The Elephant in the Room

There is a secret open to everyone, but not everyone sees it. Or rather not everyone chooses to see it. There’s an elephant in the room that we are so habituated not to see.

The unconscious is like having a pet dog in the house, which is ignored. We are taught that we are “reasonable” and “rational”, and so all forms of unreasonableness and irrationality come from outside, not inside (it’s the world and everyone else that is unreasonable and irrational, obviously). We say “there’s no dog in this house.”

The more it is ignored, the more damage it does, and the more we think “why does this always happen to me?” The furniture is getting torn up, food is stolen, puddles of wee appear under bare feet, and poos turn up in unexpected corners. Until we pay attention to these signs and say “Yes, there is a dog in this house”, the problem will never be resolved.

So, we’ve acknowledged the dog, what now? Well, first it has to be trained not to trash the furniture, not to steal food and not to leave unpleasant presents around the house. We have to take responsibility for it and feed it well, take it for walks, giving it its “exercise, discipline and affection” (as Cesar Millan says).

In this way the dog can be integrated into the life of the house, and cause no more disruptions (i.e. the unconscious can be acknowledged and integrated, instead of being at a loose end).

The Spiritual Life and Living Spirituality

A few times I hear things like “I’ve got to put aside my spirituality for a while and concentrate on real life.” One time I spoke to a mother and she said to me “I used to be into spiritual stuff but then I became a mother. But now the kids are older I’m able to explore spiritual stuff again.” Makes me wonder what she meant by “spiritual”, is caring for and educating the next generarion somehow unspiritual? I suppose she meant she couldn’t meditate, do ritual or contemplate the meaning of life whilst she was meditating on the growth, care and development of her children, which is very understandable, just not unspiritual. Quite the opposite I feel.

In an OBOD context I’ve seen people saying “I’m putting aside the course because I need to sort some things out in my life”, but sometimes it is said in a way that means their whole spiritual journey is put on hold while they sort out “real life issues”. I can understand the course itself being put aside, because doing a course like that does take time and energy to do, but the course, or the journey of which it is a part of, doesn’t disapear, it just takes on more living dimensions.

I made the suggestion to one person that they hadn’t put the course aside but that they were just going deeper into the subject matter, that of life itself.