July 14, 2011

SOUL UNION ~ THE ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Part 3B: The relationship of the soul with the ego-mind and the shadow.


Another Beautiful Day to you!

We all had a great time celebrating Penny’s Birthday yesterday. We all enjoyed celebrating Penny with beautiful homemade foods that the staff shared during lunch together. Penny told some great stories and I gave her a nice head rub last night.

I had a busy day of PPS coaching and CHEK Practitioner coaching. I managed to sneak in a nice deadlift workout of about 7 sets of 1-2 x 365 off a box coupled with reverse Swiss ball crunches. I love heavy lifting and am so grateful I’ve been able to effectively rehabilitate my neck injury so I can build myself back up. My body responds very well to heavy lifting and it suits my personality well too.

I’m ready to jump back into our discussion on achieving Soul-union, which begins as soul-union; “Soul” implies Divine Soul while “soul” implies ego-soul or individual soul. Lets get started!

SOUL UNION ~ THE ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Part 3-B: The relationship of the soul with the ego-mind and the shadow.

Yesterday, I explained more about what Taoism is as a spiritual path. I also use my Life Systems diagram to give an overview of how a soul comes into being.

Today, I’d like to share more about how the soul functions when we achieve “awareness”.

In verse 77 of the Tao Te Ching (1) Lao Tzu shares:

Isn’t the Tao of Heaven like stretching a bow?

When it is high, it presses down,
when it is low, it lifts up.

When it is surplus, it reduces.

When it is deficient, it increases.

The Tao of Mankind is the opposite:
it reduces deficiency in order to add to the surplus.

Only the one who has the Tao offers his surplus to others.

Therefore the sage benefits others, yet claims no gratitude,
accomplishes his task, yet assumes no merit.

It is only because he does not want to be considered
as a virtuous person.

There is a wealth of information and education in just this single verse of the Tao Te Ching. The problem with sages like Lao Tzu is that their words are so simple, so direct, and so deeply comprehensive in their simplicity, the average intellectual mind can only grasp the words at their surface.

The worst thing the intellectual mind can possibly do when reading any real spiritual teachings or scriptures is fall into the trap of thinking that because you read the “words”, you actually understood the meanings. Spiritual teachers of high accord are far more like poets, using “inferred” meanings than direct meanings.

The lessons are seldom in the words themselves. The message is between the lines.

Because of this fact, I’ll use my understanding from many years of practice and research to share what’s really being said and why this verse is directly related to our conversations on the soul.

Let’s break this down into bite-sized chunks for improved comprehension.

Isn’t the Tao of Heaven like stretching a bow?

Here Lao Tzu is giving us a very big tip about THE SOUL, GOD, and God, even though he uses the expression natural to him – TAO. When he says, “Isn’t the Tao of Heaven like stretching a bow?”

What he’s actually saying is easy to miss. There are words there that can be confusing to some. “Isn’t the Tao of Heaven…” could be confusing to those with Western religious conditioning.

Remember, the word Tao not only means ALL OF IT; it also means the way. Heaven, when used this way isn’t juxtaposed with hell. It means the world we can’t see. He means the spiritual, not the material. Because he asks, “Isn’t the Tao of Heaven like stretching a bow?” We know he’s talking about the “potential” of the Tao, which is inexhaustible.

When you pull the string of a bow, you are harnessing its potential; the harder you pull, the harder it pulls back and the further the arrow flies.

He goes on to say:

When it is high, it presses down,
when it is low, it lifts up.

Here, you have to understand how a bow works and is used, which anyone in his day would have. When he says, “When it is high, it presses down, when it is low, it lifts up.” He means that if your bow was pointed upward, as if to shoot a bird (when it is high), you must pull the string downward to access and use its potential. When the bow is low, as if shooting at a fish in a stream, it lifts up; you pull the string upward and the edges of the bow curl upward.

Then Lao Tzu says:

When it is surplus, it reduces.

