(c) 2010 Joan Newcomb
As we grow up, we learn that things are good and things are bad. What those things are vary from family to family and from culture to culture. In the US, it's good to be thin. In parts of Asia, having an obese spouse is a status symbol (because it means you can afford to feed them)!
You go to school and the good and bad things you learned at home are often different from what the school may say is good and bad, and what each of your friends think are good and bad. Maybe at home children are 'seen but not heard', yet the only way to get your teacher's attention is to raise your hand and speak up! Your friends' families have different religions, politics, and other beliefs. It's all very confusing
Although the US isn't supposed to have a caste system, we have at least a couple. We've educational and economic castes, and ancestral ones, too. The educational caste says that having a Ph.D and teaching at a university is the best. Ironically this doesn't always coincide with being paid very much! The economic caste says that having a six figure income and all the material symbols to go along with it is the best. The ancestral caste is pretty strong... you're better if your family came over on the Mayflower.
And people create their own comparisons. It's good to be middle or even lower class, because then you're 'real' and work hard for your money. Rich people are just disconnected and materialistic. It's better to be ethnic; white people are boring. For some it's okay to seem well-off, as long as you really aren't.
When you begin to grow spiritually, all these judgments and comparisons start to break down. As you energetically expand, these limiting beliefs crumble like ancient sheetrock. It can be very confusing and disorienting. Sometimes you "Know" the truth, that it's all an illusion, but the perceptual reality is in front of you like a concrete brick wall.
Situations arise to bring these limits to light. And they seem so real!
Often one loses everything in the process of gaining their spiritual Essence. Things one fought so hard to gain or attain get taken way. Divorce, being fired or laidoff, bankruptcy, illness, all occur so you can break free of the illusions.
Then there's a kind of coming full circle with it all. Gaining back some of the things you'd lost, but with a different awareness or depth of appreciation.
Imagine rising above your current situation and looking down at your life. Life the roof off the illusion and see all the judgments and comparisons as walls of energy. It's like looking at a labyrinth. When you're down in the midst of it, you scurry along the corridors created by your judgments. These thought lead you in one direction, a different set of beliefs open doors to other hallways. You can only get rich by working hard and only at the end of your life. You have to be beautiful in order to be popular. People only respect you if you act within certain behavioral boundary lines.
Looking down at your self-created maze, imagine what it would be like if you allowed parts of it to dissolve. Notice how the energy flows differently when you do. Feel the expansion that occurs as you drop those walls.
You may create the illusion of others outside of yourself reacting to your changes. Something must be wrong with you, you're too happy! You must think you're better than them now that abundance is flowing for you. You may be dismissed as flaky, or a 'free spirit', because you change so rapidly.
Those others are just reflections of the same limitations you're releasing. As you continue to let go, naysayers disappear from your life, or change into cheerleaders. It's all a wonderful and amusing game.
Some clues as to whether you're in the maze or out of it:
How dense do the walls look?
Does it feel frustrating?
Is it really hard or difficult?
Do you know better but are still butting your head against things?
Are you finding it exciting or amusing?
Is it still challenging but you don't care?
Is your heart opening?
Is your heart opening and you feel neutral about suffering?
Do you feel Connected with Consciousness?
Do you feel You *are* Consciousness?
Doesn't really matter, it's all a lovely ride!