Self-Expression Vs. Withdrawing From the World
>> I'd like to ask for the advanced students' opinion on a very strange topic: What seems to be of great interest to the other "normal" people (business, career, objectives, you name it) becomes more and more irrelevant to me day after day. And my concern is that a gap between my topics of interest and my social relationships' may put a distance between me and ...the social and economic reality. <<
Your post has roused me from my holiday slumber because it raises a crucial question and one that every initiate must face at one point or another. How one faces it really determines the future course of initiation and spiritual growth.
I think the ultimate point of initiation is to plummet the internal realm *and then to externalize what you find within*. It does no good to just leave it inside. If it is not externalized, it has no genuine life. But said externalization is not a matter of externalizing it just in order to change the external world. It's not a matter of trying to sway everyone else to your way of thinking and being. It is instead, simply a matter of BEing who *you* are.
There's an ancient Chinese proverb that says this perfectly: "A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." And as we know, a bird will sing its song in a city full of people just as beautifully as it will in the deep forest.
What lies within each individual is like a bird's song: when sung, it increases the beauty of this world. Yet we humans are taught to edit our inner song so that it conforms to acceptable social behaviour and consequently, few of us truly sing it. Instead we make it an "answer" -- a thing with purpose other than simple, spontaneous song.
It does not matter one bit how others sing or don't sing. All that matters is that *you* sing. I say sing your song in *every* circumstance but sing it only because it is *your* song, not because you need others to sing their own songs. Don't bother wasting your time making judgments about whether or not others are actually singing their songs. Instead, keep your focus upon singing your own song.
I have found that with practice, I can sing my own song anywhere and at any time, irregardless of circumstance. It comes down to the art of singing in harmony with the circumstance of the moment. I sing my song when discussing mundane affairs and my discussion becomes an aspect of my song. Instead of withdrawing from the world, I bring myself to the world.
>> I was just mentioning that it would be problematic to reveal to business relations that I don't have lots of interest for their business or topics of conversations anymore. How could I feel lots of interest in discussing budget and dead-lines and lobbying and war-at-the-office after having meditated on akasha, or made exercises in the Archaeous e.g., ...and read things about large-scale and long-term pollution, with its impact on Earth ? Remember that I'm not talking about logic, but emotions. And I believe here lies part of the issue : it's precisely because I worked "on" my astral body that I now have to acknowledge this type of emotions. Positive thing in itself - but full of consequences socially speaking, because I cannot ignore them. <<
Your emotions must not be in control of you. Rather, you must learn to take command of the consequences that follow from your spontaneous emotions. Honor your emotions for what they are and then determine what you do with those emotions, instead of letting the emotion itself determine your expression of it (especially in habitual ways).
I suggest that you *do* express the emotions you describe, but express them in a manner consistent with, and in harmony with, the circumstances. This is what I meant by my expression: "the art of singing in harmony with the circumstance of the moment." What is to prevent you from bringing these core values with you into your day-to-day business dealings? Why not express the *core* values through your every action and adapt their expression to fit each circumstance.
In a way, this is an aspect of the Step One "thought discipline" exercise in which you focus the whole of your attention upon the task at hand. If your task is a business luncheon or meeting, then bring your whole self, along with your whole attention, and intentionally express your core values. Interact with your business partners in a way that holds true to your core values -- in a way that expresses your concern for the world *and in a way that manifests what you think is the path to healing the world's wounds*. In other words, enact your core values. With a bit of artfulness (NOT falseness or role-playing, such as Castaneda seems to recommend), it is easy to express your core values through even the simplest, most mundane situation, without offending anyone or damaging your business opportunities. In fact, I suspect you would find what I've found -- that this actually increases the likelihood that your associates will sincerely like you and want to work with you.
You see, when you DO express *your* Self *fully and truly*, you create a safe "space" for others to likewise, express themselves fully and truly. This safety is something most humans long for and when found, its makes us happy. :)
>> I have found a "few" things in the realm within indeed (although they are still a bit fuzzy). Apart from questions linked to my mirrors and a few ...boons to develop, the main element is this cry : "We are diverging. Gaïa is suffering. The "spirits of Nature" are suffering. What can be done ?" <<
The ONE thing we each individually have the power to do is to truly express our inner self by enacting it, making it a real and concrete presence within the mundane world. If you see that humans have diverged, then merge! In other words, if you understand the human behaviour that could remedy the situation, then enact that behaviour yourself. Become an example of the cure by treating others in the way that you see all humans "should" treat one another!
>> And as I am relatively empathic, the contrast between "IIH ambiance" and down-to-..Earth business is a dissonance to me when I'm in a business group. <<
Hermetics is a way of balance. It is important that we bridge any gaps between our Hermetic practice and our mundane interactions. It is this act of bringing the spiritual side of ourselves, into our mundane interactions, that grounds what we learn and makes it a genuine force instead of just a bunch of ineffectual pretty thinking. Yes, it can be a challenge to figure out how you will bring your inner content outwards and express it effectively and appropriately, but it is NOT an insurmountable challenge and it is a challenge that is important for the Hermetic magician to master.
I suggest that you examine what it is within you that finds it easier to feel separated from the mundane world than to bring your whole self TO the mundane world.
My best to you,
:) Rawn Clark
16 Mar 2003