the Spirit 2
I must remember that a man can smile and still be a villain’.
it until you make it’ Yogi Bhajan
this series of articles we are looking at attitudes and practices which,
although they may be adopted with good intention, stand to trap the spirit
of the aspirant, especially those working alone. The usual reasons for
this are that the idea has been taken out of context, that there is an
inadequate sense of perspective, or that the idea is anachronistic. We are
all the time changing and the spiritual slant has to change too if it is
to remain vital. This is becoming increasingly evident as the
Aquarian Age begins to settle in.
line with the DK Foundation’s approach we are looking at this matter in
the context of the western, post New Age landscape.
this article we are looking at spiritually inspired pretence, or
presenting an image, which does not accord with the personality’s
reality in a given situation. To some degree, all spiritual aspirants do
this, with or without awareness of the contradictions.
perfectibility is a process, a story that is still being written as it is
being recounted. Perfection is a concept that stands for the process; it
cannot contain the truth of perfectibility because the latter is a moving
is. We do not create it, we uncover it.
perfectibility involves unfolding in line with the plan, clearing
obstacles and uncovering in line with the plan of an individual life and
soul grouping. Only honesty and authenticity can prepare the ground in a
way that will permit individuality to shine through. It cannot be served
by pretence or imitation because if we are unique who can we copy?
in the process of human perfectibility, learning to appreciate and
co-operate with the perspectives of the soul releases us from the
limitations of personality consciousness. If undertaken intelligently,
conscious pretence in the form of anticipating the view from the plane of
the soul can serve this process of dissolving obstacles.
removal of obstacles through encouraging the perspectives of the soul has
been the focus of spirituality in the past two thousand years. Those that
have succeeded in achieving soul consciousness (or that we consider to
have achieved it - not necessarily the same thing at
all) have fashioned our idea of perfection, and it is the idea of
perfection that underpins spiritually inspired pretence.
is a strangely immobile concept, this idea of perfection, an expression of
Piscean duality that removes any taint of personality consciousness and
negates thereby the point of being in incarnation.
incarnation, we all have personalities and personality consciousness. Yep,
everyone, even an enlightened being. What varies is the degree of control
we have over our personalities, the degree and facility of access to soul
consciousness, and our understanding of what the integrated, aligned
personality can achieve on behalf of the planet.
concept of perfection that is so widely imitated bears as much resemblance
to totality of human perfectibility as the crescent moon to the full moon.
A soul conscious being stands for potential, not completion. Love and
compassion are not ends in themselves; they are qualities that make it
safe for us to express the higher-octane energy of spirit.
and compassion express the soul of God, not the whole of God. Islam has
always understood that, whilst it has not been within the remit of
as integrating Aquarian perspectives replace the duality of the Age of
Pisces we will learn to show our personalities more respect and use them
more intelligently. Personality serves spirit by bringing energy through
for the lower kingdoms. If an enlightened being does not choose that role
he does not remain in incarnation; if he does he will need a personality
everyday life, pretence a grey area; we are not consistent in our attitude
towards it. In children it is usually viewed positively as evidence of
developing powers of observation and creativity; in teenagers who are
trying to find their identity, imitation is just about acceptable; in
adults it is almost always viewed unfavourably, as a betrayal of self and
an attempt to mislead others.
to the esotericist who understands the attractive potential of form, the
use of certain postures, expressions and sounds is a way of bringing about
an altered state of consciousness. A practitioner who knows what he is
doing is able to ensure that this altered state is of a higher vibration.
It is the basis of yoga, the point of saying mantras and positive speech.
there is nothing controversial about smiling even if we are feeling far
from cheerful and saying that we are fine when we are not. Indeed, this is
considered to have merit, in both social and spiritual circles.
other option is to say nothing at all.
I am teaching I will never let students get away with coming onto a room
and disgorging negativity over everyone as they complain about their day.
