This article is a collection of fragments answering my students’ recent questions on the nature of a group, and the function of personality and emotion on the spiritual path. I hope it will inspire others toward a better, more conscious and natural world!
The significant impact of spirituality on commonplace issues today responds to the composition and constitution of many spiritual groups that outline a major shift from personal to collective priorities. Group unity may sound like a familiar formula, but the resonance of this current urge is entirely new. A leaderless dynamic based on united and multiple sensitivities is emerging. It has nothing to do with hippie or yoga issues, political, social, or gender interests. It has to do with tangibly living an Ideal that embraces individuality and inner sensibilities.
An intangible resonance draws us inward, upward, and farther into personal and social expression. The Ideal of our school of Inner Alchemy is not based on personal goals or usefulness. Here, individual development consists in learning new ways of perceiving and responding that appeal to both sensitivity and intelligence, blending soul aspiration with the uniqueness of personality expression. Result: an emerging world order. It is not that each person is part of the group; each of them IS the group. Instead of control over external forces, we discover inner power and the impact of unified group consciousness as a defining influence.
Between the egoism of the personality and spiritual Truth, there are multiple chasms of self-deceit, wishful thinking, and personal selectivity. Prior to and within the group, the real work invariably ignites within the personality, managing self and involvement with one another. Transformation depends entirely on personal acknowledgment of the need to change. In this respect, the greatest hurdle always concerns our interpretative filter, along with the persistent attempts of the ego-self to attain the limelight. Even if the purpose is lofty, such as liberating authenticity and individuality, there is no “nice” way of dealing with egoism. The very urge to refine and gain entrance into a gentler reality carries with it a desire to withdraw from society. Ultimately, this becomes the major issue in the spiritual curriculum. Dealing with life becomes a voluntary obligation. The difference now, is that the impulse comes from another place, a sensible intelligence that enables adequate management of personal energies.
Balance and poise come because of continuous “surrender” and faith in one’s Self. Increased sensibility quite often and quite literally puts ego in check. The accent is placed on containing, holding, and transforming energies within, and on the management of raw power. The student learns to access, use, and more importantly share it. To this end, he or she needs to discover its own source and brand of power and BE powerful, at the same time honouring and administering simultaneous sources of other people’s power. To embrace such tremendous force, we learn, is only possible if it originates from Heart Consciousness. And this unique brand of Power revolves around eternal, universal Principles that stand taller than anything else: Ethics. THIS is where the difference lies to everything that has preceded this age. It embodies the meaning of Ideal.
In the Intelligence of the Heart there are no emotional conflicts; there is no room for “mistrust”. The sensibility of the heart reigns above emotions or the rule of law. The (Alchemical Alignment) experience is one of fullness and strength at the same time. We have come to learn that our own and others’ sensibilities require appropriate and deliberate response.
Spiritual group bonds are forged on soul connection, dimensional intelligence, and on harmony beyond personality clashes or issues, chains of command or clever labels. A flexible aware personality can distinguish soul expression from personality interests through the very faculties imbedded in its conscious personality. Sublimation implies skilful handling of oneself with a sense of humour, identifying talents and even inadequacies appropriately, leading to the rechannelling the very same frequencies one had sought to control or repress. Rather than adaptation to the status quo, the spiritual group process brings forth the dissolution of rigidities, so that all that is good and beautiful in each one may come through. This requires self-responsibility as well as humility, unrelenting perception, and sincere dedication to Humanity. We live in the knowledge that the “collective soul” is each of us.
Each student is always made aware of two perspectives: (1) the world as seen through the personality, and (2) multi-dimensional perception, carefully decoded through the filters of the former. THIS is Alchemical Alignment, a simultaneous multi-dimensional stance that functions through the ordinary mind, emotions, and physical body here-now, spontaneously (not controlled). Alchemy happens by contact with the inner power of Self.
Leadership requires tuning into people, an impossible task if one is avoiding one’s own shadows. To connect with people to lift or inspire them, one must take the energetic (emotional) temperature through one’s own self. Instructions given on a theoretical level are inadequate. Energetic resonance is contagious and leads to spontaneous discernment. Every moment consciously lived becomes The Guide. In Inner Alchemy this is accessed directly through the Alchemical Alignment and spirituality is the obvious result of a conscious flexible personality in the world.
The Inner Alchemy that happens through Inner Woman and Inner Man requires tuning into both heart and human feelings. Instead of manoeuvring perception and faculties to reach a higher plane, a higher vantage point is attained through sustained, aware sensitivity. Instead of constantly preparing for all eventualities, as we are taught in schools, in naturalness greater force and insight are reached.
Inner Alchemy embraces all paths. It stimulates a group spirit that no longer pursues personal goals and satisfactions. You “feel” it, you “know” it … but it cannot be defined. It cannot be forced. It happens because of love and the sentient intelligence of the heart, which is sharp, clear Mind in equal proportion to emotional involvement, rather than need. It emerges from the awareness of reciprocity.
Alchemical Alignment is practiced deliberately, with discipline, under ALL conditions of life. It is achieved through constant application, involving, of course, risk and trial and error. If “Alignment”, like many spiritual practices, is reserved for only certain conditions, mastery is never achieved. To embody it requires faith in your Self, in Love, in Truth… Inner Alchemy happens TO you, within you. You are the alchemist, and you are the “way through”.
This Alignment requires a deep acceptance of your humanity AS YOU ARE, which is more difficult than any formal esoteric discipline. It calls for everything you have, all the time. When you feel with another person, you do not need to exert effort through eye or physical contact, or shut anything else out… You do not “do” it. You know. The heart intelligence, awakened in that contact, leads.
The Group as it is emerging is quite different from a therapeutic or corporate group based on theoretical maxims; it is more akin to the authentic spirit of Family and intangible ties. Obedience is always implicit, but at a different level than that required by a child to its parents or to a social system. IF the commitment to the Ideal is greater than personal and physical investments… if this commitment is what draws you together…. you will continue to leap and rise together, and the world must follow.