"If we just sit at home and aspiring for some self-serving nirvana state but allow the world to fall around us, is that spiritual? No, it's irresponsible."
It's all very well and good for the "Love and Light" brigade to spread love and light, after all the world needs more of it, but where's the line between spirituality and activism? Can the two co-exist or do they have to be separate entities?
By definition spirituality is often the surrender of some "greater force" than us driving our destiny and activism is a "means of achieving political or other goals."
Our world is dying; climate change, animal extinctions, plant disappearance, the death of ecosystems such as Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. The science is in, our ecosystem cannot continue this human-driven march towards its and our extinction. What greater goal could we have than the protection of our planet? But is sitting in meditation in the privacy of our privileged, Western lives going to change anything apart from ourselves?
I see great value in self-work, don't get me wrong, I've even created a line of products designed to help people see how they can be better humans but at some point we need to get off our butts and take action. Agreed, it makes us feel good about ourselves when we devote our time to yoga, meditation or other forms of spirituality - whatever that is for you - but what is the POINT of spirituality if our planet is dying?
The Zen quote: "chop wood, carry water, enlightenment, chop wood, carry water" is so pertinent here. No matter how "spiritual" you think you are, there are human needs that still need to be undertaken. We are still human beings on this planet and our bodies require a healthy ecosystem to survive.
I see the work of Abraham-Hicks often in my newsfeed with trite comments like: "Just remember that you want your influence to always be what you ask for and never be about what you are against because as long as your influence is what you're for then you have the backing of Universal forces." I deeply desire a peaceful, sustainable, loving planet and I can sit in my comfortable home for as long as I want desiring this thing but if I don't take daily actions alongside these thoughts, nothing will change.
Life isn't about the self! It's about the collective. We need to start seeing us as US and not ME.
We are part of an ecosystem and events do not exist in isolation and one of the reasons I moved away from the yoga community was this self-isolation built in ego. We do not exist in isolation on a yoga mat on the floor of a studio as we do not exist in isolation as a human being on this planet. Sean Corne's Off the Mat project is one example of taking yoga spirituality out of the yoga studio, and I'd love to hear about more if there is any you know about.
What is the point of loving compassion if it's not shared with the world? How can we both protect and nurture the Earth and the mechanisms that sustain life; air, water, food, diversity and yet keep our spirituality intact?
The answer is simple: action and service.
There comes a time when we have to take action.
If we just sit at home and aspiring for some self-serving nirvana state but allow the world to fall around us, is that spiritual? No, it's irresponsible. We have to put all of our love and compassion into the wider world. What better way than making a stand to protect our precious water from fracking. Water is life. No amount of chanting or green kale smoothies will prevent this toxic sickness from leeching into our ecosystem.
It's time for us to be the spiritual activists we were born to be.
In love and action,
©Alyssa Curtayne 2018
Last month when I was sharing my blog on the amazing Rachel Burrows-Davies, I accidently wrote the word “inspirited”. It was in those nanoseconds that I realised that I had stumbled across (and probably invented) a most spectacular word.
Inspiriting (verb): an inspirational action which is driven by spirit; to let spirit live through the individual.
To live an inspirited life means that you are living and are driven by the spirit. It is not the ego or external forces driving you or your actions, but moment to moment existence; the calling within you, the vibrating, pulsing energy of all of life that drives through you.
What it means to live an inspiriting life:
I quit my teaching job because it felt so wrong and I was literally dragging myself out of bed and forcing myself to drive the 35 minutes to a place I couldn’t stand to be. Yet I persisted with it for nine months because I was under the illusion that I couldn’t survive financially without it, but what happened was that I was so overcome with offers of work that I couldn’t fit them all in in one day. I am so flat out all day every day, completely engaged in things that I love to do and I couldn’t be happier.
What I have learned is that if you feel a “calling” or an inner nudging, don’t ignore it, follow your intuition/instinct. Make a decision and the universe will respond by helping you. Your purpose in life is not to work in a job you despise until you retire and then start living out your dreams in your 60s! It is to live your dreams now, by following your calling. If something feels good, or even too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true and YOU ABSOLUTELY DESERVE it, you are being offered an amazing gift, why would you say “no”?!
