Depression and Fears
Depression and fears are conditions that arise in a light-worker sooner or later in his or her development upon the path of righteousness.
In all people who have chosen to walk a spiritual path towards discipleship (the Path), depression, fears and other suppressed negative emotions and thoughts will surface in order for the person to transmute these emotions and thoughts slowly in the present life and in the lives to come before adeptship is reached.
No person can stand before the Throne of God and remain stagnant and unchanged. The closer a person reaches into the light, the more conflict and turmoil he or she may be confronted with in the inner life as well as in the outer life.
Therefore, spiritual development must be a progressive development, happening over many lives in which knowledge of the Divine Wisdom and purity of living are learnt and lived. This will enable the person to cooperate better with his or her own shadow as well as soul in the spiritual development process.
If a person pushes forward in development in order to gain psychic powers, insanity often becomes the result. No person should try to walk the narrowing path too rapidly, for in most cases, due to imperfections and impurity of the personality, the person will fall into the abyss and perhaps stay there for several lives.
The Noble Eightfold Path teaches moderation, balance and harmony. It teaches the pupil to walk the Path with moderation, to obtain balance and harmony.
Occasionally a life may see a more rapid development in the soul of the pupil, but there is always imbalance incurred (usually on purpose), for in certain conditions of utmost stress, a leap is taken – the soul obtains more knowledge as experiences are absorbed.
Life on Earth is not easy and was not meant to be. A comparatively easy life often becomes a short life (a rest incarnation). Very little is learnt there.
A life full of learning is often very difficult, hardly bearable, but a lot of experiences will be stored in the higher self at the conclusion of such a life. A life full of hardships, physically, astrally and mentally leads towards discipleship. Many such lives make the pupil into a mature and wise personality who, at one stage in his or her evolution, becomes a disciple, then an initiate, then a Master, and so on.
Spiritual development means purifying the personality and building into it qualities that are positive and one with the purpose of the soul. The result is to become a perfected human being into whose personality life the soul has descended, utilising the purified personality as its vehicle of expression upon the physical level (or on any inner level).
Spiritual development differs much from psychic development. Psychic development means that a person may have the use of mostly one or two of the lower chakras, which gives certain clairvoyant abilities. Such a person may not be a very soul-developed being and is often, due to ignorance of the Divine Laws, unable to use the abilities wisely.
A spiritually developed person functions from the higher chakras. As these chakras become more purified, they give the person a life within the higher worlds as well as in the physical. In a spiritual person the soul makes its presence felt occasionally or often. That person is becoming a person with a holy or very lighted radiance within the auric field.
How is it that a person with a divine inner purpose and a perfect outer goal such as transmutation of the personality can become depressed and often overcome by fears? Here we have to understand what higher development of the personality really means.
It means a slow or more rapid progression towards the state of beingness called the 'death' of the personality. Can you imagine what it means to the often over-indulged personality when suddenly its many unholy desires are not being gratified? When its many wishes are being left unfulfilled because the pupil will no longer cater to the many whims of the personality but instead fulfills the wishes and the plans of the soul? (Thy Will be done, Father, in Heaven as on Earth.)
When the personality is frustrated daily, when its life becomes inhibited, depression and fears arise.
These are all produced by the shadow self which wills the pupil to forego his or her positive desire to strive to walk a spiritual path and to live a spiritual life. Such a spiritual life often is in complete contrast to the materialistic path and to that of living an ordinary life.
When the personality wants to live its life, and you, with the help of the soul, decide to live another kind of life, the life that leads to ultimate release from earthly bondage, how do you think the personality life reacts? When your emotional body cries, when your mental body rages, how do you think you react?
Dreadfully. Your personality grieves and wants to hide away from the world. It screams when the light of soul is sent into the personality. The great battle commences. The long night of the soul becomes a reality.
You can shorten or prolong the battle. The most usual is to prolong the battle, by giving in to the personality again and again. This is what makes human evolution so long, and all purposefully so, for in the battle between mind and soul you learn to become an adept – a perfected human being in control of all human elements.
If the battle becomes a raging inferno, your spiritual development is too rapid and should be slowed down, before something dreadful happens to the personality (insanity, suicide, disease).
Give in a little, but not totally, to the life of the personality. Give it a treat, like you give a treat to a child who has done well. Care for it, nurse it, be gentle to it or it will make life very difficult for you. Many a purposeful pupil has entirely stopped walking the Path because of this battle. Better slow down than stop - if only for some years. Take time to relax with a non-spiritual book or activity. In fact, everything becomes truly spiritual when done in love and harmony.
The stronger the life of the personality, the more likely that it will win the battle if you do not slow down and choose wisely, according to time and resources, what the most important duties are to perform in your spiritual life.
No person, no disciple, has ever managed to subdue, to transmute, to transfigure the personality in one embodiment.
Your spiritual duties become manifold as a disciple, even more so as an initiate, but by then the personality is more purified, strong but manageable, for you will have learnt to give in where it is most harmless and most appropriate without harming your spiritual work or growth.
Suffice it to say that if you are walking the Way of the Heart, you are walking one of the most spiritual paths ever walked. Adhering to Maitreya's recommended rules and regulations for spiritual living you are well ahead in developing yourself, your soul. No need to worry how you are making it. You are making it even though you slow down.
Only trained higher disciples can 'torment' the personality and get away with it, for these personalities are more integrated with that of the soul and used to being 'tortured' with balanced purpose.
If you persist in tormenting your personality and never give in to some of its wishes, it will revenge itself upon you sooner or later. All your suppressed desires will become dire obsessions and take elemental control over you. Such control is very difficult to transmute in other lives.
Therefore my advice to you is: do not force upon yourself celibacy, a vegetarian diet; do not try too rapidly to sanctify yourself, to read too many books on spiritual subjects, to meditate far too long on an advanced technique like ours (the Shan Theosophical Meditation System), be more positive than you can bear to be, thus becoming too artificial in behaviour, for it is you and your natural self that interests the guru.
It is with humour which you can walk the path without stumbling and falling into the abyss. Be yourself, but learn to behave with politeness and kindness, and you will walk your chosen path successfully and manage until the end without failing yourself or your guru.
If your life is enhanced by buying a beautiful object, do so, but do not buy ten of them, for you may only need one. If your life is worth living when you frequent the theater, drink a cup of cappuccino in your favourite deli or buy a present for a friend, do it today.
A spiritual life is not a life on the rack. It can be very pleasant in between all the hardships. Life is not meant to be easy, neither is it meant to be a long torturous experience – not for a light worker who strives to live by Maitreya's Law anyway.
Take my last piece of advice: work your butt off for the cause, but be relaxed about it, and rest in between with whatever makes you feel good (doing it by the Law). I then promise you that your depressions and fears shall lift from you and life will be again wonderfully exciting to live.
For what is a life without some excitement? It is dull, boring, suicidal, self-destructive and never leads to any spiritual fulfillment.
Find your life's rhythm in the Light and in the Spirit of Maitreya.
[When, in this article, I talk about you and your personality as two separate entities, I mean 'you' to be the part of you who now wants to develop yourself spiritually, and the personality to be the strong, but now lower part of you who tries to stop you from reaching your new goal.]