We all have exactly the same opportunities to grow spiritually.
No matter where our life circumstances have situated us (be it as prime minister of our country or as a worker on a factory production line, etc.; rich or poor; woman, man or transgender), when it comes to the ultimate meaning of life – which I define as our spiritual evolution and the evolution of the one Creation we’re an innate part of – the conditions and opportunities are the same for all of us. Recognition of this spiritual truth can be a great source of self-empowerment.
It’s all too easy to feel disadvantaged when we see other people in outwardly-looking better life circumstances than our own, if we believe that the overriding meaning of life has to do with external success in terms of money, career, status, etc.
However, as soon as we come to sense, understand and know deep within ourselves that our life purpose is closely tied to our spiritual growth then the power is back in our hands and hearts. Cosmically-speaking, none of us is any more or less intrinsically valuable. We can each carve out our worth through our actions and inter-actions, and the reverberations (physical or energetic) that ensue. Through each one of us, with our unique life circumstances and individual characteristics, Creation evolves. “… my body is produced and impelled by a Creative Intelligence, the very same one which created and keeps the universe going, from the most minute sub-atomic particles to the most gigantic of the myriad galaxies.”
Perhaps the easy answer when life is presenting us with overwhelmingly challenging circumstances is to withdraw – for example, by turning to alcohol or drugs, ignoring the plight of others, or allowing ourselves to succumb to depression. Instead Tantra urges us to fully immerse ourselves in this life – with utmost awareness and self-responsibility, in an act of spiritual learning and self-less-ness. Tantra promotes engagement in the physical plane rather than in any way retracting from it or remaining aloof. Reference is often made in tantric circles to the stunningly beautiful lotus flower that grows out of the mud. The analogy is simple: by responding to the difficulties we face in our lives, or making the effort to help others in tough circumstances, we can grow towards our full human-spiritual potential.
‘we can fly beautifully on our own’
Whenever we’re feeling needy, unable to ride the wave of our emotions, controlled by our desires, the knock-on effect will generally be a drain on our vital energy (prana/chi). We’ll be a bit like a deflated balloon, unable to take to the air because there’s not enough helium inside, so we’re always in need of somebody, or something, to push us up into the sky.
However, once we gain greater insight into our human constitution – in line with tantric tenets, for example – we can feel empowered to transform the less positive aspects of our being by integrating our spiritual potential more fully into our physicality.
Thereafter, we can fly beautifully on our own, soaring and bobbing about joyfully in the blue sky. We can still interact openly with people, things and events on the physical plane, but we’ll no longer be dragged down by them because we won’t need them. Rather, we can choose to engage with what lies outside us and when we do, we’ll always strive to maintain a receptive attitude that emerges from an understanding of our mutual relationship as components of one Whole.
“Tantra recognizes the ultimate unity, even identity, of all beings and things. Otherness is a mental artefact. translated into social action, Tantric practitioners must not erect intellectual or emotional walls between themselves and other beings or between themselves and inanimate things.”
In our bid to increase our sense of self-empowerment, I believe it’s important that we remain open and receptive to changes in our perspectives that may occur over time.
What’s right for you/me today might no longer be right for you/me tomorrow, next week or next year. I’m not proposing that it’s good to become fickle or inconstant i.e. victims of our ever-changing rational mind with all its fears and insecurities. Rather, my intention is to emphasise the viewpoint that life is a learning process.
As a result of our experiences on the physical plane, we have the opportunity to mature our personalities and develop and strengthen our awareness of the bridge that exists between the rational and transrational (spiritual) components of our being. Therefore, we need neither fear nor justify changes in our attitudes and perspectives, or the knock-on modifications in our behaviour.
For example, there have been times I’ve heard said to me by people with a depreciative tone: “Oh, you’ve changed” or “Oh, you’re singing a different tune, now”.
Rather than taking these remarks as the criticisms they were probably intended to be, I’ve found it important to give consideration to the changes being referred to and, oftentimes, I’ve discovered that actually these have been indicators of a deeper integration of the physical-spiritual nexus of my human constitution and, as such, were to be welcomed rather than shied away from.
Yes, this might mean no longer feeling at home in the company of certain people and, as a result, needing to redefine those relationships.
However, we came into this physical world alone and we’ll also leave the earthly plane by ourselves. The inner is our only constant reference point. As such, I believe it’s important that we have the capacity to steer our life’s ship along our chosen route and that we don’t get blown off course just because we’re sailing in a different direction to the mainstream and/or those nearest and dearest to us.
by Sam Red