apes aspiring to be compassionate gods
Monday 26 January
Renmark, South Australia
Day Three of my Adventures in Sobriety series,
in which i first begin to rediscover the similarities between adventure and life.
So it’s Day Three and i have a wicked headache. I’m sucking a coffee at Macca’s and hoping it’s caffeine withdrawal. The internet here is working at a pace that painfully represents the mush of machinations i might otherwise call my mind. A cold sore has cropped up, and i’m treating it with the wonderous Roseneath Organics Cold Sore Salve, which is mostly bees wax and coconut oil. (Catherine put me on to this article about coconut oil, which concludes “coconut is not a superfood, but it’s not a syphilitic cock either”—the title of the article, ‘Is Coconut Oil Just For Rubbing On Your Titties Or Is It Truly A Superfood?’ Gold.) Continue reading
I recently started using this term ‘psychospirituality’ when i realised in The Path of Love that i want to explore how i can use the richness of my intellect to deepen my experience of the divine by learning how to navigate and experience my psychology with new awareness.
I asked one of the PoL facilitators about the term, whether it’s already in usage or whatever, and he told me it’s a term that’s generally used on the “new age” circuit, and my immediate reaction was That’s a shame, because the new age crowd cop a bit of flak a lot of the time, for being all airy-fairy and namby-pamby and up in the clouds, while their (our) detractors would say they need to get real and start being more pragmatic … get a haircut, get a job … all that sort of bollox.
Well, i want to reappropriate the term “psychospirituality” for what it means to me, this combination of understanding our psychology using our intellect and working to incorporate that understanding in the way we experience the divine. I want to explore psychology to see if it enhances my spirituality.
The term ‘experience’ is key, because we know we can’t understand the divine with our minds, but if we can understand our psychology a little more, then we may be able to push through psychological experiences of resistance that might otherwise block us from the divine if we don’t know what’s going on psychologically (and physiologically).
For example, it could be important to know that if i experience a debilitating shortness of breath during some physically intensive meditation practice, this physiological response may be triggered by a psychological resistance, and if i know this it becomes more possible that i can push through that resistance using some physical technique that unblocks me psychologically, thereby opening the door winder to the divine.
So i’m excited about being put on to this contemporary “psychospiritual” teaching called The Diamond Approach, which is described in terms that pretty much exactly match what i was thinking about exploring:
The Diamond Approach is a contemporary teaching that developed within the context of awareness of both ancient spiritual teachings and modern depth psychological theories; hence the perspective of this teaching recognizes the inherent synthesis between the spiritual and the psychological domains of experience. The spiritual and the psychological can be separated only in theory, for in experience they are two dimensions of the same human consciousness. Recognizing this truth makes it possible to approach the path to inner realization informed with modern psychological knowledge, and thus allows the process of understanding one’s psychological experience to open one’s consciousness to the deeper truths of our spiritual nature.
Wham bam, thank you Ma’am … this is exactly the dragon i’ve been chasing.
I have changed my plans again, this time to stay in Greece for a few more months because i have a sense of home here, now. Something shifted when i decided to stay, which wasn’t as much a decision as it was a relinquishment, a letting go of some idea i had about the future.
I was going to Thailand and India via Australia, China, Laos and a few other places in between: back to Australia to get Mulga Bill Massive, my poor neglected touring bike, so i could cycle around in search of another community.
But around the thought of leaving Greece there was a feeling of an anxiety, which fell away when i knew i wouldn’t yet have to go back through Istanbul, Dubai, Adelaide, just to get my bike and ride to Byron or somewhere. I need community, communion, and here i have it, now, so why leave? Leaving a community in Greece to go in search of a community elsewhere is like going into a shop with a dollar and asking to buy a dollar.
When i realised this, the anxiety fell away and relief emerged, bright and luminous as the stars appear to be when you get out of the city for the first time.