Balance on the Horizontal, Integration of the Vertical

By Robert Burney

I mentioned in the second column in this series (A Higher Power of my own understanding 2 - the beginning of empowerment) that the twelve step recovery concept of powerlessness was actually a step towards empowerment. Codependency and recovery are both multi-leveled, multi-dimensional phenomena. What we are trying to achieve is integration and balance on, and between, different levels. One of the ways it is helpful to me to think of this is in terms of the horizontal and vertical. The horizontal is about being human and relating to other humans and our environment. The vertical is Spiritual, about our relationship to a Higher Power, to the Universal Source.

In this context, what we are trying to achieve in recovery is to integrate the Truth of a Loving God-Force / Goddess Energy / Great Spirit into our relationship with the horizontal, That is what helps us to achieve some balance in our emotional, physical, and mental relationship with being human and in how we relate to other humans and our environment.

Living life on life's terms according to the definitions, beliefs and attitudes we learned in early childhood does not work. As I say in my book:

"Learning discernment is vital - not just in terms of the choices we make about who to trust, but also in terms of our perspective, our attitudes.

We learned about life as children and it is necessary to change the way we intellectually view life in order to stop being the victim of the old tapes. By looking at, becoming conscious of, our attitudes, definitions, and perspectives, we can start discerning what works for us and what does not work. We can then start making choices about whether our intellectual view of life is serving us - or if it is setting us up to be victims because we are expecting life to be something which it is not."

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

As I point out often in my writing, the intellectual paradigm that we are allowing to dictate our relationship with life - the attitudes, beliefs, and definitions both conscious and subconscious - are what determine our expectations and perspectives and those in turn dictate our emotional reactions and relationships. In order to change how we are relating to, and reacting to, being human we need to change the intellectual beliefs that are dictating our relationship with being human.

It is vital to start realizing that we have the power to make choices about what attitudes, beliefs and definitions we are allowing to dictate our relationship with life. We do not have to keep being the victim of the beliefs that were imposed upon us in childhood. We do not have to keep living life based upon shame, fear, and scarcity just because that is what was role modeled for us by the adults who were our higher powers in childhood. Once we recognize that we are powerless to make life be what we want it to be out of our ego programming, then we become empowered to change the quality of our relationship with life.

By owning that we have the power to make choices about our perspective of life - and to choose a spiritual perspective - we can vastly improve the quality of our human experience. This is what I am trying to communicate in this series of articles on a Higher Power of my own understanding. It is specifically what I talked about in the third column here in this series: Spirituality - a broader perspective.

Looking at the horizontal and vertical dimensions of life helped me to start being and to start doing in a more balanced way. It helped me to stop being a human doing - thinking that what I accomplished, or how I looked, on the outside is what gives me worth.

I talked in last months column about the transcendent emotions of Joy and Love and how we can access these emotions by being in the moment when relating to nature for instance. I am going to close out this months column with a quote from one of my Update Newsletters where I talk about transcendent vertical emotions and horizontal human emotions.

"I capitalize words such as Truth, Joy, and Love in my writing because that capitalization indicates that I am referring to the Transcendent vibrational energy that flows through the Illusion on the vertical plane. When I do not capitalize joy and love, I am referring to emotions of the horizontal plane. . . . .

. . . . . Happiness is a term I use in relationship to external circumstances. It (happiness) comes from doing, experiencing, interacting, etc. Joy - with the capital J - is about being, not doing. This has to do with the different dimensions - horizontal and vertical - of this human experience that I talk about in the Trilogy, and mention in various articles including the online book I am now writing.

"The horizontal emotion of joy can feel very much the same as Joy - and can in fact help us to access the Transcendent emotional energy of Joy. But the horizontal emotion that is joy is a relative reaction to external stimuli. That is, joy is felt because of some outside or external condition that raises our vibrational frequency within the vertical component of the horizontal emotional spectrum. This can be: an accomplishment such as achieving a goal or winning a contest; the feeling we get from experiencing the Love of another being - or an animal; a sensual experience such as the taste of food, or the feel of silk, or the touch of another being; or any of a number of other types of stimuli that are dependent upon outside circumstances or agencies. There is nothing wrong with feeling joy in reaction to these outer or external stimuli - what is dysfunctional is believing that they are the only source of joy. When we buy into the belief that the only joy or happiness we can experience is dependent upon external circumstances or outside agencies then we are giving power over our relationship with self to the illusions - we are worshiping false gods.

The Transcendent emotional energy of Joy on the other hand has nothing to do with winning or accomplishing - it is about being. About tuning into the Joy that is the Truth of who we really are - Spiritual beings who are part of the Holy Mother Source Energy. It is about the Love that is our True essence. Outside influences can help to remind us of this connection - a sunset, a baby, the Love we see reflected in another's eyes - but the connection is made in the quality of our interaction with that outside influence. It is in being in the moment that we can tune into the Love, Light, and Joy of our connection with everyone and everything.

There is nothing wrong with feeling joy at doing, or receiving, or experiencing, on the human level - but the more that we are aligned with Truth, the more we can magnify those moments of joy to include the Joy of being Unconditionally Loved and Lovable. This also helps us stop giving power to the illusion by believing that something or someone outside of us is the source of Joy - the Source is within."

The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 History VI

In recovery, we start learning how to change our relationship with life so that we can be present in the moment, so that we can own our True Self and our connection to the Source. . . . . " - March 2004 Update Metaphysical Addendum page

In adding this article as a page on my in September 2006, I decided to add a quote from my book about "the quality of our interaction" dynamic that I mention above.

"The first time a messenger came to me carrying the message, the reminder, that I was a Spiritual Being having a human experience, I got really angry. My first reaction was anger. My first thought was, "That means that I've got to be out among them."

I never wanted to be out among you-all. I always wanted to go up on a mountain and meditate my way to God. What I have learned in this healing process is that I find God through "being out among them," through my human relationships. We are here to learn to relate to each other. We are here to learn to Love ourselves and each other.

One of the ironies of this whole business is something that physicists have learned from quantum physics. They have learned that the physical world is made up of energy fields that are temporary manifestations of energy interactions. All of the energy fields of the physical world are temporary. Some last for fractions of a second, some last for billions of years - but they are all temporary illusions. This means that the Truest reality in the physical world is in the interaction. It is in our interactions that we can access Truth and Joy and Love. In other words it is in our relationships.

The most real thing here, the place where the highest Truth exists, is in the interactions: in our relationships. Our relationship with ourselves is a reflection of our relationship with our Creator, with the Great Spirit. And our relationship with ourselves is reflected out into our relationship with everyone and everything in our environment.

Spirituality is about relationships. God exists in the quality of our relationships.

When I look at a beautiful sunset - I am a temporary illusion and the sunset is also a temporary illusion - the most real, God-like quality is the energy of Beauty and Joy that I allow myself to access by being open and willing to experience the sunset. If I am caught up in one of my ego's "trauma dramas," then I will not be conscious of the sunset or open to experiencing the Joy and Beauty of the moment."

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Next in series: Higher Power of my own understanding - final word

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