Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
We are in a crisis. We used to be in crisis before. We will be in a crisis in the future, be it collective (social) or individual, caused artificially or accidentally. Social crises affect us all, to a greater or lesser extent, while we usually find ourselves in individual ones because of our actions and sometimes “by chance.” But whatever causes it, a crisis always has an internal, psycho-spiritual aspect. Therefore treating the reaction to a crisis is one of the foundations of my therapeutic work. More specifically, a good part of people who come to the causal therapy I practice are motivated precisely by the crisis they found themselves in. As crisis is inevitable, and we all go through it sooner or later, for one reason or another, at whatever level of consciousness we are and whatever we do to protect ourselves from it, so I devoted the maximum of my time and energy to studying this topic. That is why I decided to write this text because maybe my conclusions, based on thirty years of experience, will help someone get through the critical times we are currently in.
I also touched on the crisis in some of my previous texts, the one about the traumatic experience in particular, so I invite readers to study that article as well. But here, I will approach this topic from as many sides as possible and cover all its elements, at least those known to me. I’ll begin with the metaphysical perspective (the meaning of the crisis), continue with the psychological aspects, and finish with the immediate mechanisms of its expression in our lives, with practical ways to overcome it. Knowing the structure, dynamics, and purpose of the crisis and how to resolve it is certainly crucial knowledge for everybody. Especially in times when our modern society has become a monster that feeds on the crisis, lives from it, and doesn’t offer any lasting solution to it. Our governments use the crisis to encourage people to give up on their freedoms and ideals, on their original nature and creative realization, so we need to find ways to stop this.
Let’s start with the technical aspect of a crisis. It happens at a time when our old worldview is under threat, and we have not yet built a new one. A crisis is, therefore, a psychological reaction to an unpleasant or “negative” experience over which we have no control, do not know its meaning, and are not aware of the final outcome. A crisis is regularly accompanied by stress, expressing itself through burdensome and limiting thoughts and emotions that we perceive as unbearable. Such mental states often lead to internal bursts, so-called “nervous breakdowns,” followed by uncontrolled emotional discharges that can have a mild, heavy, and sometimes even extreme intensity. People in crisis experience outbursts of sadness, anger, fear, or guilt and usually end up in a state of trance or mental absence.
So, a crisis is not a stable state – it is an intermediate phase between two different stable periods. It is, therefore, crucial and questionable what would form a new stable phase. Will it be based on a constructive worldview – a leap to a higher level of consciousness and way of life – or will its outcome be a fall to a lower level? A crisis can lead in both directions, and it is up to us how we use it. I emphasize that it is only up to us because no external influence can be the sole reason for falling to a lower level. And if we do fall, we usually enter a victim role, rejecting our responsibility for the outcome of the crisis and believing that we can rightly blame life’s circumstances for the problems we found ourselves in.
Although people strive for stability and periods in which their existence and actions have a reliable and secure foundation, we all occasionally find ourselves in crisis. Why is that so? Because of all things in life, “change is the only constant.” That is, we need to evolve occasionally; we have to change and transform our worldview and lifestyle. But most people don’t want to change. The type of consciousness that sees change as welcome is developed by the rare, mostly those who possess sufficient internal flexibility based on awareness of their true selves. However, most of us do not know who we are, have little or no contact with our souls, and live according to mental programs shaped by family and social norms. Instead of being connected to the source, we experience our minds as our center and strongly identify with it. But man is not only the mind; we are not our mental states. The mind is a robotic part of our psyche and acts like a computer. It bases the purpose of its existence on programs that govern it. Once programmed, the mind does everything in its power to automate the current software to be an instantly available model for our reactions. The mind sticks to the adopted programs and perceives every change as a threat. It is for this reason that most people do not recognize a crisis as an initiation into a new worldview but bury themselves even harder and deeper in the old, insisting rigidly on its survival at all costs. From this, it is evident that the expansion of consciousness will play a significant role in the process of overcoming a crisis.
