I visited Conversations with Jesus and Buddha just now and was browsing through posts. This one makes so much sense to me at this point in my life. I think the lessons from this morning were the spiritual 'wrecking ball' that I needed to understand how to integrate my personality and psychology with my spirit. I am soooo done with that cycle - it's exhausting and frustrating. I am truly ready to move forward and all that has happened in the recent year and that is currently happening is about doing just that. And as I'm thinking this very thought, the songs "Changes in Latitudes" and "It's Been a Long Time Coming" come on. "with all of these changes.." and "a change is gonna come.." (player is shuffling through 4000 songs!)
Integration and Disintegration
TM: I feel like for many years I have tried to integrate my human self with my spiritual self. At times I feel I have reached some measure of success only to witness set backs in the form of failures in my life—failures to live purely in my convictions, or failures in relationships, etc. How can we feel one moment in the complete bliss of integration and then later as if things have become unraveled?
Master Buddha: There is a natural progression toward integration that includes disintegration. It’s the same as when you try to affix one object to another and the seal is not set just right. Maybe there is debris mixed in the seal. Maybe there are gaps in the seal. Whether it’s obstruction or space, the seal is not complete and can be easily pried apart with the least amount of stress to one of the objects. Your human personality and your spirit work in a similar fashion.
Once you are inspired and begin to inquire about your spiritual nature you begin to receive information about spirit. You begin to look at your human life through a new filter. You begin to question your life and its meaning. This is the beginning of integration.
Recognize what is happening even in this beginning. There is a natural disintegration of your human personality, that is, due to new, incoming information from spirit your personality begins to fragment and parts begin to modify. Some parts you may let go—destruction. Some parts you may transform. But what was before is no longer the same. Disintegration within the personality has occurred. At the same time, integration has begun between spirit and personality. However minute that may be, it is an integration.
There is a series of cycles of integration and disintegration that occurs. This may go on for a period of time until the tension resolves and you conclude that you have settled on a point of integration. That is what you describe as the point of bliss.
That state persists for some time until there is a crisis, which disturbs that state. New tension is created and you begin the cycle of disintegration—the tension must be resolved. Suddenly you may realize that all the beliefs you adopted in your quest for spiritual alignment where somehow off. You shed them as a snake sheds his skin. Now you are disintegrating your spiritual concepts.
The process is one by which personality disintegrates, spirit disintegrates, the combination of the two in relationship disintegrates and then it begins a new cycle of integration.
TM: So when do we know we’ve reached the final point of integration? How long will this go on? It’s tiring and almost maddening.
MB: It is no different really that my opening example. It continues until you have properly removed the debris or space between the two objects of integration.
TM: Won’t there always be things we can’t or don’t know about ourselves, personally or spiritually?
MB: This is the great challenge of enlightenment—when do you reach that point? Who can know, perhaps one who is fully enlightened? But how do you know who that is if you are not fully enlightened yourself? Is that not the basis of faith? Faith covers the gap between what you know to be true and what you don’t know. It is the motivation to continue, because you believe in the process.
TM: Makes me want to give up at times and say this is bogus, a waste of time.
MB: Yes, and for a while you might do that. That’s a point of disintegration between your personality and your spiritual self. When faith or belief in the process can't be the salve to satisfy the tension, then abandonment is a choice. That’s natural.
TM: So, that happens, then what? Why would I get on the treadmill again?
MB: You may not. You may decide to live from the perspective that your personality is all there is. That the state of personality is all there is for everybody and that is your world. You may find some new evidence that pushes you back into inquiry, which starts the cycle of integration and disintegration again.
TM: I’ve done both of those things. It’s wearing me out.
MB: Yet it continues. So, something within you pushes through the haze and says try again. What pushes?
TM: I don’t know, something happens and it starts again. Maybe I should pay attention, but it seems like before I know it I’m inquiring again.
MB: Well, let that be a mystery for now. As you progress through the cycle maybe that is revealed for you. Then it will be okay for a while until something else happens to disturb it.
TM: So, basically you’re saying that it is a struggle forever and I’ll either engage the process or I won’t.
MB: I’m not saying it’s a struggle forever. I’m saying that it’s a struggle for as long as it is and that it doesn’t really matter how long it takes. Until such time that your spiritual self can tap into its essence within your personality and transmute it into a reflection of spirit, you will go through various stages of integration and disintegration. Your impatience may serve you to keep trying or it may persuade you to abandon the process. Your choice.
TM: Yeah, I always come back.
MB: One simple truth is that you don’t really have a choice in the long run. You can abandon the process for a while or you can push too hard and feel frustrated. But your spiritual self is never dormant or absent. Spirit isn’t time-constrained, as is your personality. And that may be something you have to take upon faith. Maybe you already accept that, but have to just not think about it for a while. It doesn’t matter. You will eventually resume the cycle. That is the natural order of life on earth.