When it is deficient, it increases.

Here, he is describing how TAO actually functions as a means of informing you that if this is how the entire universe functions, this is the ultimate example of how we should live, Tao – The Way.

The reason the Tao is often translated or inferred to as the middle way is because the Tao always seeks the lowest level. What is the lowest level anything, or account can be?…ZERO!

Lao Tzu often uses water as an example to express the nature of Tao; water seeks the lowest level, does nothing, but is responsible for life as we know it! Could you, or nature survive without water?

Now, the intellectual mind may be saying, “wait a minute Mr. Chek, I can assure you that you can get lower than ZERO!…

You can go into the negatives, which are lower than zero. That would be a logical point of view for someone operating primarily out of their left-brain, like an accountant. What’s really being shared here is that zero is the lowest state because it is “All Potential”, without doing anything.

I’ll explain: If you throw a ball 10 feet in the air (+10), it will return back to the earth with the same force, inducing a shock wave to the earth that has a value relative to the mass of the ball and the inertial energy of the throw. The shock wave into the earth is going in the opposite direction (the bow is pointing down).

We know the negative energy rebounds and produces a positive return of some measurable magnitude because the ball bounces and bounces until!it rests!zero.

Looked at another way: If someone borrows money from you, they have a perceptual positive cash flow of x amount, yet, they have a debt that carries negative energy potential as the lender. You may run out of money (zero), yet, the negative debt left unpaid still holds energy potential to the magnitude of the debt.

Therefore, though the borrower perceives s/he has zero, the truth is that there is still a negative energy tied to the debt. Only when the debt is truly eliminated or paid back have we reached the zero of Tao.

In that very short amount of words, Lao Tzu explained how a soul functions!

The soul is essentially a zero-force. Whenever you think or act, you are essentially borrowing the energy of body-mind from the Tao Account. Regardless of what you say or do, you are creating a departure from zero, or silence. The soul may be likened to a quantum super-computer that always knows how to direct you to the middle way or Tao.

If you ask your soul, “should I eat 3 pieces of chicken” with the intention of living Tao, you’d be asking your soul how much chicken will optimize your living potential at that moment.

If 3 pieces will create an excess state in the body-mind, then the soul will inform you to eat less. If 3 pieces will leave you hungry and less able to live your dream, the soul will inform you how much more to eat.

Remember, the soul is tricky to understand with an ego mind. Some may think, “if the soul is a zero-force, how could it contribute to your dream and answer your questions?”

Good question. I have a much more profound one for you. How could ZERO create an entire universe if zero was truly dead, passive?

Remember, in this context, ZERO = UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. We can better understand the nature of LOVe when looking carefully at what it is: “L” = Desire/yin – O = 0 – Ve/yang = Will.

Tao gives you negatives (yin) and positives (yang) UNCONDITIONALLY!

What you create and experience is up to you! That is the gift of free will, yet that gift isn’t available to one who is unconsciously acting out parental and/or social programming.

Free will is only a reality for those capable of discerning the difference from reacting (like a tendon reflex “reacts” to a reflex hammer) and responding with unbound intelligence.

The UCL of your soul gives every opportunity to experience “what you are not”, bring immense value to the discovery of “what you are”.

Free will emerges when you begin recognizing what you are, and acting accordingly. You are, and can only be, L0Ve. Free will, when present, is easily identified because we are all capable of discerning acts of love.

The Tao of Mankind is the opposite:
it reduces deficiency in order to add to the surplus.

Here Lao Tzu, in two short lines, describes the human condition, exemplifying the ignorance and confusion created by worshiping things, money, garments, “coverings”. He is informing us that mankind, in the unrealized state, acts opposite of Tao.

Where the Tao (The Zero-Force of UCL) reduces surplus to nourish and/or balance deficiency, man does the opposite; the rich repeatedly take from the poor, nourishing imbalance.

