Let me be clear: Christianity is not immoral. The theology underlying our culture – the one proclaimed by well-coiffed white people benefitting from their inborn privilege, the one infesting far too many of our lawmakers – is not Christian. That's just a name they give to an immoral theology to make it sound acceptable, like calling SPAM "spiced pre-cooked ham spread," or calling jails for five-year-old Spanish speaking children "tender age shelters." The actual guiding theology of American culture springs from people with a spiritual maturity level of second graders.
Too many of our law makers, judges, religious leaders, business leaders and cultural influencers are following the God of second graders. We have two ways to deal with this fact.
One is to confront them all the time while they are in power, force truth on them, compel compassion to be made into laws, and to replace them with people who carry a more mature theology. That's a long, difficult process and it is outward facing. One of my teachers says that people with young souls – souls still in basic training, and therefore more under the sway of lower human impulses – make up a large percentage of the population, and a huge percentage of people who are drawn to power in business and government. It's just the nature of things on this planet, the nature of how human consciousness is evolving. It’s frustrating for older souls – people who have been in bodies of both genders many more times, and learned more karmic lessons - to have to deal with younger souls who always want to make the rules.
The other way is inner-facing: to work deeply with your own inner theology, to continue to mature it. It's easy for people to take a look at the theological bullshit spouted by many of our leaders, and the theological cowardice in church leaders and so-called devout worshippers, and say "to hell with all religion." It's also easy for people to dive into new age neo-shamanic woo-woo as a way of pretending they aren’t part of the larger problem, and that they are more mature than others. But the God of second graders is present in all of us, in all theologies. It is incumbent on each of us to work to mature our inner theology – and it can only happen with discipline and courage. If you don't do the work, you abdicate the world to the God of second graders.
Therapy can be fantastic and very helpful. 90% of the clients I see have had a great deal of therapy, and very frequently they say the same thing: it's helpful, but there's something that it didn't get at, there's still something "there" or "not there."
It's not therapy's job to mature your inner theology. That's the job of your spiritual practice. There is a line where therapy can't cross because then it becomes spirituality, and spirituality is not of the mind, it is not of science; it is soul work, and energetic work, it is work in the land that has no labels. You cannot mature your inner theology through the mind. The mind uses the door; the soul climbs in though through the window. Spiritual work uses the tool of the sacred imagination. (This is also why shamanic healing can get at certain things that therapy can't, and it's why if you judge shamanic work through the lens of the mind, it cannot make sense, meaning it cannot be placed safely in a category of the mind, which really means Spirit cannot be controlled by us, which terrifies the bejeebers out of the mind.)
Be aware that you came into this life riding on many generations of people who have been told to give up their spiritual authority to the "ordained." You've been told, often by the ordained, to mistrust your sacred imagination and your own direct connection with Spirit. When you mistrust yourself, cut yourself a little slack - you have generations of naysaying embedded in you.
(By the way, we think "ordained" means to be made spiritually mature or special, to be spiritualized in some authentic way, to be made different from other people, but it actually means to "be put in order" - to stand in the proper line. We come from a long line of people told to be quiet and line up behind the official teller of the "one true" cosmic story who has agreed to stand in the right line. Well, this is a whole other article that I can't get into here.)
The number one phrase I hear from students and clients is "Am I making this up? (Meaning my experiences with Spirit – lovingly ephemeral or starkly dramatic, gentle or frightening – are they imaginary, and therefore not trustworthy, not a guide for living?)
The right question is "Of the many realties I can make up right now and bring into being, which is the best? For me, for those around me, and for those that come after me?"
I can imagine a world made of fear and constantly changing enemies, a world heading toward the shit-hole, and I can bring that into being and enact that. I can imagine a world in which everything hurts me, everything has been taken from me, in which I'm a constant victim, and I can enact that dream. Are those the dreams I want to bring into being?
If you've read this far, you are likely someone trying to enact the dream of "I am part of an opening of consciousness in my species, I am waking from a long dream that came from a younger consciousness in my species – a consciousness still very present in many of my sisters and brothers - and now I am ready to be a carrier of the new dream," which is a way of saying "I'm ready to be an early enactor of that new dream."
Throughout history, it's never been easy to be the early enactor of anything! You get blowback internally and externally. You are told you'll be tossed out of the tribe, which is a way of saying you'll be alone, slow, weak and tasty and therefore eaten by animals. At some point you say: "Okay. So be it."
So a great deal of your core spiritual work is to keep calling in energy – asking Spirit to call in the new song to your mythic center, to refine and mature your inner theology. Shamanic practice is very helpful with that – in fact, it's what shamanic practice is all about.
Here is a practice you can use at this time of the high, bright summer. Right now the sun is strong and bright and hot. It is singing very loudly right now – singing the sweetness into the fruit, singing the fullness into the crops and the green into the land, and singing sparkling fire into the edges of the wave crests. This is a great time to ask the Singer of the New Song to sing the new song of maturity and wisdom down into your head – the new song that will help you become more mature spiritually, and that will support you in your quest for healing old wounds; and ask for the new song for our species to be sung into you – the song we need to step up and out of the worn out, destructive inner theology that guides too many of us now.
This is a simple practice: You can do this as a meditation or visualization, or shamanic journey. consciously ask the Great Spirit, or Mother Earth, or your Spirit Guides, or God, or Jesus or Guadeloupe, or the Mountain Spirit, or the Plant Spirits, to sing the New Song down into you – through the top of your head. You can do this quickly as a ten-second prayer, or as a long meditation with visualization. And you can do it repeatedly, and not only in the summer. This is a very simple practice but it can be powerful and rewarding. You can also say back to Spirit: "I am ready to sing the new song of my species. I am ready to be a carrier of the new song. Please help me hear it, learn it and sing it."
Let the new song flow into you. Listen. Listen some more. Start Singing.
Check out my summer classes and shamanic experinces here, here and here.