Spiritual Immersion: Taking the Plunge
Spiritual Immersion is a process of revealing the ever deeper and richer layers of our spirit-selves. This Spirit-Self resides within our human form and can only be fully known through direct, personal experience. Only through this direct experience can you explore, experiment and discover your truth and live that truth.
I believe we have come onto this planet to experience the fulfillment of our human spirit. We can only do this through the self-empowering, direct experience of our humanness. The intention of this book is to inspire you to choose consciously to immerse yourself â€“ just as an experiment, into an experiment â€“ an investigation, if you will, into self-discovery; then choose to live consciously according to the evidence of your investigation.
The Pragmatics of Limitless Being
The more you understand how you operate inside the reality of you, the more empowered you are to choose to act in alignment with what you want. Less sabotage, less stuckness, more fulfillment, freedom and fun. Abraham-Hicks, Notes from the Universe, The Secret and many other self-directed practice, teach: Change your thoughts and you will create the desirable outcome you want. It’s a very elegant principle, but the practice takes commitment and discipline to actually immerse oneself into the direct experience of this.
No one knows how long it will take to realize the potential of this practice. Its takes as long as it takes. Without taking the plunge, though, you can most likely kiss goodbye that which you truly desire. A practice of spiritual immersion, in my experience, is the most pragmatic training you will ever discover. It brings to the foundations of your being and your doing. This allows you to choose differently â€“ only in service to what you want â€“ not what you don’t want.
Seeking Outside Yourself Will Not Work
Truthfully, there aren’t many of us who are committed to being on a spiritual journey. Most of us are thrown onto the path by circumstances out of our control: natural disasters; hurricanes, tsunamis, loss of jobs, homes and money, diseases, death and so many more.
Fear scares away curiosity seekers. The assumption that to be spiritual means relinquishing all belongings and desires, and live in austerity; well, in our fear-based paradigm, we are programed to hold onto what we’ve got, control what you can, and take what you can get. Surrender control, detach from what no longer serves your highest knowing, let go and let God; these fly in the face of a fear of annihilation, humiliation, and banishment. Although all religious and spiritual teachings tell us this is the path to true spiritual living, well, most of us just pretend, hoping we won’t be found out. That choice to pretend is preferred over sitting in fear of the potential loss of a reality that we believe to be the only one. It’s just too damn scary.
What most us wish for is security, stability and enough money so that we experience freedom to be, do and have whatever we want, without having to test our faith. Our western culture has provided us with an "I WANT IT NOW!" model and it’s now an epidemic clear around the world. However with economic downturns, phenomenal natural disasters, as well as war, disease and poverty, all roads on this planet will inevitably lead you down a pretty slippery slope, to where? To you!
Looking outside yourself for answers to your life questions will provide clues, but until you begin to explore within yourself, immersing yourself in your own self-created reality, you will stay mired in a reality that has you suffer, settle and survive. If you want more, you have to consider mindfully adopting a perspective that allows for an expansion of consciousness to occur.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. John Augustus Shedd (1859 – ?)
The changing of the guard from Newtonian Physics to Quantum physics and beyond happened over a hundred years ago, yet beliefs within our consensus reality have hardly shifted to include even an inth of a degree of the potentiality of the universe that we are. We are the potentially, the infinitude â€“ the oneness of all that is. What has kept our intelligence squashed into a small little form, ignorant of our gargantuan potential for fulfillment? It’s because we have been too scared to come out of the dark ages and into the light of today.
The evolution of consciousness, up until now has been pretty accidental (if there are such things as accidents). We are so much more conscious and aware than ever before. And, as Ekhart Tolle said, this is the first time in the evolution of our species that we can consciously choose to evolve. Spiritual Teachers have been teaching this for a long time. But, politics have gotten between the messenger and the message. What we’ve been taught is servitude, and how to be disempowered, undeserving and unworthy. An upside to choosing to remain in servitude is that we can continue to pretend that we are safe from fearing brutal and horrific circumstance. And, we can also avoid being responsible and accountable for our lives and those around us. We remain at the mercy of those to whom we are bound. Religions and spiritual traditions quite often hold us hostage with dogmatic principles founded on fear. You do it right â€“ you are safe. You do it wrong, you will suffer retribution.
With few exceptions, our political, religious and educational systems continue to teach the way it always had. More often than not, they don’t empower us or our children to empower ourselves. We are taught to think for ourselves, yet most often we get kicked in the head when we do so. It’s a process whereby we as a collective, dumb-down our children, our parishioners, our constituents. This has been going on for eons. Here are some startling statistics:
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
(Source: Jerold Jenkins,www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)
Frustrated, confused, stuck, paralyzed and lost, individuals seek advice from psychology, ministers, therapists and coaches, in hopes that their problems, their pain and suffering will vanish quickly and painlessly. It doesn’t work that way, no matter what you want to believe and no matter what people tell you. Creating a life worth living takes time, and enough compellingness to keep you putting one foot in front of the other.
