Laws? What kinds of laws are spiritual laws? Well, in the case of Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (of course he had to use the sacred number seven of introspection and depth contemplation), it’s not about the kind of “you should” laws that groups of humans make up to keep societies from turning into chaos; it seems to be about the kinds of laws that naturally structure things like…the universe.
Deepak’s book is a sort of unified force theory for spiritual “stuff.” 🙂 But then Deepak does like to use the laws of physics to at least metaphorically relate to spiritual “forces.”
And no, this is not a review of Chopra’s book, although I did like it on first read some years ago. I am revisiting these ideas as part of a little book contemplation group I’m in here on the interwebs.
I won’t go into all the content, question prompts, or other participants’ comments since it’s a closed group, but I thought I’d share some of my own insights on Deepak’s ideas.
We’ll start with the intro and the first chapter on potentiality.
In the intro, there’s some explanation by Chopra of the idea of success, which is obviously a subjective term. To me, success is personal and not “active” really. Deepak writes about expanding into success. For me success may not involve expanding so much as a kind of allowing of the power of the entire universe into one’s being. We are already big enough to hold it, amazingly enough. 🙂
Power of Potentiality
There was neither existence nor non-existence, All this world was unmanifest energy …Rig Veda
Deepak wrote in his first chapter about the power in that place beyond the dance of opposites, of “yes” and “no,” “being” and “not being,” the Te and Tao.
For me the power of potentiality is in feeling relaxed into the “vessel,” the “emptiness” that came before creation, or more accurately, underlies creation (since time doesn’t exist outside of the created universe—I know, it’s hard for our time-slaved minds to access). I can move in any or all directions, accept energy from all sources. That’s the beauty of settling into the center.
Because of this place of settling into the vessel, of non-action, I seek to also shed judgment from my mind (a very hard thing to do!).
After about fifteen years of practice, along with several cathartic and brain-changing (yes, the brain can be changed) experiences of guilt, grief, and ecstatic union with Spirit, I’ve integrated non-judgment as a habit, actually, in my relations to other people. This non-judgmental position tends to surprise them. 🙂 Most folks expect to be judged.
Although my non-judgment approach is a fairly steady habit nowadays, it still takes a lot of discipline to maintain, especially when other folks are in places of projecting their pain on all those around them. I have a strong intellect, which means that my ego takes great pride in psychoanalyzing folks “for their own good” (but it’s a form of gossip!) if I allow my mind to trump my ever-compassionate soul.
Self-awareness is my tool for staying in the vessel, allowing non-judgmental potential and healing to flow from that vessel. I like to be a comfortable place for others to settle into, where they know they will be accepted as they are.
Outposts Along the Path
Over at my favorite blog, NoSidebar, Allison Vesterfelt wrote about her path to success tips for creative artists, etc., but I think her ideas also apply to other folks who may not find my “vessel” approach to be active enough. But I do note that her first main point is about always believing (allowing) in that well of potential that can fuel your actions in the world. Check it out here.
On the topic of growing in a field of non-judgment, we have Melissa Camara Wilkins’s blog post from June about being a work in progress. A great storyteller is Melissa (also an awesome tree picture on this post), and you’ll leave her post feeling better about your own personal “work in progress,” I guarantee. Check it out here.