The extent to which we repeat the patterns in our lives is extraordinary to me. In recent years this process seems to have become even more prominent, and rapid. Even as I have made major life decisions designed to take me in a more authentic, soul-filled direction, I keep making remarkably similar "mistakes" and suffering the consequences. It is only when I naively begin to feel bewildered as things go wrong that I am reminded of that old, familiar saying about the road to hell... indeed, good intentions are rarely enough to get us where we want to go. So what else is required? Action; firm commitment; perseverance; luck? A wide variety of sources seem to also recommend some form of spiritual faith. From the popular programs such as AA for overcoming addiction, to gnostic master Samael Aun Weor's teachings specifically on overcoming our egos, when it comes to tackling the really big obstacles in life we are advised to rely on a strength greater than our own. Why is this always so hard to remember?
In order to make any profound and lasting changes it would seem we do indeed require some kind of help from beyond. Yet we muddle on... Lately it seems that even as I identify issues and patterns they simply multiply and continue repeating, so evidently simply bringing them to consciousness is not enough to create change. And as tensions mount I am overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, fatigue and pains, sometimes to the point of being completely unable to function. Apparently my own strength is not enough. And all this from a woman who identifies herself with all the high-minded principles of uniting mind, body and soul to find wholeness, purpose and meaning in life? The books on my shelves are not enough; a lifetime of trying to be kind is not enough; attempting to do everything I can for the small circle of special people in my life is not enough; and as I confront my own failures in so many areas of life I have to seriously question: what am I doing? Riddled with debt; not receiving in return for all I have given; not living up to my potential; enduring chronic health issues; even the happiness of love is clouded by almost insurmountable obstacles. It is not always clear where the dividing line lies between ego and reality. Emotionally it all feels all too real. I feel constantly driven to the edge of endurance and reason lately, slowly broken to the point where I require another fresh start; another absolute beginning... "starting from zero, got nothing to lose" (a line from a Tracy Chapman song that has become shockingly real).
The truth is - a lot of it IS ego... (At least in my case - if you are reading this but you are truly in danger or distress because of someone else's actions please do not blame yourself, and do get the help you need to change your situation!) If we have come to identify ourselves with feeling wronged, mistreated, underappreciated, victimized - Samael emphasizes that changing our outer circumstances is not enough to stop these cycles. He advises asking for divine assistance in completely disintegrating these egos. While thinking about this concept I considered also the process of metamorphosis through which a caterpillar coccoons itself and then undergoes a complete transformation - first dissolving its original form and then slowly changing into the beautiful butterfly. What a phenomenon! And what a reassurance that profound change is possible when we feel at the end of our rope! So, while I truly believe in using a variety of resources to help us deal with illness and emotional issues - including psychological therapies; herbal supplements; prescription medications; adequate exercise, rest and nutrition; or whatever else seems to work best for you - an element of personal experience with the spiritual or divine is also highly recommended. Rising above hurt feelings, pride, disappointment, conflict, temptation, etc. is something that requires something beyond our human abilities. Don't be afraid to find some quiet time and ask for the help you need - pray, meditate, journal - in whatever way possible. Remember, even as we are all human, we are also connected to the divine.