I was at a workshop at Breitenbush last weekend, found Camino by Shirley MacLaine in their library, and read parts of it. It was an enjoyable read, and it also reminded me of the different approaches we take to life.
There seems to be two main paths we can take, with variations within each and the possibility of various combinations of the two as well.
One is the path of exploring and rearranging the world of phenomena from within the world of phenomena. This is the path of western science, philosophy, psychology, medicine and most forms of therapy from any culture. It is a path that is very valuable, although it can itself never give complete satisfaction. There will always be more to be fixed, there will always be situations coming along that throws us off and into suffering. Here, I am after all only a tiny object in a very larger world of other unpredictable objects. No amount of energy balancing, psychotherapy and learning coping mechanisms etc. can ultimately help me here.
The other is awakening as the Absolute and as Big Mind, and allow the world of phenomena arise within us. This gives us a quite different perspective, and allows for a different form of healing. Here, I find myself as capacity for the world, as that which has no boundaries, no beginning, no end, no change, as that in which the world of phenomena arises in the present – leaving no trace.
I find that there is nothing to be healed because it was never injured, and I also find that living as capacity for the world allows this small self to unwind, unravel the knots, and heal on its own.
And yes, Shirley MacLaine’s approach – although interesting and entertaining – is mostly within the first path. The one of exploring and reorganizing the world of phenomena, from within the world of phenomena.