The Ego & The Mangosteen – After Your Spiritual Intensive

by | 4 Oct, 2022

During a Spiritual Intensive or Retreat, there is a process of growth and change that happens over time as your consciousness literally changes. And the change and growth and development of consciousness is something that is both subtle and real.  Find out how your ego can be like a watermelon or a mangosteen and how to manage after your Spiritual Intensive.

There’s an age old question, does energy come first? Or does consciousness come first? Does consciousness come first? Or does energy come first?

And, to me, of course, the answer is…

They’re both together, you cannot have one without the other. They’re two sides of the same coin. They’re the light of the fire and the power of the fire to burn.

Sometimes I think of the ego as the skin of the watermelon, or the skin of a mangosteen – a fruit they have a lot in Asian countries. It’s small, it’s jet black and has a really thick skin.  Inside is the most luscious fruit that is shaped little like Mandarin segments but tastes more like a sort of passionfruit/apple. It’s delicious, absolutely gorgeous. But you do have to get through the outer skin to get to what’s inside.

Sometimes I think that’s how we’re constructed as well, we’re just mangosteens. The luscious soul is in the middle, the ego is the black skin, the husk that separates us from the rest of creation. And so when we’re processing, we’re scratching away some of that black stuff that is around us to make more space for the light. And eventually you start poking holes through…it’s like you’re inside with a straw, drawing in more Divine light to fill what used to be just a husk.

Let’s try another metaphor…

It’s like a semipermeable membrane that divides the Divine on one side, and our old usual consciousness on the other side. And the tendency can be that when the stimulus for expansion is no longer present in your day-to-day life (like it would be when you are physically together with your Satsang or in spiritual intensives or retreats), then it’s very tempting to revert to the old level of consciousness because it feels comfortable.

And so, as after you have finished a big spiritual intensive or retreat, just be aware that there will need to be some action on your part, to retain the gains in consciousness that have happened during that time. Those gains can feel very comfortable and normal while we’re all together because we’re holding each other in a different vibrational reality that makes sense. But remember what I said about astral gravity…we’re living in a dark age. Yes there’s streams of light coming in but it’s still pretty dark in the Astral field, the realm in which we hold our mind, thoughts, beliefs and emotions, memories and expectations. And if you don’t do spiritual connecting work, pretty much on a daily basis, you get sucked into that. And you find yourself being like everyone else in terms of ‘it’s someone else’s fault’, whatever’s going on for us, and we can’t take any responsibility. This is where it will be helpful for you to practice daily, invoke and take time to connect to something that will help and support you.

Please don’t think that I’m anti-ego, because I’m not. It’s an IS.

My view is that egos are much easier to manage when we love them rather than when we blame the ego for what’s going on within us. But it’s still a reality that we have this sheath we live in, that separates us from the rest of the universe. And all of the different traditions have ways, ancient ways of poking holes in that sheath so that we can have more of an understanding of the light of universal consciousness.

Remember that the mind is the primary instrument of the ego. And that’s a good thing, because it helps us to navigate terrestrial life in a western culture. I don’t know that it’s the same in an indigenous culture, because I think the soul was the prime instrument of consciousness in the Spirit, and that they had a whole different relationship with the physical world. I think it applies to Western culture, that our mind and our ego are the main dominant instruments of consciousness, and they are locked together. And so for us to open that, again, requires spiritual practice, for us to be able to keep progressing.

Having watched myself and many others growing over the last 30 years, I can only say that changing consciousness is real. But as I said before, it’s gradual. And when we’re living inside our own bubble, sometimes it can be hard to notice when there’s change, because we think we’re just the same, because it’s been a gradual change.  Often to others who have known you for a long time, it’s obvious how much you’ve shifted and changed, so do give yourself some appreciation for that.

When the goddess is present, there is a feeling of pure love for you regardless, if you never change.  It’s very, very strong. It’s not that you can only be loved IF you change, it’s not about that at all. You are loved now!  The delight that comes when you change is what the invitation is – the delight when you can let go of that which has traumatised you and locked you down. It’s just such a delight. And so for you to experience that delight, is why we do all the practice and training we do. And at the same time, we get better at managing the hard times and we get less frightened of the difficult times as well and we are to utilise the skills and tools to manage those difficult times. And we also cultivate the strength to be able to sit with the feelings that are uncomfortable without acting out, without going into those old patterns of blame, shame, shut down. ‘God, I’m such a loser’.

When it comes to blaming yourself or others, the worst thing is blaming yourself. If it comes to a choice between blaming others and blaming yourself, for God’s sake, blame someone else because when you start to blame yourself in a shame sense, you’ll shut yourself down.   I’d prefer you didn’t blame anyone, that you didn’t stick knives in yourself or anyone else but…the way you treat yourself will end up being the way you treat others. It starts with self to have the medicine.

I’m saying these things now in the hope that some of this will help your next steps post your intensive or spiritual retreats and will be remembered as you voyage onto your other life.

Many blessings to you, and have a safe journey forward.

If you would like help managing your journey after a spiritual intensive or retreat, try out of our events HERE to help continue your journey, or join our recent Mantra and Chanting Practice Classes starting Thursday 6th October 2022… HERE.



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