The world is changing at a rapid rate and the idea of staying in a relationship, job, house and so on until it reaches a disastrous end is not doing you, or the planet any favours. The world is calling to be true to yourself, stand strong in who you are and trust that inner nudging that you feel, you know it is the right decision because you will feel the joy in your heart.
©Text and images Alyssa Curtayne 2015
I went into a fantastic alternative shop in Fremantle this morning and was talking to the woman who worked there about the dizzying chaos that exists in the world that can unsettle our energy. Her advice was to surround myself with protection. And in many ways, I agree. Yes, five, ten or even fifteen years ago that would have worked for me, but it sort of seems a bit like a step backwards to Kindergarten when I’m studying for my Masters’. There is no doubt that using light, colour or imagery to “protect” yourself from other energies is a valuable skill. But if you are like me, shielding is not enough anymore. There is a new level of consciousness that we are rising to and shielding or protection assumes that we are separate beings from all other living beings.
I want connection, not disconnection. I don’t want my close my energy off to being empathetic to the suffering of the world, or someone’s sadness, or anger or joy or whatever emotion that is working for them in the moment. I don’t want to feel their feelings, but I certainly want to be able to connect to them on an energetic level. If my being strong and steady helps them to see a way out of their space, then surely shielding is not enough, surely shielding is holding the world back. If I am strong, if I am fully centred in divine love, then others can see a way to rise to me, not me to go to them and then require “protection.”
Recently, I’ve been feeling like it’s a much better practice to dig my energetic roots deep into the earth and connect with this living, breathing organism that is our planet. From there I can draw my energy from the Earth and raise it up to meet the light energy that travels downward. If you are familiar with the masculine and feminine principles, the basic premise is that the feminine is the Earth or the Goddess and the masculine is the Spirit, the God. This makes more sense to me than “protecting” myself from negative energies. To use the energy that is within and around us to strengthen our being, our own inner light, surely that is preferable?
Energy is just energy. There is no positive, no negative. We have slipped into this mindset where we deal in opposites. Even the masculine-feminine paradigm is a way of humans describing the connecting energetic pathway that joins this planet with everything that exists. Rather than putting up a wall of separation, we need to connect. The great work coming out of Perth, Western Australia from The Liberators International is a fantastic example of a group of people building connection between humans and breaking down these walls that we put up (www.theliberators.com.au).
We need shift our thinking from protection and separation to union by completely ground ourselves into ourselves, to connect to who we really are, that is a divine spark of the universe. To ask guides or angels or whatever you want to call it for “protection” what you are really saying is that you are happy for other beings to take responsibility for your energy, when, we should be ascending into higher states of consciousness by taking on this role on our own. I don’t know about you, but I’m aiming for higher states of being and that means shedding much of what I think I already know and questioning whether those beliefs still serve me.
That protection that you are asking for is within yourself, you have infinite power within you. The current energies of the planet are asking for us to step up, to move towards higher states of being and that means questioning if the belief in “shielding” or “light protection” are still serving you. Are you up for the challenge? This is my truth. I have spoken.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2015
Recently as I was sitting out under the stars contemplating the “Bethlehem star” or the alignment of Jupiter and Venus, I was stilled by the thought that our perception depends on where we are. From everywhere else in the solar system the planets are just making their relative orbits around the sun, as they always have and as they always will. From Earth, they appear to be in a line, but that’s only because we are where we are.
When we shift our perception, our internal paradigm shifts and we see everything in a different light. When Nicholas Copernicus explained to the world that the Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe in 1543, many struggled with the concept. To the people of the time, the world was still flat and at the centre of all things. It shook the foundation of religious and theological belief and many responded by burning more and more people at the stake. It took over 200 years before the hysteria of the Inquisitional witch trials died down and there came increasing acceptance of the science of the day and people who questioned it weren’t heretic, just offering a different perspective from the church.
