My friend Hayden Tompkins recently posted about a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately: communicating with your in-laws. But her post got me thinking about it from a different perspective. It got me thinking about my spiritual path and my internal tension between inner work and outer work.
I believe strongly in personal and spiritual growth, and I also believe strongly in making the world a better place. I’ve struggled with this tension for many years and I’ve eventually come to the conclusion that my spiritual path is not an ascetic or solipsistic one. It’s not one that focuses on a hereafter or any sort of supernatural or otherworldly concerns. As B, my path focuses on this world, the one we live in.
I believe that we are all one — here and now. Not that our souls, now separate, will eventually join together in some other place. I believe that we are all one in this world. My path is to share this awareness with others.
However, no one can do self-work for you. No one can introspect for you. No one can do spiritual growth on your behalf. It has to come from within and can’t be forced down your throat. So running around and telling people “We are all one!” isn’t going to do a lot of good, because most people aren’t in a place to listen.
So my path is to pave the way for others to follow their own spiritual paths. To do this, I do my best to be a model, to be the change I want to see. I’m also working on making the world a better place, so that others will be free to pursue their own paths of personal and spiritual growth. People stuck in the ghettos aren’t free to do that. People caught up in hate, war, and racism aren’t free to do that. People stuck in the control paradigm aren’t free to do that.
I’m not doing anything about war or the ghettos, although I support those who are. Instead I’m focusing on bringing about a paradigm shift, from a control paradigm to a connection paradigm. For instance, I’m teaching communication skills, to help people connect with each other (and themselves!) more authentically. In the connection paradigm, people are free to pursue their own paths of personal and spiritual growth. And that sounds like a pretty awesome paradigm to me. (: