Principles & Tools for
Personal & Spiritual Growth
By Jack Allis
In my books, DVD’s, presentations and ceremonial events, I talk a lot about living with a vibration that connects us with spirit, and with the rhythm and flow of the forces of nature, of which we are a fundamental part. Specifically, this vibration consists of feelings of peacefulness, joy, reverence, gratitude and trust. Trust here refers to our trust in spirit, which means that if we live with this vibration, we trust that spirit will manifest everything we need in this world, or any other world we may move to. The ancient indigenous people of this planet understood this, and this was the key to how they were able to live sustainably in harmony with Mother Earth.
Making this connection and living with this vibration are also the keys to overcoming all of our dysfunctional emotions, such as fear, anxiety, anger and depression, and creating health and happiness in life. When we trust our connection with spirit and with the web or life, there is never anything to fear or worry about because we know that spirit will always guide us, and Mother Earth will provide everything we need, regardless of the challenges we face. This is the same as feeling and being safe and empowered in the universe.
This may all sound fine and dandy, but how, specifically, do we do this? What steps are involved, and how much time does it take? Must we have a teacher or shaman to help us? If you are considering embarking upon the spiritual path, here are several things to keep in mind.
First of all, this is work, and it does take time, energy and total commitment. This is serious business. It is not a hobby, or something to have fun with in our spare time. If you treat it in this way, it won’t work. There are many so-called healers in the New Age movement, who give the opposite impression, with a lot of quick fixes and miracle cures. With some, you can become a certified practitioner in one weekend. Come on! That is not how it works, and this is supported by every ancient indigenous spiritual tradition on Earth. Everything of meaning that we manifest in this world comes from our connection with spirit, including our material possessions and our relationships, including our children. Developing and enhancing this connection must be our top priority in life, and the work to do this is ongoing. You may finish with one teacher or approach, but the work continues. And the goal of any approach should be to graduate, at which point you become your own teacher. You show me a spiritual person who claims to have arrived at the finish line and who no longer works at their spirituality, and I’ll show you a fraud.
This is true for all people, regardless of what culture we live in, but it applies even more for those of us who were born and raised in the Western civilized world. There is a very simple reason for this. This is a world that has lost its connection with spirit and with the rhythm and flow of nature. This is why it is destroying the very environment that humans need to survive. This is a world that is imbalanced and to put more bluntly, insane. As children of this world, we too are programmed in a way that is out of harmony with nature and with spirit. So, an essential feature of our personal and spiritual growth is learning to reprogram ourselves to regain these lost connections. Actually, it’s more accurate to say we throw the old program away, and write a completely new one. But the main point here is we have more work to do than a person who was raised in a culture (or a family) which never lost these connections to begin with.
There are two kinds of approaches to personal and spiritual growth – active and passive. A passive technique is one in which the recipient, the apprentice, doesn’t actually do anything. They are passive recipients of something that is done to them. Getting a chiropractic adjustment or a therapeutic massage are examples of this. Healers who work exclusively with food, herbs and supplements would also fit into this category. All the apprentice does is ingest them, and wait to see what happens.
An active technique is one in which the person seeking help is seen as the primary agent of change, and any change comes from within them, as a result of them actually doing something, taking conscious action. Our primary capability to effect change within ourselves comes from our ability to change our thoughts, our beliefs, our feelings or emotions, and our behavior, which are all things over which we do have the capability to control voluntarily. If we don’t know how, we can learn. This highlights a fundamental difference between this model and modern, mainstream medicine, which increasingly tells us we are helpless victims of our biochemistry and our genetics, with the only viable treatments being pharmaceuticals and surgery. We are far more than mere machines, and healing or change consists of more than mechanical adjustments or changing the fuel. The creation has blessed us with free will. Our thoughts and beliefs, the choices we make, and the actions we take, have an effect upon our totality, body, mind, heart and spirit, and this includes our biochemistry and even our DNA. Thoughts (hence beliefs) are actually energy transmissions, like everything else, and when we change them, we change the energy of the entire system.
