In today’s society, we commonly mistake depression and anxiety as mental disorders. In doing so, we prevent ourselves from correctly addressing these issues. Unlike mental diseases such as autism and amnesia, the disorders that cause emotional suffering such as depression are not mental in nature, they are spiritual. As a consequence, it is not possible to heal such issues unless we address them at the spiritual level.
Emotional pain in general all originates from the same source: it is the pain of being disconnected with God. To correctly deal with emotional pain, we need to recognize this. We further need to recognize that the purpose of life is to reconnect with God. We on Earth chose to incarnate of this planet because it is – in a sense – the “fastest” way for reestablishing a connection with God.
The Fall of Man
The story of “The Fall” has been told in many ways by different cultures. Although the stories differ greatly, they all generally contain the fundamental truth if perceived in the correct way. And it is the truth that the stories are trying to express that is important to understand. Below I will use a very condensed version of the fall that leaves out details unimportant to this current article.
The fall was a consequence of God giving His children free will. To not give them free will would be to not give His children the power of God. And since God shared everything, He also shared free will.
By its very nature, free will meant that acting against spiritual law was a possibility (or more likely, a probability). And since God knew in advance of the possibility of using free will to go against spiritual law, there is not – and never will be – any judgement about doing so.
The choice to use free will in a manner counter to spiritual laws was experienced at a time when man was incarnated on earth in the less-condensed etheric bodies. The fall was not a sudden event, unlike what the word “fall” might suggest. Instead, the fall was a gradual occurrence that perhaps took just as long as the current process of returning to God.
The consequence of choosing to act counter to spiritual law was the following. First, man became incarnated in denser physical bodies. Secondly, man became identified with the physical body and forgot his true spiritual nature. I.e., man lost memory of his true self, and came to believe that he was an ego and a body instead of spirit.
Not all the spirits fell, and those that did fall sank to various levels. The earth is a middle level, between the spheres of darkness (which are devoid of actions based on spiritual law) and the spheres of light. Spirits who sank to the lower sphere can influence the Earth sphere in limited ways and are sometimes referred to as “demons” or evil spirits. On the other hand, the angels and spirits from the higher planes can influence the earth sphere within certain limits as well. Regardless as to what level a spirit fell, all spirits will eventually reunite with God (including Lucifer).
The Hidden, True Self
The overall purpose in life is to recognize your true nature and disassociate from the false self or ego. Suffering in life comes from not recognizing your true self, and instead believing that your ego is your true identity. Your ego can be attacked, hurt, and angered. Your true self cannot. If you were to recognize that you were perfect, you could never be hurt by whatever happened to you.
Unfortunately, you cannot see your true self because your ego acts like a “wall” that hides your true self from you. So even though you are perfect, you identify with the imperfections of the ego. And although it is a bit of a paradox, the way to break through to your true self is to correct these imperfections. The imperfections will then be released, and will in turn allow the true self to shine through.
At first, the idea of correcting the ego’s flaws might seem very odd. After all, what is the point of correcting imperfections that are not “ours”? I.e., if we are perfect and it is the ego that is flawed, why are we going through the trouble to correct the flaws of the ego? The answer lies in how the ego was formed in the first place. It was our free will choices which ran against spiritual law that separated us from God and created the illusionary ego. Therefore, in order to dissolve our egos, we must now use free will to choose to act in accordance with spiritual laws.
As mentioned previously, mental suffering is a spiritual issue. It is a sign that the spiritual body is not healthy. Just as physical nourishment is needed to keep the physical body healthy, spiritual nourishment is necessary to reduce or eliminate mental suffering.
Spiritual nourishment can be achieved in many ways, such as via meditation, prayer, and reading sacred texts. But the most important and vital aspect of spiritual health is constant self-improvement. This type of self-improvement identifies and corrects the faults of the ego that influence a person to choose not to obey spiritual law.
The Earth School
Earth, in a sense, can be thought of as a school, but it is not a classroom environment. As the saying goes: “the most important learning occurs outside of the classroom”. It’s worth pointing out that at night while we sleep, our spirits can actually leave the body and attend classes on the spiritual plane. In this context, we can think of our “waking” hours on Earth as our experiential practice period.
