by Dr. Rhea Zimmerman
*What you are about to read is essentially a letter that I wrote to myself in a stream of consciousness way during a solo retreat, in the winter, in a “low point” in my own journey. Classically,…the “low point” was also a point of closeness to the voice within, the arena of deep love, connection and healing. Perhaps this “letter’ can be of assistance to you as well.
If you have inquired on a spiritual path, or engaged in a healing journey, you will relate to what I am about to discuss.
The Two Perspectives I will present are orienting to Spiritual Path/Healing from a “Fixing Thyself” mentality versus a “Knowing Thyself” mentality. This idea of fixing versus knowing is applicable in a general sense for all people regardless of application to a particular system (of which I have studied or participated in many).
Looking at these paths from one of two perspectives is an incredibly helpful way to decrease tension and to re-orient to life as a perfect unfolding experience, rather than a fractured mistake or series of “problems”.
Have you ever had the desire to control your circumstances and surroundings, to make them “better”? Have you created nervous tension or anxiety paining over wanting to make the “right” choices or images in your life? Many people who learn about the process of selecting images or thoughts for creation in their life begin to worry over whether or not they are creating a good enough image, why it is or is not coming about, and what might be “wrong” with them that they can not seem to “get it right.”
From the “fix thyself” mentality we run around, seeking on the outside ways to repair ourselves. We assume that our feelings, thoughts, surroundings, experiences, etc. are flawed. We inherently do not see ourselves as perfectly in tune and a part of a greater WHOLE. We feel separate, afraid, and wrong.
A recent simple example came from a conversation with a friend about the relationship that she is in. She was voicing how she had come to a particular place in her relationship where she really wanted to be engaged. She was struggling wondering “what was wrong with her” that she was so hung up on receiving a ring in order to symbolize the commitment that her partner has said she really does have. In that moment I said to her, see,….fixing yourself versus knowing yourself. Fixing yourself says that what you feel is wrong. Knowing yourself says that you know what you feel and it is okay.
Most of us want to feel healthier, more connected, more peace, etc. when engaged on a healing or spiritual journey (or really any time the “I want to fix myself” mentality comes up). Paradoxically this orientation will inevitably produce results that mimic the feeling of being separate, afraid and wrong. We will, no doubt, set ourselves up to “fail” at ourprocess, practice or application. This is because when we look through the lens of “I am imperfect” or “something is wrong with me” then that is what we will see and reproduce. When we look through the lens of “what is this telling me about myself” or “how can I use this moment to connect to what my body and being is telling me” that is what we will find.
When we continually stick to the drive to try to create what our minds thinks of as the perfect picture of who we think we should be, do or have then I believe we are truly missing the point of the inevitable joy that the awareness of creation within the context of our lives can truly provide. I actually teach the process of creation and how to use it to bring about “desired results and outcomes”. Many of us however think that since we have the information, and if it is really true, that we would be able, at the drop of a hat, to create the perfect picture all of the time. If we fail to do this, in health, in relationships, in business, or in any arena, then we have failed to “prove” to ourselves and others that these principles are in fact, true.
Unfortunately, again, this “fixing thyself” is a painful orientation. The Principles of nature are true. In fact, our bodies and lives demonstrate the truth of the principles 100% of the time. However, wanting to prove this by creating a conceptualized perfect picture actually sets us up for a lifetime of tension and disappointment. There will never be an end to the desire for a perfect picture (and the disappointment over constantly feeling that the picture is flawed) when we continually are driven to fix what we think is broken about ourselves and our lives. This is a symptom of living from a completely externalized view and one that demonstrates an attachment to the idea that the real you is identifiable as good, perfect, imperfect or bad by your outer environment. Surely your prejudices and concepts are identifiable by your environment, but this in fact, is not the real essence of who you are. When we let go of “fixing ourselves” and start wearing the lens of “knowing thyself” then a whole different view of, really, the same thing, can open up. Paradoxically, this ultimately can and will produce more of what we hoped to create out of the “fixing thyself” mindset.
The truth is that you/we are already 100% the Universal Principles (Perfection of Nature/Spirit). Nervous anxiety ceases when we can learn about the principles from the orientation that we want to come to Know Ourselves. To know the truth about ourselves is a process of relaxation and paying attention to what already is. As this relationship unfolds there is a natural exploration of use in the principles to create new outcomes in our life, however, the tension dissolves as we realize that there really is nothing to fix after all.
