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Niki Collins-Queen

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Member Since: Before 2003

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Featured Book
Entangled in Darkness
by Lindsey Webster

Entangled in Darkness is a fictional novel about a young woman and her family and their struggle to survive in the face of mental illness...  
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Niki Collins-Queen



Earth, the Forgotten Temple, A Spirit Quest

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Blogs by Niki Collins-Queen

Eyes Wide Open by Mariana Caplan
1/12/2010 3:07:20 PM
World traveler Mariana Caplan is a professor of yogic and transpersonal psychologies. Her most recent book “Eyes Wide Open” offers us the wisdom, awareness and the tools to develop discernment. Discernment, the cultivation of acute judgment and discrimination, helps us see life's lessons more quickly and clearly, turn challenges into opportunities and avoid unnecessary obstacles. We'll know we have learned discernment when we can say on our deathbed “I have lived a good life, have gained self-awareness and fulfilled my purpose on earth.”
Many of us suffer a poverty of spirit and spiritual alienation. We have lost touch with our deeper spiritual nature and forgotten that we have forgotten. Discernment is a transformation tool, a journey of descent into our psyche to penetrate broader and deeper aspects and dimensions of ourselves, to turn internal and external poisons into medicine and ordinary experiences into the extraordinary.
Her chapter on the complexity of the ego's mechanical loop structure of thought-emotion-manifestation is helpful. As our identification with the ego lessons we discover a new freedom. Most thoughts are a result of familial, cultural and karmic conditioning, they are repetitive and habitual and think themselves. We are not our thinking. It is not the ego that causes suffering but our relationship with it.
Our egoic, cultural and psychological conditioning causes us to distort reality through projections. Becoming conscious allows us to withdraw false projections, frees up energy and allows clearer perception. What irritates us about others can lead to a clearer understanding of ourselves. Suffering can be reduced through conscious attention, spiritual practice and discerning knowledge.
Caplan's chapter on spiritual materialism and spiritual bypassing is illuminating. She says the ego can try to acquire and apply the teachings of spirituality for its own benefit. Spiritual materialism is the attachment to the spiritual path as a solid accomplishment and possession. It's thinking we are developing spiritually when we are actually strengthening our egocentricity. Given our global materialistic culture it is inevitable that it would infiltrate our approach to spirituality.
Spiritual bypassing uses spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal and emotional challenges to shore up a shaky sense of self, belittle basic needs and feelings in the name of enlightenment. The ego by-passes rather than works through the wounded, confused and damaged aspects of ourselves. The goal is to allow the ego to manage and guide us along the spiritual path without egoic identification and dominance. There is a fine line between fear based neurotic detachment and spiritual non-attachment.
Being conscious includes being present with everything that exists on all levels of experience and emotion. Spiritual teachers can have a certain degree of realization in some areas but remain imbalanced in their psychological or sexual development. Those who haven't dealt with their psychological issues attract students with similar tendencies. A spiritual codependency or mutual complicity develops.
Crisis, depression,sickness and breakdown are often a part of the spiritual journey. When we awaken the light within us it illuminates our unresolved issues. Neurosis can lead to enlightenment because at its core lies a storehouse of buried energy that has limitless capacity to transform. A nervous breakdown become a “nervous breakthrough.” All mystical journeys involve descent, a “trial by fire,”a regression in the service of transcendence. When we manage our hell realms we gain the power to live in truth, authenticity and integrity. When we acknowledge our shadow all opposites collapse into a field of continually changing experience. We learn to identify with the larger bodies of humanity, with the earth, it's creatures and the cosmos. At the highest level of healing, the body is transformed into prayer through the actions of daily life.
When we say “yes” to all experiences, choose the life we are given, commit to a life of service and thank God for what we have all resistance to ourselves and life dissipates.
Caplan's book is a reminder that we have received a love letter written by the Divine in the form of our lives. Will be receive it? How will we respond?


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More Blogs by Niki Collins-Queen
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