Happily Ever After
We believe now, as we have for eons, that we are meant to experience a happily-ever after reality. We believe that we are meant to feel safe, secure and invulnerable to predators of any kind, especially the ones that live inside our heads. We fiercely fight with self-righteous arrogance and entitlement, for this happiness, and, more often than not, we die unfulfilled.
Our consensus reality has us trust, regardless of the evidence telling us otherwise, that somehow we will find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, because that’s what it’s all about. The suffering never stops for any of us, as we feel the angst of the disappointment; the powerlessness of not making it happen; the mutilation of our essential nature in service to avoiding the anguish of the angst of failing to reach the Promised Land.
Disease and pain arise in our bodies as symptoms of self-abandonment and self-betrayal. Many die, not of the disease, but of the self-abuse we inflict upon ourselves for not meeting the obligatory success imposed upon us by consensus reality.
We are Here to Reject Completely Consensus Reality (Rasha, in Oneness Chapter 2.)
As many of you have experienced, humanness is fraught with opportunities to venture into â€“ physical, emotional, mental and spiritual arenas where we meet ourselves in all different ways. In each occurrence, we choose a strategy, a survival mechanism, based on memories (most of which are unconscious), that will provide us with an outcome that we believe is right. Based on fear-based memories, we continually choose to choose in service to what we are wanting to avoid, and rarely choosing in service to fulfillment of our human spirit. Our desire to avoid bad things is more often than not the higher priority.
It is time that we begin to engage intelligent discernment to assess what’s working and what’s not, and then, act accordingly.
Spiritual teachings consistently reflect a truth: that we didn’t come here to be safe, secure and happy. We, as spiritual beings, have come here for an adventure; an adventure that can only be experienced within the form of a human being. Through this adventure, we come to realize that we are safe, secure and happy â€“ not from predators, but because we’ve engaged in the direct experience of combat with that which frightens us most. Empowering ourselves to do battle with our deepest fears, we either die trying or we find ourselves, victorious. We find ourselves.
The Intention of this Book
The intention of this book is to empower you to immerse yourself in the direct experience of what you are, who you think yourself to be, and to cultivate a practice of intelligent discernment of truth in order to, once and for all, abandoning what is false. Take the plunge and you’ll explore and investigate the most fundamental beliefs and interpretations that have been the underpinnings of your existence, your thoughts and your actions. You will come to realize that the circumstances facing you today are the result of universal potentiality that has funneled through YOU, based on lifetimes â€“ yours and your ancestors, to bring you to this moment. Armed with this wisdom and knowledge, you are liberated to explore, to experiment and to discover you. It is here, and only here, in this moment, that you have access to the full potentiality of you existence, and, if you choose, to create circumstances to your liking.
Putting Down Your Sword and Shield
Investigating who you are, and what has you choose to choose what you choose, allows you to cultivate awareness of, and experiment with, your own reality. More importantly, you begin to participate in your own existence. You find, as you dismantle your armor, that you are strong and invulnerable without the swords and shields; the ones you thought would keep you safe. It is rare to experience one’s true existence, and yet, by ignoring the is-ness of being, you willfully limit the fullest expression of your essential nature to be fulfilled.
You may roll your eyes and mumble under your breath "This is going to be hard work and it will take forever!" But, the truth is, that to seek to know yourself is far more fruitful than studying aspects of the world that may be fascinating, yet miss the mark in bringing about shifts and changes in your being that you desire more than life itself. This is an ongoing unfoldment of you. Lifetimes have been lived, unconscious of the you, you’ve only glimpsed for moments at a time. We are at choice because we grow conscious of that fact that we can choose.
Spiritual Growth Does not Occur Through Mental Knowledge
Information and knowledge is fascinating. It can prepare your ground of being for the direct experience that is to be taken on this adventure of self-discovery. However, you will not grow spiritually through mentations alone. You have to step into the living experiment of your life in order to discover for yourselves if there is any truth within the Bible, Koran, Torah, Vedas and all the spiritual teachings ever written. You have to take that leap of faith â€“ not forever; just in this moment, for a second or a minute; stretching your comfort zone a fraction of a degree at a time.
Many of us read and preach scriptures to others. Yet, even those who are agents of change, stewards, ministers and all – few of us step into direct investigation of a lived experience we say to be true. The practice of walking your talk is fundamental to the adventure of finding you.
What’s missing in most religious and spiritual traditions is an inquiry-based practice that requires an individual to go inside, to seek the answers from their highest truth. Without the encouragement to source the answers for oneself we’ll never learn how to empower ourselves; we’ll never learn how to utilize the incredible intelligence that we have inside to source the truth and act upon that truth. We will never cultivate the courage to engage in deep conversations with ourselves, discerning what are our highest truths and knowing, and to what degree we are really willing to experience the fullest expression of our essential nature.
