Why Focusing on Integration Instead of Balance is a Game Changer
The concepts I am introducing in this blog are about alchemizing energies and the true nature of balance. Many of us are desperately seeking balance in today's mad and demanding world. I hypothesize that integration is really what we're all seeking and by focusing on integration, we can achieve a natural state of balance in alignment with the Cosmic Balance.
Let’s first talk about what balance is.
Balance is a byproduct energy. You may have heard of the material law for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is a law of balance. Everything we do perpetuates into motion a reaction, a byproduct of our action. This reaction is the very foundation of balance. It’s a yin, yang type of motion that is both kinetic and spiritually and materially creative. It is feminine and masculine.
This concept is a very advanced philosophy and to really dive deep into it, it would require a lot more than one blog topic. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to simplify what this energy is and lump balance down into two categories:
1.) The Cosmic Balance and 2.) Individual Ideal Balance
The Cosmic Balance
Just as the philosophical statement “one love” says, there is really only one balance happening in the grand scheme of it all, and this is the Cosmic Balance. The Cosmic Balance is the balance being maintained in all material universes and spiritual dimensions. According to yogic philosophy, there are many dimensions, many universes and realities that exist simultaneously, but it is all one; all is being maintained in one balance by a force that is much grander than you or I could imagine and this balance always, always exists.
There is nothing we can do to throw this balance out of balance. When we assume we can, in a way we are playing God, aggrandizing the ego by assuming any one thing we could do could ever throw off the Cosmic Balance, an energy and force that is set in place specifically to maintain the creation according to the needs of karmic resolution-the resolution of action, feeling, emotion, and desire.
Balance is tricky like that. In truth, nothing is ever out of balance. That’s why we have universal law in place. Karma, and other laws make it so. Both the universe and our physical body have their own way of maintaining balance, equilibrium, and homeostasis. They do so by allocating resources and energy according to certain actions and needs.
The body may enable certain illnesses, which can make it seem out of balance, when in actuality it’s the bodies way of maintaining balance. Likewise, death is not a result of imbalance, it’s a result of your body and soul maintaining balance with the cosmic order. The only reason it seems like things are not in balance is because of the second type of balance.
Ideal balance is relative. It is based on individual perception. Every individual has a different idea about what balance looks like, though more than one person can form a social agreement on it. This type of balance exists primarily as desire.
In this way, ideal balance is illusory, and it therefore can never truly last. It only exists in the mind as an ideal. Many of us are chasing this ideal balance in hope of achieving a sort of perfected state, but the truth is, even if we can maintain this ideal balance for a second or even 10, 20, 30 years, it will eventually be thrown off.
This is because ideals are not meant to exist in the material universe permanently. Ideals are similar to fantasy in that they exist in the mind as desire. No one can live an ideal life forever. The very nature of the material world is impermanence. Our life will always shift and change and there will always be something there to throw off our idea of perfection, unless our idea of perfection is not attached to any situation or thing, but rather to simply being who and what we are. In which case, our ideal balance is aligning with the Cosmic Balance, and we will feel balanced without pushing for it.
The only true way to achieve ideal balance is to integrate yourself in order to align with the Cosmic Balance.
We all want to experience a life of love and joy. We all want to be living in bliss, tapped into a transcendental magic beyond the material universe. We have a memory of this state of being because it is the natural state of our soul. It’s very hard for us to forget this as humans. It’s why when we feel positive feelings, we feel so aligned, so harmonious, and so balanced. It's also why some of us get so annoyed with being human. Our humanity is not, at our core, who we are. Rather it is a vehicle, a tool meant to help us achieve creative mastery and integration. It is an impermanent state of existence. It is certainly a part of who we are, but in a lot of ways it's like stepping into a part that comes with a role and the longer we fill that role without communing with our deepest self, the more we forget our true nature.
I felt "The Last Unicorn" did a pretty good job of summing it up. The unicorn at one point is turned human, and she instantly is consumed by fear. Shortly after her transformation she completely forgets who she is; her magic, her innocence, and her wisdom. The longer she is human, the more she loses her memory of one identity and then begins to develop another identity tied to the urges and nature of a human woman.
It's no surprise that for many of us, our desire to return to our true identification gets warped by the material existence. Many people truly have no idea how to translate their thoughts, feelings and desires simply because they have never been taught how. Many never realize that all desire stems from the one true desire of the heart; to experience oneness again.
So instead of seeking what will bring awareness of their truth, people in general seek superficial ways to come into happiness and balance, usually through chasing ideals to hopefully experience those emotions.
In other words, we’re seeking to find balance through outer circumstances rather than holistically integrating and accepting ourselves from the inside out. I’m not saying we shouldn’t honor our bodies through healthful activities that can aid us in harmonization, or that we shouldn't seek meaningful careers and relationships that are in alignment with our purpose, what I am saying is: how present and accepting can we be of ourselves when we are not doing those things and when we don't have those things?
