All of us have the power to transform our lives into anything we can imagine. As divine, creative beings we have the rare gift of self-directed evolution. Our talent for it is so powerful that we do it instinctively, so long as the right conditions exist. What we think, we increase. When we get caught in situations that trap our thoughts, however, we can’t grow. We begin to stagnate, and we suffer. Transforming into new modes of thinking and being is the very spice of life that our souls crave. It is a deep spiritual need that can’t be bought, can’t be taught, and can’t be hoarded. True growth comes only from within, by doing the work, by pushing yourself up against your limits, and transcending them. We all know what this is like because we’ve all done it. Usually the growth is not by choice, and because of that, it’s wild. Messy. There is good to this, but it also comes with complications. What if, instead, we could chart a course of self-directed growth that was safe enough to keep us alive, but tough enough to really push us? Such a challenge can be found in mastery of the mind. And it is not easy.
Though we may want to change on some level, we’re often held back by willpower being diverted and subverted into fragmented parts of our personality. Thought-forms such as obsession, confusion, addiction - even the survival instinct - all have a say in how we live our lives. What they’re saying isn’t always good or in our best interest. The part of us that wants to change isn’t the only driver with hands on the wheel. Human systems are joint efforts. Each soul is a collection of lifehoods all growing together. Each mind is an array of experiences and idea-memes constantly integrating into higher wisdom. Each body, in particular, is a collection of organisms both native and newcomer. Our bodies, minds, and souls are transacting constantly, trading, invading, and colonizing. Such is the way of life. Bacteria and viruses enter. They either become food, create an infection, or else join up and become a beneficial part of the biosystem.
It all adds up to one big tangled mess that can be impossible to sort through. To navigate the complexities of self-hood, particularly the important parts like healing and evolution, you often have to rely upon pure instinct. The spirit of the universe will guide you, so long as your mind is open to listen for it. Yet even this spiritual instinct can be sabotaged by organisms and thought forms that hold their own interest above your own, above the flourishing of the whole. Illnesses both mental and physical will try to cut you off from the source in order to claim that power for themselves and better colonize you. It sounds dramatic, but it’s sort of what happens.
I’d like you to take a moment to think of some pattern that you know is holding you back from achieving your highest good. Something that you just can’t make progress disarming. Write it in the margin here. Addiction is a great example because it subverts the pleasure centers and fools the mind into thinking it’s making progress that it isn’t, that the addiction has the best interests of the whole at heart even as it eats away at the things that hold the organism together. Self-sabotage is another good example because it creates a story of victimhood that then fulfills its own prophecies and reinforces its story of perpetual failure. Try to think of something that you know is holding you back. If you can’t, but still sense that there is something out there, then just write down, “ignorance of my darkness.”
If you think you don’t have inner darkness, you’re wrong. Everyone has darkness. There’s a seed of it buried deep within every soul that forms on this physical plane. It is simply the nature of an evolving universe to have tension arising from conflict. The shadow is an evolutionary force that guides our growth just as much as illumination. Darkness gives us a challenge against which we can struggle and grow.
In contrast, there also exists light within every being. Illumination gives us a source of strength and something toward which we can grow. Like a plant, we can’t grow away from darkness. But we can grow toward the light. Unlike a plant, we can condition our minds, to bring light a little closer and accelerate our growth. To do so is not easy, and requires a strong mind with good mental hygiene. Being a creative being and the divine manifestation of a creative universe, what you focus upon is what you increase. So today we will focus upon increasing our ability to choose our evolution. Take a moment to write in the margin your heart’s deepest dream. Choose a question you need answered, or a wish you’d like fulfilled. Choose something you want to see created in the world, no matter how outrageous it may seem. Allow yourself to dream, and hold onto that dream as we move into our first exercise.