Is it necessary to have a teacher on the spiritual path? The answer is yes and no. As human beings, we are the embodiment of all the elements of creation, and such, we hold all the keys of the universe inside of us. This does not mean we cannot benefit from help, from time to time. When we embark upon the path of changing ourselves, we invariably reach a point when we become our own worst enemy. The programming we receive in our insane culture is very deep and pervasive. It’s like an alien being that lives inside of us. It does not want to die, and it will not give up its hold without a fight. The human mind can be an incredible trickster, throwing seemingly impossible obstacles in our way. At these times, it definitely helps to have a teacher to help us get past ourselves. How do we find the right teacher? This is strictly a matter of the heart. It must be somebody we resonate with very deeply, and trust with every fiber of our being. After all, we are entrusting them with our lives.
One of the primary jobs of a teacher on this path is to provide a safe container. This work isn’t always fun, and sometimes it can be downright painful. That’s part of the process. The alien being is buried very deep, and sometimes so deep we can’t even see it anymore. And here is where it can do the most damage. If we can’t see something, we are powerless to do anything about it. The safe container allows us to probe the depths of ourselves, and feel whatever we need to feel, regardless of how painful or crazy. It also allows us to encounter, and get to know the alien being inside of us. If left to our own devices, these can be difficult, even dangerous, places to access. This is the only way we can defeat this alien being, and we defeat it, very simply, by letting it go. I realize that sounds a lot simpler than it usually is. It may take years before we are actually ready to do this, but when we are, that’s how it works.
In addition to free will, the creation also blesses us with spirit. Spirit does not work in a linear way. It works supernaturally, and these supernatural forces also play an essential role in this process of healing, change and reprogramming. Ultimately, once we get plugged into them, they are the most powerful of all. The safe container of the teacher allows us to access these forces, and to move with them wherever they take us. It allows us to leave our physical body, if we need to. There are many possible destinations. We might time travel to that point along our path where the damage was done, and nature’s programs were skewed and miswritten. Only by understanding the old program are we capable of letting it go, and writing a new one.
When we begin to change, and the alien being begins to lose its grip, this presents us with yet another huge challenge, and one that trips most people up. After all, this is what has defined us since we were small children, perhaps even since our birth, possibly even before. When we let it go, we are left with a big black hole. This is extremely frightening to most people, and feels very much like dying, or being all alone in the rushing river of the universe without a paddle. The safe container of the teacher helps us to take this leap into the unknown, and to experience aspects of ourselves and of life that we have been blind to, or which perhaps have never even been born. Often, the teacher or shaman makes the journey with us, and guides us into this mysterious, new world of the spirit and the supernatural. Here is another stark contrast with modern therapies, in which the therapist is supposed to be detached and uninvolved. Indigenous ceremonies, a centerpiece of their lifestyle, are an obvious example of this.
Ultimately, this all boils down to the same two things: letting go of the old program, and writing an entirely new one. On the spiritual path, we want to write a program that helps us live with a vibration that connects us with spirit and with the rhythm and flow of the natural world. Another of the jobs of a teacher is to provide the tools to do this. At the conclusion here, a complete list of these tools is given. Take a look at this, and you will begin to see what the new program will look like. As we put in the time, and practice these things, this work ceases to be work. It becomes a pleasing and wonderful way to live. It becomes our lifestyle, our new program. We begin to live in a way that serves the divine spirit, and in so doing we begin to manifest everything we really need in this world.
THE NEW PROGRAM
Tools for Personal & Spiritual Growth
- Take complete responsibility for your life, health & happiness
- Take care of yourself – self-sustainability – get out of the mainstream dependency system (as much as possible)
- Ceremony – connecting with spirit with our intent & our vibration.
Ceremony includes prayer, fire circles, sweatlodges, music & chanting & more
- Pay attention – to yourself & your world – WAKE UP!
- Relax the physical body – breathing, meditation, ceremony
- Quiet the mind – breathing, meditation, ceremony
- Body awareness – movement, stretching
- Body awareness – natural food & clean water
- Identify the obstacles you create – dysfunctional thoughts & beliefs
- Identify the obstacles you create – dysfunctional emotions (fear, anxiety, anger, depression)
- Let go of the obstacles you create
- Reprogram ourselves – with ceremony
- Reprogram ourselves – read spiritual literature
- Reprogram ourselves – listen to spiritual music
- Reprogram ourselves – spend time in nature