Being Present Leads us to Integration
Integration occurs when we accept reality for what it is. It’s when we allow our emotions and desires to resolve by giving them space through a loving awareness. It’s when we allow everything that is happening without resistance and we accept all parts of ourselves: our bodies, our emotions, our being, our essence, our environment, the people who are around us and all their imperfections, our spirit, our high soul; all of it. We accept it all, we realize and understand that we are all of it. We don’t resist any of it, even the parts that we may not feel are ideal (such as lifestyle, ill health, stress, whacky schedules, world events etc.).
This is tricky because many of us are seeking ideal situations. We want the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect body, the perfect health, the perfect spouse, the perfect family, the perfect friends, the perfect world. We disguise these desires as the word balance and strive for it.
We want to live in Heaven on Earth. There is nothing wrong with this desire because before we came to Earth, this was our state of being. What we are really desiring is to go back to what we were before we were embodied. We want to go home to Heaven. We want to go back to Oneness. We want to be like the Last Unicorn and return to being our magical, free selves.
The problem with this is: as long as we are busy looking to an ideal, constructing a fantasy life, even seeking ways to disembody ourselves, we won’t be able to be present with what is actually happening around us. We won’t be able to integrate. And when we do have to come back to our real world, we are in danger of feeling crushed by it because we realize the fantasy is not reality. This can make us feel angsty, empty, and unfulfilled. It's why the Buddha gave us that age old wisdom "the road to enlightenment is the middle ground."
It was Ram Dass who said “As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can't see how it is.”
This quote has been very meaningful in my life. It means to me that as long as I am constructing ideals and living in a fantasy world about how I wish my life were, I can’t actually see what is. I can’t see the true magic of life. I can’t see my own energy. I can’t see myself and all of my many layers. I can’t accept myself and I won't be able to acknowledge my integrated wholeness. I therefore am giving up my power. Because only when I can see how it is can I direct my energy into changing it through alchemization. Only when I can see how it is can I truly know myself and know my power. And the same goes for me knowing and seeing everyone and everything else in my life.
Integration must happen before alchemization; and integration cannot happen until we become fully present. Full integration cannot happen until we’ve reached a very grand, final stage of self acceptance. This is what emotional healing is leading up to and it is why it is so very important that we accept and allow our emotions. Another famous quote from Ram Dass states “You can be…content even in your discontent.” And “those particular thoughts that are painful – love them. I love them to death!”
In other words, when we feel negative feelings and experience negative thoughts, we don’t have to succumb to them. Through love and acceptance, we can alchemize ourselves. The more we love ourselves and accept ourselves, the more we integrate, the more we naturally alchemize our states of being that seem inharmonious to what we want.
Alchemization is the act of taking something and transforming it into something else by adding different elements to it.
Suffering and pain are initiations that all humans experience while on the path to unity. So when we take something like suffering and add love, presence, and awareness to it, we might get something entirely different. Perhaps it births compassion or empathy along with the suffering, thereby adding deep, loving meaning to our experiences. Perhaps it births understanding. It may even birth you creative abilities you never knew you had, such as the ability to help and heal others or creating beautiful works of art. Either way, alchemizing isn’t about destroying the pain or negating it. It is about accepting and appreciating it for what it is. It is about really experiencing and honoring what it means to suffer. Suffering is suffering and pain is pain, just as love is love.
We don’t need to look at these experiences as evil. There is an age old proverb that says "we are cursed to be blessed". Our painful experiences are truly blessings of initiation into ourselves. Everything we endure is a way for us to further embody our deepest, purest truth, as well as a way for us to come into understanding for others who experience suffering. We can come to a place where we're not telling people to “get over it” or “just think positively”. We’re understanding the full dynamic of what they are feeling and in that space we can experience a type of unity with that person that would otherwise be unattainable.
The energy that is cultivated in that space is the energy of healing. Here, we can become conduits for other people to own their truth (wherein we are not trying to change them) and allow their feelings, emotions, and pain and suffering to resolve through acceptance.
So you see, it is not balance that you are seeking, but integration.
That desire you are feeling for balance is actually a desire to be whole and One again. It’s a desire to go back to being how you were before you were embodied, but you are embodied precisely to go back to it and more. Life, acceptance, and embracing your embodiment, it’s all about mastery; about becoming the master alchemist. It’s not about maintaining a positive innocence, but about walking through the darkest fire and coming out purely you.
There are so many stories about so many people who have walked this path and achieved tremendous states of unity. You may recall the story of Christ and how he spent 40 days in the desert, faced his inner demons (the devil himself) and walked out fully integrated. He was able to easily proclaim “I and my Father are One” and his teachings were all about achieving unity with God and about deep and profound healing. Christ consciousness is the very meaning of unity consciousness and Christ is the very pinnacle and archetype of healing. Christ walked a human life to be an example to us. To show us how to do it; go through the initiation, integrate, and unify with the Divine to become the lover and the healer.