I learned that deep spiritual transformation cannot take place without ownership of the circumstances of our lives. Until then, we are only passengers on a road trip, watching the passing scenery of our existence, hardly aware of any responsibility that we have had in creating the world we live in.
For me, ownership means moving away from the idea that other people create my world, and that I am a passive role-player in most of the experience. I spent years feeling a range of difficult emotions related to my beliefs about my universe. I believed that I was a victim amongst many others, all of us born into a generally unjust world. I only had to look around me to see evidence of this belief. There was then, and still is now, widespread poverty, manufactured war, child-trafficking, inhumane treatment of animals, unjust judicial structures, crooked politics everywhere we look, exclusive social systems, enslaving financial organizations…the list goes on and on and on and back then, it was easy to believe that myself and others were slaves to those who held the power.
Of course, believing that I had no part in how the world was structured gave me a sense of superiority. I sought to transform the world, save it from itself; I believed that in doing that, I was walking the path of righteousness, one that would lead to God. Like others who campaigned against the social order, I went about things with a sense of outrage, motivated by a save-the-world-from-hellfire complex. I only learned later that this phase of my evolution had one purpose only; it was to allow me to indulge in the misery that I had somehow helped to collectively create. I was facing myself; albeit from a point of denial and blame.
In time, my deeper wisdom and personal observation pointed out the true path to God, and that was the path of ownership. I began to see that every cause that moved me reflected back an in issue within myself that had to be addressed. Even deeper beneath the issue, was a set of beliefs that separated me from God. I was particularly incensed by any ill-treatment of children. I raged against those who abused children sexually or in any other way. When I examined my inner world, I found I hadn’t resolved the issue of my difficult childhood. Furthermore, I discovered beliefs about myself, and the self- harming behaviours that followed that were so injurious, I felt hypocritical for criticising anyone else for cruelty in the world. I was unimaginably cruel to myself, in my thoughts and my actions. I unfavourably compared myself to others, said degrading things about the image I saw in the mirror, starved myself, over-worked my body and still had negative things to think and say. I was no better than those who locked up children and worked them all hours of the day and night. I abused myself incessantly, so adept at it, I was hardly aware of doing it. I was just aware that my life was limited, that I was unhappy and couldn’t find a source of joy. I couldn’t have woken up to these deep-seated beliefs had I not been affected by the cruelty in the world. In the sadness reflected back at me, I saw my own contribution to the hurt, and saw a truly valid way to alleviate the suffering. I had to heal myself.
You see, what I discovered is that we are all interconnected, and that like minds pool together creating an energy vortex of activity reflecting those shared ideas. When we cling to thoughts of self-abuse, we allow others to do to us what we are doing to ourselves. I learned that I was born with these ideas about myself, and my traumatic childhood allowed me to see myself in my parents. Later, I didn’t need my parents to hurt me anymore. I went on to do a great job for myself. And no-one could save me from my thoughts, just like I couldn’t save the children out in the world. I had to find those beliefs through my experience and release them so I could be happy in myself.
Since the discovery of ownership, I’ve witnessed similar stories in those around me. I’ve found that those who fight for peace have violent hearts. Those who rage against the cynical world of politics, conspiracies and cover-ups are deeply cynical, untrustworthy to themselves. Those who are fanatical about religion are covering up the chaos of their own undisciplined emotions and behaviours. Those who preach compassion towards any living being need to show compassion to themselves.
I have been fortunate enough to learn that the world is perfect exactly as it is, and that it serves us in our journey towards healing and divine connection. It reflects who we are, and any part of it that we become emotionally entangled with, whether momentarily or as a lifetime crusade, belongs within us. The world has become my mirror. In the mirror I see the damage I have wreaked upon myself and the wounded parts that need to heal. No longer am I a victim. I use my outrage as an internal compass. When I look out there to the horror that is going on, I am able to find the place within that needs attention. I am here, part of this reality, because I contribute towards it. When I stop doing this, I will be free of witnessing its atrocities.