Tag: suffering


Sky Castle – A Brilliant Glimpse of the Dangers of Conditioning

I recently completed watching a Korean series on Netflix called Sky Castle. It was an incredibly eye-opening glimpse into the culture of the Korean family and educational system.

But I’m not writing about that aspect today but the more universal glimpse it provided into the what I’ll refer to as the fixed ego complex at the root of human suffering and the source of most if not every current global crisis.

Mirror of the Bigger Problem

What Sky Castle did so brilliantly (aside from being well-written) was present a very painful reflection of how our unquestioned beliefs, those most likely handed down through the generations or upheld by the greater society, hold the power to not only destroy us but those we love and everything we hold dear.

While I suspect most people would watch this program and not necessarily equate it with their own lives, that would be a grave mistake and a potentially enlightening lesson wasted: how rigid the mind can be! How twisted it can become. How easily it can justify our actions to ourselves and others. And like a deadly virus, how easily these poisons can spread from one person to the next and from one generation to another.

A Family Moves In

The family that moves to Sky Castle brings the fresh air and perspective the community needs so desperately in order to wake up. They are a disturbing force. We all need the occasional disturbing force to come into our lives and shake us out of our complacency. But often, we see such forces as, at best, inconveniences and at worst, as threats to our existence…which they are in a way. They threaten everything we’ve become so attached to, so identified with, that the very question of them is indeed threatening, not to our lives but to our sense of self.

Not surprisingly, this family became a target of the community for that very reason. Here were sane people suddenly introduced into a community of the completely insane pretending to be sane. The contrast was just too much to bear. And the extents to which members of this community would go to fight against this disturbing force, in order to remain “dug in” to their cherished ideas and ways of doing things, became criminal.

It may help to take a moment to address the definition of sanity. For my purposes, to be sane is to accept what is real. The be insane is to believe a lie (and often merely to assume). And within my definition is a pre-acknowledgment that our soul knows the difference, even if the mind can convince us otherwise. This is what creates illness and the dystopia of sick societies.

Does it remind you of anything? Anything at all? It reminds me of several things…for example, how hated prophets or other figures are who preach love over fear, or how reviled authentic whistleblowers are for making difficult truths public, or how persecuted and silenced anyone is today who questions the establishment (and by that, friends, I mean not just “the” establishment, but my establishment and your establishment!). My question for you, dear reader, is which one are you: the sane person daring to declare truth or the insane person caught in the trap of the fixed ego complex? We may be sure of our answer and yet, how on earth can we tell, especially if we have become cut off from our inner knowing by that very cunning and downright ruthless fixed ego complex?

Facing Ourselves

Sky Castle is about the path of facing ourselves and our deepest unresolved wounding, the very thing that fixes and then feeds and strengthens the ego complex in place. In the story, the evolution of the characters is driven by their suffering, often painfully slowly until it becomes so great that it can no longer be denied.

We are given that choice ourselves by life – to continue living in the sickness of separation or to heal and become whole. Will we take the gentler route and accept reality now or do we need the greater dose of suffering to break the hold of the illusions that have captured us? It seems the world is at a tipping point to decide that question now.

A Test of Sanity

We are not exactly the best measure of our own sanity and yet we are also the only measure of it in a twisted and corrupted society. How can we determine for ourselves if we are deluded, if we have fallen prey to generational conditioning, or if we’re being driven by our traumas and fear into believing falsehoods?

I think the number one indicator that something within us is off balance is defensiveness. How quick are we to rush in and shut someone up if their perspective runs counter to our own? To what extent are we willing to let go of our freedoms and volunteer up the liberties of others to alleviate our anxieties?

ProjectionA more difficult-to-see indicator is how often we project our own weaknesses or guilt onto others. Of course, we have to be willing to see this in order to acknowledge it. It starts by accepting the fact that we do this…we all do this. Willingness is enough to draw back the veil and begin to catch the ways we separate ourselves from others through judgments of better or worse, good or evil and blame. See those three fingers pointing back at you when you find yourself pointing at another.

