I spent the last decade and a half exploring the possibilities of the spiritual life. For some of that time, I lived in India and Nepal as a Buddhist monk and sat at the feet of many recognized spiritual masters.
What they all told me was this:
We are spiritual beings. We just don't always know it.
For most of us, that's a hard thing to believe. We carry around all sorts of "proof" to the contrary.
"I can 't be a spiritual being," we say. "Look at how unworthy I am, how shameful, how full of flaws and shortcomings."
But all those things are not the whole story of who we are. At best they are just beliefs. Some of them might be true but most are not. At worst they are harmful, self-limiting lies that we came to believe about ourselves somewhere along the way.
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The thing is, when we look at the lies closely and question them, we see that they don't stand up.
How can you be fundamentally unworthy? What kind of a jack-ass god made that decree?
So what if you are flawed and imperfect? How does that take away from all of your other good qualities? How does it diminish the sublime miracle of your living, breathing humanity?
This is how we should interrogate the harsh, cruel criticisms that would have us question the validity our own spiritual nature. We should put them on the hot seat until they crack under the pressure. No mercy. No remorse.
After all, those negative voices in our heads are messing with our happiness and wellbeing. We can't let them get away with that.
Through the process of hypnosis, we can more easily conduct that kind of interrogation. In that state of relaxation and focused attention, we are able to weed out untruth from truth.
When I take people into hypnosis (and go into hypnosis myself) something amazing often happens. People have an actual experience of their spiritual selves. They connect with that part of themselves that has never been separate from their-for lack of a better term-Divine Source and Inner Wisdom.
I see it in their faces as their expression softens. Lines of worry, guilt, and shame melt away. A smile forms. A joyful tear begins to fall from the corner of the eye as they recognize-sometimes for the first time-the grace and purity of their being.
And the thing is, it's always been there. We just couldn't see it.