One of the stickiest stories is that somehow our mental/emotional salvation is going to come from the external world. Unfortunately, whatever you are searching for externally will eventually fail you. Happiness, safety, security–If you are looking for those things outside of yourself, you’re looking in the wrong place.
Research indicates that people who are extrinsically motivated by accolades and accumulation of stuff are more likely to distract themselves with television, abuse drugs and alcohol, and poison their relationships. Whereas those people who are focused on their own subjective experiences (their intrinsic reality) are much more likely to report a greater sense of well being.
I believe the reason for that is in seeking something externally we are denying our own innate abundance, and reinforcing a sense of lack. Think of it this way, if you are already infinitely wealthy, but you look up to the sky and scream “I need more money!” then you are going to strengthen the construct in your mind that you are poor. Even if you get more money. Once you have reinforced feeling poor, despite your new income, you are going to scream once again “I need EVEN MORE money!”.
Financial poverty here is partly just a metaphor, because there is a base level of income for people which is actually correlated to happiness- between $60,000 to $75,000 a year. Anything over that amount of money and your emotional well being starts to decline. Mo money, mo problems… Apparently.
So what is the solution? To recognize that most likely that thing you are looking for out in the world, is something you can find within yourself. This is the point of all the great spiritual teachings. Taoism, Buddhism, Vedanta, Mystical Teachings of Christ, Paul Selig, Ram Dass, et cetera, et cetera.
But it’s fun to chase stuff! I know, I’ve chased a lot of stuff. This is where the Toltec philosophy has a beautiful solution. It’s called ‘controlled folly’. Controlled folly is where you understand that chasing things to provide you happiness is folly, but your awareness that it is folly leaves you in control of it. If you do it right, you can have fun accumulating as much stuff as you like, but if you lose it all in a mudslide that your insurance doesn’t cover, you can just throw up your hands and have a laugh.
I’m not writing this because I’ve mastered the concept. Far from it. I’m writing it because this is something I’m continually chewing on myself. And when I get really stuck, that’s when I turn to the psychedelic sacraments to remind me how abundant in spirit I really am.
Which brings me to my podcast guest this week. Maria Chavez is a 5-MEO DMT shaman, wisdom keeper, and one of my life guides I am incredibly blessed to know. I hope you all enjoy the show.
Much love familia!