There are only two types of obstacles: 1) Those that resist your evolution; and 2) Those that direct it. If only people could clearly see which are which…
I hear it over and over again: “There are so many obstacles to my doing so and so; it must be nature telling me it’s not the right direction for me.” This go-with-the-flow approach to life is terribly simplistic. Just take a look at Jesus’ life. It was strewn with obstacles. It was more like the Colorado rapids than the Suwannee River.
To illustrate the principles involved, let’s revisit Bruce in his cartoon world:
Envision the Earth. Imagine it is covered by a cloud of conditioned group consciousness. Picture it as a three-dimensional web, a complex hierarchy of astral beings all holding hands to create an intricate, lattice-like crystalline structure. This structure permeates the awareness of humanity. It is the network through which people communicate, verbally and otherwise. It is characterized by emotional tones that underlie people’s psyches and determine the agreed-upon world views. Though it is an interconnected whole, this cloud of group consciousness is not homogenous. It’s composed of many, many cultural and subcultural mentalities. This cloud is born of conditioning, the very thing that limits humanity, yet the very thing that everyone clings to as truth. The cloud is alive.
Now enters Bruce. He was born in a sector of that cloud. The nature of that sector has colored his heart and mind since childhood. It has been the primary determinant of his relationship with, and view of, the world—his morality, logic system, beliefs, and convictions. Go deeply enough into the sub-sub-sub-subsector of that cloud that dominates Bruce and you have defined Bruce, or more accurately, who and what Bruce believes himself to be.
In Vedic language, we are talking about the sum total of all Bruce’s samskaras, the impressions upon his being, the very substance that makes up his mind. Bruce looks out at his world through glasses tinted with the color of that conditioning and sees truth in terms of that tint. It colors and permeates his heart and mind. It limits him. It confines him. It denies and defies the real Bruce that lies deeper.
Deeper than this matrix of conditioned consciousness is another matrix, infinitely more profound and sublime, the field of Divine perfection, the Veda. It is the source of infinite intelligence, harmony, and wisdom that birthed and sustains our entire universe.
Going back to our cartoon world, picture this Vedic matrix as another cloud, a field that permeates the entire world. To live in harmony with it is to live in harmony with your true nature and all of nature. It is fine and sublime. To perceive it clearly requires a refined physiology, a physiology and resulting awareness that is not overshadowed by the cloud of conditioned global consciousness that has overtaken the globe. To awaken to the Vedic level is to become free of the samskaras and conditioning that have colored the glasses you wear, that you are wearing right now.
In this light, we can discuss the two kinds of obstacles in life: 1) Obstacles that attempt to hold the conditioned global consciousness intact, even if it means obstructing your evolution; and 2) Those that support your evolution by signaling the path of your true nature (your dharma). The conditioned web of global consciousness strives to survive. Though born of mistaken notions and limited thinking (pragyaa aparaadha, in Vedic terms), it is living and breathing, with all survival mechanisms intact. It convinces you that it is your truth and your divinity.
Now imagine poor Bruce. He is overtaken by the conditioned level of pragyaa aparaadha. This level is more crude and blatant than the Vedic level. It shouts out from within him and all around him. He feels it is him. It considers obstacles to be anything that opposes or threatens it.
However, the Vedic level understands that obstacles are something very different. Birthed by the conditioned matrix, they obstruct dharma, evolution, and life in harmony with natural law.
Now, what is Bruce to do? He certainly has a connection to the underlying matrix, the Veda. Without that, he would not be alive. It is what sustains life. However, the cruder, louder, more domineering voice of the cloud of global consciousness is much more readily perceived and is oh-so-easy to identify with as his truth.
How does Bruce find his way out of the complex web of his little subsector of global consciousness? The path is called “the path of discernment.” It has two facets. One is meditation to awaken you to the Vedic level, your true nature. The other is honest exploration of your conditioning. That exploration tills the soil that constricts your being. It frees you. This path clears the cobwebs of conditioning, enabling you to rest into your true Divine nature.
So, when you experience an obstacle in your life, ask if it is opposing your conditioning or your Divinity. Conditioning resists its own dissolution. Viewing evolution as a threat, it puts up many road blocks. For you to evolve, it must dissolve. For the world to evolve, it must melt away. Its only power is the spell it casts over humanity. Know that whichever level you align with, you will incur obstacles along the way. Through discernment, you gain enlightenment for yourself and the world.
© Dr. Michael Mamas, 6/08