A crisis is regularly accompanied by the feeling that we have “lost the ground under our feet,” that we have jumped into the unknown…
The essence of suffering caused by a crisis is the attachment of our mind to the old worldview, to former life circumstances that no longer exist. Expressing the same idea, Buddha has indirectly said everything we need to know about the origin of crisis through his “four noble truths.” Finding that suffering is an integral part of life, Buddha identified attachment (“craving”) as the cause of suffering. So, it is the resistance to de-identification from one’s mind and its programs that causes all our pain. If life circumstances change for some reason, and we are not able to act the way we are used to, there will be suffering and, consequently, crisis. Thus resistance to internal and external change constitutes the very essence of a crisis. Although resistance and denial are natural phases of any transformational process, overcoming a crisis cannot occur if we permanently oppose the new situation. Only willingness to change, sometimes radical, can pull us out of the crisis and lead us to its most constructive outcome. And yes, the process of detachment from the old worldview and way of life is regularly painful, but de-identification has no alternative. To detach oneself from previous identifications is the conditio sine qua non of any transformation process.
Since a crisis forces us to change, we can also experience it as an initiation. Life initiations include all the processes that lead to a dramatic change of consciousness, usually accelerated or sudden, caused by external or internal stimuli. Since it is dramatic and unexpected, initiation is also a process that may or may not succeed. If it fails, we call it trauma or a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, most people do not perceive a crisis as an initiation, so when it fails, psychological trauma is going to be a natural side effect. Crises of growing up, maturing, aging, creative process, loss of a close person/relationship, or spiritual transformation, are typical and well-known types of initiations that some people go through successfully, and some don’t. Thus the maturity of some adults is questionable because many are mature only in age and appearance, while inside them still crouches a child who is unable to accept responsibility and discipline appropriate to the actual age.
It is a well-known fact that some people never come out of puberty. And I also know some adults who have never even entered puberty. As this is one of the typical developmental stages, the question arises as to why some people never leave puberty or never enter it (of course – psychologically, not physiologically). Because entering puberty is sometimes quite traumatic, it causes a crisis. It is the same with coming out of adolescence because once someone likes the adolescent worldview and the degree of (ir)responsibility, and society wholeheartedly encourages them in such immaturity, it will be difficult to detach from it. The crisis, therefore, accompanies every developmental process, and it is also a regular companion of spiritual development and creative self-realization. Nothing is easy; nothing is “just like that,” and nothing falls from the sky. Still, human inertia, as a consequence of attachment to the old, will further jeopardize the initiation processes and turn them into traumas. So, the next prerequisite for overcoming the crisis is awareness of the dynamics of the initiation process and the possession of a practical methodology for dissolving trauma as a typical consequence of a failed initiation.
What would be the purpose and meaning of the initiation processes? To answer this question, I must also introduce my theory of the higher dimensions of existence into the story. After the space-time continuum in which we exist as physical beings, I have identified unconditional love as the first subtle dimension, which I consider a universal cosmic force that cannot be denied or relativized. At least not in the long run, because such denial will inevitably lead to illness – first mental and, over time, physical. Unconditional love has two fundamental aspects – merciful and ruthless. There are numerous expressions of the merciful element of unconditional love, and one of them is the bioenergy that surrounds us. This energy nourishes, endows, and fills us in infinitely many ways, visible and invisible, flowing through our aura and circulating the energetic cords that we use to connect with our loved ones. But universal love is not only of a soft character; it is not only gentle, delicate, and merciful – it also has a tough aspect.
So sometimes we’ll get a nicely decorated package from the universe and open it expecting some wonderful gift, but a boxing glove will jump out of the box and knock us out with all its might. After the initial shock, surprise, confusion, and offense, we will probably wonder why is this happening to us, what have we done wrong, and how have we attracted such a punch. Maybe we have done something wrong and are experiencing a karmic return. But what if we haven’t done anything wrong, what if it’s merely time for a change, for a jump to a new level, for initiation into a different worldview and lifestyle? As rather inert beings prone to being robotized, it seems that humans need ruthless love to pull them out of their slumber and encourage them to change, both internally and externally. Not purely for the sake of change but to align us with our true selves as the first abstract aspect of our existence and then with the universal spirit as the next. But a connection with true self requires emotional maturity, and immersion into spirit a spiritual one. Thus, various life circumstances – sometimes pleasant and sometimes unpleasant – will bring us to the appropriate degree of maturity. Whether we like it or not, we will mature – sooner or later, in one way or another, if not gently, then by force. And if the processes of maturation push us into a crisis, we should experience them as a blessing, not a curse. Therefore, the next prerequisite for overcoming a crisis is to experience it as an opportunity for constructive transformation, change for the better, and a chance for a breakthrough out of the existing obstacles.
