Common Ground: The Kinship of Metaphysicians

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PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL MATURITY

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

 

I've been considering the question of why so many people who matured physically and mentally decades ago, never managed to grow up emotionally. This seems to be especially true of the demographic in which I was raised – the exciting and neurotic world of actors, dancers, musicians and writers.

Creative artists derive inspiration directly from the Child part of their minds, the realm of imagination, dreams, fantasy and magic. We are trained to strengthen that intuitive part of ourselves, and to listen to it.

Sadly though, the downside of that training is that we now have people in their 70's who respond to life as though they were children, unable to separate fact from fiction. Such behaviors are no longer attractive or helpful. They can range from irritating but minor things like trying to hold your pee until the TV show is over, to the extreme case where an aging person refuses to pre-plan for the inevitability of death, believing that such an event won't have to happen to him.

Death is the most difficult concept for the Child mind to accept – that is, at least, its own death. Every fiber of its being is convinced that, regardless of how many other people have died in the past, it can figure out a way to avoid it. One of those ways is to cry and emphasize one's weakness in a bid for sympathy – a commonly shared practice among people of the feminine persuasion.

My wife tells me that when she was quite young, she discovered that crying could get her almost anything she wanted. Authority figures would make exceptions for her. Police officers would tear up tickets. Young professors would let her leave class early if she wept and said she was getting her period. With such a record of successes, it's only logical that many women would continue this lifetime behavior. If you cry enough, maybe the Grim Reaper himself will relent and let you go! It's worked with other things.

The Child mind will not accept responsibility for anything. When instructed to practice a discipline which it hates, it will promise but will later manufacture reasons for why it wasn't able to get to it this time. The fact is, it just didn't want to.

Childishness is one thing. Memory loss is something much more serious, and is a major concern for people my age. The ability to remember things clearly indicates a healthy mentality. But sometimes the memory chip can suffer power outages, and the mind can stutter like a frozen-up computer that is trying to buffer. It's worse than embarrassing; it's scary.

It also presents a philosophical and moral question: Assuming that at the time you performed an action you were clearly aware of the choice you were making and would normally be responsible for its outcome, can you still be held responsible for that choice if you no longer remember making it? The Child mind wants to believe that you can't be - that amnesia will give you a free pass to evade responsibility for your decisions. When asked why you haven't done something you promised to do, or why you behaved in a bizarre manner that inconvenienced a lot of other people, if you can honestly reply, “I don't remember,” it gets you off the hook.

But is that really how it works?

I now have a deeper appreciation for the natural workings of Cause and Effect which Hindus call Karma and Wiccans refer to as the Law of Three. My new insight is that the real importance of this principle lies in what it has to tell us about memory.

Karma comes along and says to the responsibility-shirking Child mind, “Guess what? Even though you don't remember that past life in which you behaved like an asshole and caused pain to so many, you are still responsible for your actions. Spiritual law dictates that the one who performed the Action must, in the fullness of time, experience the Reaction – no matter how long it takes, and regardless of whether he has any memory of it at all.”

I used to argue that Karma made no sense, because how can you learn anything from actions you can't even remember? But I now perceive that the details are not important...that the great overriding purpose of Karma is to teach us how to grow up. Maturity lies in taking responsibility. The emotionally mature individual says, “I accept responsibility for my own Karma. My present situation is the result of all my past choices and actions. Nobody else is responsible.”

When you can say that (and if you've never tried it before, you will find it amazingly difficult), you will uncover an astonishing reservoir of inner strength. Because, you see, as long as it wasn't your fault there was nothing you could do about it; you just had to suffer. But when you assume responsibility for creating the beast (like Dr. Morbius in Forbidden Planet), you suddenly realize how incredibly powerful you really are. Sometimes you can change the situation and make the beast go away. Sometimes you can't make it go away at all. But calmly facing the beast full-on, accepting it as your own creation and inviting it to do its worst, is ultimately empowering.

Like a medieval castle, your body has to collapse when it's overwhelmed. But emotionally, you can attain fearlessness. And what power in the universe can triumph over a mind that is fearless?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A student of esoteric traditions since the age of 16, Ted Czukor (Theo the Green) taught Yoga for 37 years until retiring in 2013. For 26 years he was adjunct faculty for the Maricopa, AZ Community Colleges, teaching Gentle Yoga and Meditation & Wellness. Raised in the Methodist Church but drawn to Rosicrucianism, Hinduism and Buddhist philosophy, he is a devotee of the Goddess in all Her forms. Ted has been a Shakespearean actor, a Masonic ritualist and an Interfaith wedding officiant. He is the author of several books, none of which made any money and two of which are available as .pdf files. He lives with his wife Ravyn-Morgayne in Sun City, Arizona. Their shared dream is to someday relocate to Glastonbury, England. theoczukor@cox.net.

Comments

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Tuesday, 26 September 2017

    What a terrifically interesting essay, Ted! Your post adds some interesting thoughts regarding its topics.

    I have been blessed with teachers who taught me to take responsibility for my wrongdoings, which is far too rare a teaching in alternative spirituality. I have experienced the enormous freedom gained when I make reparation for my misdeeds.

    I think what you have to say about karma and memory in this lifetime is fascinating.

    I have a friend who is forgetful and therefore does not take responsibility. While memory lapses can be a real thing, I also think some people on a subconscious level decide to start losing memory so they can avoid responsibility. Hm.

    Thanks for a beautiful piece!

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Wednesday, 27 September 2017

    Thank you so much, Francesca, and I agree with you that some people use memory loss as an excuse to evade responsibility. I've seen the same tendency in some followers of the beautiful New Thought program, A Course in Miracles. Instead of hearing its clear call to take responsibility for how we respond to things, they latch onto its ancient notion that our world is just a big illusion. In that case, why not behave any way you like without taking any responsibility at all - because nothing is real anyway?

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 27 September 2017

    I hear you. It’s amazing how we humans can turn any sound spiritual premise into an excuse for unethical action. I think it’s something we’re all capable of. Hopefully, my perception that I do it far, far less than when I was young is not a delusion, LOL.

  • Ron Williams
    Ron Williams Wednesday, 04 October 2017

    Ted, on a completely different note, I'm still amazed that you married people in this front bedroom with green carpet! It's partially the reason why I try to keep my house halfway respectably maintained. The thought of someone driving by and saying they were married in this house gives me pause... I will say this, 12229 definitely has a strange little energy about the place. In about 10 days, I'll re-seed the front yard with winter grass and really liven things up. Still, in all these years and though we've only met once, I pray that you and Nora are still healthy and sound. Take Care... RLW

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Friday, 06 October 2017

    How delightful to hear from you, Ron! Nora (a.k.a. Ravyn-Morgayne) and I think of you often and hope you are happy in the house, but we haven't wanted to impose on your privacy. My email address is above should you wish to contact further. Unfortunately, her medical issues took a chronic turn in 2013, which is why I had to retire to become her full-time caregiver. She seems a bit better at present (never give up!) but pain and mobility are ongoing issues. Have people really stopped by to say they were married there? How very lovely. I hope they don't disturb you too much!

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