The Challenge of Spiritual Balance on Earth
Jed Shlackman, Contributor
The path of the spiritual adept progressing toward mastery is one that requires a steadfast commitment toward balance and integration. In life we develop a variety of skills and master the characteristics of archetypes and polarities so that we can reunite them in ourselves to recover our wholeness.
A quality that is seen as desirable can be taken to a polarized extreme and become unhealthy and dysfunctional. A quality that is perceived as negative or pathological can be recognized as being the polarized extreme of something that is actually beneficial when applied in balance and moderation. Even some of the most valuable and empowering spiritual teachings can be taken to an extreme or out of context and lead to unhealthy patterns.
We experience life as human beings with a conscious and “unconscious” or “subconscious” mind. We have a masculine and feminine aspect within ourselves; we have a rational, logical side as well as an intuitive, emotional side. When we develop just one side or polarity and neglect the other we foster imbalances in our lives. The modern Western society has pushed people toward division rather than integration of these aspects of ourselves. We are taught to be logical and linear in thinking and neglect our intuition in some contexts and to go with our feelings and dismiss critical thinking in other contexts.
Religions tend to appeal to the emotional side of people, encouraging faith and devotion rather than critical thinking. Science oriented endeavors tend to over-rely on linear thinking and discourage consideration of intuitive knowing or non-measurable experiences. In the various forms of spirituality that may appear to transcend the structures of organized religion there is still a challenge with finding balance. Some encourage fully letting go of the “ego” self in order to access some higher reality. Others focus on a strict lifestyle or a complete commitment toward serving others. These approaches can help individuals develop certain archetypes, but do not in themselves promote full integration and wholeness.
Nowadays, many modern spiritual aspirants look toward the feminine polarity as somehow better than the masculine. Women are encouraged to see themselves as “goddesses” and the problems of the world are blamed on patriarchal dominance. While it is valuable to honor ourselves, whether we exist as male or female in our human form, the roots of the polarization and dysfunctions in the world involve the imbalances generated by both polarities in their non-integrated state.
There are a substantial number of ancient myths and legends as well as modern psychic information sources which suggest that the original humans that existed on Earth were actually hermaphroditic, androgynous beings. Things were initially peaceful and harmonious with those beings, however this all changed when some of the “gods” from the stars came and manipulated the DNA of the Earth humans to create separate genders and limit the perceptive abilities of these humans. The Earth humans would become disconnected from their attunement to nature and their telepathic and telempathic abilities. They would have to develop spoken and written languages and rely on a more limited range of sensory input to cope with their environment. This descent of humanity into separation and polarization has provided a playing field for many spiritual lessons. Many of those lessons involve balancing the characteristics of the genders.
If a man calls himself a “god” and starts to blame social problems on women he is often labeled a narcissist and misogynist, though in some cultures (especially those influenced by monotheistic religions originating in the Middle East) the denigration of women has been prominent and women seen as the inferior gender or the cause of troubles. Women who call themselves “goddess” and blame men for social problems are less likely now to be denounced for this, though in past eras and even in some current cultures women would be persecuted for empowering themselves or criticizing men. Both of those attitudes where one gender is denigrated contain an imbalance. While empowering the healthy expression of the feminine aspect we need to also empower the healthy expression of the masculine aspect rather than to suppress the masculine. When we perceive the distortions in others we can also be motivated to take responsibility for facing the distortions within ourselves. In past eras it was common for women to be seen as overly emotional and prone to “hysterics” and irrational actions that could harm society. In the modern era it has become common to see men as lacking sensitivity and compassion and prone to destructive actions based on their over-focus on masculine exercise of power. It’s about time we start to own up to the shadow sides of both genders and work toward balancing male and female archetypes within ourselves rather than seeking to place blame on one gender or to exalt one gender over the other. Reacting to masculine dominance by shifting to feminine dominance cannot bring a healthy balance.
An imbalance in one polarity resonates with the imbalance in the other polarity. Men, due to the polarized nature of the body and social programming, tend to suppress the feminine aspects within themselves, allowing them to be more inclined to carry the masculine to a dysfunctional extreme. Women often do the same thing, suppressing their masculine aspect and distorting the feminine qualities. Sometimes, women can overcompensate and become overly masculine and suppress their feminine side, and men may overcompensate and become overly feminine and suppress the masculine side. Having experience living through many lifetimes that include both genders gives us the opportunity to learn to balance the polarities.
