The Cult of Positivity

(I’m going to rewrite this soon… it does not flow the way I want. But the basic ideas are here.)

The message from the “Cult of Positivity” is that if we’re having negative emotions/thoughts/experiences, then we’re attracting them by some misuse of mind power. The implication is that something is wrong with us … and that we should instead “think positive” and “raise our vibration” to attract only good things like abundance and soul-mates and unending bliss.

Horsepucky. That notion is the “Hallmark Cards’ of spirituality, and life does not actually work that way — certainly not for those on a path of transformation.

The notion that negative emotions/thoughts/experiences are to be avoided, or are unspiritual, or are a symptom of “low vibration,” is patently false. One has only to read of the lives of the great mystics and illumined ones to realize that they suffered greatly, both before and after their awakening.

Experiencing “negativity” is not only unavoidable on the spiritual path — it’s a totally necessary part of the transformational alchemy. It doesn’t mean that your practice isn’t working… on the contrary, you may dig through a great deal of mud before digging deeply enough to reach the “Water of Life.”

However, an avoidance of negativity may, in fact, block your spiritual unfoldment. The nature of life itself is to expand and contract. One observes many spiritual seekers who are stunting their spiritual growth through an unworkable effort to sustain an elevated state and thereby never taking the next step into a fuller incarnation or embodiment that would lead to a fuller capacity to remain inwardly fluid and in touch with the inherent freedom of the soul, offering us the best use of this precious human life.

We must keep in mind that oaks grow strong in contrary winds, and diamonds are made under enormous pressure. The finest steels are forged by being hammered, folded-over, and hammered again many times before being heated almost white-hot, quenched, cooled, and polished into the finest swords.

And God/The Universe is not a vending machine. “Raising your vibration” is not necessarily going to be rewarded with life always getting easier. However, if you are truly awakening, your capacity to encompass life will increase noticeably and you will become a true “source” for others and the world.

Random stuff happens; while there are certainly “self-fulfilling prophecies” that we can trace to specific identifiable behaviors, there is also a great deal in life that we neither create nor attract. If there were not randomness, there would be neither free will nor creativity, and without those, there is no evolution of consciousness. A period of chaos is fundamental to change and transformation.

Struggle is how our nascent potential is actually manifested and embodied. 3-D reality entails time and it entails mass; it takes energy — work — to create the accommodation for our potentials to manifest in life. It does not happen magically or because we are thinking the right thoughts or doing the right rituals. Those things can help, but for the truly great things to be birthed, great effort — and stretching — is required.

There is great freedom inside the indeterminacy of what looks on the surface to be chaos. Positivity can be a very subtle egoic trap that actually blocks our unfoldment because we won’t allow the indeterminacy of the transition and are trying to “live an image” of “spirituality” or of ourselves instead of allowing the fresh-and-authentic — but essentially uncontrollable — emerge organically. Ironically, it’s the aliveness of this emergence that we actually crave and are trying to contrive through a forced positivity.

We won’t give up control, to not put too fine a point on it. Most of the positivity crap is just our ego looking to stay in control and build a fence around our experience. This continues to sell books, seminars, and sessions with your life coach because, while being superficially plausible, it does not actually work and we keep churning the same-old, same-old.

The notion that we can steer life away from pain and chaos by maintaining “positivity” is very attractive to the wounded ego that is just looking to feel better, but it is really a counterfeit, feckless positivity if we have not developed the capacity — the trust, the will and the strength — to stare our Shadow in the face and shine the light of awareness and compassion into its dark corners.

I know that some people put great stock in “channeled” material and there is a great deal of support for the Cult of Positivity in the stuff received from dis-embodied/non-embodied entities. The problem is that there is no way to verify that the entity is what s/he says s/he is. The capacity to channel does not mean that the channel is an evolved being, either, and the channeled material is limited and shaped by the channel’s own mind and understanding. Further — and more to the point — the channeled entity is not living your life. YOU are, and it is up to YOU to develop your relationship with your own inner guidance and will-power in a way that supports your divine autonomy and inner support for the transformation that is before you.

But there are kernels of truth inside the nonsense…..

One is that when we become contracted through fear and anger, we limit our availability to the Universe to bring us what we actually do need. It’s also true that most of our fearful/angry thought/emotion states do not produce anything except more of the same. So it behooves us to discipline our heartminds (the Sufis speak of training the ego instead of killing it) to just not take thought/attitude pathways that experience shows have no “product.”

The other kernel is that some of us self-selected before incarnation to Awaken in a spiritual sense. So anything that doesn’t support that unfoldment/deepening has to go, and some of what was untenable in our lives has significant inertia or “parasitic drag” (like barnacles on the hull of our ship of journey). It just takes time to clear that stuff because some of it goes down to a cellular or sub-cellular level and the body itself has to adjust and respond to a new inner direction.

When a caterpillar pupates, its innards become soup and then re-form from something designed to handle rough material to something that assimilates nectar as nourishment. The “soup” phase is a necessary process for both butterflies and humans. We spend as much time in soup phase as we need, in accordance/alignment with a wisdom that the mind can’t fathom but which is absolutely trustworthy.

So the third kernel of truth in the Cult of Positivity crap is that we can avoid the tendency of the ego to become identified with the pain and melodrama of the soup phase by doing what supports hope and supports faith-in-the-process. Sometimes it is simply an act of conscious, deliberate intention to stay focused on hope and faith when everything seems to be falling apart, but the effort is always rewarded with a greater sense of ease, spaciousness, and fluidity.

Here’s the deal: Don’t judge your experience… neither grasp nor avoid…just allow the fluidity of your process. THAT is the way to spend the most time in spaciousness and open-hearted joy, and to make the best-possible use of those periods of pain.