Original Growing Awareness (Pt.1) > Perfect Storm
A STORM WAS BREWING
In 2017, although I'd had a few dark nights of the soul, I finally come to the end of myself. I mark this event as a kind of memorial for myself not just because of how significant that time was, but also how I've changed since then. You see there had been what I believe personal growth up until that point, but now I was working with something of a completely different nature. It changed my outlook and world view in such a drastic way that It re-orientated me towards a different trajectory of being. I know that all sounds well a bit, if not a lot, kooky, but there's no other way to explain it. Did it have a lot to do with my religious and spiritual pursuits, well yes, but it was much more than that.
Those pursuits started when I was a teen, 13 to be exact.. but even before that when my mother took me to a musty Baptist church in London at 8 years old.. I felt something. When I was 13 I admitted apparently I was a sinner and needed a savior, but frankly all I got was religious culture trying to conform me into it's image, not anything very Sacred reflecting on that all now. In fact my sincere belief is that many of the things I learned back then blocked me from entering into a deeper faith and even confused me to the point that for many years I acted out of that conflict it all caused. Was this one church, no, it was a few.. and different denominations: Baptist, Pentecostal, Bible believing.... They were not to blame as much as they had drunk of the same polluted waters as they were giving me. In looking back there was too much ego and not enough focus on truly developing Values though.
Even in the 1990s when I was at my most contented with life I was delving deeper into the history of Christianity, feeling something was missing. I studied about Mysticism and developed some my Creativity some too back then, but nothing could sustainably connect me to more than the surface things of life I felt. I ran into some teaching on Spiritual Burnout which helped localize some issues I felt, but they didn't seem to lead to anything solid that would answer them. I ran into a mix of some more of that in the early 2010's in the progressive christian church teachings. (Brian McClaren, Brad Jersak, Nadia Boltz) What I mean by a mix.. is this pointing out the issues, with a bit of how to address.
In tracking though my own crisis point, the only "teachers" I can point to were Richard Rohr and Eckart Tolle, who I started to get into in 2016. Their style of addressing but stepping back as an observer of myself, non judgmentally, helped me for the first time
"see" myself honestly. For some context by this time I'd given up on the concept of original sin as at the least unhelpful and possibly detrimental in it's shaming capacity. So I was open to a fresh view of myself when it came to living. It wasn't until a situation happened with an old girlfriend that came up that showed me how at the end of myself life was forcing me at that time. Of course I had my part in creating that situation, which individual and group meditation was helping me to step back and see. Juxtapose the works of the Sufi Neil Douglas-Klotz work translating the Aramaic Lords Prayer over the last decade or so by that time, and my ruminating on that, and well I can now see that something was bound to happen. This Personal Spiritual Tectonic Plate Shift is still rippling through to me this day, and I feel is at the core of Original Growing Awareness.
One of the most fundamental shifts in perception in regards to my Spiritual inquiry is the significant decrease in the need to be right, this "rightness" had to do with a mental rigidity that blocked me from approaching myself and others more from heart.
Another phenomenon was the ability to hold space more for myself and others to figure things out, for God to "show" up, and situations to reveal more of what was at play: motivations, and other factors. I was less driven to fix and more to seeing what my part was or wasn't. One of the primary things I've seen in this time besides a failure to address values in myself over my life is the lack of courage. I've noticed this lack of courage is rampant though, we'd rather engage with petty aggression than really getting to the root and heart of matters. I've had a tendency to call this also psychological laziness, but without properly considering the blocks and traumas in myself and others that greatly contribute to it. Original Growing Awareness is a commitment to a process and not so much a destination, but there needs to be more fully understood what a Hope consists of over abstract notions that Religion and Psychology give us (IE.. Heaven and Your Best You). We'll go into more depth on this Understanding in the coming months, but I also want to point you to the section entitled St.Peter's Vision Extended: Community & Heaven. It goes into not just the practical every day "exchanges" for ourselves, but also to a grander collective. It is a shame really that so much has gone on detailing a wrathful God and Jesus coming to smite their enemies in an end time scenario or battle, a final Judgement, when the Next Level of Humanity has so much to look forward to.