I’ve been writing this blog for almost 7 years. In that time period I have documented numerous answered prayers, or “demonstrations” as they are called in the metaphysical / spiritual-not-religious corners of the world.
As I have often shared, I came into this teaching in a state of curiosity, not desperation. Not long before, I had been given a copy of the audio book, “The Secret” and begun my journey into the world of metaphysical experience. While I knew that The Secret was a doorway to a deeper path; I also knew that some of the examples in the movie were off base, and fantastical – even if they were meant as metaphorical representations of the way “this stuff works” (and I think they were meant that way and not as unrealistic goals).
Over the years that I have studied, learned and grown in my application and appreciation of these ancient, spiritual Truths; I have observed that there is a level of maturity in our use of them.
When we are immature, expectations are high and often untethered to reality. This can and often does lead to disappointment and an undermining of the beliefs. This is described best by Mike Dooley who was in the movie as “messing with the hows“. See my blog on magical thinking for an explanation of this.
When approaching the principles with maturity, however; real magic can come into our lives. This magic happens when we are willing and able to let go of the way we want things to happen and allow the principles to work as they work.
The maturity involved in this requires a relinquishment of ego – letting go of what WE wanted, and how WE wanted things to work out, and how WE saw the best outcomes as needing to be. A mature approach is one that is open at the top (nod to Ernest Holmes) and does not insist on doing things a certain way, and is always willing to evolve, even if/when it’s scary.
The following examples illustrate the difference:
A family member wanted to buy a pair of athletic shoes, but money was short. The IMMATURE wish was for more money; the MATURE knowing led to a pair of athletic shoes that met their needs, and was affordable within their budget.
A child who wanted to play the flute in band and a family that wondered about adding another instrument payment to the budget found that the IMMATURE wish for more money coming in each month so they could afford it was replaced with the MATURE knowing that they are provided when a flute showed up.
I was set to travel in the midst of a Winter storm. The IMMATURE desire I had was for my employer to cancel all travel until Spring. The MATURE knowing I experienced was that I was provided – not only with safe travel between Kansas City and Pittsburgh, but on time with no delays.
A couple years back, my daughter and her family moved across town. A few weeks after the move, the family cat disappeared. My grandson was distraught and all of us combed the neighborhoods – old and new – for Figgy. The IMMATURE wish was that Figgy would simply wander back into the yard. The MATURE knowing let go of the HOW and held on to the knowing that the highest and best outcome would manifest.
This outcome came in a call from Animal Control, more than a MONTH after Figgy disappeared. I feel strongly that this happened to teach me about faith, trust and persistence and each time I see Figgy with my grandchildren, I am reminded of that lesson (I was able to scratch his ears and give him a couple kitty-treats just yesterday!).
I’ve written often about my need for a new roof that required $15,000 and about concerns around finances specific to my student loans. The IMMATURE desires I held around these issues were for large, windfalls of money so that I could simply write a check and be done with the worry.
The MATURE knowing allowed for the outcomes that looked a bit different, but still met all my needs: I am not paying my students loans out of my monthly budget – and instead of a winning lottery ticket, a tree blew onto my roof and a part time job came my way.
These examples, along with the many others chronicled in this blog, have worked to teach me the critical importance of a mature approach to the application of spiritual principles in my life. I have learned the crucial aspect of “keeping out of the hows” and regularly see the miracles that emerge when I do.
For these reasons, I struggle to support teachers or self-proclaimed gurus who are not demonstrating a maturity in their practice. They are, sadly, leading others astray when they keep holding their hands over their bank accounts and praying loudly for more money to roll in to maintain things as they want them to be.
This behavior demonstrates a lack of depth and expertise – especially when they insist that they’ll not move off their current path (“I’m not changing the way we spend our money!”) even in the face of an obvious need to make drastic changes.
This is, I believe, spiritual malpractice. Not because I said so, but because teaching spiritual Truths to help people with hard life challenges is a sacred duty and our desire for money, position or power should NEVER outrank that responsibility.
In the Christian canon, the teacher Jesus taught that leading people astray was a big problem:
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.Matthew 18:6
The word sin is interpreted metaphysically to mean “missing the mark“. From this perspective, this counsel could be rewritten as:
- Whoever causes someone new to these teachings to miss the mark – or use the principles ineffectively, which can create the perception that they are useless and lead people to abandon them – is committing malpractice, and should immediately cease and desist.
Does this mean that anyone not demonstrating immediate results is incapable of leading?
Not at all.
It DOES mean that to be effective and sustainable; leadership requires maturity – as evidenced in a willingness to be wrong, self-awareness, being open to ideas that conflict with one’s own, and the ability to let go of long-held sacred cows.
In other words, it means being able to understand the spiritual principles enough to LIVE them, and not just talk about them. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
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