From the above, it is clear that the way out of the crisis is in facing its causes and discovering its original purpose. The axiom of Charles Berner, creator of the Enlightenment Intensive, says that “the path from the crisis leads through the crisis.” This means that no detour would lead to the most constructive possible resolution of the crisis – the path leads directly throughout its most unpleasant aspects, through the eye of the hurricane. But most people do not want to face uncomfortable emotions – they want the crisis to stop, to disappear, and for things to stay the same. They are afraid that by going through the crisis, they will fall apart, even though falling apart would be the best thing that could happen to them. Because if everything remained the same, if nothing changed, what did we do? If we withdraw from a crisis, then, metaphorically speaking, we only “killed the messenger.” That is, a crisis is just a message that something in our lives needs to change – it is a symptom, an indicator, not the cause of our condition. The cause is some limiting karmic pattern, an unconscious negative model of thinking, feeling, and behaving that we need to discard. The crisis is, therefore, a challenge, a glove thrown by the universe calling us to personal jihad. Jihad? Yes, it is a less-known fact that the original meaning of the term “jihad” is “holy war against one’s weaknesses” and not the “fight against infidels.”
A crisis requires facing the “inner darkness” and releasing it…
We all know how bad we feel during a crisis. All our weaknesses raise their heads; the deepest inner darkness, fears, rages, depressions, and confusions constantly throw us out of step. Our reptilian brain (R-complex) is activated, which causes us to react instinctively, to fight or flight. It is as if the crisis opens the “doors of hell.” Well, many people do say that during a crisis, they “went through hell,” or they felt “like they were in hell.” What if they really were in hell? Is this just a metaphor or an actual possibility? And what would be a theoretical or even scientific basis for such a claim? Spiritual schools teach us about the so-called “energetic worlds and realms,” and C.G. Jung speaks about the “collective unconscious.” Hence, the struggle for the outcome of the crisis, in addition to the individual, has to include the work on dissolving the collective limiting influences. They usually manifest through the reaction of the so-called “inorganic entities and fields.” To understand the idea of inorganic realms, we have to leave the boundaries set to human consciousness by official science and move into the territory of spiritual science and shamanistic traditions. As I have never limited my research to areas that are currently socially acceptable, I will now address the spiritual aspects of the crisis that few therapists consider. Especially when you take into account that most people do feel the existence of these realities and talk about them, at least metaphorically.
We are all part of the energy worlds with our energetic bodies, and some people call these worlds “inorganic.” All energy worlds coexist with the physical, and that includes the astral world. It is a “world between worlds,” as it separates two legitimate levels of Creation from each other or one heavenly level from another. Thus the Earth is also a paradise, a perfect creation, just as the worlds in which we reside after death are. The fact that people are trying to make hell out of Earth is another pair of sleeves, but that doesn’t diminish its original nature. The astral world is also a formative zone in which the energy bodies of beings that will incarnate in physical reality are being created. On the other hand, the energy bodies of creatures that are just leaving the physical level decompose themselves in the astral zone.
Interestingly, most people who have had a near-death experience describe a tunnel that a soul needs to pass through to “cross to the other side.” My experience is that this tunnel leads through the astral zone and connects the physical level with the “celestial.” But, instead of being just a transit sphere between two levels of Creation, the astral world has become a refuge for souls who refuse to take any responsibility for their existence, disobey the law of karma, and want absolutely no development. When people like this die, they may choose to remain on the astral level. But since that realm is not the legitimate level of Creation, so there are no energy sources that would enable the survival of the entities (souls) that reside in it. For this reason, the souls from the astral turn to the earth level as a source of food (energy).
