The Crisis of Adjustment

Crisis unfolds our lives. Comfort and stasis do not promote growth and it is only through these internal and external tensions that we must overcome by our own efforts that we progress. I have watched as the changes that have come into my life have removed many of the people, places and things that have given me comfort. I do not feel that I was complacent and yet my Soul guides my life, and the removal of these things were obviously necessary to my growth. Their absence makes room for the things that will inevitably replace them in the fabric of my life, and this is true for every one of us.

In my personal experience this has been very painful and now, though I am not immune to pain or the effects of loss, I am detached in a greater way from them. I feel the absence of these things in a different way than before and this is growth. It is not a numbness or immunity but more like an empathy we can feel for a friend in pain. This is the attitude of the observer, focused on the life of the personality from an objective point. This is not outside the self but certainly could be seen as outside of the personality.

I have recently had the experience of a door is opening which was quite frightening as it first began to reveal itself as an opportunity. I went from feeling for years like I was in a holding pattern waiting for the first positive step toward something rather than simply shedding the non-essentials, to wondering how to slow down a runaway train that would have brought me to a new job, and life, in Seattle. It was becoming exciting as I adjusted to the coming changes and I thought this would be an important growth experience for me.

The things I thought I was headed for were refusing to materialize in my life. I thought I would be working from home and buying a small house or cabin in the woods. I wanted a peaceful existence in my “writer’s nook” on a mountainside. I would come into town when needed but have the peace that eluded me in the last few years. Barrier after barrier obstructed my way. My business has struggled. Being self-employed makes it difficult to buy a home, etc. Now out of nowhere an opportunity which represents the complete opposite of those goals had presented itself to me in a way that I could not refuse. Alas, it was not meant to be. Another opportunity has taken it’s place that will keep me here in Colorado and provide the circumstances I was originally looking for. I was ready to do whatever was necessary and that is the key.

Humanity is undergoing a transformation from the Piscean age to that of Aquarius. This is a similar transition from what we want as a group and the mental polarization, focus and training which is our necessary next step. We must progress from the warm fuzzy feeling of comfort in and adolescent (at best) understanding of our relation to deity, to a realization of ourselves as divine. This requires mental orientation and the progress from belief in, to knowledge of, the divine nature and unity of “being.” What we collectively think we want will be superseded by what is really the next step in our awakening as we are collectively guided to a new understanding which we must collectively embrace.

This will not come easily, as the changes in my personal life have not come easily. The old ways, habits, tendencies, and attachments will not be shed without a commensurate amount of struggle and pain. Like an addiction, they will struggle to re-assert themselves in our lives, for these supposedly inanimate things are thought forms imbued with our desires and will be fighting for their “lives.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox said “thoughts are things, endowed with form and wings.”

These thoughts will not “go gentle into that good night.” (Dylan Thomas) What I see today, rather than a smooth transition into a clear understanding brotherhood within the unity of the divine thought, is a raging against that good transition. The forces of desire, emotional devotion and blind belief are tearing the world apart. This may be the only way the transition can be accomplished, just as the attachments in my life had to be ripped from my grasping hands before I was able to assert my will and move into the next stage of my being; something I believe is just beginning. I liked the way things were and thought I was happy. Not all of the time but overall I felt the life I had built was a good one, worth fighting to keep. I needed to fight to keep those things in a way because I not only thought they were of value, I could not let them go without a fight to assert that value. The fight was proof that those things were worthy and worth fighting for.

There is always the specter of what looms ahead as well. Uncertainty is not comfortable for any of us. There is an old saying which asserts “better the devil you know” because you have already made the necessary adaptations and adjustments to cope with the current situation. Change is difficult but it is the nature of everything in the universe to change and evolve. We fight this change at our own peril and cost because it is inevitable, but it seems that this fight is as inevitable as the change it seeks to forestall.

The religious devotees of the world are in the fight for their lives, or so they think. The Christian right wing conservatives in this country are fighting for their very existence against the progress of humanity into a more mature understanding of ourselves which will preclude their notion of the old man on a cloud, which demands worship and exacts vengeance. This is no different than the extremist Muslims who are trying to rule the world through a Caliphate forcing its own version of that self-same old man on a cloud onto the rest of the world at the end of a gun. In both cases I see it as the belief itself fighting for its life like an addiction that cannot find expression in the worlds of human endeavor without the addict’s body to use as a vehicle.

The answer, the teachings tell us, is in the assertion of the will. There comes a time in the life of the disciple where all of the study and accumulation of knowledge must be put to use to create change. Desire as a force for change must evolve and transform into spiritual will; the will to good. The recognition of our unity, like any acquired understanding must be applied in the real world. We often see or hear the term “stand” used in the teachings and in meditation seed thoughts. We must stand in the light. This is an assertion of the will, for it is not enough to see the light. We must stand for something. It is a statement of strength in the face of adversity. In alcoholics anonymous they say that the addict must hit “rock bottom” before he can find the strength of a deep abiding disgust with things as they are. It is because we are so reluctant and fearful of change, but change we must and change we will. If we can accept this without losing all, we may not need to lose it. It is not what we possess that impedes our growth, but what possesses us.

The crisis of adjustment is one recognition, as are all growth experiences. It is a recognition of what is real and permanent. When things are removed from our lives it teaches us what is real, permanent and true. It shows us our identity and the reality of our being.

