Let’s start with the most important part: you’re not going to fill the void where your old spiritual belief system once was. You’re going to get used to the space. You’re going to find the enormity of your potential and life’s vastness by sitting in this void, not trying to make useless human meaning out of infinite consciousness. Clear? I want to make sure that we’re starting with what matters. This is where this spiritual blog post will end, so there’s no confusion from step one even though you may not understand it now or at the end of this post. It’s okay. Some things you return to later. Some of the truths I share with my students lie dormant inside them for weeks, months, and even years. Then they bloom forth, and I get an email saying, “I finally get what you said.”
So don’t be upset if the very concept of having no belief system and no need to make meaning is too much or sounds too ridiculous. It’s probably the first time you’ve ever heard someone propose it. And while this may sound like a belief that I’m proposing, see what the truth is for you. See what happens when you rest in this here and now. Do you need to believe in anything while you are resting in this moment to be here? Does finding the next step after this moment require all that much thinking and believing, or do things naturally seem to arise when you are fully here and now?
Find out. Test drive the Truth before you close your mind to the concept that you don’t need any beliefs or a spiritual belief system to tell you how to live your life.
The Imploding of Your Belief System
For many of you–especially if you have spiritually awakened–you may feel like your belief system has been imploded. So many ideas that you thought were so real are suddenly revealed as false. Everything seems to be collapsing in on itself. You don’t know what to do. Where do you go? Who are you?
It seems like a terrible tragedy to the unconscious ego, and since that is usually where we are placing our energy and attention, we think our world is coming to an end. This ushers in what I call the “Dispelling the Darkness” phase of the spiritual awakening. At this time, you are clouded in darkness and unconsciousness, and because you are still trying to cling to old beliefs and potentially whole belief systems (such as the American or whatever your country of origin’s way of life concept is, which can include having money, an attractive partner, kids, etc., etc., etc.), this is a painful time. It’s painful because for as much as part of us is moving us through old pain, detoxing, and revealing the truth of our love, most of us is still in resistance, which creates additional pain and distress. Most of us doesn’t believe this purging is a good thing. Some people try to go back to the old way of living and forget the spiritual path. Others try to barter their way through. It’s like they’ll go along with this whole spiritual thing so long as they get a romantic partner after all this grief (by this point, they’re probably using the seemingly spiritual term of “soulmate” or “twin flame;” the ego will co-opt anything it can to stick around).
But your beliefs aren’t real. Anything that is dissolving or imploding is simply showing you that truth, and you have to accept it to continue to heal andmake space for your own love and truth.
The Growing Discomfort With Spaciousness
Some time ago I wrote a blog post called, “The Spaces in Between,” and during this time of the spiritual awakening, people can really feel in between moments. There are a couple parts to this idea that you can believe or not (and we’ll get to the usefulness of beliefs eventually). One part is that life is spaciousness. But belief systems clutter up our heads, and we go to great lengths to reinforce beliefs because of how we want to view the world, which is based on deeper core beliefs and often pain and trauma. So, we generally don’t clearly see life. Everything is greatly skewed, and we add more beliefs, ideas, and general noise to avoid realizing this. Truly, most people’s minds are mess.
The other side of spaciousness is that as you’re tearing things down, it’s usually not time for new stuff to grow up. Sometimes it is, but that growth also tends to be very tender and young. For example, if you are supposed to be a greater writer, but you’ve rarely written, you probably need time to cultivate that talent now that your fear of writing and sharing your thoughts has dissolved. This is how we embrace and acknowledge our humanity wherein it can take time to allow a talent grow into a new stable life path.
Not that things aren’t actually stable now. The ego likes to think that they’re not, and it’s the ego that will confuse you with ideas that you have to become a greater writer today or at least by the end of the month. But the present moment is always perfect, and we all have to learn how to be with the spaciousness of this moment and use it appropriately, especially when discomfort is arising.
Attempting to Fill the Space with a New Spiritual Belief System
But many of you will not stay in this spaciousness. Many of you will put new wallpaper back up on the walls just as the old wallpaper is being stripped down. It’s okay if you’ve done this, but if you’re reading this blog today, now is a good time to strip down that new wallpaper and start swinging the sledgehammer into the walls and supports of the ego. Here are a couple of ways people try to fill the space and hide the core ego beliefs.
Materialistic Belief System. In this system, the person believe primarily in what they can see and touch. They operated by the social program that they needed stuff to be happy. This stuff was translated into being cars, money, attractive partners, and so forth. The awakening has shifted their awareness, but instead of staying in spaciousness and allowing things to emerge, this person has become a yoga teacher and massage therapist (still operating in the see and touch mentality). This individual is now buying experiences such as going to retreats and festivals and seeking his/her soulmate. Nothing has changed. Core limiting beliefs such as “I need external stuff to be happy” and “I need a partner to be happy” are still operating even though this person thinks they’ve changed and are more spiritual.