What do souls feed on in paradise? Love and light. What do earthly beings feed on? Proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, and so on, because we need them for our physical bodies. But also love because it nourishes our aura, and light because it nourishes our light body. So, we feed on the energies of light and love indirectly because plants also accumulate them, and we consume them in processed form, eating plants. Most of humanity also eat herbivorous animals, but not carnivorous animals because the energy quality of animals that eat other animals is low and unsuitable for food. (To all who find this thesis too abstract or even totally silly, I promise to dedicate a separate article to the topic of the relationship between subtle energies and nutrients soon.)
Is there unconditional love and light on the astral as a source of energy/food? There could be if those souls would want to connect with them, but that would immediately move them out of the astral zone, and they don’t want that. This is why these souls reject light and love as food but try to feed on their processed products from the earthy level – human emotions. What emotions? Negative, of course. As they do not have a physical body, these souls do not need nutrients that contain physical substances, but they certainly need some kind of energy food. Thus there are whole colonies of souls on the astral level that feed on negative emotions of other inorganic beings, but also of physical beings. Such souls rejoice when people feel bad and are overwhelmed by negative emotions because, in these moments, there is a possibility that a person will mentally “break.” During a nervous breakdown, the human energy body also breaks, creating an opportunity for astral entities to attach to the human energy body, temporarily or permanently. From then on, astral entities feed on human energy, just as mosquitoes and ticks feed on our blood.
Moreover, in moments of crisis, portals are open between the astral and the earthly worlds, and astral entities use those portals to attract as many human souls as possible to themselves in an attempt to manifest their existential models on Earth. As spiritual schools and religions usually call such astral levels “hell,” we could say that in moments of crisis, “the gates of hell” open. For some, this will be just a metaphor, and for some an energy fact. In any case, the result is the same – during a crisis, we are obsessed with negative thoughts and emotions, so in addition to being an energetic food to inorganic entities, we are suitable for manipulation and sometimes even become dangerous to ourselves and the environment. We certainly do not spread love, peace, and awareness but radiate negative mental states instead. And just as Heaven and hell are in us, precisely in our inner states, while in crisis, we find ourselves in personal hell from which we often seek a way out in the most destructive ways. It is the infernal abyss that opens before us by astral entities that contribute to such action. To fall into such an abyss would be to lose one’s mind and commit some destructive act – to oneself or another. What act? Read the newspapers, crimes and accidents section.
During the crisis, the gates of hell open…
…but also the gates of Heaven. It is up to us to choose which ones to go through…
However, in moments of crisis, the gates of Heaven also open. Souls residing at a level of Creation higher than ours also take advantage of the opportunity brought by the crisis and open a portal to the higher worlds. In times like these, not only beings from the lower astral are active – “heavenly” beings operate as well. However, the activity of evil is generally more evident than the activity of good, so in times of crisis, some people will turn to the “dark side.” Their choice, but you should bear in mind that the opportunity to jump to a higher level always exists. Spiritual helpers are not, of course, there to save us, or to do anything for us without our consent. God does not save us; we save ourselves. We are also the ones who can help others if they want. God (higher consciousness, spiritual world, heavenly souls, whatever) opens the door, but we are the ones who need to go through it. That is why in times of crisis, we need to resist the seductive influences of “hell” and find the strength to use the crisis as a springboard for a new level of consciousness and a new quality of life.
Here I must mention the critical problem that arises when coming out of the crisis, and that is the so-called “leap of faith.” We cannot fully control a crisis, and such an impossibility will terrify a good portion of people. Fear is okay if we can feel it and let go, but it still paralyzes most people. It is not always possible to know what exactly is going to resolve the crisis, where the solution will come from, and in which direction it will push our lives. This uncertainty is very well known to spiritually oriented people who occasionally experience “spiritual crises.” Those of us who start with “spiritual work” or “personal development” usually enter into such activities with many positive expectations. And we are right because spiritual development brings fantastic benefits. But at the same time, we are entirely wrong because the price we have to pay for such gains is usually not small. It is not great when it comes to the effort that we need to put in to master a particular method. Still, it is not insignificant when it comes to the processes that we need to go through to reach spiritual experiences or achieve purification from some personal (karmic) limitations. Although many expect that spirituality will only confirm their positive expectations and beliefs, true spirituality often leads in a different direction. It will shatter our hopes, ideas, and previous life structures, transforming our lives in ways we do not expect at all. These ways are usually not pleasant at all and often consist of everything that we want to suppress or avoid.
