Empowerment vs Enforcement
Last week, I introduced the ideas of empowerment and enforcement.
The pyscho-spiritual teachings of Dr. David R. Hawkins, author of Power vs. Force, was one of my most influential teachers. I started studying his teaching in 2005. Between 2006 and 2010 I had the pleasure and honor of attending around 14 or so all-day lectures and other events and learned so much about psycho-spiritual development, spiritual emergencies, and the dynamics of the human spirit from this brilliant and loving being. His teaching and advice helped me deeply engage in my self-inquiry and begin to purify my devotional practices.
Dr. Hawkins Map of Consciousness is a guidepost for assessing if you are experiencing a state of power or force. He delineates force as states of Pride, Anger, Desire, Fear, Grief, Apathy, Guilt, and Shame. States of power are considered: Courage, Neutrality, Willingness, Acceptance, Reason, Love, and beyond.
I wish I could say that every decision I made since studying and practicing were made from states of power, but alas, they were not, and could not have been. The profound journey of self-inquiry never ends and as we practice, we find hidden guilt, shame, and strong unmet needs. Until they are all brought to the light of the conscious mind, we will continue to make decisions rooted in states of force. Self-Inquiry is not an easy path and is not completed in one lifetime. It requires a fearless examination of our defense and protective mechanisms and a willingness to stop projecting them onto others and the world.
Practitioners of inquiry eventually develop the willingness to find compassion and forgiveness for the parts of themselves that made decisions that inevitably led to suffering. As we cultivate this for ourselves, we can share more genuine compassion with others.
As I continue the spiritual practice of becoming aware of and loving my ego back into wholeness, I still on occasion become aware of when I am dishonest by acting in ways others might want or expect, betraying my own needs to gain the approval of those I love or hide when I feel threatened. We all have conditioned behavioral and mental patterns that get triggered.
These patterns are the way we attempted to be powerful by using force. We had mistakenly believed these forceful ways of controlling ourselves and others were the most powerful way we could solve our problems.
But ultimately, in the long run, these forceful ways of trying to get our needs met create more discord, pain, suffering, and loss.
Sometimes I notice myself speaking from the pride of my position or beliefs instead of reason, wisdom, or love. When I recognize this or any other disempowering pattern, I realize an old pattern has been triggered, that is all. Giving that part of myself love, I remind myself that I am learning, growing, and evolving being. Ever learning how to be more powerful in ways that create a more peaceful and productive existence.
This is how I strengthen trusting the me that is learning, growing, and evolving over any old survival pattern. I offer this practice to you in hope that it will help you become a more sovereign, Self-Referred being as opposed to a fearfully triggered and Other-Referred being.
If you want to be a sovereign being, look at what twists your mind and emotions into a knot.
Are you in a frenzied state, excited fearful state? A hopeless, helpless, victim state? A righteous prideful state?
Having a weapon, be it our mouths, our guns, or posting memes on social media to respond to someone else’s meme without actually having a respectful, information seeking conversation about the topic is not the answer for solving the growth challenges that face us as a nation or in our personal relationships.
What makes us sovereign beings is to surrender our positionality about a subject, even for a moment to ask for more information to seek understanding and to find solutions that do not create even more unintended negative consequences.
Being sovereign means, we have control over our own thinking and our own choices instead of being emotionally manipulated by our own fears.
Being sovereign takes courage to face how we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated because we are trying to be important, safe, or right, or are trying to get our needs met or to be significant.
When a need overrides our ability to listen and see deeply, we know we are in the process of being manipulated by our unconscious mind, be it individual or collective.
To start with, when you experience an emergency emotion or a defensive thought, Stop – Pause – Breathe – Be willing to know the truth no matter what the truth is. Ask for more information. Ask for support.
For me, the most important spiritual practice is to want to know the truth no matter what it is. To be willing to be wrong. I think this is the greatest takeaway from Dr. Hawkin's teachings for me and I offer it to you for your own contemplation.
All My Love,
PS. If you are interested in learning how to be more powerful, I hope you will explore the works of Dr. Hawkins at www.veritaspub.com. I recommend three books to get started, Power vs. Force, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness, and The Discovery of the Presence of God.