I entertain my mind with stuff, but when I’m investigating me, I can only do so by going inside â€“ immersing myself in a practice of mindful self-exploration â€“ to experience my existence, investigating within my body and without my body, who I am. My resources, books, teachers, guides and personal experience, steward me through this process, emphasizing, drawing maps, encouraging me to be mindful of traps that detour me away from my truest intention.
Taking the Plunge doesn’t mean diving off the high dive into depths beyond your experience or beyond your abilities. That would be crazy. It means experiencing yourself, moment by moment to witness who you are and how you be. At your own speed, you explore the depths. With curiosity and fascination you realize that though you may experience fear, there’s really nothing to be afraid of. It’s only you, after all.
In your investigation, by knowing what you are and what you are not, you can choose differently. You cultivate awareness and intelligence to distinguish truth from falsehood. You engage with you world, self-empowered to make choices that serve your highest truth and highest good, knowing that when you are acting in your highest good you are acting in everyone’s highest good.
What’s at Stake?
Every one of us is in some way in the process of examining who we are. Reading this far, is telling enough, that you are preparing for the plunge. If you’ve never seen an ocean, plunging your big toe into one can be amazingly adventurous. It’s the beginning of a wonderful adventure of experiencing you â€“ all of you! What’s at stake? Change. With change there is always a fear of loss. The dilemma that arises when facing a choice is, either I change in service to stability and security, or change in service to stability and security through exploring the unchanging truth of me. WHAT?
In service to what?
Our actions are always in service to our highest value. Within our minds, an inventory â€“ a list of values and their hierarchy of priority, is mindfully attending to activities that serve this list of priorities. Until we investigate and take inventory of these values, we act according to someone else’s values. Through clarification of what we are in service to, we may realize the degree to which we may be wasting precious time while we are attempting to not waste time.
Spiritual immersion is a very practical practice. It allows you to live your life, in service to what you want. Any step you take in the direction of what you say you want will be a porthole for you and will lead you into the next big adventure.
This book is for those who are on the path of self-discovery and for those who are guides, directors and agents of change wanting a guide themselves into a more expansive bandwidth of presence, so as to be more helpful and supportive of those they support and empower.
How This Book Emerged
The book was inspired by my own lack of ability, lack of knowing and lack of direct experience as a spiritual guide and as an individual committed to self-discovery. My life, as great as it was/is, felt as though something essential was lacking. I experienced a calling, which put me on a trajectory I could not have fathomed.
My guidebooks continually led me on the most simplistic path. Every page continually reinforced the truth, that I am already Oneness, Universal Consciousness; and that I’m already enlightened. As such, I lack nothing and therefore have access to the full potentiality of the Universe.
The practice of immersing myself into this truth has been an excruciating endeavor, but one that has allowed me to emerge into a Self far more alive and aware than I ever considered possible. Though fear met me at every turn in the road, I continually released anything and everything did not align with my highest truth and my highest knowing. Exercising muscles of discernment stretched and strengthened my convictions of what is true. This also allowed greater vigilance for those beliefs and practices which were juxtaposed to living in truth. Big work and hard work. And, I continually asked myself â€“ Am I worthy of this endeavor? Am I worthy of sourcing into my own truth and living my life from this truth? Again, big work and hard work.
Realizing that I lack nothing, I came to practice that I need do nothing in service to exploring who it was that continually was driven to do, do, do, with no allowance for being. Only through being could I have the direct experience of the I AM, the Oneness, the Consciousness that is in union with Universal Everything. It was in this experience that I fully grasped that, when I move only when inspired to do so, I have surrendered my existence and all its expressions to my higher self, to God, to the Oneness that I am. Within this truth I know myself to the fullest. My practice is to live into each moment as I know myself to be.
A Couch Potato?
So, perhaps you can imagine me doing nothing but sitting on the couch for months at a time, waiting to be inspired to more. It wasn’t like that. I was very clear with my intentions and my commitment to experiment and investigate the fullness of me. Only by stopping activities and incessant thinking could I watch, listen and discern the truth of my reality; what I had created and what I could come to create. Without the practice of doing nothing I couldn’t have been as productive as I was, during that period of time. Truthfully, I wrote and published four books, facilitated trainings, coached clients and kept life going. Its all in cultivating your world in relation to what you are committed to.
The more you are clear about what you are committed to, what is absolute for you, the greater degree of intentional practices you’ll create, and the more likely you will live in the fullest expression of your essential nature.
Accept Inner Adventure as the Way
This book is for you if:
… You are curious and courageous enough to expand your comfort zone in service to cultivating spiritual intelligence,
… You are questioning how to grow and develop spiritually,
… You have experiences that are unexplainable and you don’t know how to integrate them into your current reality,
… You have a knowing that there is so much more to life than what you’ve come to believe thus far.
Enjoy the adventure â€“ Take the Plunge!