Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual guidance looks for the answers to life’s difficulties beyond superficial cures and coping mechanisms to understanding something about who we really are and what life is all about.

All problems are psychological and all solutions are spiritual.

-Dr. Thomas Hora

Problems cannot be solved from within the mindset that is experiencing the problem. Any good solution needs to come from a larger, wider, more elevated view of the situation.

Metapsychiatry is a method of spiritual guidance. It begins with the premise that we are spiritual beings capable of transcending the human condition we find ourselves in. In other words, we have the capacity to see our situation from a larger perspective.

The larger view of any situation can open us to the wisdom necessary to see our problems with the awareness of the transcendent self. Just as looking at a map can provide the larger view needed to guide the way when traveling in unfamiliar territory.

A Metapsychiatrically oriented spiritual guide is a committed and well-seasoned fellow journeyer on the path of truth realization. The dialogue between seeker and guide is a joint endeavor in the search for what is true, meaningful and helpful regarding the issues and questions brought to the meeting by the seeker.

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Beyond Decision-Making

The Bible story of the prodigal son presents two life choices: cultural conformity by the dutiful son, and non-conformity by the profligate son. At first it looks like one brother made good choices while the other made bad ones.

I was reminded of the above Bible story when a crossroad decision made years ago came to mind. When the decision was made I did what seemed right at the time, but it was now occurring to me that I had taken the path of “cultural conformity.” The other path, in the fantasy of hindsight at least, had the promise that “I could have been somebody;” perhaps done something important in the world.

Both thoughts are firmly established in the past, expressing the double whammy of: “I should have. .” and: “I could have. .”

Memories are dreams and dreams are thoughts about “who I think I am, and who I should have been.”

With this view it becomes clear that whatever done or not done in life, while meaningful and often full of drama, is not the substance of true fulfillment.

Either choice considered at the time came from influences about what I thought I was expected to do and to be.

The choice made merely pointed out the overriding interest at the time, with the resulting consequences. The remnant thought that “I coulda,” is of course, a “should” thought from another set of things I think I should have accomplished.

It dawns on me that the choice made many years ago was neither right nor wrong. It resulted in both good and bad due to the many common cultural thoughts swimming in my consciousness from the sea of mental garbage. Yet, at the same time, throughout my life, good ideas and good things happened.

The Good of life does not come from what I do or not do, what I have or don’t have. The Good of life flows from an orientation to what is wholesome and harmonious.

Even now decisions can present themselves as “urgent and life changing,” but this is not the truth. The real choice is to recognize whether something is in harmony with what Is, or not. The main question to consider as information and events unfold is: Is there PAGL? If there is, everything will work together harmoniously. If PAGL is not present, let go of the decision for now and be open to learning something.

The healing journey for both brothers in the Bible story was to discover the futility of seeking fulfillment through what they, or their brother, did or did not do, and to turn their attention to the context of Pure Love, as symbolized by their father. It then becomes possible to forgive the past and be grateful for the joy that is available right here, right now.

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Who’s to Blame?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just point out who the “bad guy” is and let them know what they’ve done wrong, let them know that it is their fault, and then they change? Wow! Then the world would be just as we think it should be.

It’s easy to know who or what is to blame, but where does this get us? It perpetuates the evil we would like to see disappear.

The “evil” that is shared by both the blamer and the blameworthy is “should thinking.” Both sides know how things should and should not be and that makes it easy to know who is doing it wrong. But this ends up in a continuous dog pile of ignorance – in other words, the news headlines.

So what is a well-meaning seeker of truth to do in the face of such ugly ignorance?

Certainly it is not the right idea to judge another by their outward appearance, and it is not the right idea to bully and terrorize in order to have our way. These behaviors are in line with a personal conviction about who is to blame, and what should be and shouldn’t be.

Jesus said: “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” Such a simple statement puts the whole issue in a loving perspective: let the healing begin with me.

Of course it is not good to shoot someone based on the color of their skin, and it is not good to steal, and it is not good to terrorize others into believing what you believe.

Ignorance is to blame, as all of these acts are ignorant of who we really are and the purpose of our lives. Healing can begin once blame is placed where it belongs.

