By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 16 September, 2015
The 11 Karmic Spaces
Dear Spiritual Explorer: I am always being asked to live up to my true potential by my parents. Can you tell me what that means and how I may do this? Sandy P., Lake Worth, FL
Dear Sandy: I used to read a lot about scientists saying we only use up a small percentage of our brain, as if true potential would arise when we accessed a grater portion of it. Recently there was this movie with Scarlett Johanssen who in fact tapped into the full potential of her brain, but when she did, she merged with the universal mind. That sounds like a happy thought. In fact, when people set out to become enlightened, merging with spirit is one of their wishes.
True potential attempts
However, bringing this true potential question down to a more realistic level, I think that many of us ask how can we live up to our true potential. In fact, in the 70’s, many of us went to Esalen Institute which promised us the ability to wake up to our true potential in terms of humanistic awareness. There was offered a multitude of classes designed to encourage us to think, live and create beyond our limitations. The object of many of those workshops was to encourage people to break away from patterns and conditioning that had long ruled their lives and approach existence with a new and “child’s” mind. The purpose was to be able to enjoy a fuller and richer life. While many people did find and bring back a new freedom in their lives, there were many who found themselves still repeating the same old pattern that they had sought to become free of. When they were away from their normal lives, it was easier to embrace new experiences, but more difficult to hold onto them when they returned to the demands of their previous existence.
True potential ensnared by karma
Spiritual life is a lot like that. Sometimes through experiences at the feet of a great teacher or guru, we have felt that we can approach life differently;unfortunately for some when the experience is over and the bliss has vanished, we find ourselves still stuck in the same pattern. Our challenge always is to be able to sustain the new beginning. In 11 Karmic Spaces,the author Ma Jaya labels those inabilities to progress further and perhaps not live up to our “true potential” as karma. She asks what would it be like for us to realize our true potential and explore what keeps us from doing so.
Illusions of true potential and potential for change
Most people think that if they realized their true potential, they might become rich, wealthy, healthy and famous, not realizing that again it is but a grasping for something that just brings us disillusion and disappointment. However,that is not an outcome easily grasped by most people, believing that it is accomplishment and acquisition that will bring this happiness. .
In her book, Ma explain many choices for people to attempt to free themselves from the habituated places in which they reside. She offers ways in which to lessen the burdens we carry, burdens borne because of lack of awareness and insight into what we are doing.Once we become aware of how we have lessened our life and made it smaller, there is opportunity for change. But first, we must look at the spaces in which we hide and continue to inhabit until life awakens us, sometimes in a not so great way–but that is life again, unexpected and unmanipulated.
This is a fascinating, insightful look into named patterns of behavior and the manner in which we continue to repeat them throughout our lives again and again to our detriment. But this time through awareness there is possibility of awakening and change. Read this book; you will find it enlightening.
If you have a question about “True Potential,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.
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