Tuesday, July 25th 2017
Sep
2008
17

The art of how to not take everything so personally

In her upcoming book, Wisdom Rising, Vaishali reveals how the things that happen *to* you are not really *about* You

ADVANCE EXCERPT: PART 2 of 2 — Vedic psychology says you do not have to take their word for it, you can prove it to yourself. Just ask yourself, “like air, fire and water, were emotions around before you showed up on the planet?” Were human experiences happening before your charming butt arrived to grace the third rock from the sun? Did you invent thought, or was that property of being bouncing around long before you were born? If it was on the planet before you showed up, then it is a universal event, and there is nothing personal about it.

The great 18th century Swedish mystic, Emanuel Swedenborg, says the same about the human experience: As spiritual creatures, we take a physical form and come to the universal schoolhouse called the planet earth. Swedenborg says we do this because this universal classroom is the fastest, most efficient way for us to educate ourselves about our Divinity. Swedenborg goes on to say that if there were a faster more effect way to realize our mind than the universal earth classroom, then we would be there, experiencing that something else.

Therefore, the opportunity to free the mind is offered universally, to everyone, at all times throughout the whole of history.

And the educational process that this entails is also offered universally, to all peoples, at all times. Whatever this reality is on earth, it is not personal. What it is, is universally lived, shared and Divinely designed as a collective phenomenon.

The real insidious side-effect of distilling universal life into the personal is that it destroys all perceptual balance. Responding to the whole of life with an equal and even mindset, is how the Eastern philosophies define balanced perception. Taking the movement of life personally skews that balance, by either elevating the scales high into self-aggrandizing and egoistic self indulgence, or by unbalancing the scale in the complete opposite direction by plummeting perception into victimhood – helpless and hopeless self pity.

Who has not cast the first ‘taking it personally’ stone, or grabbed their own ‘taking it personally’ banana, with a story like, “I knew it, as soon as I get in this line, it slows down.” Or, “Why does the stock market wait until I make an investment before going into a free fall?”

All of us, every single last one of us has to find a way to free ourselves from the burden our personal perceptions have created. The ‘taking it personally’ stories we create with our perceptions, keep us trapped in our self-inflicted Taiwanese monkey trap. Honestly, unless we are completely enlightened and fully liberated, we are all held hostage, imprisoned by the invisible bars of our own perceptual construction, with our paw firmly around that elusive banana.

We have to learn a new habit: open the personal perceptual fist that has become so tightly closed around that ‘taking it personally’ banana, and to move freely into the universal world, which simultaneously lives and thrives all around us.

Only our relentless attachment to perceiving things as a personal event holds us in this limited place of suffering, while a greater choice is always available to us, inviting us to let go of the personal one, and move freely forward, empowered as a universal one – the all – powerful, perpetual plantain.

How do we keep from projecting own our personal story out onto everything that shows up in our lives? How do we refrain from internalizing the insensitive “others” in our lives that feel the need to spoon-feed us harsh judgments and criticisms as if it were mother’s milk? How do we keep from repeating over and over in our heads the mean-spirited relationships and hurtful events that we feel are the cause and source of our suffering? How do we take the “personal” out of our personal experience of life?

Taking things personally damages our universal vision. It contracts our perception of self into a very small and narrow point in time. It limits and restricts our sight; it misguides our higher inclusive wisdom.

When reliving the injuries incurred along the path of life, we forget that this is but one small segment of an infinitely larger journey. We become amnesic to the reality that these events are the tempering forces that break our hearts open and offer us the gift of loving larger. These personal affronts are how we evolve into one who chooses to love like they have never been hurt before. These “plantain” perpetrators of pain in our lives have come to offer us the opportunity to grow beyond the limits of our stories, of our ego likes and dislikes, of the fragility of the temporal world. Life is a gift, learning is the challenge, evolving is the purpose.

We have all been brainwashed to think and believe we are our experiences, our thoughts, our bodies.

The Eastern-based spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, would like to remind us differently. We, as spiritual beings, are eternal, permanent and unchanging. Anything that is impertinently impermanent and subject to change, such as fashion, bodies, weather, teen idols, favorite television programs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, political structures, boxers versus briefs, thoughts and emotions, cannot by virtue of their variable nature, be true self.

We are beyond anything that we have been labeling and investing in as personal. We are awareness itself. That is our spiritual identity.

The temporal world comes and goes; it gyrates and fluctuates. We, as the observer of these movements, we are the eternal, invariable portion of the equation. Awareness is our universal, true self; it is what we bring with us to the human experience, and what we take with us when we leave. The human experience is the vehicle, the classroom through which we, as Divine consciousness, get to experience ourselves as awareness, as the force of eternal love we authentically are, to the exclusion of everything else.

If there is any validity to the “hundredth monkey” theory,*  then it is indeed time we all taught ourselves to let go of the banana and simply walk away from the misguided “personal” — and into the expansive universal. For that is our birthright; that is what we are divinely designed for, and that is where the truth that sets us free will at last be found.

Oh, and now that my hand is out of the trap, I’ll have the banana split . . . to go.

* The hundredth monkey theory: When enough individuals in a population adopt a new idea or behavior, there’s an ideological breakthrough that disseminates the new awareness seemingly from mind-to-mind without external experience or contact; at a tipping point, all individuals in the population spontaneously adopt it. This may be one of the many ways we co-create a collective reality: “It may be that when enough of us hold something to be true, it becomes true for everyone.”


Vaishali’s first book, You Are What You Love, is also the name of Vaishali’s weekly radio show on Clear Channel, which you can hear in webcast at this link

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3 Comments on “The art of how to not take everything so personally”

  1. The Monkey Trap is such a great workable image. I may have missed something though. If "As spiritual creatures, we take a physical form and come to the universal schoolhouse called the planet earth.",and " Therefore, the opportunity to free the mind is offered universally, to everyone, at all times throughout the whole of history.", where does the evolution of consciousness come in. I get that it's not about me, but isn't it about my (and everyone else) learning what we can to inch consciousness along? Or is this what "Hundreth Monkey" theory is pointing to?

    David

  2. we just have to remember "Q-TIP"...quite taking it personally...easy to say, not so easy to do... since most of us are the centre of our own universe.

  3. I needed to hear this learning again today. Just what my inner physician ordered!!
    Thank you for this.

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