Overheard: “I could never handle what your path puts you through.”
It’s not “what this path puts me through.” Any authentic path will put us through exactly what we need for our authentic self to awaken.
What it puts us through is exactly what’s needed to develop the qualities and capacities we need to become the being that we took human incarnation to become.
An authentic path will also give us the *support* we need to accomplish this, including mentors, practices, and community of practitioners all going through the same thing. If you’re walking alone, you are making it all *much* harder than it needs to be.
Then the time comes when it’s less “what it’s putting us through” than it is kisses from the Universe beckoning us forward…
One of the most difficult things about the path is that we will revisit and revisit our “shticks” and “rackets” over and over and over, in different guises. This is inevitable, because they form the foundation of our personality and it’s where we go under stress.
And just when we’re certain that we’ve broken-through, it comes in another form, but perhaps subtler because we have, in fact, progressed.
Often the “stress” IS that we’ve changed and our old patterns are no longer working.
That’s where a living teacher and a coherent body of teaching can help us see our cycles, because the teacher will mirror ourselves to us where we will eventually see our pattern for what it is.
We all “walk alone” in the sense that we all must do the work ourselves that is before us, just as your doctor cannot “heal” you — your body must heal itself.
And just as a doctor can be enormously helpful, not to say necessary, when we are ill, a spiritual teacher is a physician of the heart….
But we in America have a huge egoic shtick around autonomy and independence, an unexamined and largely unconscious cultural conditioning towards hyper-individuation that we take totally for granted as Reality.
It often shows up when the topic of spiritual guides arises. This is partly an artifact of the antics of crappy teachers, but more because we don’t understand what real spiritual teachers actually do or how they function.
The teacher is there to provide the support that we have too little means to provide ourselves.
This support comes in many forms and at many levels, some of which — perhaps most of which — are not psychological. But we can spin our wheels for years, chipping away at issues and blocks that we could overcome in a few months if we were given the right “prescription” by someone with the insight to give it — someone who has overcome that issue him/her-self and knows the way.
In other words: We are NOT condemned to revisiting those patterns. They are not inherent to our real substance, and we are much, much more than our history and our psychology. When we begin, in a real way, to source our felt-identity from that “more,” actual transformation becomes possible.