"When one realizes that one is asleep - at that moment one becomes halfway awake." P.D. Uspensky
"Your greatest awakening comes when you become aware of your infinite nature." - Amit Ray
I have encountered addiction and its effects in many ways on this journey. I walked in on a drunken man in an expensive suit snorting cocaine in the bathroom of the multimillion dollar clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass and I helped a couple of hippies who had been drinking mushroom tea find their campsite in the Ocala National Forest. A man who let me stay with him a few days woke up in the night from a drunk to pee in the corner of the living room as I sat editing photos. I cried for a woman who had spread her son’s ashes over a favorite waterfall. There are countless more – some tragic and some a bit humorous. We are all aware of them if we choose to see. The thing that they all have in common is that the user seeks to feel in harmony - to somehow feel that life makes sense and that they are living in the moment comfortable in their own skin. But there are no shortcuts to spiritual awakening.
From the spiritual perspective, is addiction to a substance really any different than excessive reliance on food, power, money, sex, politics, television, high risk or excessive athletic pursuits, religion, video games or anything else used as a distraction from or a shortcut to living in the present moment? If the purpose of this life is to spiritually awaken and come to develop a relationship with our creator, can we really say that any of these are more or less harmful than any of the others? Every distraction provides some short term relief from ourselves but when abused they all carry a price tag far greater than the benefit they give. Granted, drugs and alcohol come with side effects that are easier to recognize and seemingly more devastating. But if awakening as a spirit is our true job in this life, does it really matter which distraction we allow to block us?
Our particular society often glamorizes the greedy, the power hungry and those that push themselves to and beyond the limits of their physical capabilities. We are led to believe that these are the role models we should aspire to emulate. It would be tempting to stand in judgment, but who among us is in the position to do so? Would we have been motivated to pursue the spiritual path had we not discovered the vanity of such pursuits first hand? But how are we to find a way to function in this madness without being judgmental?
As we continue to mature spiritually we find a number of things to be true. Unsolicited advice never works and being judgmental of others only points out our own spiritual weakness. We have compassion and empathy but if we allow ourselves to be drawn too far into other’s negativity we end up being pulled down rather than elevating anyone. So we learn to honor and respect others for who and what they are, and to truly comprehend that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. We learn that although it seems uncomfortable at the time, drawing clear boundaries saves much misery in the long run.
If we are indeed spirits having a human experience then this world is exactly as it should be. Growth only comes from pain and strife – without it none of us are motivated to sustained growth. We are saddened by the endless varieties of self-inflicted misery mankind indulges in but we realize that this is the fuel that stokes the flames of awakening and enlightenment. We stand ready to be of service to anyone genuinely in need or sincerely seeking spiritual growth but we realize that we do a huge disservice if we stand in the way of another’s spiritual bottom. We quit “playing God” and convincing ourselves that we know what is best for this world or anyone in it. And we come to deeply appreciate and count among our most precious assets those few we meet along the path who have awakened from the slumber.
Today, may I be realistic.
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Make it a great day !!