Episode 18: Caroline Myss - Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul - Part 2
Caroline Myss – Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul – Part 2
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This is Caroline Myss with Duncan Campbell on Living Dialogues, one of the best programs you will ever listen to.
Caroline Myss: I have to say you are one of the best interviewers I have ever been with and I want to thank for you for the great respect you have for the subject of your interviewees. That is a rare, rare, rare gift.
Caroline Myss: You are a great interviewer.
Duncan Campbell: From time immemorial, beginning with indigenous councils and ancient wisdom traditions, through the work of Western visionaries such as Plato, Galileo, and quantum physicist David Bohm, mutually participatory dialogue has been seen as the key to evolving and transforming consciousness, evoking a flow of meaning, ‘idia’, flow, of ‘logos’, meaning, beyond what any one individual can bring through alone. So join us now, as together with you, the active deep listener, we evoke and engage in Living Dialogues.
Duncan Campbell: Welcome once again to Living Dialogues. I’m your host, Duncan Campbell, and I’m once again delighted to have with me my friend Caroline Myss, author know to you for her numerous New York Times bestsellers, including the books we’ve talked about before together, The Anatomy of the Spirit, The Invisible Acts of Power, Sacred Contracts: Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can, and now this magnificent new book, Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul, which has reflected a whole new level of deep and profound intimate understanding that’s come to Caroline in her own spiritual path, which she is now sharing with many people through workshops all over the world. And so in our remaining time, Caroline, first of all let me greet you again and say what a pleasure it is to be together.
Caroline Myss: Thank you. Same here, Duncan.
Duncan Campbell: And rather than take us through the ‘seven mansions’, which you do very beautifully in the book, we can invite people to go to the book, and to your website to learn further about the details there, particularly the book. And the website would be www.Myss.com, ‘M-y-s-s dot com’. But let’s talk about your own reflections now. As you’re giving workshops you’re bringing out the fruits of this profound inner experience that you’ve described so beautifully in our prior dialogue. And what do you see happening? What kind of reception are you getting and what do you see happening in the world and what is the big invitation that you feel that we’re all being called to now, as part of what you call ‘this mystical renaissance’?
Caroline Myss: Okay, let me start with this: One is that our hybrid spirituality of the last 50 years is not really a spiritual… it has been a spirituality that has combined therapy, health, organic foods, self-help. Our focus is self-help and consciousness, but consciousness is not, and cannot be equated to, devotion to God and prayer. So that one could say that the first level of the spirituality movement was to become conscious of the spirituality movement, which is not the same as making an interior commitment to a practice of prayer, devotion, and illumination, but rather it was to become conscious of what we should become conscious of.
Duncan Campbell: And in a sense, it’s like the first mansion, in the book.
Caroline Myss: It is exactly the first mansion.
Duncan Campbell: Yeah. The first mansion; we’ve been preparing the foundation.
Caroline Myss: Which is concerning “What is consciousness and what is it I should be conscious of?” Well, recycling. And I should be conscious of how I treat my body. And I should be conscious of the fact that this is going to become one planet. But becoming conscious of is not the same as deciding, and I need a deep soul practice, which should include and has to include, not “should”, but the first mansion is the ‘should’ stage, becoming conscious is simply the ‘should stage’, “you know I really should”. And people think by saying, “I really should,” it’s the same as making a commitment. But really, ‘should’ is making a commitment to make a commitment to make a commitment. But no one at the consciousness level talks about God and prayer, because that’s too conscious. They have to work their way there. Okay. Because once you cross into a devotion to God and prayer, you are now in deep waters. You’re in very deep waters. And those are waters where people have to go into the soul. Up until that time, they’re into the mental experience of God. They’re into a very controlled experience of God, where they can control it by what they do and the seminars they go to and the books they read. And they can tell themselves that their experience of God, their experience of God is conducted at a weekend, at Omega or Propolo, where they’re engaged…
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm, it’s contained.
Caroline Myss: It’s contained at their weekend spa.
Duncan Campbell: At will.
Caroline Myss: At will. And then they do yoga at lunch, for stress reduction, not for interior illumination, but for because they have a bad heart, or because the have high blood pressure. And yes, they may tap a God, but they really don’t.
