by Diane Brandon

Charity Begins at Home

Wholeness Begins in the Self

                 Page 10 of 11


Perhaps healing our pain, working on our issues, shining a light on our less-illumined areas, accepting ourselves, striving to be whole within ourselves, developing our potential, having an open, curious outlook, and changing our thinking -- all of this together is the first step.  It is no coincidence at all that there has been an intense flurry of activity in the past several years as more and more people have been "working on their issues."  This is definitely happening for a reason, for we can't bypass the personal work to leap into the divine.  Ofttimes an intense desire to immerse oneself in the New Age movement without having done one's personal work may represent an unconscious desire to escape from pain -- a denial of one's reality and diversion of attention from one's problems.  (Denial is not just a river in Africa!)  If we are here for a purpose, then part of the purpose may be to fully experience life and learn and grow -- here and now.


I often hear some people refer to themselves as "lightworkers," who are on a mission to save  people.  That we are now in the throes of a struggle between light and dark.  That people are being forced to choose between "life" and "death."  And woe to those who choose "death."


This is a very seductive idea.  But does this picture feel right to you?  It encompasses a lot of the old thinking and pulls people in through fear and separation.  It taps into a lot of ego needs and pain-based needs.  Physician, heal thyself.


We first have the duality of light vs. dark, the totalitarian and simplistic thinking dividing things and people into polar opposites -- no grays, just black and white.  People are good or bad, light or dark.  Period.  There is no in-between.  We also have the old separatist thinking of Us vs. Them, the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys.  (If we wanted to give it a Western touch, we could add white and black hats -- just so people could tell at a glance who was who.) We also strongly have the element of fear:  if you don't choose life, you get death.  It pushes people's fear buttons big-time.  (If you're not good, you'll get coal in your stocking; "so you'd better be good for goodness' sake....")


And, after it has pushed all the big fear and separation buttons, it then gives a pay-off, the Reward, by pushing the ego-need button.  The need to feel good about oneself.  And not just good -- superior.  Superior to others.  A savior.  A "lightworker," separate and above others (except for those other lightworker members of your exclusive clique).  Who needs a country club when you can have your own New Age substitute version?  This, for many, is an enticing notion, coming out of pain and need, but, unfortunately, at the expense of others:  others must be seen as in the dark and needing to be saved in order for the "lightworker" to be exalted.  For anyone with low self-esteem, who feels alienated from others and has deep-seated fears, and who has not done his or her personal work, this is very strong stuff.


And it is exactly the same heady brew of button-pushing that we have seen in religions over the years.  Take a populace that has fears, is alienated from itself as well as others, and is into separation (Us vs. Them) and, voilà:  we have the Crusades and other variations on a theme.  We can all be susceptible to such ideas.

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