We see the same thing happening today, particularly in Australia, where many leaders are struggling to accept science because it disagrees with their worldview and fundamental beliefs. What I’ve discovered is that when people are struggling to accept science, even when it makes sense, it is their inner world and beliefs collapsing. People don’t let go of beliefs easily and why would we want to force them into something they are not ready for? Many times, belief is generational and for all of us is a deeply held foundation of our perceived identity.
Ultimately, we are all living a paradigm of our own making. Unless we critically analyse and take chances and ask questions of our beliefs, why we have them, why we are attached to them and where they came from, we will continue to live in the same world. Fundamental beliefs that permeate our society such as the inevitable apocalypse or end of days forces us to live in a world where we view it as finite, but what if the world was infinite? What if the expected apocalypse never happens? As previously discussed, up until the narrative of Gilgamesh was written down sometime in 2000BC, based on a Sumerian King who ruled in 2700BC, there is no evidence of good and evil. This belief in evil was perpetuated for centuries and coming to a head in the Medieval Period with the rise of diabolism as a belief system – that is, that there grew a belief in the devil. But what if, just what if, the belief in good versus evil is just a belief system that has been handed down over time. What if it is a false belief that no-one has ever thought to question because of the fear of a devil that doesn’t exist?
Have you ever seen those photos of famous landmarks taken from a different perspective, like the Taj Mahal looking over a sea of pollution, or the Pyramids of Giza from above taking in the 74 Million people who live in Cairo. In more recent years there have been increasing photographs and videos from space and the movies Gravity and Interstellar made us all sit back and wonder. In the Middle Ages, the world was small, most people stayed in their own communities and may have heard of distant lands, then the period of sea exploration and European expansion changed not only perception, but food and a European place in the world. But still, people spent time in their own communities. Today, we can travel to distant lands within hours and be transported to a new “world” within our world and there are talks about human populations on the Moon and Mars within our lifetimes.
Our world is changing, as it always has and how it always will, but what is concerning is how people respond to these changes and the affect that they have on the rest of us. What I see happening in the world now is that we are undergoing a paradigm shift. Fundamental beliefs about how the world operates are being challenged by exciting findings and developments in science and technology and this is shaking people to the core. As a response, they join other religious extremists (all religion – none is exempt) and extreme groups to defend their core beliefs, even if it means that they take down others in the process. Religion as an institution is dying as more and more people see the God within and without.
Yet, how do we get through this time? Firstly, by questioning everything, even this blog. My beliefs are built on 40 years of life experience from my perspective and influences that I’ve chosen to adopt. I do not criticise anyone else’s belief system, yet, it is important to recognise that human beings are both social and evolving. Imagine the world if we still saw the Earth as flat, how would your cosmology be different? What if there were no limits on what humans could achieve? What if the Earth and all life continued to change for an indefinite period and there was no return of any King or religious leader or apocalypse or evil? I suppose essentially is what I’m saying is to be compassionate with others who do not share our beliefs but also turn the mirror on ourselves and to question our own beliefs as an individual and as a human society.
For me, I am grateful that my parents didn’t Christen me or impose any belief onto me or my siblings, instead I discovered it for myself. I have experienced many amazing and transcendental moments and then read about them from other authors days and weeks later. My first experience with astral travel happened as a 17-year-old in a Sports Psychology class. Our teacher taught us meditation as a means of helping elite athletes. I remember vividly describing my experience back to the class; of being outside my body and looking down on everyone and feeling a sense of lightness and everyone, including the teacher laughed at my description. I didn’t meditate again for years, but I did find a book that described my experience, so for me it was real and subsequent experiences with astral travel have solidified my belief in that. Currently, I’m experiencing a sort of telepathy with GSM and I can’t find any other literature that describes it in the way I experience it, so maybe next week, I’ll write about it!
My beliefs are built upon authentic experiences that are real to me, it just turns out that when I look into them, I discover that many other people are experienced the same or similar things. So for now, I continue to build and question my knowledge and beliefs on what feels good not what other people tell me to believe and I also express deep compassion for those who are struggling to accept our shifting global paradigm. The Earth will continue to turn and face the sun, that every living thing will be and I will reflect on history and my inner knowing to get clear on my perspective.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2015