Duncan Campbell: And they want to live longer.
Caroline Myss: And they want to live longer and it’s got to do with the spirit is the workhorse of the flesh. If they… We don’t talk about death; we’re death-phobic; all of… Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s work has been for naught.
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
Caroline Myss: We don’t talk about eternity. Eternity is the name of a cologne Elizabeth Taylor did.
Caroline Myss: You know, we still use our spirit, and if we get our spirit in order it will protect us from becoming diseased and decaying. It has nothing to… we never ever discuss eternity and what is to become of us from here. We prefer past lives because then we can make up where we’ve been, when we died, and we know how they ended.
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm. It’s always more comfortable to know the end of the story.
Caroline Myss: Right.
Duncan Campbell: And then really, this invitation into this profound cloud of unknowing, like that great mystical text from the medieval years, and the wisdom of uncertainty, as some have called it. This is what we’re now called to, to go beyond exactly what you’re talking about, into this larger, pathless dimension, which nonetheless has a guide, but that guide is the one we now have to have confidence in, as you say, in our inner…
Caroline Myss: Well let me give a practical example of it. A reason, not “example”, but a practical reason why we are, why I believe this mystical renaissance has engaged. As I said earlier, fundamentalism rises when the external world falls into a chaos that reason cannot handle. Because we love reason. We worship at the altar of reason. Our god has been carved by the age of reason, and by Descartes and Galileo, and as soon as we discovered the age of reason we took our chisel out and we chiseled exactly the kid of god we wanted. We wanted the god that did everything he does for reasons. And if you look at the way people approach health and disease, they will say… even today I was on a phone call with someone who says, “I’m learning so much from my illness,” which is a superstitious way of saying, “And if I absolutely learn everything, I’ll be awarded and rewarded by God, saying ‘Now you good little boy, you’ve learned all your lessons and now I’ll give you your health back.’”
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
Caroline Myss: Because we cant get out of that mode, “If I’m good I shouldn’t… nothing bad should happen to me. And if I’m bad, oh well. And then I’ll learn my lesson and I’ll get the good things. Right? I’ll get it back, right?”
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
Caroline Myss: It’s we can’t get out of that.
Duncan Campbell: It’s like a business deal mentality, as one of my Tibetan teachers used to describe it, the ‘business deal mentality’ towards spirituality, it has to be let go of if anything further is going to progress.
Caroline Myss: But we can’t, because it’s so controlling.
Duncan Campbell: Yep.
Caroline Myss: It’s like, it’s not fair. We have two words that are absolutely lethal, ‘blame’ and ‘deserve’. “I don’t deserve this; I’m a good person.” And if something goes wrong, I will find someone to blame. That’s why we have lawyers. And we make someone sign papers ten thousand times ahead of time that says, “If this deal doesn’t work out, I will find someone to blame for it. Someone other than me is responsible for my life. Don’t you get that? And I will find those persons.” And what makes someone sign a piece of paper that says, “I’ll take responsibility if this falls apart,” because it can’t be you, it can’t be destiny, it can’t be fate, it can’t be the hand of God. I will sue you if this doesn’t work out. This is the way we are.
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
Caroline Myss: So to get someone to do something as unreasonable as to say, “I surrender, God. Into your care I put my spirit, I put my soul.” Never mind ‘spirit’; spirit’s the ego’s relationship to God. ‘Soul’ is the real thing.
Duncan Campbell: Now you just described really a remarkably subtle sense of the pavlovian response, that we’ve been so conditioned that, if we do this then this will happen, as opposed to…
Caroline Myss: Mm hmm, but that’s how we are.
Duncan Campbell: Exactly. Yeah, notice it’s really a kind of mass pavlovian conditioning in a certain way, and that’s the first thing that one has to break out of, and in your first three mansions, or your description of the first three mansions of the interior castle, you talk about discovering the reptiles, the things in our psyche that we really need to actually banish from the castle. But we can’t do it unless we first confront it and acknowledge that this desire to blame someone else, this kind of a vindictiveness or these other toxic poisonous streams…
Caroline Myss: Well part of it is the control humiliation has had over us.
