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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spiritual Tossers and Spiritual Sages

The following is an extract from my upcoming book, Leading with Spirit. All of the terms in bold are found in the glossary of the book. Unfortunately I can't reproduce the glossary here.

Not that long ago I ran one of my intuition workshops, and I asked participants to pair up and to begin Channeling the Spiritual Ego of their partner. Channeling the Spiritual Ego is a particular process which I often teach because I feel it is very important that people realise how the ego influences the way we think, feel and act. The process entails psychically connecting with the deep mind of the other person and bringing forth the agendas and projections of the shadow (the name Freud, Jung and depth psychologists gave to the hidden parts of ourselves that we would rather not know about). Individuals in the New Age and consciousness movement are particularly prone to developing a strong spiritual ego.

In this workshop there was an odd number of participants, so I paired up with a man we shall call Trevor. Trevor was a writer and speaker; a notable figure in the local spiritual community of that city, and often appeared in the media whenever a radio or TV station required commentary on spiritual issues.

To begin the process, I looked at Trevor, relaxed, and allowed my awareness to become one with his. I centred myself and brought my attention into his body and began to give voice to the information that came to me.

Look at me! I’m superior to everyone. I am above all this. I know best. In fact I already know everything that you are teaching here. You are not a real spiritual teacher (referring to me). I am! I’m better than what you are. I’m enlightened! I don’t really need to be here because there is nothing you could possibly teach me.

Connecting with the Ego is quite confronting to that same ego, especially for those in spiritual circles. It exposes the trickster, the hypocrisy that inevitably arises when we are not honest about what lies within us. Part of the mythology of spiritual discourse is that spiritual people are supposed to be Christ-like. Perfect. In other words, not really human. Of course there is no way that any human being can possibly meet such expectations, so the individual begins to hide from himself. He starts to fake it. He begins to fraud. As he denies parts of his psyche, the unwelcome thoughts, desires and projections become lost in the murky world of the shadow.

Channeling the ego brings the ego into the light, and helps the individual become more transparent to himself. But it is a process fraught with difficulties. It requires that the person being channeled have a high a high level of emotional intelligence. If the person has a low level of intention to actually acknowledge his ego projections, the result can be drama. The person may become angry, and attempt to invent an alternative narrative to explain away what has been revealed. Commonly this involves rejecting the message and psychically attacking the channeler. This is the spiritual equivalent of shooting the messenger! Connecting with the ego is not an easy process to pull off, for either party.

The reason I mention all this is because Trevor wasn’t too impressed with what I’d channeled, and just said simply, “I don’t feel that is correct”. This is of course his right, and so I just let it go without judgment. It is important not the judge the ego, because any judgment of it can really accelerate the potential for drama. It is certainly possible to work with the resistance of the ego, and to gently confront people about their denials. However in this case I let it go because I intuitively felt that Trevor had absolutely no intention to look at the truth of himself.

Trevor didn’t come back for the second workshop, and in fact didn’t even bother to contact me to tell me he wouldn’t be there. I was not surprised.

However about eight months later I ran into Trevor again in another city, after a consciousness conference. We ended up having an extended chat over a cup of coffee. I knew that there was no energy on bringing up anything to do with the spiritual ego, so we just enjoyed the beverage. After a few minutes of chatting, it became clear that Trevor had completely forgotten about the Connecting work he’d done with me previously, because he began to criticise the other practitioners at the conference. With a contemptuous wave of the hand he said that other practitioners and organisers were “not enlightened”, and that he did not have a high opinion of them. I decided to humour him, and asked him if he was enlightened.

“An enlightened person would never say that he is enlightened”, he responded.

I looked at him, trying to suppress my own ego projections, which went something like this:

 “Get your hand off it, mate, before you hurt yourself! In all my time dealing with spiritual practitioners you are right up there with the biggest tossers out there!”

Well, that’s what my spiritual ego really wanted to say. Instead just I nodded and got back to my cofee. I gently acknowledged my own projections, and made a commitment to let it go. This wasn’t exactly easy, as I admit if there is one thing that pushes my buttons it is when I meet spiritual folks who think they are above everyone else. That is because there is part of me that thinks exactly the same; that I am smarter, wiser and more spiritual than the rest of the lowly dregs of humanity.

As they used to say when I was a kid: it takes one to know one. The only difference between Trevor and I is that I have developed a closer relationship with that part of my psyche, and in doing so I am able to control my ego-based behavior, and most importantly, indirectly control the psychic energy fields that move through and around me. For one thing that I now understand is that the human mind is not confined to the head and body, but is embedded within streams of fluid consciousness. It is the reality of the extended mind is central to the idea of Sage Leadership that I present in this book. The leaders of yesterday were, for the most part, completely unaware of the fact that their minds were greatly influenced by the extended mind; or the fact that their own psyches greatly affected the minds of those they led via the psychic interconnectivity of the human species.

This story about Trevor and I exemplifies a key part of what I am going to teach you in this Leading with Spirit. This book is intended for the leaders of tomorrow, what I call the Leader-Sages. Leader-Sages can be found in all walks of life, not merely amongst those leaders in the spiritual and consciousness movements. We also see them in business, the arts, the media, politics and so on.

Being a Leader-Sage is not about becoming something super-human, and like Neo in The Matrix transcending the system and flying above it all like superman. Nor is it about pretending to be very spiritual, wise and holy. By my definition, Trevor is very “spiritual”, not a Leader-Sage. In fact, in some ways Sage Leadership is about allowing yourself to become more human, not less. A Leader-Sage is not merely an empowered individual with a genuine capacity for Integrated Intelligence; one who can comfortably read the psyches of those people around him, tap into consciousness fields and seek guidance from spiritual source. A Leader-Sage is a person of humility, who knows that his Integrated Intelligence is a God-given gift that requires genuine compassion and great responsibility. He also realises that all ego eventually falls. It dies. And he understands that the Leader-Sage does not need to do anything about that.

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Leading with Spirit will not be available till 2013. However you can read more about becoming a responsible Leader-Sage in my other book, Discover Your Soul Template, as well as how to develop Integrated Intelligence.

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