by Charlie Hogg, from the Daily Guardian
One of the main aims on the spiritual path is to gradually re-form my character. Through meditation and a simple lifestyle, we come to know what our weaknesses are, and we can begin to change them into strengths.
There comes a time, however, when we come across defects that are deeply embedded, and because we find it too difficult to change, we deny the fact that we have that defect, which becomes a kind of inner blindness.
This self-deception can seriously erode any progress on the way to becoming our pure and powerful self. There is, though, an even trickier element to deal with. That is the ‘blind spots’ in our personality. Those are the habit patterns and weaknesses that are simply unseen by me, but they are very obvious and clear to others.
I need to be an honest observer of the self. How clearly do I see myself? How clearly do I know who I am? I need to be objective, not emotional, and not permit fantasies of how I would like to be to blind me to the way I really am.
There are three different states of ‘blindness’.
- Partial blindness – I can see a little of my weaknesses, but I feel hopeless about them, so I pretend they are not part of me.
- I feel unhappy and confused and afraid, but I cannot put my finger on why. I keep analysing and ruminating about it but cannot get to the root of it because I am afraid to look that deeply.
- Then there is complete ‘blindness’. I have all those confused and unhappy feelings, but in any situation with others, I am simply unable to see my part in the problem. I can have a razor-sharp intellect which is able to see the weaknesses of others and analyse their personality in great depth and with great skill, and even convince others of the truth of it. This is the ultimate state of ego; this attitude, ‘I’m fine – you’re the problem’. This is the sign of a major ‘blindness’ within me. This will follow me into every relationship and every job, where the same difficulties will keep appearing, and I am unable to see that I am part of the problem.
There are two major blind spots for everyone. The first is my ego; it refuses to see the weaknesses. The second is my lack of self-respect, which refuses to accept the goodness inside me.
To tackle the first, I need to be really able to listen, with humility, to any feedback I am given about the way I am, and very often this is freely given! However, I can also find someone I really trust and ask them, knowing that there will be no hidden agenda on their part.
The way to deal with the second is through meditation and a connection with the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being is totally aware of all the power and goodness within me.
When I become aware that I am a spiritual being, I understand that through time I have accumulated, deep in the subconscious, habit patterns that are negative and which cause me and others a great deal of sorrow. I also become aware that through the connection with the Supreme Being, these negative personality traits can gradually be eradicated. It is a painless process, and as I progress along the spiritual path, I will notice how my relationships change, little by little, so that more lightness, peace and happiness become present in my life and in those around me.
The courage and honesty I show in removing the layers of self-deception bring the beautiful reward of discovering who I really am.