Duncan Campbell: Yeah, mm hmm.
Caroline Myss: But let me go back to this one very critical example of why lay mystics are needed now more than ever.
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
Caroline Myss: Our world is in a level of chaos that is unrivaled, and it’s not going to be resolved by reason, because the truth is we are at this pivotal turning point where all the myths of all the sky gods are colliding. We are at a time when we have to renegotiate. We have to negotiate a new way of being, because we are running out of collective resources. We are needing to put ourselves on a different level of equal footing with other people, and the fact is no culture wants to do it. Look at us. Look at the world. Let us not kid ourselves. The collective egos of every culture do not want to see themselves as equal with third-world countries or this-world country or that. There is no such thing as wanting to be militarily equal with everybody else. There is no such thing. So at that level, everybody is willing to fight to the death, no matter how irrational it is. No matter how much you point out ‘there is no resolution in war, and there never has been’. There never has been. You can shake people like rag dolls and say, “Don’t you get that? Don’t you get that?” “I get that but I’ll still fight because I will not be an equal. Don’t tell me those people are equal to me. Don’t even go there. Don’t even go there. Don’t even go there.” It’s a mass hysteria. It’s a mass spell. It is a bad spell. It is a hypnotic possession.
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm, a hypnotic possession, yes.
Caroline Myss: And yet, here’s mysticism… underneath all this madness, Duncan, the soul is capable of understanding what that madness cannot, what the mad, irrational brain, mind, cannot. Which is that ultimately we are called to be one humanity. Now if you teach that in a classroom on a calm beautiful day, a bunch of New Agers can sit around and say, while they’re eating their ‘organic’ food, “Absolutely, that’s true.” But I will tell you, put them back in public, and they don’t function from that, in the psychic emotional way. They do not, because they’re human, because they’re Americans, because they’re whatever they are. When it gets back to their lower groin, they’ll fight for superiority.
Duncan Campbell: Yeah, that first chakra of insecurity is looking for control.
Caroline Myss: They will fight for s… but if that truth were animated in their soul, if during some deep state of prayer God came to them in a mystical experience and animated that truth, and in one tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny microsecond, they actually experienced the whole, the cosmic heart of the sacred, and in a micro- micro- microsecond could experience the love that the mystics spoke about, the love that the Cosmic Christ had, the love that Rumi spoke of. In a microsecond, and then it’s turned off because the human heart can’t contain that. This is the love that Bernini illustrated in his statue with an angel piercing with fire the heart of Teresa. Then, then, when that mystic, when that person now speaks as a mystic and says, “This is evolution happening in its lowest form, because we are called to be one humanity.” But at that point, it’s that person’s soul speaking from truth, not a mind talking from theory on a nice day where there’s no trouble.
Duncan Campbell: Mm hmm.
Caroline Myss: Now that soul is one who holds that truth, contains that truth, is that truth, no matter where they are. That’s a mystic out of a monastery, and these people are being called to become illuminated, to become illuminated in this truth, and then to take this truth, to hold these truths within themselves no matter where they are in the world, whether they’re teachers or doctors or businessmen, they are called to reach and hold a deeper level of truth while this world spins in chaos. To become channels for grace. This is what the great mystics were. This is why the world survives chaotic times. They’re not called into celibacy. They’re not called into poverty. But they are called into prayer.
Duncan Campbell: Exactly. And I think we can rephrase that great Rudyard Kipling saying to, “Hold on to your ‘souls’ while all those around you are losing theirs.”
Caroline Myss: Mm hmm.
Duncan Campbell: That sense of being so completely centered and then also being able to move from prayer back out into communication, as you say with all of the world. It’s as if the monastery itself then becomes a symbol of containment. So it’s mystics outside the monastery, mystics beyond the monastery, as exemplified by St. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. They were mystics that were outside the monastery, and I think here precisely of annihilation and uncertainty and intoxication with the soul spirit that one feels in Rumi or Hafiz, and now UNESCO has just declared 2007 to be ‘the year of Rumi’ on the 800th anniversary of his birth.
Caroline Myss: That’s right. I’m doing a workshop on that.
For full transcript, please contact Duncan Campbell