One of the best models of human development maps us along 3 dimensions: Waking Up, Cleaning Up and Growing Up.
I write about all 3 and I think some of the confusion and critiques I’ve received about my writing would benefit from more explicit contextualization within this model.
Basically, Waking Up comprises the Spiritual Path, Cleaning Up comprises the Trauma Healing path and Growing Up comprises the journey of increasing the depth and complexity of dimensional areas like our mind, heart, worldview and skills.
While these dimensions of our being are somewhat independent, where uneven development is the norm rather than exception, (such as people with high intellect but low moral development) there are also many thresholds or necessary but not sufficient configurations.
The most relevant example of this I would like to illuminate is the relationship between Waking Up and Cleaning Up.
As Eastern Spirituality has come to the West over the last 50 years it is has been noted how much most Westerners struggle to make progress down the Eastern paths of Spiritual Awakening and Self-Realization.
It has become clear that one of the primary reasons for this lack of progress is the high prevalence of trauma in Western Culture.
And there seem to be strict limits on how much Spiritual Progress one can make if they have unresolved deep trauma.
In fact, it is advisable if one has deep trauma, to focus most of their energy on healing their trauma rather than spiritual awakening.
Progressing along the spiritual path when deep trauma is present often results in frustrated stagnation or perhaps worse, dangerous Guru Madness – where the spiritual awakening is real but is coming through the person with a frequency of disassociated trauma lurking in their shadow, often with disastrous consequences for their students.
When I say deep trauma, I’m primarily talking about traumas that occurred in early childhood such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, or unsafe home environments where domestic violence and fighting was present in the family system.
These types of traumas create deep energetic patterns within the nervous system that makes much of the natural Growing Up processes more challenging.
However, if one can source a container or foundation within themselves where the nervous system is stable and integrated, and smaller life traumas can be experienced within that container or on that foundation, than Spiritual Practice can be highly effective in healing that damage by directly cutting through its False Nature.
In summary and conclusion, whenever I am posting about Spirituality and Awakening, please assume that it is directed to people who are unburdened by deep trauma, and that those that are burdened by deep trauma have a different mountain they need to climb first.
Also published on Medium.