There is simply a journey in coming to know oneself. The real process of coming into relationship with the Universal Principles is to understand the truth of oneself. To get a broader and more mystical picture of oneʼs right and perfect place in the process of creation. To understand oneʼs tendencies as they express as a display of the Universal Principles of creation in action.
Knowing oneself creates relaxation. Fixing oneself creates tension. Knowing oneself creates ease. Fixing oneself creates dis-ease.
As we come to know ourselves then we understand more and more the truth of the “I Am.” We do not use images and knowledge to pile on more and more false ideas and identifications about ourselves. We relax into an expression of who we really are. This does not mean that there is not effort, but it is a relaxed effort. As we relax into understanding our true self and our true orientation to life around us, we allow for our own real self to Blossom.
When we allow for this kind of relaxation the tension that is being produced by the “fix thyself” feeling of “I am wrong, I am bad, I am separate, My feelings are flaws and inadequate” eases up. We allow ourselves to see those feelings and let them be a part of the context of our human relationship to our own being. The self-condemnation and judgements can then begin to retract and the natural rhythm of these sensations can flow and subside. We can regain our health through an accepting attitude about ourselves and our situation.
Fleet speaks of this in the book The Rays of the Dawn in the chapter called hypocrisy. The opening quote is this: “To thine own self be true, and it shall follow as night the day that thou canst not then be false to any man.” -Shakespeare. Finding the experience of blossoming oneʼs own nature is a divine source of relaxation and harmony with all of life. Fleet goes further into this when he says that “the part of human nature that is patterned according to Divine Law and order is the true self. The form of human thought and expression that is out of harmony with the Divine Plan is the false self.”
Most of us have created such agitation and false representation through cultural adaptation that we are grossly out of harmony with our inner truth and the natural rhythms of life. This is particularly true of those of us in the United States who are in a continual state of hurrying and excessive and often fruitless actions of body & mind that lead us deeper into disconnection and ill health. Instead of using spirituality or “self-awareness” practices to relax into our true being we often use them in order to produce some kind of “product” that we feel will be a better representation of “ourselves” to the outer world. We create new agey or sub-culture specific “sound bites” to say to one another in the hopes that we can contrive a perfect “product” out of ourselves for our chosen sub-culture or community.
I urge you in your studies and application of spirituality, or healing to move away from the desire to compare yourself and your “fruits of practice” with others. Comparing material, spiritual, or physical gain or loss with others only leads to more false identification and dis-ease. See if your study can instead lead you deeper into an intimacy with yourself and therefore with the entirety of nature around you.
Let go of the need to prove anything. Do not prove that the principles you are studying “work”. You ARE the principles. See instead if you can create a relationship with them. Can you become an observer of your actions, thoughts, and feelings so that you can “Know Thyself”? Can you begin to witness the motion of your life, emotions and sensations as a brilliant expression of nature and a mystical experience of aliveness, regardless of the names of the “textures” that you are studying?
We all have our built in challenges. We will all experience change and death and birth and perceptions of successes and failures. Do not get involved with spirituality because you want to insulate yourself from all of this. Do not get involved with spirituality in order to avoid death and injury and failure. In other words, do not get involved with spirituality because you want to avoid all of the negative things, or things that you currently perceive to be negative to yourself and to others. You will create tension and disconnection for yourself and your relationship to life. You will be disappointed and you will think that it does not work. You will suffer in hypocrisy, or essentially, the fear of being truly yourself.
Use spiritual inquiry on your healing journey as a way to awaken yourself to all of life. Use the ideas to create intimacy and relationships with your real self and with others. Create intimacy with life around you. Do not try to insulate yourself. Try to express your true self. This is beneficial orientation to spiritual inquiry. If you set out to Know Thyself then you are going to succeed no matter what. If you set out to Fix Yourself then you will have failed in the crux of the work, you will have built a small yet incredibly limited temple of false knowing of yourself, an insulated and one-sided experience devoid of the richness involved in the entire picture.
Do not try to get it “right”. Try to know yourself. Be like a scientist in a laboratory who wants to know the truth. Do not build up a fortress of mini-truths and discoveries that insulate you from life and others.
I invite you to join me in this orientation of discovery. May we be able to say that indeed, we have come to know ourselves with deeper confidence and truth, and that we have had the courage to do so, not for the sake of vanity, but for the sake of aspiration. An aspiration born of relaxation, listening, intuition and perception into the cosmic experience of being embodied and full and rich human beings.