Tamer & Cindy Elsharouni – Leap of Faith
Nowadays, methodologies that enable spiritual experience have evolved and improved, so many people think that practicing meditation will automatically buy them happiness and fulfillment (usually by going through a few courses). But the reality is different. The old laws of spiritual development are still valid and cannot be circumvented, even with all the spectacularity of modern techniques. Such laws are natural and, therefore, immutable, so it is intelligent to know and respect them. One rule says that a universal spirit always gives you what you need, not what you want. Except, of course, in those rare moments when what we want is precisely what we need. However, the ratio of pleasant and expected experiences is still relatively small in comparison to corrective and pedagogical measures. Spiritual experiences are as they are, not as we would like them to be. It’s the same with a crisis – it leads in the direction it wants to go, and it’s up to us to follow with full confidence. For many people, this is an insurmountable obstacle. They do not wish to live an insecure life in which there is no guarantee that all experiences will be one hundred percent pleasant and painless or a life that would jeopardize their firm belief in their correctness and moral superiority.
I often experienced my crises as a curse, and long after it turned out that the crisis was, in fact, the best thing that could have happened to me, I refused to accept such a view. But when I finally cleared up the negative mental states that a crisis had caused me, I could no longer resist the truth that staying in the old reality would be far worse than going through the pain and mess of an initiation process. Because of such experiences, I am extremely cautious when it comes to crises that I occasionally find myself in. There are countless reasons to get angry, end relationships, never engage in similar experiences again, feel “justifiably” like a victim, and self-righteously blame others, or external circumstances, for my condition. But I know that these reactions are only contents of my mind, old mechanisms that I identify with and which are probably ready for transformation, for release, for de-identification from the limitations they carry.
I always need to remind myself that I am not the content of my mind, that I’m not my thoughts and feelings, and neither am I the worldview or philosophical ideas that I identify with. I am me, and the easiest way to describe this “me” is an unlimited consciousness full of creative potential. So if that’s the case, why don’t I use those infinite potentials in times of crisis? When will I, if not then? Will I wait for everything in my life to be ideal and then face my weaknesses? Will I wait for death because “this life in the Matrix is a failure anyway”? Will I indulge in “life’s a bitch and then you die” philosophy? Am I going to justify myself with the stupidity of other people who drag modern society to hell, so why bother at all? Will I use my age as an excuse (“I’m too old for that shit”)? Haven’t I been convinced countless times that the biggest hell I can create for myself is procrastination and indulgence in apathy?
To sum it all up:
• It is possible to get out of the crisis; the crisis is not here to destroy us but to transform outdated life patterns.
• The essence of the crisis is not external influences but its internal, psychological aspect – it is necessary to change the perception of the crisis because it is not always possible to influence external circumstances.
• A crisis requires the expansion of consciousness; it is an initiation into a new level of awareness and quality of living.
• The path from the crisis leads through the crisis – it is not possible to get out of a crisis by denying it.
• The process of overcoming a crisis is likely to be painful to some extent; pain is usually unavoidable.
• The essence of overcoming a crisis is the process of de-identification from the old worldview.
• A crisis activates several causal patterns or limiting influences — both individual and collective — that block change; we need to know how to dissolve them.
• It is not possible to know in advance in which direction the resolution of a crisis will lead – we should be ready to jump into the unknown.
• Getting out of a crisis requires the adoption of new forms of discipline and responsibility.
• The means of overcoming the crisis will be the discovery and integration of a new quality of one’s true self and the universal spirit.
• With completed initiation, it is possible for our life to gain a new quality, sometimes even the one we never dared to dream of.
© Tomislav Budak, August 2020.