Ron Johnson, the highway patrol captain is standing up and speaking out for integrity, compassion, transparency, and a commitment to truth in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a great example of a healing presence. We can see this is true by watching all the local citizens who are receiving and loving his message.

The truth is within each of us and we need guidance and inspired voices to help us live it in the face of such distressing and frightening events.

The way of healing is to be on the side of truth. All of us can be part of the problem or part of the solution. It’s the very personal human mind that is compelled to take a side – but there is no “side” to Wholeness.

We also have the capacity to be aware of what is true, good, loving and intelligent. It is possible to see the ignorance and not react with more ignorance, but see the reactive “blamer” within our own consciousness. And it is possible to then turn our attention to the capacity to respond to the present issues with wisdom.

 

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Depression

Depression has become a news “headline” again and it is certainly true that many individuals suffer from this difficult affliction.

Metapsychiatry offers a definition of depression that sheds light on this source of human suffering that offers a way out.

Depression is the loss, either real or imagined, of a person, place, thing or idea that is seen as essential to ones well-being.

A loss is a loss. It can be profound, and needs to be mourned. Anyone would lose interest in life if they believed that the source of their happiness and well-being was gone. Just as a computer will turn off if the plug is unplugged. But is this true? Are we computers that have various attachments that keep us going?

No. The source of our well-being is beyond ourselves. It is the context of existence itself, the wholeness of existence that we are each part of. This source is eternal, immutable, never born and never dying. There is no plug that can be unplugged, even if we try.

The truth is that something or someone may be lost to us, after all, everything in the material world is impermanent. But the truth of our being, the source of existence is not gone.

This is the light at the end of the tunnel of loss. It is a healing journey that can be taken by anyone.

It is one path of the journey we are all on to wake up to who we really are and to the purpose of our lives. It will take willingness, time, attention, meditation, prayer and understanding in order for depression to be healed.

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Healing the fear of fear

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil. . .

The media is filled with frightening information. Violence and threats of violence are everywhere. The economy is struggling. Our leaders seem to be dysfunctional. It is easy to become frightened. Fear is uncomfortable. And, with the amount of fearful events reported every day an underlying fearful state of being seems normal. “Be frightened about your life, your money, your health, your family,” seems to be the constant mantra of the news and our friends.

To recognize that we are experiencing fear is to know that we are walking “through a valley of dangerous shadows” and this is the first step – the beginning of wisdom.

While it is not possible to just stop being frightened, it is possible to stop being frightened of fear. After all, it is just a very uncomfortable feeling – not the real stuff of life.

. . . I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.

Who or what is the “Thou” that is “with me” and not frightened of fear or evil? The “Thou” is the ever-over-flowing soundless voice of inspired wisdom.

Thou preparest a table before me in the midst of mine enemies.

Fear, the emotional and physiological reaction to being threatened, is the “enemy,” as living a frightened life is self-destructive. When frightened we cannot be aware of the “table of good” intelligent ideas laid before us. We cannot see the “green pastures” of pathways through our problems we are being led toward.

It is not panic that will safely guide us through difficult situations – it is creative inspiration that flows from Thou into us, just as the river feeds the trees.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

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Up The River of Addiction

While addiction is front-page news lately, it has been a companion of the human condition forever. Words such as “overdose” and “suicide” convey the desperate end game of addiction. Yet, there is a starting point, a source, much like the source of a river that one in the grip of addiction can journey to and find healing.

Addiction begins when one seeks freedom from pain; whether physical, emotional or mental.  When a substance, activity, or person distracts the pain, even for a short time, a habit is formed to continually look to that source of relief when the pain returns.

The results of this common condition fill the media with endless stories of robberies, murders, divorces, abuses, and losses, as well as many less dramatic symtoms.  What is it about the alleviation of pain, even for a few moments, that becomes so consuming that one ends up in the destruction of self and others?

This takes us back to the source of the river Addiction – pain. To repress pain is not healthy and it is clearly not a lasting solution to attempt to escape pain through pleasure or any other temporary distraction. The healthy way out of pain is to face it, learn from it and then heal it.

