garden of wisdom

From Self-Isolation to Self-Liberation

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Of course, we do what is necessary in the physical sense to avoid exposing ourselves and others to harm. However, in doing so, we may soon find that the isolation we experience brings to the fore of our consciousness some deeply personal and also spiritual questions. Perhaps now more than ever we are yearning for togetherness, comfort and support. We may feel isolated, physically and spiritually, as if we were placed in a state of limbo, or suspended animation.

This feeling is understandable, because when we are left with just ourselves and the inner reality of our personal relationships, being physically isolated can bring us to question whether we are also being spiritually isolated. Or indeed, whether it is the case that we already are isolated spiritually, but have only now just realised it.

However, could it be that in regards to physical and spiritual isolation, we find we are moving in opposite directions? Could it be that when we have physical connectedness with others in our everyday life, we neglect our inner needs, and we are left spiritually isolated? Or is it only at the times in which we find ourselves physically isolated, that we feel drawn to be reconnected spiritually? We would all like a clear answer as to whether being physically isolated from others should bring about an experience of spiritual connectedness, or not.

Well, we could actually find two answers to this question: yes, and no! Yes, certainly, as we find our physical isolation is increased, it brings with it the opportunity for our spiritual isolation to decrease. And no, certainly not, because we may find that the various human reactions to our physical isolation necessitate that we should also maintain a certain degree of spiritual isolation. To find our way out of this dilemma, let us consider the “no” answer first: what are the features of physical isolation that might also be worth isolating ourselves from spiritually?

First of all, we must isolate ourselves from the fear, worry and anxiety around and within us.
There are so many unknown factors in life that a certain degree of unease is a natural physiological reaction. But we should really try to avoid getting caught up in the fear and panic
that can morph out of such uncertainty. We need to remember that most events and moments of our routine life are unknown to us before they happen, so whether we like to plan ahead, or just live for the day, either way we really have no idea what the next moment might bring. So these times are really no different - on an individual basis.

Therefore, it is important that we have clear insight regarding this reality, and try to put this phenomenon of panic and irrational fear into perspective. Reflecting on our own actions and reactions, and consciously refraining from feeding the monstrous astral forces that accompany fear and panic, can lead us to true spiritual insight into the origins, attributes, and predicament generated by the limitations of our sensory perception, and our natural instincts as human beings.

Secondly, we must isolate ourselves from subjectivity, and from the pervasive deception, rumour and speculation that we create for ourselves, or allow into ourselves through gossip, chats, social media or the constant torrent of breaking news. We must observe objectively all these things, so that we do not get caught up in them, nor succumb to them. When we engage in a conscious effort to find stillness, and observe objectively, we can separate out the chaos and subjectivity of these speculative forces from the actual facts of the matter.

Then we will immediately be able to see the situation in a clear, rational and harmonious reality,
Rather than being dragged into the whirlpool of emotions and speculation. When we have thus isolated ourselves in such moments of stillness and objectivity, we are able to discern that there are two forces working in us and in those around us: one force that is tangible, volatile, and dynamic; and another force that is intangible, invariable, and static.

One is discernable subjectively through our senses; the other can not be perceived nor grasped, but can only be discerned objectively, in the silence of our heart, when we are still for a moment to observe it. In fact, we find that one is the voice of the ego, the other is an inner voice, which we will only hear when we are truly still, and open to it.

Therefore, thirdly, we must seek to isolate ourselves from the chaos and turmoil around us, to find an inner stillness and silence, in which we may listen to that inner voice. Only then are we able to focus on our connection with this inner essence, the essence that is created in the space outside of our egocentric and exoteric existence in the world. Then we will realise that the basis of this connection is that element of the divine, the Inner Other One that resides within us. If we open ourselves to this source, It will guide us to a new understanding, a new state of consciousness, based on the firm ground of our objectivity, insight and self-knowledge.

So what of the answer: ‘yes - physical isolation brings with it the opportunity to diminish our spiritual isolation?’ Well, this possibility depends on how we react to the previous question, and whether we were successful in isolating ourselves – spiritually – from those three forces that rage around us.

Firstly, in the loneliness, or aloneness, of our isolation, we can come to realise that what we thought connected us to our exoteric spirituality was not the physical togetherness of the group, congregation or religion we belonged to. Rather, it is our inner yearning, our inner state of longing that engenders the expression of our spiritual quest. Perhaps until now, we have never stopped long enough to actually recognise what it was that drove us to seek in these ways, and perhaps this is the first opportunity we have had to notice the existence of that inner voice that has always been present within us.

Secondly, our physical isolation from any external guide or authority inadvertently brings with it the opportunity to turn inwardly, to seek the guidance of our inner authority, the voice of the inner other one. So now that we recognise the existence of this inner longing for what it is, we can follow our yearning for spiritual freedom, in unity with all who are seeking It. And when we do so, we recognise that we are all the same; we realise that the divine element that guides us - the force that connects us with the source - is one and the same in ourselves as it is in every other body.

We realise that spiritually, we are all one; we are interconnected as one, through the one divine essence that resides in each of us. Therefore, the primordial principle, the essence of all humanity, is the one. With this inner recognition, we will unconditionally surrender all sense of egocentric self, of individualism, of superiority or inferiority, of separateness, and of isolation; we surrender to the interconnectedness of everything!

Thirdly, this inner recognition of our interconnectedness leads us to a new perspective on life, a new attitude of life that interconnects, not only the spiritual essence of every other human being, but of all life: every animal, every plant, every rock, every drop of water, and every breath of air. When we have undergone this fundamental reversal, this fundamental change to a new attitude of life, we undergo a transformation from an egocentric consciousness to the universal consciousness.

Now we may clearly see that our physical isolation is an illusion. For we are connected not only in and through our physical proximity to our fellow human beings and every other thing:
we are also directly connected through the etheric, astral, and mental forces that extend between us all, and to the pure spiritual body that permeates the universe.

Now, through inner reflection, we can discover the four steps from spiritual isolation to spiritual unity: through insight, yearning, self-surrender, and a new attitude of life, to our liberation in a new field of life, the universal consciousness. Then we will have realised our self-transformation, from isolation to liberation. And then any sense we might have had of spiritual isolation has disappeared, and while we are living in the world, we are no longer beholden to the world. We have become truly free!

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