in creative ways that allow Spirit to shine through into the world. When this happens, your life will automatically be in alignment with the evolution of the human oversoul template.
What I see in some self-help and New Age philosophies is a worldview that provides tools and techniques for manifestation, but often with no concurrent tools for introspection, for integration of self and soul. The truth is that all the cars, houses, and stuff in the world will leave you empty if you do not make the spiritual journey within.
Make no mistake. When you stand in your power as a man or woman, you will have a far greater degree of love and power than you can possibly imagine. That love and power, though, is born of Spirit, not the desire of the ego for more stuff, more attention, and more status.
An empowered human being is a wise human being, one with depth. Despite superficial appearances, a human being expressing an unbalanced control and power consciousness is not empowered at all. Fundamentally, he is weak, and remains trapped in fear and separation. This is true, regardless of how much he gets what he wants. The total misuse of power by Hitler stemmed from his weakness, the complete absence of wisdom within his personality.
Recently I read an article about a certain pop culture figure who has the kind of fame, attention, power, and money most people can only dream of. She has a certain spiritual philosophy herself, although it is heavily centered within the ego. Yet, if you allow yourself to look at her through the eyes of Spirit, a great deal of her energy takes the form of fear. She lives on a refined diet from which she has eliminated all food products that are known to have connections with aging, such as sugar. Her poor partner was forbidden from bringing such things into the house! The writer of the article referred to the woman with the typical judgmental scorn of the popular media. The truth is that this star’s behavior is not particularly surprising. The fears of the decay of physical form, and of death itself, are universal.
In part such fears are biologically wired into us, but the fear is also an expression of the ego. If you are honest, you will also recognize this fear within yourself. The ego inevitably identifies with the body and the personality state. The star’s behavior was a typical attempt to establish control and power—over the body, and also over mortality itself.
Looking after the body is part of being a responsible human being. It is the intention underlying the behavior that establishes whether the behavior is empowering or not. In this case, the star’s behavior was underpinned by an attempt to preserve the body because of the ego’s identification with it. No attempt to perpetuate an ego state is empowering, as all ego states are born of fear and are impermanent. Empowering behavior is underpinned by the wisdom of Spirit, and part of that wisdom is being aware that fear of death and impermanence can strangle the soul.