All sorts of temporary feel-good mechanisms are available and are often used by folks who believe that feeling good is an important spiritual purpose. They usually have an array of activities that help them feel good (prayer, exercise, meditation, gourmet food, fun, excitement, sacred objects, and so forth). And they reach for these crutches almost as soon as they start to feel anything uncomfortable. I do agree that feeling bad is an indicator of needed work/change. I do not agree that whatever feels good is necessarily better than whatever might be difficult or painful. People fail to see how their feeling-good activities may be all too similar to heroin or crack. Often, feeling good starts to override common sense. These folks often throw away all psychology that might require a close look at themselves and their pasts. Therefore, they wind up dominated by their need to escape their pasts, often in an ongoing subtle search for the next feel-good activity. I call this the feeling good trap. It ensnares millions of New Age people.
What about psychological pain? The most common suggestion from popular New Age teachers is that you replace discomfort with happier "more spiritual" feelings. Their messages are very seductive. Do you know how to resist clever appeals such as: "Wouldn't you rather feel good and spiritual rather than feel bad and separate from God?"
Partially because of such teachers, it has become relatively common among some New Age followers to view expressions of pain, anger, or hurt as unfortunate and clear evidence that you are not on the right path. Essentially this throws out most psychology. How convenient! Then I don't have to look closely at my issues, past or present.
Whoever believes this way has decided that physical plane lessons are not supposed to be psychologically painful. In other words, the psychological suffering of billions is useless and/or tragically unfortunate. They are really saying, "God, you did the wrong thing to create a world with so much suffering. I know better than you, God, the way things should be down here. By the way, why are you so incompetent that you are not able to fix it?" They are not even close to thinking that things might be just perfect here and exactly the way God-Tao intends them.
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "We have all heard the debate about which aspects of our beings are caused by genes and which are caused by upbringing. What one never hears in this debate is the possibility that there might be a third alternative, what I am referring to is a lifeplan."|