(This is a feminine trait.) No one needs to hear this kind of stuff,
recounting it changes nothing except the vibration in the room, and that
for the worse. But spiritual
aspirants think it is their duty to listen and to be seen looking
sympathetic and interested. We are very, very image conscious in these
post New Age days!
the spiritual aspirant any problems with pretence comes from
identification. A room full of people trying hard to appear sweet in the
belief that this is what spiritual people are, is sickly and dead because
the motivation, which is usually to impress, is wrong and there is
identification with that image so self-awareness has gone to sleep.
a matter of policy at the Foundation, we discourage students from any kind
of pretence except affirmation. The way that we work recommends honesty in
reckoning with self.
spiritual aspirant needs to be aware of himself at all times.
If we are to use pretence then we need to know what the reality is. We
have to observe ourselves faking. This means having awareness of every
thought, emotion and reaction whilst we are dissembling. It is very easy
to get lost behind the image and mistake the dress rehearsal for the real
can obscure the truth of ourselves from ourselves, distort our assessment
of it and make us fear to be ordinary.
The principle of conscious pretence may be sound but the practice
can be very flawed.
effects will be positive or negative depending upon the degree of
identification, the degree of understanding of the purpose of that image
and the degree of skill in working with an image. That is the
only generalisation to be made. For the rest it depends upon specifics.
image of any kind is an incubator. It may help fragile things grow, in the
case of the human being a sense of being part of something greater than
self, but in time it will become a limitation and will stifle the spirit.
and the aspirant
Affirmation and mantras
desirable thought forms that will strengthen over time with
that are too obvious although the habit of proclaiming truths (this is a
male trait) can leave a person quite out of touch with himself.
Creating an outer appearance of cheerfulness
Can make the personality vehicle receptive to and expressive of positive
states and challenge the habit of negativity:
Resentment and distress ‘because no one understands how I truly feel’.
Striving to appear calm, loving and compassionate; saying the right thing
Again, challenges the habit of negativity, clears a space to give
something other than anger and judgement a chance
Pride, confusion, judgement - accusing others of lacking compassion is
only judgement in another guise.
Emulating teachers in certain practices.
A living example to provide guidance
Sense of specialness, delusion, retards the development of discernment
you cannot admit to faking if challenged, beware! You are on thin ice!
teachers, especially those on the second and sixth ray work with illusion.
They present an image to attract the attention of followers and give
yearning and desire something upon which to focus. By this means they may
raise the lower emotions into aspiration.
no, they are not likely to be their public image in private life or in
their personal relationships, as many a disciple who has married her
teacher has discovered! The illusion thrives on remoteness.
you are reacting indignantly to this, ask yourself how long you have
spent, preferably alone in your teacher’s company, away from teaching
situations. It is no failing to reconnect with personality consciousness;
what matters is how effectively separatist perspectives can be controlled
and transcended when the occasion requires it.
we are ready to hear this now. When we stop believing in Father Christmas
we start to think about giving and not simply receiving.
spiritual teacher working with illusion creates a frame, a showcase
through which certain high energies and qualities may be presented in a
concentrated form. It is like being given a shot of a very pure, intense
substance. The illusion created by the teacher is designed to give the
student a glimpse into another reality, but just as a ballerina gets off
her points when she comes off the stage, so a teacher reconnects with
the aspirant who does not understand the purpose of illusion may be
confused, disillusioned and disappointed by finding the teacher has an
active personality, and the effects of that are not to be underestimated,
by far the greater danger in this activity is to the teacher who can
become very slack because he has a public image to hide behind or, more
seriously, can become identified with the illusion.
teacher who has not seen through the illusion of perfection - and there
are many of them - can still be useful to aspirants up to a certain level
of development; but a teacher who has become identified with the illusion
with which he is working can be dangerous. This kind of identification
spawns cults and no one who is identified with an illusion has control
listen to what a teacher is claiming to be. If you are of a mind to
listen, the sound alone should guide you.
teacher who works with illusion walks a dangerous path and the guru model
of teaching has little future now in the West. There are many reasons for
this, which we cannot go into here. It is enough to say that times have
changed and the illusion is backing up on us in a most unhelpful way. To
be able to share our humanness and our experience is now far more useful
and salutary that relying upon impressing with attainment.
next month’s article we will look at what it means to be ourselves.