Consciousness & Spirituality
by Hal Stone, PhD
Dear Hal Stone,
I have been following your work and using Voice Dialogue. I am very grateful for the work you and Sidra have produced. It has led me to places and initiated growths that I would not have otherwise been open to. I am at university studying music composition and I believe my highest purpose in this life is to express divinity and inspirations for conscious evolution through music.
There is an issue that has been troubling for a while. Like yourself, one of my most constant and mind numbing challenges is to embrace and balance the earthly energies with inspirational spiritual energies. The role models that have led me to deepening my spiritual awareness are people like Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi. However there is a factor that concerns me about their condition… a lot of enlightened people die from cancer.
What does this indicate? I guess I am now looking for role models who have embraced both spirituality and physicality, who have spiritual awareness whilst actively participating in life. I believe that if I listened to my spiritual selves I would feel to some degree that I am escaping my life on earth. My spiritual selves say to trust in life, and it is not a blind trust, life does respond. But at the expense of denying my individuality. The best solution that I have come up with is embracing a self which owns the heightened awareness of spiritual energies whilst considering and caring for the concerns of my individual participation on earth.
Can you offer any suggestions?
Thank you — Rick
Dear Rick —
Your question is one that so many people are wrestling with today. Why did God create the planet earth and populate it with us humans? If the purpose was just to express our love of divinity, then why give us a body and an impulse life and emotions and sexuality? Without having to worry about all of these, we could express divinity full time with very little trouble. It seems obvious then that God had something else in mind — a great experiment — one that probably has never been tried before.
There is a wonderful joke that came to me recently on the internet. In it God goes to Adam and says to him: “Adam — I have two wonderful gifts for you. You are indeed a very fortunate man that I I am going to bless you with these gifts! There is a problem however.” Adam is so happy to receive these gifts that he immediately asks God what they are, not thinking at all about the problem. God answers him as follows: “One of these gifts I give you I shall call The Mind. With it you can think and plan and reason and organize and have choice and live a life with control and order.”
Adam was delighted with this first gift and he then asked God about the second one. He was a bit greedy when it came to gifts. God answered: ” The second gift I am going to give you I shall call A Penis. With it you shall bring immense pleasure and joy to yourself and others as well as being able to perpetuate the human race!” Adam was thunderstruck with these two remarkable gifts. He said to God — “I can’t believe that you would give me two such wonderful gifts. I don’t understand though — you said there was a problem — so what’s the problem?”
And God spoke again to Adam and said — “Ah Adam — there is a problem — and the problem is that though I have given you these two magnificent gifts from now unto all eternity, you will only be able to use one of them at a time!”
So this is the experiment that God developed for us. We received on the one side the God software with all of its yearning and beauty and service and uplifting nature. On the other side we received a penis, a body, emotions, relationship, an instinct life and a very complex psychology. What a pair of opposites! We have been wrestling with these opposites for thousands of years. Our solution generally is to call the body and emotions and instincts negative and the God side positive. In this more archaic way of thinking about God, we become very judgmental and we label what we conceive as “non God things” as being bad. Things about God we see as good. The problem is that this split, this historical dichotomy that has dogged us for so many centuries cannot be solved this way any longer. The reconciliation must come from individuals who can learn to live their lives while holding on to both realities.
And thus there appears a new breed of people on the planet, people who refuse to live this dichotomy in the old way. For this new breed of person, it is all God — your relationships — your body — your violence — your intolerance — your pride — your lovingness and your compassion — your rage — your service to humanity — your creativity. Nothing is to be judged. Instead we must learn to recognize that it is all God and there is nothing to get rid of any more.
Instead we must learn to stand between these opposites and hold them both in our hands and learn to walk through life holding the God reality in one hand and the earth snake in the other; holding Christ in one hand and Satan in the other; holding our compassion in one hand and our intolerance in the other. We are all microcosms of the macrocosm. It is all in us — everything in the world is in us — all the light and all the dark is in us and we must learn to live with all of this and that is one hell of a job.
There is another story that comes to me. The Baal Shem Tov was a famous Jewish Hassid leader of the 18th century. One day his disciples come to him and tell him that a famous teacher is giving a talk in the neighboring town and they would like to go and hear him. He gladly gives his permission and they ask him again. “Master — Can you help us? How will we know if he is really wise?”
The Baal Shem thinks for a moment and then he says to his loyal disciples: “At some point when he is talking, ask him how we can get rid of the evil one of power?” The disciples are dancing with delight at his answer to them. But then they realize that he has given them a question with no answer and so they ask him: “Master — your question is a very good one — but what is the answer?”
“Ah” says the Baal Shem. “If he gives you an answer he’s a fake!”
There is darkness and there is power and trying to be a loving human being does not solve the problem. Trying to be loving and compassionate only helps develop the most gigantic garbage dump in the unconscious of all us. Instead of trying to be loving, how about accepting the goal of a consciousness process that goes on forever. A consciousness process is one that embraces the light and the dark and recognizes that both are real and both are God given. Instead of trying to be spiritual, why not have as your goal becoming conscious.
I am not a spiritual teacher! I am a psychospiritual teacher. I have as my vision learning to embrace and hold in my hand all the different selves and possible experiences that are in me or available to me. How about learning to create conscious music, music that spans the vast interior that exists between light and dark. How about music that allows the Gods of light and the Gods of darkness to dance together under the tutelage of the baton of your own creativity. How about learning to orchestrate the dance of all the selves! It is my sincere conviction that this is what God wants of us.
I have seen hundreds of cancer patients in my professional work. I would not begin to speak about the causes of cancer. The complexities are too great. This however I can say from my very considerable experience. The denial of our instinctual life has severe physical consequences. When I see someone who I see living in denial of their instinctuality, I think cancer. I think that your concerns are well grounded.
Masters of all fields exist to point the way for us in that particular field. When I studied Aikido, I bowed to my master before each session. I didn’t bow to him because of his personality or spiritual development or awareness capabilities. I bowed to him because he was an Aikido master. I bowed to my teacher of body work because he was a master of neo-Reichian work. Your masters that you have worshipped are to be treasured because they are masters of spirituality. They are not masters of consciousness. They help us to find our spiritual nature because it has been so lacking in most of our lives. They cannot help me with my marriage nor with raising children or grandchildren or how to handle my libidinous nature. I am profoundly grateful to such masters that I can rest into when I need spiritual nourishment or when I get too far from God. I bow to their mastership on their chosen path. It is a part of what I embrace, but only a part.
Many years ago a voice spoke to a woman in a vision she was having at a time when she was wrestling with the very issues that you are now wrestling with. The voice said to her: “There is darkness and there is light; you can’t turn off the darkness, but you can turn on the light!” We have spent enough time trying to turn off the darkness. It can’t be done!
It takes great courage to accept this path and it most definitely isn’t for everyone nor are other paths to be judged. The true light of consciousness does not come by trying to be anything but rather by living life, accepting what is there, unhooking from it, and learning to carry it all with you on this long and remarkable adventure that we call life.
By the way, I would very much recommend that you communicate some of your dilemma on the forum in our website. We have many wonderful people writing to each other there and I think you would feel very nourished by people’s response to your letter.
My best wishes to you — Hal Stone
copyright by Delos, Inc. August 16, 2000