Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Messianic Illusion

by Rev. Amari Magdalena

[Excerpts extracted from Unbecoming Me: The Ultimate Shapeshifter’s Journey]

At the time of celebrating Messiah’s it seems appropriate to address what I’ve chosen to call “The Messianic Illusion:” a syndrome of spiritual self-importance fostered by that old nemesis our Ego’s. I recognized this in myself quite a few years back.  What helped me snap out of it and start a practice of self-monitoring was a growing recognition of just how damaging it had become to my potential for creating lasting intimate relationships. 

Symptoms of the Messianic Illusion include a clear sense that one has “an important and urgent” spiritual mission that must be accomplished at the expense of other familial or intimate relationships; and that there is a sense of specialness about you that surpasses most of your peers and cohorts.  The illusionist must forsake all other distractions to accomplish this highly important spiritual mission.  A tad of grandeur seeps in as the illusion sheds veils over reason and common sense.  It is a very seductive illusion that fosters Ego in such a covert way that it can remain undetectable for some time.  As long as one is under the illusion, a Salome veil of fog prevails.

Schemes to give Ego its full sway come in many colors and presentations.  Specialness in any forms, but particularly spiritual, is a separation tool of the utmost destructiveness.  The cleverness of Ego seems to have no boundaries.  Because as a culture, in the main, we esteem that which is spiritual, this particular conspiracy for control is often hidden. We value those who offer spiritual succor and vernacular that promotes peace, love and understanding.  In and of itself providing spiritually soothing messages is harmless.  It is when we begin to take ourselves seriously as divine messengers that the trouble commences. 

The internet has given us a global platform upon which to foist varying degrees of Messianic Illusion. Some of this is very subtle and involves following the social media’s latest marketing guru’s advice.  We post inspirational after inspirational daily messages to get ‘noticed.’ And, lovely though some of these postings are, they are also a great way of fostering this particular illusion.  We stand out, the scheme suggests, by being frequent posters of these good and illumined thoughts and sharing.  A little chest puffing up may follow as our ‘followers’ acknowledge us through comments, tweets etc.  We are building our base of followers which will turn into revenue for us down the line.

Nothing wrong with creating a stream of income sufficient to sustain us in a culture that fails to ‘get’ that without the support of tribes, scribes and mystics do have to earn a living. In fact, it would be a whole lot easier for many of us who are devoted to providing spiritual succor it society did ‘get’ it.  The harm comes when we place our selves and our messages, works, etc. above others by the desire to have broader and broader recognition.  That type of desire or thinking stems from egoic states of mind.

What I have learned in 22 years of teaching and sharing is that if ONE student comes to peace or is awakened to his/her highest potential, that is success.  My success is NOT measured in the breadth or depth or my reach.  It is not even measured by what I do or what others do with what I offer.  Rather the ultimate reward is standing back as a balcony person and applauding anyone who has found meaning in their lives by our short or long association and moved on to carry out their own purpose of life-Loving-and identifying how to transmit that love through their work.

This brings me back to the earlier part of this tome.  It is wonderful and fulfilling to have contributed something of value to another.  Amen to the wonderful and wonder-filled sharing that is occurring in moderation on the social media.  And hallelujah if we can keep our egos out of the process and just share for the sake of sharing.

As long as I/we keep that stream flowing with love and allow ourselves the human experiences of personal intimacy and relationships in our private lives and give unconditionally in those too, we are free from illusion of self-importance. 

Ultimately we are all messiahs and not; all special and not.  We are more like the stars in the sky than we realize-shining brightly for a time and then receding into the vast nothingness of the pool of Creation awaiting another random movement and nothingness out of which springs a new life form and opportunity to express Spirit.

[Extracted from "Shaman Talk" 53 Blogs on topics for navigating today's world.]