STEP 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than our own ego and willpower could bring us to a place of freedom, happiness, wellbeing and love.
In the first step we brought to light our past ways of thinking and being that had brought us to a place of unhappiness and dissatisfaction. We revisited our past and realized its effect on us. We took our first step toward living an “examined life”. Now we are ready to move forward.
However, we cannot move forward through individual will and ego-driven self-determination. This is what we have BEEN doing and it obviously hasn’t been working all that well or we would not be at this point. Our own personal power is not enough to heal what needs to be healed.
We cannot heal our relationship to ourselves, others and the world around us through our own devices. We have tried and failed in varying degrees. We need to open ourselves to a power GREATER than our individual ego. In order for us to do that, we must first BELIEVE that such a power can and does exist, and that it can provide for us what we need at any given point.
Now I know that I spend a lot of time harping on beliefs and belief systems here, so let me take a moment to differentiate between beliefs and believing. A BELIEF is a noun- it is a THING. Beliefs are formed when the imagination and other creative principles of one’s consciousness are now longer free-flowing around an idea, but rather they become set and calcified; rigid and immovable. Set beliefs are much like a bone that has become old and stiff- causing one great discomfort when stressed and unimaginable pain when broken.
Believing on the other hand is a verb- an active principle. Believing is the life of the imagination which brings the world of men into existence. Nothing in this world can be can be made or achieved if one does not first BELIEVE these things are possible. We believe in the creative potential of ourselves and others as well as the creative potential of the universe around us.
So in Step 2, we BELIEVE that a power greater than ourselves can bring us to that place of freedom, happiness, wellbeing and love that we want and need. In the traditional 12 Steps, Step 2 reads that we “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”. This gives credence to the “crazy-making” cyclical behaviors of the addict. However, you could argue that everyone has their own crazy-making cyclical behavior patterns, even if they are not as extreme as that of the true addict.
In order for us to take this second step, we need to be able to first IMAGINE that a Power greater than ourselves exists. This concept can be challenging for people for a variety of reasons. Many people in our “scientific” secular society are agnostic or even atheistic and have a hard time believing in the concept of “God” or a “Higher Power”. Others can be the opposite and have extensive religious beliefs about hierarchies, sin and shame that can actually get in the way of developing that personal relationship and closeness that is necessary.
There is also what could be described as the “New Age” misinterpretation that we ourselves ARE God the Creator Him/Herself. The Hermetic teachings speak wonderfully to this common mistake. Yes, the ALL (God) is in ALL things and all things exist within the ALL or the “One”. And yes, we ARE individuated expressions of this ONE Being, and so we too have that Divine potentiality innate within us. In Genesis it states that “God made man in his likeness”.
However, while we are indeed expressions of God, and we exist as creations in the Mind of God, WE OURSELVES ARE NOT GOD- we are at our highest potential gods with a “little g”, but we are not God with a “capital G”. This is part of what is known as the Divine Paradox.
A great way of illustrating this concept is that of a fiction writer and the characters he/she creates. While each character is unique, it will still have a little bit of its creator’s own personality and temperament in it somewhere. This is inevitable as the character emanates from the mind of the writer. The writer’s characters are the expression of the writer’s unique personality, character traits and interpretation of the world around him/her. It is the same way with us and God. We are each unique characters carefully developed and given life by the Grand Playwright, and each having our own unique bit of that Playwright within us.
The reason I went into all that is because if one comes at this Step Work with this notion that “I AM God”, it will probably be really hard to imagine any sort of Power greater than ourselves to help and guide us through this process. This outlook makes it very hard to move past the ego which absolutely LOVES the concept of being the supreme Creator of the Universe.
There are as many spiritual paths as there are people in the world. Nature, Energy, the Universe, Consciousness- these are ALL things that can be seen as a “Power greater than ourselves” and can be used by those who find the term “God”, or the other variations on that word uncomfortable or unpalatable. Opening ourselves to the concept of that “greater Power” allows us to ask for and receive help in our time of need. This requires us to humble ourselves and begin to put our egos to the side somewhat.
First find what works for you and resonates with you and your temperament. Be open and flexible- a relationship with a Higher Power is a fluid and progressive relationship. Second, look for people who are truly living and embodying moral and spiritual principles in their daily lives. Reach out to them if possible and see if you can incorporate anything that they are doing into your daily life.
Anyone who has done Reiki or any sort of energetic healing work will tell you that they themselves are not doing the healing- they simply open themselves to and allow that healing energy to flow through them. They BELIEVE in that higher energy’s capabilities and have FAITH that it knows what to do. THAT is what we are doing here. We are moving our own ego-based desire to be “in control” of things out of the way and letting that initial possibility of that Healing Energy begin to manifest in our minds and in our lives.
EXERCISE: MICROCOSMIC ORBIT MEDITATION (VARIATION)
The Microcosmic Orbit meditation has its origins in Taoist Chi Kung and Spiritual/Energetic alchemy. The version of which is a simplified version done for the purpose of moving our mind “out of the way” and feeling that “Higher Energy” flow through us. Personally, I typically do this meditation process 7 times before beginning Communion:
1. Sit at the edge of a chair with your spine straight, head slightly tilted, with your tongue lightly touching the roof of your mouth. Close your eyes.
2. Fold your hands, palms up, in your lap- left over right for men, right over left for women. Breathe deeply from your belly. Observe the breath; let the thoughts drift away. Keep as still as possible.
3. Envision in your mind’s eye a golden ball of light, like a miniature sun, hovering just above your head. Feel its warmth radiating down on you.
4. Now envision a smaller ball of light slowly descending down from this “sun”. Prepare yourself to take a long, deep inhalation.
5. As you breathe in, envision this ball of light, descending into your skull, illuminating the energy center in the front of your head.
6. Continue the in-breath, and envision the ball of light moving down the front of your body and illuminating your heart center.
7. Continue breathing in, and envision the ball of light moving further down the front part of your body and illuminating the energy center just below your navel, aka the Tan Tien.
8. Envision the ball of light moving down to your perineum- the middle bottom portion of your torso between the buttocks and genitalia. Let the ball rest there for a moment while you put your attention in physically holding this light in that area.
9. Exhale, envisioning the ball of light slowly moving up the spine in a similar fashion to the way it moved down until it returns to the “sun” above the head it came from.
10. Repeat this process as many times as you are comfortable- the more repetitions, the more you will feel the circulation of energy.
If you need to modify the in-breath to make in through the full movement of energy, do so. I would use a modified sipping breath, moving the ball of light down the front of me. The process itself does not take very long once you get into it. Below I have attached further reading on this meditation as well as Taoist Alchemy. Have fun with it! Until next time, Namaste and God Bless.
Microcosmic_Orbit-Earth_Balance_Tai_Chi <PDF Doc.
Awaken Healing Light <PDF Doc.