Friday, March 20, 2015

Fearing the Beloved

"Most of us go into relationships to find security; we want to be with someone else who makes us feel safe… Spiritually the answer to fear… [is] you are already safe." The Path to Love by Deepak Chopra

Writing about a compelling topic, a concern for individuals and societies the world over, Deepak Chopra in his book, The Path to Love, makes a simply profound observation. That is the simple realization that we are safe, as safe as we can be in any given moment.
If we have suffered previously, we are safe. What has occurred is past and we have survived it. It is spiritually unnecessary to make events "larger than life." Everything as a part of the whole has its place in the world. Traumatized though we may be by events, they are survivable.

It may be part of your life experience that you were left alone together with your mother by your father to fend for yourselves; possibly your experience has been war, or criminal acts; maybe you have experienced the effects of serious illness, possibly ongoing events such as cancer or mental illnesses like serious depression.
But it remains true that you have survived each and all of these events day by day! The worst is not, what is before you, as you fear; it isn't unknown.
 Looking into the face of an assailant or one who abandons you, treats you poorly, may well inspire fears, or it may initiate a 'substitute life,' one provoked by the mind's imagination.

"If you felt truly safe, fear wouldn't arise," writes Chopra. He makes the point that from a position of spirituality, all fears are projections, a term coined by psychologist Carl Jung to state that one's thoughts, feeling and perceptions are outwardly focused or projected away from the self in an effort to defend the 'ego' from jolts.
"As long as these projections continue, you will keep generating fearful situations to accommodate them… the threats you perceive around you now, or coming at you in the future are the long shadow being cast by your past."
In relationships of long time standing, we often counteract this impulse to fear precisely because the lengthiness of the relationship.
In other words, according to this observation made by Chopra, if it was going to happen, it has already occurred, and you have already survived the worst of it. There is nothing more to fear today.

Now in romantic love, we feel protected and loved. But it was love, all along, whose protection we sought. "The love you have for one person is a safe zone and thus a good place to begin.'
'The beloved is like a harbor" in which you may take refuge. In an effort to protect ourselves from pain or disappointment, we may perform many maneuvers, either consciously or unconsciously.

Spiritually it is something like the child who places their hands over their ears. It's good for muffling overly loud noises or frustrating conversations. But it isn't selective; it blocks out most everything. So our efforts to protect our self from what we fear, often also accomplishes the banishment of the possibilities for love.

We can begin to replace controlling with allowing, writes Chopra. "If you can begin to replace controlling with allowing to your Beloved, the effect is to release you from attachment--both of you are spiritually served from the same act."
Examples of allowing are things like letting go of controls such as judgment, impatience, resistance; these may be replaced by allowing yourself and others some tolerance, acceptance, and open, non-resistance. There is a great freedom here; energy is released for other, constructive uses.

"Needing to control life, either yours or your partner, is based on spiritual desperation." When you allow, the self-serving facade of a demanding, critical, impatient, perfectionist partner begins to crumble.
An easy, more comfortable friendliness then may take its place, at least, in increasing amounts. Blame becomes unnecessary, love flows as a heart-felt sensation.
So then, from Chopra's view, the most loving thing one can do is to encourage and support these shifts within our self and our Beloved.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Cosmic Energy, Shakti and Siva

"Shakti and Siva are One." Amrita Patel

Shakti is transforming, manifesting
herself in five specific ways as described in the Siva Sutras: Chitta--awareness; Ananda--bliss; Icha--desire; Gyana--knowledge; Kriya--action. For the one in growing self awareness, Shakti arises in consciousness as an element of passion. Passion isn't personal, however another may prompt awareness of its present possibilities. Passion as described in the Sutra is universal; it is the particles of light-giving life. In Christian terms, this passion is described as the Christ, who is the light of the world.

As a part of the cosmic energy Shakti
is but one power, one part of light. Its energy is inspired by spirit and its drive is creative. Shakti in creation brings forth Siva in traditional Hindu view of the creative functioning of the world. Inspiring passion, the ordinarily abstract and unconscious Siva is made manifest by the dances of Shakti. The energy borne of the cosmic pair, passionate love, is energy that makes every thing new, every being renewed, innocent in expression.

Siva is all awareness, silent and intuitive. Siva as a part of cosmic energy described in tradition, creates, destroys or empties, protects, covers, reveals. Siva is present in life's processes. The miracle of the process in revelation is that the love energy borne by Siva, and directly in the world by Shakti, is like a miracle, revealing a divine shift, love itself manifesting in peacefulness, joy and a sense of the whole.

Siva is also known as "Pashupati,"
Lord of creatures. To this end, Sri Chakra worship is witness to the unity of Shakti and Siva. It is a symbol of the infinite as well. Sri Aurobindo writes:

"This is the knot that ties together the stars;
The two who are one and the Secret of all power,
The two who are one are the might and right in things "

For Aurobindo, this scripture and others demonstrates that Shakti and Siva are One, writes Amrita Patel in his literary book, Perspectives on Sri Aurobindo's Poetry, Plays and Criticism.