Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spiritual Hygiene (astral defragmentation)

                                            

    Back in the day, one of the first computers I could actually call “mine” was a Compaq PC that had very minimal specs although the only one I can recall is it's whopping 5GB hard drive. It was an okay computer but like most PC’s it got extremely slow and crappy over time and something had to be done to make it bearable past a certain point. One way to alleviate this was to “defrag” it  which, to my knowledge, is a process to help the computer to access files more quickly and helps free up space on the disk. In other words, it turns the computer’s own powers on itself to fix it’s mind to not run so damn crappy. It dawned on me recently just how similar this is to the concept of “magick” (and I am not referring to the card game nor pulling tiny rabbits out of top hats).

    Computers are man's attempt at replicating the process of consciousness in another form to assist man with various tasks. So, thinking along that line of logic, magick (specifically white magick) is to the human mind what defragmentation is to PC's: it's a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation going on in the mind that has developed through normal use over a length of time. This helps the mind operate a bit better and thus life becomes more aligned with our true will.

    Another allegory for this could be the concept of spiritual hygiene. We’re raised to practice physical hygiene but we are rarely taught about "spiritual hygiene", even in religion where purity is thought of as virtuous. We practice physical hygiene because we know it keeps us healthy and pleasant to be with others —spiritual hygiene is the same idea but you're attending to a different part of yourself. If the word "spiritual" bothers you, you can maybe just call it "psychological hygiene" or balance. If our outward body needs hygiene and to be taken care of with food and medicines, why do we not think about the inward body? 

    So then the question becomes “what can we do to maintain our spiritual hygiene?” Well I’m glad you asked! Here are some ideas though not an exhaustive list:

-Go out in nature

-Tarot Cards

-Banishing/rituals

-Meditation (see tarot cards)

-Mantras

-Visualization (feeling coupled with seeing in the minds eye the balance you desire to include what your desires are).

-Listen to shamanic drumming

-seeing a therapist or psychologist.

-yoga (you are to balance the mind in things like raja yoga so that it’s powers of attention are turned back on itself to discover inner truths.)

-Et cetera et cetera


    Obviously in today’s busy world its hard to commit to doing such things but the benefits of such can not be overstated. We are conditioned to consume our culture and to distract ourselves endlessly but rarely are we taught to go within and discover who we truly are. To know thyself is neither popular nor encouraged by our media --and why should it, since it doesn't serve it's materialistic ends? But that doesn't make it any less important and we can all make a little time to do something each day. We have to take the time to eat, to sleep, to nourish ourselves physically but we also have to do the same thing spiritually/psychologically. It’s imperative to keep the spirit or mind operating at optimum efficiency, whatever particular ways we find to do this in healthy amounts. We should not let the cultured-conditioned ego run our life chaotically --we must find ways to release from it and ultimately tame it to fully realize what our true will is in our lives. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Moving on from religion


   Moving on is something that we all have to do in various areas throughout our lives and spirituality is certainly no exception. My observation, however, is that many people struggle to truly put their past behind them. They unintentionally reopen wounds of their previous religious life again and again not realizing how it's impeding their own healing. I know this all too well because it took me several years to figure out the ways in which I did exactly that. So, what follows are just a few simple suggestions on how to assist yourself in moving on, if that is the situation you find yourself in:


Avoid what aggravates your wounds


   This is easier said than done. However, we can often control to a certain extent how much we expose ourselves to that which aggravates past spiritual hurts. There is also a lot of trial and error here but I think it becomes fairly obvious rather quickly what we should consider avoiding. For example, one of my hang ups has always been debate --but I've slowly learned to avoid getting into it with most individuals. In particular I avoid getting into debates with fundamentalist christians because I know there is likely going to be no true discussion.

    It's just one of those things where I pretty much know what is going to be said before it is and I don't see the point in subjecting myself to it --it's all the same stuff I used to say. I've spent the better part of my life in fundamentalist churches so, I really don't need to hear for the ten-thousandth time about how I'm headed to "Hell" ultimately due to my failure to have faith in the correct things before I die. Even if by some chance I can impart something for someone else to think about, I don't feel like those discussions really serve me.

     For you, it may be something different but just ask yourself: Do you really need to respond to that status update from that person you used to go to church with? Do you really need to read that article about the  mega-church pastor? Do you really have to go with your family/friends to that religious function? Etc.

Limit how much you talk about the past

    This more or less goes with the above. On the one hand, I think talking about what you've been through is not only highly beneficial but necessary for you to heal. It's a special thing when you can relate to someone on that level. On the other hand, there is a certain point where the constant talking about it can become detrimental. It's like when you break up with someone and you continually allow yourself to talk or think about them and rehash everything that happened --it doesn't really get you anywhere. You can easily keep yourself locked in the pain and the negative energy of a certain situation by keeping it alive in your mind.


Accept that it (whatever 'it' is) happened

    I tread lightly here because I know there is a wide spectrum of religious trauma that people have experienced and I don't wish to undermine anyone's experience. Personally I have experienced rejection, ridicule and deep depression among other things but I know that it's nothing compared to what many others have experienced. A lot of my pain actually derives from reflecting on the way that I treated or viewed certain people because of my past beliefs. Whatever you have experienced though, the fact of the matter is that it happened --it can't be changed.  We live in a world of all sorts of "darkness" but I try to ask myself how the darkness I have experienced can somehow help someone else overcome the same?

     It's also important to keep in mind that you wouldn't be the person you are today without your experiences both "good" and "bad"(which are just labels we apply anyway). Does that excuse what happened to you or make it justifiable? No. But perhaps our task is not to judge the fairness of any one thing but to accept it as reality and decide how we can proceed from there?

Find something else to focus on

    I've known a lot of people that were once fundamentalist Christians like me and I've seen them go in a multitude of different directions. They become more liberal Christians, agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, New Age, Occultists...or they are kind of like me and just say fuck all the labels, "I am that I am". If there is anything of worth I can say it is that absolutely no one can tell you what the best path for you is. The most important thing is that you learn to make sense of your life beyond whatever religion or background you are wanting to leave behind.

    One thing I have come to have greater respect for are just all the different ways that we go about that philosophically --we all use different tools and there is no "right" or "wrong" in that per say. There are all sorts of books and resources out there if you're willing to look for it. It's up to you to discover what tools best work for you and seem to best edify your life as well as those around you.