"... the vast majority of us who are engaging in spiritual practice are making a similar mistake. We tend to put far too much emphasis on the need to “work out” our personal psychological issues as part of our spiritual path.
"The way this plays out practically is as follows: let’s say that you take up a spiritual practice in earnest, and you notice in the course of that practice that you’re deeply defended against life and intimacy. You won’t let other people see you. You always wear a social mask which hides a deep-rooted insecurity.
"The trouble is that although this “archaeological dig” into the depths of your psyche might lead to greater self-understanding, it won’t necessarily make it any easier for you to be vulnerable, authentic and present. Indeed, it might even take you further away from authentic intimacy with life by making you more self-preoccupied than before.
"It’s important to recognize that this tendency toward self-preoccupation isn’t our fault. This habit grew out of our over-psychologized culture which basically told us that we were all damaged by our childhood and that we have “inner wounds” that need to be healed in order to become happy and fulfilled as adults."
~ The Mistake Most of us Make on the Spiritual Path – Craig HamiltonThis appears to go counter to Margaret Dempsey's hypothesis that some psychic work may be needed, not so much to overhaul the psyche, but to help the individual recognize the ego indoctrination process:
"So before any spiritual work is attempted, I strongly recommend individuals, especially those who have been on a spiritual path for many years, do a transformative, self-development programme. In my case it was the Forum from Landmark Education, but there are others. It's not important which one is done. What is critical is doing something to deal with the sloppy thinking in which one presumes that simply by meditating or doing yoga one is going to transform the ego that stands in the way of awakening.
"Trying to transform the ego on one's own is like a thief turning detective to catch the one who is the thief; it can't be done and leads to frustration and disillusionment."
~ The First Stage of Spiritual Awakening: Know Yourself – Margaret DempseyTo answer the question "What to Do While 'It Does You!'," I created a diagram of the process that attempts to illustrate what happens when you reach the It Does You! stage. In short, it really does do you!
That is to say the Kundalini-Life Force energy starts re-engineering your being (body, soul, mind, ego, psyche, all) and you can sit back and let it work its evolutionary magic, or as Craig Hamilton says, "... feel instantly connected to the heart of Life and energized by the impulse of evolution itself."
The challenge is, at least for me, that I have been living with this energy for 40 years, exploring, as time went by, many facets of my being, and I don't believe that delving into the various aspects of my being has been counter to the It-Does-You! work that Kundalini carries out on a daily basis. In fact, doing this work has helped change my Being. No longer was I simply a body and a mind, but rather a Being with a capital "B" in it, connected to an energy continuum, like the scent of a pine forest is connected to living trees.
That said, I can see how too much psychic self-analysis might short circuit an individual in the You-do-it! phase, leaving him/her prey to what Hamilton terms "inner wounds." Nevertheless, once you reach the It does You!, there's no harm in gaining insights into how the mind and the ego work, especially as pertains to the finer aspects of social interaction. In my case, I never felt the need for psychoanalysis; I got the point of it after reading Eric Berne's Games People Play.
|The Marketplace of Inner Wounds|
Other than that, any polemic brewing over the question of what to do while pursuing self-actualization is a non-starter. I think all three of us (Hamilton, Dempsey, Semple) are basically saying the same thing: It depends on where you are in the journey:
- If you're in the You-do-it! stage, beware that psychic contents don't usurp your real intentions.
- If you're in the It-Does-You! stage, you should have the perspective, and the metaphysical knowledge, to manage the important aspects of your life.