And finally, how often do we seek confirmation of our own biases to feel more secure in our identity? How often do we turn to friends we know will agree with us, or watch programs or read books that align with the thoughts we already have? How big is your echo chamber? Do we seek to understand and connect or do we seek to merely distract and entertain ourselves and then compare ourselves to others in order to solidify our sense of self?

There are other ways to affirm our sanity, through meditation and contemplation for example, or through the studies of ancient wisdoms written at a time when man was more connected to the Earth and to Spirit.  It doesn’t matter how we get there; what matters is that we acknowledge our collective sickness and strive to heal.


Final Day: From Ego to Divine Guidance in 36 Days

An ongoing personal exploration of Divine Guidance and distinguishing between the voice of fear and the voice of love reflecting on the article, How to Distinguish Between Divine Guidance and Fear/Ego/Imagination, on Sir Froggie’s PositiveNews Network .

Today’s pairing is:

Bottom line, Divine Guidance is LOVE.
Ego is FEAR, false evidence appearing real.

Eeee!!! I did it. Um…WE did it!!! 36 consecutive blogs on Divine Guidance.

Rather than comment on this last pairing directly, I think I’d like to spend some time reviewing what I’ve learned through this 36-day virtual adventure:

1. For me, Divine guidance speaks in a language beyond words. If I’m hearing a loving language, I am hearing the Voice of Love, which is still pretty much ego…just a kinder, gentler, somewhat “reformed” version of it.

2. Divine guidance guides me toward acceptance of what is without destroying the miracle of what can be.

3. Ego is relentless, cunning, deceptive, and had the desire to survive at any cost. In any moment, I can be 100% sure that I do not perceive my own best interests.

4. If I’m feeling bad or beginning to suffer over anything, it is a sure sign my ego has pulled the wool (or veil) over my eyes. I am focused on the wrong things.

5. The best way for me to discern Divine guidance from ego is to stop doing, stop thinking, and simply sit and observe myself and situation quietly.

6. It isn’t nearly as complicated or mysterious as I make it out. Divine guidance is simple and elegant. It does, however, require a great deal of both courage and trust to listen.

How do you distinguish between Divine guidance and ego?

Day 19: The Right Track

An ongoing personal exploration of Divine Guidance and distinguishing between the voice of fear and the voice of love reflecting on the article, How to Distinguish Between Divine Guidance and Fear/Ego/Imagination, on Sir Froggie’s PositiveNews Network .

Today’s pairing is:

Divine Guidance is always respectful, even when dealing with a truthful situation
that may need your attention to change.
Ego is disrespectful…to yourself, others and even to God but tries to convince you otherwise.

I guess that voice that says, “Stop it, you idiot! What the f*&$ are you doing?” isn’t Divine guidance, then? Joking aside, and as I’ve said before, I don’t think Divine guidance speaks to us in words, though it can certainly influence them. I think Divine guidance is more apt to use the emotional body to get its message across though. It can show us how we have misaligned and stepped out of integrity by bringing into our awareness those subtle or even not so subtle turns in the gut. We know we are misinterpreting reality somehow…not facing up to something…because we just don’t feel at peace…we know we’re not on the right track.

Everything that ego stirs up…confusion, frustration, attachment…these uncomfortable things become the sign posts that we’ve been on the wrong track. It’s a built-in mechanism within the illusion to let us know when we are identifying too strongly with illusion: suffering. There is no accusation. There is no judgment. There is just an increased feeling of separation. If we can just train ourselves to see it, trust it, and instantly realign, we’re back on track. Easier said than done, perhaps. But like anything, it just takes practice.

Once we wake up to the message, then we can ask for more information. Maybe this is the trickier bit. The mind will want to interpret the message and bend it to its preconceptions and habits. It will want to blame someone that we haven’t yet been able to change what needs changing. It will play its usual role. Maybe the best approach, at this point, is a prayer:

I know something must change, but I don’t know what or how. Please guide me to take the next step.

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