It’s a Sunday evening, and I’ve just returned from an amazing day with my girlfriends. I’ve had my fair share of happy endorphins and vitamin D3, after playing badminton and sunbathing for hours. So I find it shocking as I lie in bed, to see my mind thinking of all kinds of outrageous thoughts about myself. This is a bite-size reflection of why heaven & hell are a construct of our human mind.
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life reading personal development books and more than half of it, exploring this spiritual path with unwavering determination and countless self-healing tools.
So it was deeply unsettling for me to discover how many mental ups and downs I’m still capable of having the moment something on the inside swerves left.
Thanks to the ego-mind, I often find myself relating more to spiritual teachers and seekers around me, than I do to the ‘unawake’ ones. Even though I know it’s one of those spiritual myths, from time to time, I buy into the idea that spiritual people are better-off.
So when I first moved to Vancouver, I had a tough time accepting the fact that drug abuse could make people so hollow. Downtown would always give me the creeps, because I felt like I was looking at a zombie apocalypse, with all the drug-abusers screaming and lying around so lifelessly.
As they crossed major intersections without care for traffic, I would gasp at how little life they had in them. It was like their soul was hanging far, far away, from an invisible thread that could snap at any moment.
So it’s natural to say, I couldn’t relate to any of that. No matter how hard I tried, I would flinch and look away, unable to face the misery and darkness that I walked around. I knew I was supposed to be compassionate for all of existence, but I never knew how to, here.
But Sunday night, as I watched my own mind make up all sorts of nonsense about myself, I got it.
For the first time, I felt closer to a drug-abuser cussing on Vancouver streets, than I did to my spiritual coach. And it shook me. Well, it shook my ego-mind.
You and I are both capable of digressing to the lowest of lows and rising to the highest of highs. Because the truth is, heaven and hell are just a construct of our human mind.
You are just as capable of feeling peaceful when reading something profound, as you are of feeling violently angry when you read some form of injustice. Life is constantly activating something in us, and unless we’re enlightened, there’s a long way to go before we can overcome these triggers for good.
So the pendulum within each of us continues to swing. Some relationships bring out our best, and some bring out our worst. But at the end of the day, both our good and bad are ours’.
When you read books like Man’s Search For Meaning and No Good Men Among The Living, you realize that every human being is capable of going into a very dark space of mind, if circumstances get bad enough.
Neither you nor I are immunized from the darkness of our collective consciousness. Should that scare us? No. It should enlighten us.
The truth is, until we don’t see our own darkness, we have no way of discovering the intensity of our light. We can pretend we’re great until something bottles up long enough for the mud to pour out. Then why pretend?
And are darkness and hell even bad, to begin with?
If you think about it, whenever you have an epiphany, you stop doing the things that were sabotaging any aspect of your life. What changed? Something clicked for you in your mind, and your aperture widened. You could finally see that you had a choice, and you no longer had to sit in the mud.
Then even the darkest of minds must be the way they are, because they have no idea how to be better. They might conceptually hear ideas like manifestation and meditation, but they haven’t had the epiphany yet. They haven’t had the true chance to experience the path of light.
So where does this leave us?
Perhaps, a little more compassion. Not just for others, but for ourselves.
That night, I didn’t have any for myself. Or for my dear husband as he tried to knock some sense into this shocking dialog. But when I finally came out of it, I not only had more appreciation for the ‘awakened ones’. I had discovered a whole other connection with the world I had been looking away from.
This of course isn’t an excuse or permission for you to indulge in your darkness. But a reminder to not avoid it, to not close your eyes from your own shadow.
We’re all a work in progress, and sometimes that progress can make us think we’ve regressed to square one. But in actuality, everything going on in your mind, is a reflection of the state you’re in – heaven or hell. And the best thing is, when you realize you have a choice, you get to choose which state of mind you live in.
Want to chew some more on this reflection? Here’s another story, speaking to the same theme.
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