Humans uses commercial farming methods, depleting the soils to create huge surpluses of nutritionally void food. And many continue to plant and harvest crops over and over on progressively depleting soils, making yet more deficient, dead food, which reflects the conditioned human’s choices.

We see that political leaders take money from education programs to fund war efforts. We as materialists continually seek to stockpile everything from shoes, clothes, jewelry, food, cars and a wide variety of junk we hardly ever use to any degree, creating progressive increases in imbalance of the natural flow of life-force.

We seek higher education, the fruits of which are the supposed intelligent support of imbalance. Is this wise? Is this even “religious” I the true sense of the word?

Only the one who has the Tao offers his surplus to others.

To listen to your soul, is to hear the voice of Tao. It is easy to recognize the Self-Realized because they live and act in accordance with Tao.

Therefore the sage benefits others, yet claims no gratitude,
accomplishes his task, yet assumes no merit.

Here, Lao Tzu is informing us that the sage (Wise man), acting in accord with Tao, teaches others through his/her actions. Yet, claims not gratitude – expects nothing in return. He doesn’t keep score and expect others to reciprocate his offerings based on some illusory, projected value system of his own.

The sage already knows who the people are. The sage understands that all who live counter-current to the Tao are confused; like children impatiently learning to tie their shoes.

Just as a healthy mother or parent expects nothing from their children, and knows childlike ignorance is expected from a child, sages aren’t fooled by the size or age of a person’s body. They know that spiritual children come in all sizes, shapes and ranges of chronological age.

The sage acts such that should the children emulate their actions, they will be learning to live with Tao and free themselves of the cocoon of the illusory “not-Self” as a caterpillar naturally leaves it’s cocoon.

It is only because he does not want to be considered
as a virtuous person.

Statements like this often confuse the conditioned intellect. Religion at large has conditioned people to seek merit through their actions, as though God is keeping score. As though playing a game that allows entry to heaven when a given number of points are achieved.

The majority of people conditioned under religious influence seek to be virtuous, yet, not as an authentic act of their love. Most believe they are achieving the right to be considered good, righteous, worthy, honorable, moral, or upright.

Lao Tzu, Chang Tzu, or any true sage would warn you that to achieve any such perceived status is at once to create and fortify its opposite.

When we seek to be “good”, we fortify the bad; how could anyone recognize our good without realizing the bad? How could one achieve the status of “upright”, without at once cultivating “the lowly”.

To claim that one is “virtuous” is at once to claim that others are not. Have we really won when doing so creates a loser?

Once one realizes what the soul is, they also realize what lives inside every sentient being. Ones understanding or the soul is exemplified most strikingly by how they treat and guide other souls. Lao Tzu’s comment:

The Tao of Mankind is the opposite:
it reduces deficiency in order to add to the surplus.

Is a clear statement that humans at large, even after thousands of years of so-called religion, are completely asleep to their true nature. They are as drunk drivers trying to convince their own conscience that they are sober.

Practical Exercises In soul-union

There are some very simple, practical exercises that allow anyone brave enough to illuminate their shadow and their programming to access their true soul nature.

For those of you who have reached a point in your life where you are willing to accept the truth of your Self, it only requires that you look and see where you are playing games with yourself and others.

Here are some of the exercises I use regularly for myself as part of my own spiritual practice:

1. Write down the names of all the key people you share personal and professional relationships with. Start with the people who are most directly influential in your life, such as a spouse, parent, child, boss, co-workers.

“Influential doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good influence. It means that such persons have encouraged or required that you act in a given way so that you either give what they want, or you get what you think you want.”

2. Start at the top of your list. Write that person’s name in the middle of a fresh sheet of paper and put a circle around it. Then, mind map each action, choice or behavior you are aware of that isn’t a representation of who you really are.

For example, let’s say your bosses name is Tom. In the center of your paper you write “Tom” and circle it.

Then, somewhere next to that center circle, write what may look like this: “I make sure Tom knows I work harder and do a better job than my co-workers because I’m trying to get promoted.”

