by Robert Wilkinson
In Part 1 we explored some ideas about Soul groups, and whether an abusive family member could be a part of that group. Today we'll continue to probe the subject of just how much choice we have regarding who we are with, what we do and do not have to accept, and how to break the link between pain and suffering.
Even if you've already read part one, you may want to re-read it before continuing with this one, since these two were composed as one piece. I realized together they were too long for a single post, and that's the only reason I split them in two.
Are We Getting Closer or More Distant?
Our journey to ever-greater Self-realization is eternal. We find our existence in many frequencies of energy, some more material than others. Any time pure Higher Consciousness moves into dealing with forms in a dual reality, we make choices. In our lives, we make choices that lead to higher awareness, or into loss of the Eternal in the impermanent forms stimulating lower desires and thoughts.
As Radiant Magnetic Eternal Beings, our choices when we're here determine who we're going to be close to in the future, or who we move away from. This is definitely influenced by the choices others make as they interact with us and others.
This is why habits in action, feeling, and thought are so important. As habits are formed, for good or ill, we set up patterns of future activity. By their habits human beings either move into their Higher Self, or get lost in unfortunate behaviors that will inevitably lead to regret once the curtain of ignorance is torn down. Knowing and mastering the desire mind is the key to understanding how to choose wisely.
Forgiving the Sources of Abuse
When people in a family abuse each other by whatever means, or when we are abused by one who we thought was our friend, it arises from the choice of the abuser to externalize that behavior. While I agree that we must come to true peace and forgiveness toward those who have abused us, it does not make it right that it happened to begin with, nor does it mean we should believe it taught us much of anything. We do not have to go to jail to know we don't need to be there.
We are here to learn what is venerable, what is worthy, what evokes our highest ideas and feelings and actions. Abuse does not further these. While I agree we're all learning to come to a measure of peace and forgiveness in our lives, we can learn these best through beneficial interactions. And we can come to peace and forgiveness easier in the face of inadvertent well-meant misguided behavior than those things which were not necessary to begin with.
We are here to learn how to forgive consciously those things we suffer as a result of karma. But karma is not linear in the sense that an abused person may have abused others in previous times. Karma is created, perpetuated, or destroyed by a being's choices. An abuser is under no law to perpetuate abuse in any given moment.
That's why regarding abuse, I believe true forgiveness can only arise once the abusive behavior stops. As long as the abuse continues, then what is there to forgive? At that point the lesson is not to allow kindness and compassion to be taken for weakness.
Lost in Darkness or Lost in Love?
All personalities must advance to craft a Higher Self so the light, love, and intelligence of the Soul can shine forth. Some beings choose to ignore the task, and stay lost in destructive behavior. Due to that divergence of spiritual goal-fitness, some beings are no longer part of our Soul group once this time on Earth is done.
I don't believe a Soul has much work to do except love. That's eternal. It's not the Soul that "moves up." It's the personality. And that is entirely within our power, and the only game in town. Those who willfully do not rise to the lessons of becoming better people than they were in the past are indulging in an illusion. This is a form of "spiritual juvenile delinquency" in its worst form, since the being knows better, but refuses to grow.
So to say a being is not "at fault," for their bad behavior, or that they "can't help it," is also an illusion. A being's choices are entirely up to them. It's one thing when a being is ignorant, but willing to learn. Deliberately hurtful behavior is another things entirely.
When a being deliberately chooses to be hurtful instead of helpful, dishonest instead of honest, cowardly instead of courageous, irresolute instead of self disciplined, and abusive rather than loving, they are on a path of self-loss in that which has no permanence. This is not necessary for anyone's Soul recognition, and contrary to their task of Soul-personality development.
If we are the recipient of abuse, it's not our fault they chose that behavior. But it is our task to recognize abuse and stop it whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. Abuse is not helpful to our development, and withers the Soul-personality connection. Some human behaviors must be stopped forever if the race is to evolve into its higher potential.
To reiterate an important point. While we can find love and forgiveness toward those who have abused us, that's not to excuse the abuse, or say it was necessary to begin with. Perhaps a Gandhi arises from an abusive situation once in a great while, but again, how many Gandhis could arise if given better circumstances in which to unveil that potential?
Lessons To Learn As We Remember Who We Want To Dance With
I do believe we need to come to a dispassionate view of those who have abused us so we can find geniune compassion for the common abuses done to others. I also believe we need to come to a radical detachment from negative judgments, the suffering over memories of suffering, as well as reject the illusion that we have somehow invited those who have abused us to do so in order to learn some supposed "spiritual" lesson.
Perhaps the only lesson is that abuse is not helpful for anything in any useful sense. We do not need abuse to learn discrimination that helps us come to know what is real and what is unreal, what is darkness and what is light, what is death and what is immortality.
All that said, since it seems that the last World Teacher suffered abuse, both when He walked as well as the abuse done in His name in the centuries since His passing, perhaps dealing with abuse and abusers may have been part of the global lesson for many generations. However, while we can come to much compassion through breaking the link between pain and suffering, even that is not the ultimate ideal, and it doesn't mean it's a part of the future teaching. There are certainly more "spiritual" ways to be than the past and present abusive patterns humanity has demonstrated up to now.
It's always good to view others as Soul-Beings learning what they're learning. It's always good to stop abuse, as well as forgive the abuse done to us, whether deliberately or inadvertently. And it's always good to be with others who love us, venerate what is venerable, with whom we can find joy, celebration, connectedness, and community.
That's our true Soul group. And each volunteers for that, every day, every year, every lifetime.
Copyright © 2010 Robert Wilkinson
(As I mentioned in part one, this topic may bring up some intense feelings, so be gentle and kind with yourselves as you move through very deep and ancient waters. And as always, please be careful what you post in the comment stream, as it will find its way to google. This is a sensitive subject for many, and so some degree of discretion may be in order.)