Overly idealized vs more real, honest, and down to earth

 

Like a butterfly emerging from it’s cocoon,
I have been transformed inside,
All parts of myself now aligned in Truth,
I have nothing left to hide.

from mysticmamma

A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook.

I understand that this is meant as as inspiration, or as a guide or a direction. And that can be very helpful.

There are also possible drawbacks to statements like this one that seem a bit absolute and overly idealized.

Some may see it as unachievable and give up without even trying, even if what it talks about sounds desirable to them.

Some may see it as undesirable since it may seem too sterile and in the unhealthy perfection-striving category.

Some may create a goal out of arriving at a certain state and then be done. Reality is often far more messy, and it seems more of an ongoing process of clarifying, deepening, and embodying. Also, awakening isn’t about a state – apart from perhaps a state of recognition. (What any experience happens within and as recognizing itself as that). And by setting a goal, it may be seen as out there in others and possibly in the future, and they may miss out of being more fully present, engaged with, and allowing of what’s here and now.

People can take it to mean that something is wrong. They know that their own process is messy and far from finished, so at best they are not “there” yet, and at worst they think there is something wrong with them or their process.

In some case, and especially following an opening or initial awakening, people may use these statements to tell themselves they have “arrived”. They may use it as a denial of what’s left, or to avoid what’s left.

To me, these idealized and absolute statements seem more like the “dream of the ego”, and they appeal to the dreams of the ego. They promise a future without any pain or problems, and where everything is fixed and aligned with truth.

These types of statements also seem a bit old fashioned to me. I know they are common in certain spiritual traditions. But today, it seems that a more nuansed, real, and honest description is often more helpful. And that’s a trend we see with teachers such as Adyashanti, Pema Chodron, Jeff Foster, and Matt Licata.

I should also mention that none of the “pitfalls” mentioned above are “wrong”. The mind goes to these types of ideas and ideals to find protection, and that is very natural and understandable. We all do it in our own ways. And it’s an inherently self-correcting process through the interplay between our assumptions and life, our dreams and reality. When there is a mismatch, it’s stressful and that’s uncomfortable, so we are invited to align more closely with reality.

For most of us, these types of wrinkles are part of the process. It’s part of the process of clarifying, deepening, embodying, and becoming more deeply human.

And in the bigger picture, it’s all part of the play of life.

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Initial notes…..

  • direction vs done
    • can be helpful as a guide / direction / inspiration
    • but if it had been a statement of having arrived there
      • dangerous to assume we are “done” / nothing left to hide / all aligned with truth
      • several reasons
        • is most likely not accurate, comes back to bite you
        • + gives wrong impression, misguided ideal for others
    • seems somewhat old fashioned, exaggerated, idealied, more absolute than how it is in reality
    • more honest – adya, jeff foster, matt licata etc.
    • …..

…..

There are also possible downsides to these types of statements.

The main is that it can create an expectation of “arriving” and being done. All parts are aligned with truth, there is nothing left to hide. In my experience, and from what I hear from others, reality is far more messy. There is always furhter to go.

…..

They can create an expectation of arriving and being done. In my experience, and from what I hear from others, reality is often far more messy. There is always further to go. It’s an ongoing process of clarifying, deepening, and embodying.

People can take them to mean that something is wrong. They know that their own process is messy and far from finished, so at best they are not “there” yet, and at worst they think there is something wrong with them or their process.

…..

To me, it seems that these idealized and absolute statements come from and feed into the “dream of the ego”.

…..

People can create an ideal and expectation of arriving and being done. They operate from an expectation that’s out of alignment with reality. In my experience, and from what I hear from others, reality is often far more messy. There is always further to go. It’s an ongoing process of clarifying, deepening, and embodying.

They see a goal out there in others and in the future, and may miss out on the beauty and wonder of what’s here now, including the perfection that’s inherent in what’s already here.

People can take it to mean that something is wrong. They know that their own process is messy and far from finished, so at best they are not “there” yet, and at worst they think there is something wrong with them or their process.

…..

They also seem a bit old fashioned to me, and out of tune with our culture and what’s more needed today. I know they are common in certain spiritual traditions. But today, where many are a bit more psychologically and spiritually sophisticated, it seems that a more nuansed, real, and honest description is more appropriate.

….

I should also mention that in each of the “pitfalls” mentioned above, nothing is really wrong. It’s just where our minds may go, and we can learn from it. The mind goes to these types of ideas to find protection, and it’s an inherently self-correcting process. And for many of us, these types of wrinkles are part of the process.

In the bigger picture, it’s all part of the play of life.

…..

I should also mention that none of the “pitfalls” mentioned above are “wrong”. The mind goes to these types of ideas and ideals to find protection, and that is very natural and understandable. We all do it in our own ways. It’s an inherently self-correcting process through the interplay between our assumptions and dreams, and life and reality.

……

Initial draft…..

I saw this quote on Facebook.

I understand that it’s meant as inspiration and a guide or direction, and I see that it can be very helpful for those who are in a phase where they (feel they) need just that.

There are also possible downsides to these types of statements.

One downside is that it can create an ideal or expectation of arriving and being done. All parts are aligned with truth, there is nothing left to hide. In my experience, and from what I hear from others, reality is often far more messy. There is always further to go. It’s an ongoing process of clarifying, deepening, and embodying.

Another downside with absolute statements and simplified ideals is that people can use them to put themselves down and tell themselves they are doing it wrong. They know that their own process is messy and they are far from “finished”, so they assume something must be wrong. While the reality is that they are going through what just about everyone are going through or went through – including the most respected teachers in the different spiritual traditions.

A third possible pitfall is that some may think they actually have arrived, and they use these types of statements as a form of denial and to protect themselves from what’s left.

To use a phrase from Adyashanti, these more absolute and idealized statements seem more like the dream of the ego, and they appeal to the dreams of the ego. They promise a future without any pain or problems, and where everything is fixed and aligned with truth.

These types of absolute and overly idealized statements also seem a bit old fashioned to me. I know they are common in certain spiritual traditions. But today, it seems that a more nuansed, real, and honest description can be more helpful.

And that’s the trend as well, as we see with teachers such as Adyashanti, Pema Chodron, Jeff Foster, and Matt Licata.

I should also mention that in each of the cases mentioned above, nothing is really wrong. It’s just where our minds go, and we can learn from it. For many of us, it’s part of the process. And in the bigger picture, it’s all part of the play of life.

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