EXPRESSING ANGER IS NOT SPIRITUAL AND NOT WELCOME
Wisdom– For obvious reasons, discouraging the inappropriate expression of anger is wise. In our efforts to shift from an animalistic to a civilized world, it has been necessary to put various laws and judgments in place around anger to ensure that others are protected.
Perils– In a mad dash to react away from the perils of anger, we went too far and lost a key piece of the emotional integrity and expression cycle. Anger is a legitimate emotion that signals that a person has been violated. By discouraging and shaming its organic experience/expression, we actually disrupt natural emotional rhythms and encourage inauthentic ways of being. In addition, repressing the emotions simply keeps the anger alive. The negativity goes underground, manifesting in a myriad of destructive forms, including passive aggressiveness, self-destructive behaviour and all manner of disease. By not saying “f*#k you,” we have f*#ked ourselves. In addition, the world improves when people experience/express legitimate anger because it communicates a message that certain things that are happening are not acceptable. As we move towards a higher collective vibration, appropriate anger shows us injustices that would not have even been noticed in earlier times. If we fully condemn healthy anger, we condemn ourselves to endure realities that are not healthy or forward-moving.
Grounded Perspective– Anger is no less spiritual than any other legitimate emotion. Spirituality simply means reality, and an inclusive spiritual experience includes access to a broad and vital range of authentic emotional states and avenues of expression. The important thing is to honor its wisdom and meaning in ways that are appropriate and not physically threatening. This can certainly include healthy and direct communication of anger (verbal, written, legal, boundary assertion etc.), and can also include various methods of embodied release. The important thing is to be true to the emotions, without doing needless harm.
EVERYTHING YOU DISLIKE IN ANOTHER IS A REFLECTION OF A PART OF YOU AND/OR SOMETHING YOU DISLIKE IN YOURSELF (‘The Mirror Defence’)
Wisdom– Understood properly, this perspective invites us to recognize the often reflective nature of reality. Quite often, our reaction to another is a projected response that is sourced in our own emotional material and patterns. Perhaps there is something in our response that can help us to better understand ourselves. For example, you may dislike someone’s passive aggressiveness because you are actually passive aggressive and you don’t want that reflected back to you.
Perils– When misused, the ‘mirror bypass’ invites us away from reality- the truth of how we really feel about someone’s characteristics/actions. Even if their characteristics are similar to our own, this doesn’t mean that we like those characteristics or have to embrace them in another. Quite often, this perspective is used as a defence against accountability by wrong-doers, who expertly shift the focus away from their own actions by turning the mirror back on those they have wronged “Look! It’s not me you dislike, It’s you!” Trickster gurus are particularly adept at these techniques. The guru claims that his (questionable) actions were not actually for his own benefit but done with the conscious intention of reflecting back to you the unresolved aspects of your own consciousness. If you felt betrayed, it was because you have issues around betrayal that you need to look at. *Try hitting on the guru’s girlfriend, and see what he says then.
Grounded Perspective– It is always good to consider the possibility that our reaction to another is sourced in our own projections and unresolved issues. At the same time, it is also perfectly fine to dislike something in another that does not resonate with who we are or with what we value. Yes, we can respect everyone’s right to be who they are, while also honouring our right to dislike some/all of their characteristics. We can also make the presumption of essence in everyone we meet- seeing individuals as fellow souls traveling through time- while simultaneously accepting that we don’t enjoy hanging out with their incarnation .
WE ARE “ALL-ONE”/DUALITY IS THE ENEMY OF A HEALTHY SPIRITUAL LIFE
Wisdom: Lost to the overwhelm and fragmentation of daily life, many of us forget that there is a unified field of consciousness beyond our localized awareness. We get trapped in our monkey mind, our neurotic anxieties, our sense of alienation from our environment and other people. The All-Oneness movement invites us to nestle into this vaster consciousness, to reach beyond limiting dualities and recognize our connection to an intertwined and interdependent network of expansion. This perspective is particularly helpful to those who are over-contained and rigidly boundaried, and unable to feel connected to anything ‘outside’ themselves.
Perils: When taken too far, the “All-One” Mantra can become a recipe for radical detachment and self-avoidance. Instead of recognizing our divine purpose and doing the individual work to actually become more connected and unified, seekers jump ship and swim in the vaster ocean, where they drown (together) in their unresolveds. One of the more complicated prongs of the spiritual bypass movement, the All-oneness mantra often removes the ego, body and emotional life from its vision of wholeness. In other words, it’s only All-One if it feels good. No shadows or hard shoes allowed on the dance floor, just light and easy dance moves. Not so much All-One, as All-Fun. Quite often, the spiritual bypass community encourages us to 'oneness' before we have a 'self' to come home to. Its backwards. We need to grow into a recognition of our individual significance before we can truly understand and surrender to our connection to unit y.
Grounded Perspective: There’s a sacred balance between our experience of unity consciousness and our connection to our individual path in the heart of it-separate voices inextricably woven through a choir of unified light. Yes, we are inextricably woven together, intertwined with the divine, connected with other, with the natural world, with the universe that sources this incarnation. But we’re not identical to everything and not everything is a perfect reflection of our unique self. Each of us has a unique and significant role to play in the heart of this universal dance. Divine Purpose, the true-path that is embedded in the bones of our being, cries out to be excavated and humanifest. When we embody our divine purpose, we shape the individual and collective soul to the next stage in its movement towards wholeness. The idea that we are all "one" takes on a whole new meaning when we find our unique place in the heart of it and interact with unity from an individuated and clarified purpose. It is an irony of the All-one movement that they often forget the need for individual experience/development in creating a non-dualistic reality (We are not attached at the waist for a reason). The more deeply we grow in our individual spirituality, the more genuine is our experience of unity. The healthier the individual consciousness, the healthier the collective. Although there is a dark side to duality, there is also a perfect side- the separate strands are where we do the work and a breeding ground for the soul’s expansion. We heal the dualities by honouring them and learning the lessons intrinsic to their form. To let go of duality, we must first establish our separateness. To truly taste from unity, we must learn where we end and the other begins.
Jeff Brown, Author of Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation (www.soulshaping.com)