In our culture “integrity” can become as much of a ball-and-chain as an addiction. It’s often more about shame and fear of losing face than about being true to ourselves or our commitment. And, for me, it’s kept me in a few places far longer than is healthy (joyful and satisfying) for all concerned.
It’s useful to remember that the only reason for confusion, ever, is getting distracted from Principle.
So when there’s confusion, we turn to Principle!
Here’s one way to do that. We start by stating what we know to be true, whether we can feel it in the moment or not, as for example:
- The One Power is Good and it’s everywhere so there’s nothing we have to do to make Good happen.
- The One Source is joy and satisfaction flowing into joy and satisfaction so there’s nothing I need to do to experience more joy and satisfaction except feel joy and satisfaction, now
- If I’m not feeling joy and satisfaction now, what do I need to release? A belief? An object? A fear?
- As I go “into the wilderness” to release that, what replacement for it feels most joy-filled and satisfying, now; how can I fill my heart and soul with.joy and satisfaction?
When we’ve done that, when we’ve let go (“cast the burden”) of the thing that’s blocking our experience of this moment as heavenly, then we’re clear about what is truly ours to be and do in the moment.
Perhaps we need to replace the word “integrity” with “enlightened self-interest” or, as Emerson calls it, Self-reliance. For when we operate from that deep, inner knowing, there’s no confusion and no fear and, truly, everyone benefits.
The simple answer is: anything that is in material or energetic form is not the ultimate Reality. In the sciences of physics and of spirit it’s clear that the permanent, unchanging, underlying Reality behind all forms of matter and energy is a single, unified field of intelligence with qualities that we might call Beauty, Harmony, Balance, Flow, Wisdom… and many more.
This means that anything we perceive with our senses or measure with our machines is not, in fact, Real. It may be a fact, but it is not Real. It’s either a personal projection onto the underlying field (known as the Undifferentiated One, or Ground of Being in eastern traditions) or it’s a collective construct of the combined mind of humanity as a whole. In either case, it’s transitory, impermanent, moldable by thought, and therefore always changing (which is the literal definition of the term maya, usually translated as “illusion”).
For several decades, people have used guided visualization to experience various states of consciousness, to discover intuitive insights, and to expand awareness. For thousands of years, certain members of every kind of society have practiced a form of visualization that has recently been called “shamanic journeys,” which requires considerable preparation and allows the practitioner to enter a state of consciousness in which their awareness connects with other species, other forms of life, and other dimensions of being.
In the New Thought tradition, guided visualization has been called “meditation” and is a form of contemplation on a concept or state of being. In Unity, it’s used to precede a time of silence, during which one simply waits, expectantly, for a word, an idea, or an insight. In the Science of Mind practice (taught in what were formerly known as churches of Religious Science, but are now called Centers for Spiritual Living), this practice has evolved to what they call Visioning.
In Visioning, a minister, practitioner, facilitator, or student simply enters a meditative state and asks the following questions:
1. What is the highest vision or perfect idea for (person, project, organization)?
2. What must we become to empower the vision?
3. What must be released?
4. What must be embraced?
5. Is there any other information that we need in this moment?
Any image or word that comes to mind is written down and used as the basis for action. When done in a group, different people may have different pieces of the answer, so all share whatever they’ve experienced, for the good of the whole.