Therapy Meets Spirituality: A Psycho-Spiritual Discussion – Part 3: Seeing The World As It Is

Q: How does one begin to practice psycho-spiritually?

R: In the same way as one begins on any spiritual path, in the dual states of doubt and faith from where you question everything, and adopt the assumption that the world you see is not the world as it is, but merely the objective world of one’s inner life projected outwards as one’s own interpretation of the world. When you give up description, opinion and understanding, and realize that you don’t have to assume a position relative to other the insight dawns within you that you are not separate from anything else.

Q: But if you are not separate to anything else, how would you live?

R: In congruence and truth, out of the central heart of compassion for all living forms that arise in consciousness. You see the world is not as we see it; it really is quite different from our relative, materialistic, phenomenal way of seeing it.

Q: So when we see it like this are we happy?

R: Yes, but not in the way that you think of happiness from the relative standpoint, which is happiness balanced, or contrasted, with unhappiness, misery, depression and so on. This is a happiness which is not dependent on outward circumstances.

Q: So it’s not associated with satisfaction or fulfilment of desires?

R: Happiness is an attitude, a way of approaching the world and meeting events knowing that everything fundamentally is as it should be. Suffering is essentially of two varieties — conscious and unconscious. In unconscious suffering we don’t realize that our attachment to circumstances, positive or negative, is the fundamental cause of suffering. We perpetuate suffering by remaining attached to conditions, and these conditions will change — must change inevitably — because that is the nature of life; change is intrinsic to life and we are powerless to change that. But if we can embrace suffering and see that it is the means to our personal liberation, we take the ‘sting’ out of it and meet it happily. Whatever happens, we are fundamentally in touch with our true self and that true self exists within a fundamentally happy condition.

Q: Might this happiness be thought of as the goal of psycho-spiritual psychotherapy?

R: Maybe, but ultimately there should be no goal aside from to be as you are…

Q:…and then you’ll see the world as it is.

R: Yes, exactly! You will see the world as it is.