Traditional Religious Belief System. This individual can be a devote believer in any religious system. But a “crisis of faith” brought on by awakening has shattered this person, and the current religion s/he believes in doesn’t address what s/he is going through. Instead of seeing why s/he is seeking a religion to give her/him meaning, s/he latches on to a seemingly more spiritual system, which can be anything from astrology to numerology to something else. Core beliefs and issues tend to not be exposed once the person has seemingly found safety in a new set of beliefs.
Atheist and/or Nihilist Belief System. The nihilist thinks s/he believes in nothing and is safe, but even here, an awakening will rupture that belief system showing that person how unpredictable life is and requiring him/her to have some level of belief. It can also expose beliefs that this person didn’t think s/he had. This can cause the person to suddenly latch onto a belief system like the above example, or it can result in a deepening depression resulting from a lack of awareness. This can be especially true for people who’ve been trying to control life through this type of belief system because their control issue is being exposed. They found out that trying to not believe in anything doesn’t keep them safe from change and the variability of life.
Because the spiritual path is a shifting, ever-changing thing. Where those who have tried to stick a flag in the ground have found that the ground moves, others who have avoided taking any definitive stance may surprisingly be thrust into a place where they do have to believe in something. In many cases, it becomes the belief in consciousness/God/source/the divine, but past that, you don’t need to believe in that much.
Eroding the Deeper Core Issues
Anywhere you feel like you need to make meaning or understand something is an invitation to breathe. Breathe into the spaciousness of not knowing. Let any real meaning that needs to be seen and received come on its own. There really isn’t that much to believe in. You don’t need to believe in an earthquake. They happen. If you build a house on a fault line, it will be shaken or potentially knocked over from time to time. That’s not really a belief. That’s a fact of nature. When we layer a belief onto the falling over of the house, we are getting ourselves into trouble. There’s no need to say that it happened for a reason (a common belief that is very misaligned with the truth). The only reason is that the house is on a fault line. God isn’t punishing you. This isn’t a sign to move to a different state. This is just what happened. After that, it’s up to you what you do.
But a lot of that will still be dictated to you by your core issues. Until they get exposed and released, you aren’t really making your decisions. In many ways, that is what a belief system of any kind is doing–it’s making your decisions for you. It’s telling you how much to meditate, how many kids to have, how much money you should make, how to be part of a spiritual community, how and when to have sex, and so on and so on. It’s a program written primarily to keep you safe (supposedly), and it’s got a lot of flaws. Obviously, more than a few spiritual belief systems have been incredibly useful, but if you wanted to follow those blindly, you wouldn’t be reading this spiritual blog now would you?
No, I’m writing for the spiritual adults and those going through that messy spiritual adolescence we can awakening. To grow up means you make your own decisions, and to make your own decisions means you have to strip away all the wallpaper and take the house down to the very foundation. From there, so much openness will fill your life that you cannot imagine the level of freedom you’ll feel.
More Problems With Real Freedom
But you’re probably also here because you’re not okay with real freedom. Real freedom lets you go and do anything anywhere and at any time. This isn’t the wanton fulfilling of pleasures (although it could be, I suppose). It’s the simple truth that all of life’s possibilities are open to you when you are no longer trying to follow all the rules (obvious, hidden, and deeply unconscious). This freedom tends to frighten the living crap out of people. It’s why I get questions all the time from people asking me essentially, “What do I do?”
My response is usually to sit and breathe a little longer.
Then the survival fear (which hasn’t been fully identified yet) kicks in, and the person asks how they’re going to make a living.
But you’re already alive, and if you embrace your spiritual shift, you may be surprised at how many opportunities to “make a living” exist beyond your current view, which is dictated to you by your current belief system.
Yet, we are human beings, and as each wave of freedom expands the inner space, more and more core beliefs get exposed. This vacuum, however, may start to feel good. It may start to feel like something doesn’t need to be sucked in to replace the old beliefs telling you who and what you are. You are. That is enough.
The Arising of Useful Beliefs
After you’ve hit the bottom and gone through it all, it does become clear when a belief is useful. Part of that is you understand the truth. When you understand and know through and through that we are all one, this is not a belief. It is a Truth. If it is just a mental concept for you, then it’s a belief, and even this one can become dangerous because the person does not yet understand how it applies to life. The person will tend to combine the idea with other core issues, which has strange results. It’s why people often say the road to Hell is laid with good intentions. But truer still, the road to Hell is laid with ignorance. Because someone doesn’t really understand what “we are all one” means, they don’t follow the natural arising of that truth. They try to create situations and experiences to reinforce it, but it does not need that. Truth is. Reality exists regardless of if we believe in it or not.
And since we are and we trust that and we trust oneness, we can see that when we harm another, we harm ourselves. We can see the vast damage to the community that arises if we hurt a child as they are developing and creating their first identity, which then incorporates that pain into their ego. We can see so much, and from that clarity, very simple beliefs arise. Past that, few are necessary.
Yes, there are facts we trust and ideas that are useful for building cars and maintaining roads, but the vast network of beliefs and belief systems are generally not that helpful. They inhibit more than they help, so I encourage you to let them all go. If you are awakening and are already watching them wash away, give them more permission to dissipate and disappear. They are nothing more than vapor and fog. Let it all clear away so that you can see the truth and feel the freedom and spaciousness of life as it really is.