Crises as opportunity – Part I

There are a number of crises in the life of the individual which reflect the overall development of the race. These are seminal moments when a change takes place with regard to the influence of the Soul on the personality of the individual concerned. The early crises are really concerned with the development of the personality. Later when the Soul has a level of control and influence we see the nature of these crises differently. We can all see how an individual has to re-trace the development of the race and re-learn in each incarnation the things necessary to using and training the new body in which the Soul has taken up residence, or more accurately, which it is in the process of appropriating. We must re-learn how to walk and talk, share, and understand the feelings of our friends and family. We are re-introduced to social order and responsibility which is carried from generation to generation as the whole of humanity develops. Each culture has its own way of relating these changes but as time passes we see that the race proceeds as a whole in its development and understanding based on this passing of values from one generation to the next just as the physical attributes are passed from one physical generation to the next through DNA.

There is little one can say about the early appropriation of the physical sheath. Memory does not serve well enough to detail any of those changes and I believe that we share more in this phase of our development than in any other. Some of us develop very definite control of our physical nature early on and become athletes, and some just competent enough to survive. I have very little recollection of the ages from four to seven when this is said to occur, but by the age of nine I began to express musical ability. My older brother bought a drum set from a neighbor and I took to it immediately. My brother later took up the guitar and we played together over many years with lots of different people. I still own a kit I bought at 16, and play with some regularity.

In my life, this musical expression actually bridges the first crisis with the second, in the teen years. It is at this time that the emotional body is appropriated by the Soul. I went through, as most do, very emotional turmoil when I was a teen. My family struggled financially and I could not have the things my friends had. We were not destitute, but could not afford the “right” jeans or other things my friends had and it made me angry and upset. Why was the world the way it was? Why the struggle? My emotion was very easily channeled into drumming because, while I was much smaller than other kids my age, and not able to compete effectively in sports, drumming is a very physical art. It gave me outlet for the anger to bang on them. I played my music loudly and aggressively and to at least a certain degree, I was able to let go.

The first true influence of the Soul comes into play at the third crisis; that of the appropriation of mind around the age of 25. This period of my life was marked by my acceptance of responsibility. I moved into management in my career. I married my first wife, and bought a house. I was drinking heavily but managed to balance many areas of my life. In hind sight I notice that music really took a back seat at this time. I had some friends I would play with on occasion, but there was no real effort. In my late teens and early twenties I thought it would be my career, but my brother and I were not mature enough to make it a business. Job and family became the focus and music a hobby.

These are all obviously personality based impressions, and I see that I operated as a personality through all of these times in my life. That is not how I would have seen it then, but looking back I don’t always like what I see and there has always been a “me” that I saw as better than my behavior. I have always strived to be a good person and operate with integrity. I always wanted to be the dependable guy, the good friend, good worker etc. This was an inkling of Soul influence but it was still a personal effort because it was based on how I wanted to be perceived, as a personality. It was your reputation that was at stake, so in anything that was outwardly apparent, you had to be seen in a certain way. I think that is why some behaviors that I am not at all proud of went on in the background. Desire was still hard to overcome and I did drugs and drank heavily. I felt like, as long as I got to work the next day it was nobody’s business what I was doing the night before. This, while I thought I was operating with integrity. It is interesting to look back at the things we have been able to justify in order to do what we “want.”

Living the Teaching – Crises

As many of you know, I study with The Arcane School in NY. I have been with them for about 9 years and there are no semester breaks or any of that stuff. It involves a steady effort in Meditation and study with monthly meditation reports and written papers at various stages. Many of these papers become the articles I have written for the Higher Ground Newsletter in some altered form to include the question in the answer. You can read them here if you are so inclined.

I have noticed my life turning along the lines of what I am being taught for some time now. It is amazing to me and yet should be expected that if what you are learning are universal truths they will be evident everywhere. If what you are learning is in fact a path of self development and discovery and you are following that path correctly, it too should be reflected in your life. If you are being guided by teachers who know what they are doing, than they should know what is happening to you based on what they are teaching you at any given stage. This seems an analogical necessity. If you are not “experiencing” this kind of teaching than something is missing. Either in the quality and accuracy of what is being taught, or your execution of the work presented. Would you not agree?

Obviously now I am going to tell you a story about how that is happening in my life, but I have done this before as well. It is true, and it does still strike me. We spent time on crises in the life of the disciple last year and we are looking at them again now. Don’t get scared of that word please. When I use the word Disciple in the title of an article, no one reads it. Being a disciple seems hard, but guess what? Life is a series of challenges that never stops until you don’t meet one. Some of this is hard so training for it is hard… Anyway I defined a crisis as a turning point. At least that is what I came up with. You can define it any way you like. You can have troubles of all kinds but unless it changes the way you do things, its not a crisis. Its probably leading to one, and that will be what you look back at and say “everything changed.”

If you have been reading this series on my journey you know that this is one of those times in my life. I am changing the way I am doing things, and I’m crazy enough to be basically reporting to you on it. I feel like there are plenty of other people going through this kind of thing and I wanted to share my experience. It has helped me get through some of this, so thank you for reading and commenting on what I have written.

Back to the Arcane School. I just finished a year long section of what is known as the “Weavers in the Light” degree, so new lessons and a new meditation just showed up earlier this month. I have been in this program for years now and these papers are all prearranged, The course has not likely changed dramatically in decades. Why am I bringing all of this up? It’s time to send in my first meditation report for this section and here is the first question:

In connection with your study of the crises (if you had any) in your life, would you consider that those with which you may have been confronted in the past month have been soul crises or personality crises?

I love that they ask if I am having any, as if they didn’t know.