By Pamela Wells
This is a remarkable time in human history when an infinite amount of information and knowledge is converging with the freedom to choose what to learn. Many people now have direct access to this infinite information through the Internet and the available time to pursue and cultivate a path to both outer and inner knowledge. Pursuing both forms of knowledge can lead to empowerment and spiritual power if you are willing to take full responsibility for evolving your own consciousness.
Because the path to empowerment is evolutionary, there is a difference between the external power you attain in the world, the inner power (empowerment) you earn from daily self-reflection and the spiritual power you cultivate from having access to your own personal and spiritual authority.
The Three Stages of Evolutionary Power
External power leads you to what you think you desire. The problem with external power is by the time you get there, you realize you want something else. This can result in a lifetime of chasing what you desire while leaving you bankrupt on the inside. Empowerment (inner power) represents mastery of your emotions and thoughts in response to the outer world and gives you direct access to your own personal authority. It aligns you with what you really want which is a positive state of physical, emotional and mental well-being. Spiritual power brings you clarity of thought, inner peace and awakens you to your own divine essence and the divine light in another.
Stage 1 – Power
You learn about how to use your power in the world before you learn about inner power. This learning process is necessary because the human mind needs to be given a container in which to make meaningful connections to things. So, in the first half of life you must develop a strong enough ego to take on the outer world and an adequate sense of personal identity to help you interact and survive in the world. How well you manage your power will be reflected in the outcome of every decision you make. In the physical world of actions and consequences, you will be held responsible for your choices when you act in your own name. Using your power in your own name is most often focused on the satisfaction of endless desires resulting in external wealth but very little inner wealth or happiness.
Power could be directed toward positive actions that support yourself, those you love and all other beings but in these narcissistic times, external power is a grand illusion marketed by sellers. So often what is sold appears to be the answer to what you seek and because it is visible, it seems more useful than mastery of inner power. But as life progresses, issues in relationships regarding use of power, sex, money and self-esteem start to surface and develop into mental, emotional, physical and spiritual problems. It isn’t until you experience some kind of failure, loss in a relationship or a challenging illness that you realize your personal power is limited and the physical world cannot be controlled. These difficult experiences can actually become blessings because they provide you with the opportunity to learn about your inner world of emotions and thoughts so the choices you make with your inner power become creative acts of outer power that benefit all.
Stage 2 – Empowerment (outer power united with inner power)
Either during a personal crisis or by mid-life, your ego is asked to develop an interior dialogue with your inner self and act in accordance with these insights. Empowerment is knowledge of how power works in the world merged with self-knowledge and personal authority. You earn inner power through careful self-reflection and a honest evaluation of your thoughts, emotions and actions. Over time you gain direct access to personal authority – the source for solving life challenges and for pursuing a life with meaning and purpose.
Inner power cultivated with growing consciousness helps your break free from negative thought patterns and leads you to the realization that your conscious actions in the world reflect your interests and passion in living a life congruent with your highest purpose. Self-knowledge and personal authority reward you with a meaningful inner life and outer life that has value and significance for the human community. Your increased self-awareness moves the planet positively forward for all beings.
The journey to empowerment encompasses some of these tasks:
- Liberating yourself from disempowering and limiting beliefs
- Integrating many perceptions and beliefs
- Moving past your personality and embracing your authentic self
- Forgiving and letting go of the past and rejecting victimhood
- Rewriting your personal history
- Discovering your own truths and then being true to yourself
- Taking responsibility for your choices and their consequences
- Being able to stand for your own truth and trusting in life
- Being emotionally rational by striving for objectivity which gives you the power of choice
- Relinquishing sexual power in order to aspire toward personal success and intimate union with other women and men in a way that is not sexual at all
- Standing autonomously and not wavering
Buddhist version of EMPOWERMENT the Laws of Life – Nonviolence, truthfulness, integrity, purity and self-referral.
Stage 3 – Spiritual Power (outer power + inner power + global knowledge and cosmic wisdom)
Spiritual power begins with the recognition that you are responsible for your relationship with a higher power (God). The activation of inner power can lead you to realize your own divine nature since you are the source of your own personal authority. In the process of accessing inner knowledge, you become more aware of the guiding spiritual power of intuitive information. Your intuition (your inner guidance system) is the foundation for building a relationship with the divine in an intimate and manageable format that resonates deeply with your own particular personality.
Spiritual power is about choosing to go beyond yourself and seeing the same divine light in another. Expanding on inner guidance through a spiritual practice will help you become expansive enough to integrate and include all that has ever been. Merging the flow of power, inner power, global knowledge and cosmic wisdom will give you direct access to your own spiritual power.
The journey to spiritual power encompasses some of these tasks:
- Having a passion to know the answer to life’s most challenging questions
- Studying the sacred texts of your culture, including them and moving beyond them · Believing in something greater than yourself
- Recognizing and honoring your connection to the whole cosmos
- Expanding your horizons and awareness by having an open mind
- Creating a sacred space a practicing inner silence
- Releasing your ego’s identification with the material world and the mind
- Establishing a contemplative practice to remind you that you are loved and never alone
- Integrating and aligning your outer and inner power with the will of God · Practicing symbolic sight and embracing spiritual truth
- Surrendering illusions in order to receive divine truth
- Being love and energy to co-create the world you desire
Buddhist version of SPIRITUAL POWER the Rules of Life – Simplicity, contentment, purification, refinement and surrender.