With civilization leading people to become overly materialistic and identified with their bodies, spiritual teachings have often focused on reminding people of the illusory nature of the dualistic reality that the mind creates and perceives. Eastern Advaita traditions and the Western “A Course In Miracles” are examples of teachings that guide the seeker to recognize the existence of an undivided awareness that underlies all Creation and is from that perspective more “real” than the physical reality that we experience in our human lives. Many find this realization liberating and are eager to align their consciousness with that reality in every moment.
However, if that is all we needed to recognize there would be no need to continue with our experience in the realm of form. We are faced here with the task of developing discernment and applying it in this level of reality. It’s nice to know that ultimately All is One and One is All and our Souls come from the same essence, yet that perception of Oneness is counter-productive for the moment if we are driving our car and unable to discern that there is a light of the color red, yellow, or green. Physical existence necessitates learning within the context of polarities, elements, and archetypes, and using discernment. Living without boundaries and giving “love” unconditionally may sound nice, yet in a context where there are abusive and vampiric entities it is not a sign of spiritual maturity to fail to set boundaries or take steps to prevent being assaulted.
Doing healing work I have on many occasions encountered individuals who are quite sensitive, and carry a strong desire to love and care for others, who have been seriously abused or mistreated by others. They may have suppressed their anger and pain in order to maintain their self-image as “kind” and “loving.” They may develop a fragmented personality, where there is a sweet, gentle facade that can fall apart when the person is triggered, leading to overreaction to perceived mistreatment as the suppressed anger and hurt arise.
It is important to learn to develop healthy boundaries and to process our feelings and reflect upon our beliefs about what is “true.” There is much here for us to learn about ourselves. While we embrace transcendent truths about spiritual existence and creation, we can also learn to master ourselves and address the challenges of material existence in more balanced ways. Integrating the dualistic perspective with the non-dualistic perspective brings wholeness to our experience.
Our Souls come from a level of being that is of a much higher vibrational nature, where the darkness explored in Earth life would be quite foreign. When a spiritual being encounters the experiences on Earth that are unpleasant, it can be quite distressing. When a child is called rude names or someone grabs his/her toy that child may get angry and have a tantrum. The more experienced, mature adult will usually be able to handle this situation with more calmness and less distress. This is analogous to how a less experienced soul might react to Earth situations versus how a more experienced soul would. As we evolve we are able to understand both polarities and respect the purpose of both in the unfoldment of life. We don’t need to define one as better than the other or to reject the existence of anything or anyone. Creation contains all possibilities and we can allow for them all to exist while focusing on what we align our own consciousness with.
Cultivating peace and love is valuable, but we also must be able to take assertive action and to set energetic boundaries while functioning in a dualistic reality. Living in denial and imagining that “All You Need Is Love” when you live in a reality where there are entities and energies present that can bring harm is actually foolish. Finding a balance between love and fear is important. Love fosters giving and allowing energy to flow, while fear fosters the establishment of boundaries and separating from that which could cause harm. Without fear to alert us to danger we would be unable to address relevant threats in this reality. The dark side disowns love and empathy while the light side disowns fear and judgment. Yet, to be whole and access our full creative potential we must be able to integrate all of these aspects so they can be applied with wisdom and balance. Souls that progress through human incarnations can become truly masterful creators, as there are deep, challenging lessons learned in human life.
About the Author
Jed Shlackman, M.S. Ed., LMHC is a professional counselor, hypnotherapist and regression therapist, Reiki master and energy healer, and a sound healing musician and writer who is based in Miami, Florida. Jed has degrees in counseling and psychology from the University of Miami and has been working as a counselor and healer with thousands of clients over the past couple of decades. Jed’s website is www.phinsights.com, his facebook links are www.facebook.com/jedishamanreiki and www.facebook.com/jediholistichealing – Jed can be found on Twitter as #jedishaman and his meditation and music recordings are at jedishaman.bandcamp.com. Jed’s holistic wellness articles as the Miami Holistic Health Examiner can be viewed athttp://www.examiner.com/holistic-health-in-miami/jed-shlackman
Jed’s book Consciousness, Creation, And Existence: A Guide To The Grand Adventure is available from Amazon.com and other book sellers.
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