Then circle that in red and draw a connector line to the center circle with “Tom” (or whom ever’s name) in it.

Then, choose another color to write how you could behave if you were acting from your soul-nature so you can become aware of what a spiritual practice truly is.

For example, you may choose to use a gold pen and write something like:

“I choose to do my best at work by expressing my authentic love of creating beauty and harmony in my life, knowing that when I do, I’m naturally sharing that with others. I act such that if emulated, all around me become winners and there is no need for me to create losers as a means of making myself shine.”

With each behavior you identify, there is an unmet need behind it. By meditating on what your unmet need is, you can identify what it is that you can begin cultivating for yourself.

For example, you may find that your unmet need is to be recognized as a “special person”, which would indicate a lack of self-esteem.

Then, consciously call your soul-nature or consciousness forward through your own intention.

Ask your soul, “Dear soul, am I special without having to achieve specialness because I am an expression of the Divine?”

When asking questions of the soul, it is essential that you ask the question very clearly such that it can be answered definitively with a “yes” or a “no”.

When the soul answers “yes”, there is generally a sense of lightness of being or inner-coherence – harmony. When the soul’s answer is “no”, there is typically a sense of heaviness or disconnection, chaos within.

Through this practice, you will learn to feel your soul. You will learn that your soul’s answers are always easy to recognize because they are better, more love-based, and often more amazing than anything your ego-mind could conjure up.

With practice, you will come to realize that you’ve been listening to an inferior voice, an inferior guide since as a child your authentic nature was programmed to worship ignorance.

You will find that to take guidance from your soul requires the bravery to shut down the doubting Thomas in your head – that you suspend all inner-dialogue generated to “make you right”.

You will find that a few moments of quiet introspection – giving yourself time and space to feel, is required to take council from your soul.

Don’t let the size of your list, or the magnitude of your “game list” deflate you. Remember, the devil you know is always better than the devil you don’t know! You can’t address your shadow until you choose to illuminate it.

It is essential that you don’t begin judging yourself as the list grows. Each observation becomes a seed of spiritual growth and awareness.

Its an opportunity to recognize ideas you thought would work, but you now realize have not ultimately created lasting peace, joy or happiness in your life. Please recognize that the ideas that aren’t an authentic expression of your love, may better exemplify your fears and/or poverty consciousness.

There is no need, nor reward for overwhelming yourself by trying to correct everything at once. This process can’t possibly take place authentically unless you choices and actions represent authenticity.

I recommend starting with the person most influential in your life and identifying the chief action you perform to satiate an unmet need that is actually a distraction from meeting that need within, or with love instead of climbing the ladder of rank and order or seeking to stand out.

Work with that awareness until you feel you are able to live in accord with soul-guidance automatically, just as you walk automatically without having to think where you are placing each foot.

Then, choose the second unmet need or behavior worthy of your awareness and work from there, and so on!

This is a simple, highly effective spiritual practice that requires no specific equipment, expense, or time out of your normal day. There is no need to go to a temple or church. There is no need to justify putting aside special time to practice other than the 7-10 seconds you give yourself to feel and be honest with yourself before responding to someone in relationship.

I can assure you, you will wake up much faster this way than sitting in a church on Sunday asking God to forgive you for being sleepy and silly Monday through Saturday.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you some amazing photos of disembodied souls so you can better understand why this kind of practice is essential for the exercise of your own free will; it is your free will to choose to reincarnate, but without awareness of soul-nature vs. ego-nature, your creative tool box will be limited to what can be generated by your programming.

The sure sign of a fool is someone that repeatedly uses the same actions, yet expects different results.

If you’ve read this far, I highly doubt you are a fool. Fools choke and gag on true spiritual teachings like sick people reject fresh squeezed orange juice in favor of Orange Crush soda pop!

Love and chi,

Paul Chek


1. Tao Te Ching Cards (A new and complete translation) by Chao-Hsiu Chen
Verse 77