Metapsychiatry teaches that Truth liberates, Understanding transcends and Love heals.

The liberating Truth is that it is possible to heal pain because pain is a thought, and thoughts can change. Pain is expressing something. It has a meaning. It is not random.

The truth of this can be discovered when one suffering from pain chooses to look beyond the pain toward what it is expressing.

This is the Understanding that will transcend.

Asking the First Intelligent Question points us beyond the pain: What is the meaning of this pain? What is it expressing?

The fact that pain is painful reveals that pain is not our true nature. It is a severe “wakeup” that something in our life journey is not on the track of truth. Some way we perceive ourselves and our life is not the truth. It is good to heed the warning and listen closely to the message.

There are some clues about pain that are very helpful in the discovery process: Pain is an angry interaction thought. And anger is the emotional statement: “I’m not getting what I want!” “I don’t like what is happening.”

Focusing on getting, having and fixing keeps us in the cycle of pain.

The journey of liberation through understanding listens to the meaning of the symptom to face what we want and what we don’t want, what we like and what we don’t like.

Facing angry habits-of-thought makes it  possible for Love to heal.

Healing is the return to our underlying wholeness. It is an interest in wholeness that heals, not the quest to stop the pain.

When consumed with anger every experience is viewed through the lens of wanting and not wanting. It seems so real, yet it is not. Allowing for this possibility allows transformation.

The Second Intelligent Question can be asked and answered: What is what really Is?

It can be discovered that we are not a jam-up of resentments, frustrations and wanting, but a river of love and true freedom. We had thought that pleasure and relief from pain constituted the good life, but that turned out not to be real.

The water is not in the pollution and the pollution is not in the water.

-Dr. Hora

At the source of the river Truth it is possible to separate pollution from the purity of consciousness.

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Winter Light

A chickadee or perhaps it is a black and white warbler, lands on a twig inside an evergreen covered with snow. Pauses. Then launches back out.

This is what normal, everyday eyes see. But this is only the surface.

That simple event expresses hundreds of millions of years of evolution bringing together at the exact moment the bird with perfectly formed three-pronged feet and a right sized twig in a tree that provides some shelter in the snow-covered winter.

Larger eyes see harmony, love, intelligence, beauty and grace ever expressing.

“Is it always so? Is there ever not a twig within shelter when needed?”

I cannot speak for these two, but for myself only. There seem to be two perspectives. With limited view I see frustration, mistakes and unwanted events in my life. From larger eyes, the bird always lands and the twig is always there.

Sometimes things happen that we don’t like. A whole tree can come down. It’s not what we wanted. Perhaps something or someone precious to us has been lost, perhaps a cherished dream finally fell apart, or perhaps something we most feared has come upon us.

We can know about the harmony of bird and twig yet still be frustrated, in pain, disappointed and depressed by circumstances in our life. And it is not possible to “think,” “plan,” or “do” our way out of it.  Then what?

This is where the tools of Metapsychiatry can be very helpful.  They point to the way out: expand from the smaller to the larger view. Everything has a meaning. The unpleasantness of the present experience is expressing narrow vision.  Narrow vision, by definition is limited, restricted – formed from habit.

The call to the larger view is knocking. Will the door be answered? There is something about the narrow current view that is being revealed as false, outgrown, invalid – not the harmony of bird and twig.

Like a young bird that has outgrown it’s nest, it now needs to fly – although from human eyes, those first few attempts to leave the nest can seem harsh and dangerous. Yet the life of the bird depends on facing the current fact: fly or die.

Take it in. If the bird had stayed in the nest, or the tree stayed cozy in the seed, where would we be?

Existence is dynamic. Each moment is new and can be greeted with open-minded responsiveness – not habitual holding.

The knee-jerk lament we’ve all learned is “but, what about me?” In other words, what about all that I have been taught to believe that is revealing itself as narrow, broken, unworkable, and currently making my life, and those around me, miserable? Can’t I hold on to that?

The answer is, of course: Yes, you can.

It is also possible to respond from the larger view – the view from the Whole, where everything everywhere is already all right, where infinite possibility and inspired ideas abound, even though it does not seem that way from the narrow view.

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