Sometimes, there can be a sense of frustration that it is not (usually) possible to remember events that occurred before we were born, or to remember what happens when we sleep. But this is for good reason. Doing so would greatly reduce the speed at which spiritual progress is possible. Note that the reason we incarnate in the first place is in order to speed up our spiritual progress; we could instead choose to stay on the spiritual plane and develop there. But progress on the spiritual plane is drastically slower for several reasons:
It’s much harder to see and identify one’s faults on the spiritual plane. One big advantage to life on the physical plain is that you have a perspective that allows you to really “zoom in” on faults. On the spiritual plane, there is a much more “zoomed out” perspective that makes identifying (and thus correcting) faults more difficult.
The physical world environment is more divisive. In the spiritual world, spirits inhabit “spheres” with other spirits of similar levels of growth and belief systems. Not having as much “variety” makes identifying one’s faults more difficult. For example, when everyone has a similar view or trait, it’s very difficult to see that a certain view or trait could be wrong.
The suffering of the physical world provides incentive for self-improvement. As harsh as this sounds, spirits on the spiritual planes are simply not as motivated to work on self-improvement as their counterparts in the physical world. Even still, it should be noted that people who have easy lives on Earth are also not as motivated to “seek God” as those who experience hardships. On the contrary, it is those moments of despair and crisis that cause us to examine our lives and decide to improve them.
The first step of self-improvement is to find your faults and want to improve them. This is a healthy kind of “shame” and is necessary for growth. Note that some people recognize their faults but are proud of them. Without a healthy sense of shame, there can be no motivation for improvement.
However, there is also an unhealthy shame that causes people to try to ignore or hide their faults. This type of shame is counterproductive. In order for self-improvement to occur, each person must be able to fully acknowledge one’s faults without self-judgement.
If a person has trouble in identifying faults, he can always pray to God for help in finding them. Note that the presence of any pain or mental suffering in life is a sign that one has faults. The outer world is a reflection of the inner. Therefore, if the outer world is causing pain, it signifies that there is something in the inner world that needs to be addressed.
Once faults are identified, they need to be corrected. Correcting faults is not easy and takes a lot of effort and determination. It is not always sufficient to simply identify the faults and decide to “do better”. On the contrary, it is often necessary to request God’s help in solving these flaws. As always, when you request something of God that is of a spiritual nature, you will get an answer. It may not be immediate, but the answer will come.
With the process of self-improvement, more and more negative energy will be released from the body. In its place, the body will start flowing with increasing amounts of positive energy. This is something that can be felt, although the difference won’t be immediately obvious. But over time, the increase in the positive energy flow in the body will become easy to notice.
It should be noted that increases in positive energy and self-improvement do not always match up in a balanced manner. Due to the Harmonic Convergence on Earth in 1986, and the movement into the Age of Aquarius in general, new energies are becoming available to humankind that were not present before. As a result, a lot of spiritual seekers have been able to dramatically increase their bodies’ positive energies while still being fairly unbalanced on the mental and emotional levels.
There is nothing horribly wrong with this, but there is a danger. To use an analogy, it would be like giving a person a chainsaw without proper instruction on how to use it. Having the chainsaw in itself is not a problem, but if used improperly (on accident or on purpose), there could be negative consequences.
Balancing the mental and emotional bodies becomes critical as higher levels are approached. On the higher planes, our thoughts can immediately manifest what we think. Therefore, if a person is not in control of his emotions or thoughts, it will inevitably lead to unintended and negative consequences. Therefore, it is of great importance for even those who have attained a high level of “light energy” to also ensure that there mental and emotional bodies also become balanced to the greatest extent possible.
The Continuity of the Personality
One common misconception about afterlife is the idea that after we die, we will then transform into 100% spiritual and well-behaved spirits who commit no transgressions. But in fact, the individuals that we are at the time of death is who we will be after death. Nothing changes in our personalities. Instead, we simply slip out of our “Earth clothes”.
This is very important to understand. Nobody is going to change you or make you better when you die. That is the whole point of free will: it is your choice to change. And it is also your effort that must create the change, although you also have the choice to ask for God’s help. But it is helpful to keep in mind that the personality you have in life will be the personality you have in the afterlife. And until your personality possesses a 100% unconditional love for all of God’s creation, there is still room for self-development. And this self-development will continue, both before death and after.