This week, Soul on Fire takes a look at Jeff Brown, a contemporary figure in the Spiritual enlightenment genre, and gives a book review of his latest work, “Grounded Spirituality.”
Taking two pieces of spiritual culture, phycological trauma work, and Spirituality and placing them in juxtaposition to create the theory that they are interconnected and not separate from one another on the path to enlightenment.
Brown supposes that many people simply bypass the necessary work to be done on the human emotional form and skip right into the quest for enlightenment while leaving the psyche behind, thereby creating the ultimate spiritual bypass of all time.
Knowing worldly success at a relatively young age, but choosing to leave earthly treasures behind to find out the meaning of his life and existence led him down a path of seeking that created his need to write while he pondered the age-old questions of “Who am I?” And “Why am I here?”
Brown’s writing continues to challenge us to debate all spiritual teachings to see if they are actually serving us or leading us away from our individual and collective healing.
In his opinion, there is no time to bow before lineage or guru. There is no time left to confuse self-avoidance with enlightenment. Brown suggests that we stop floating above our physical existence and become firmly lodged within it. Not blindly believing what we are told, but deciding for ourselves what is real and what is true.
Brown takes the reader or listener to a hard look at what wallowing in psychological self-pity vs. a healthy working through some of the issues we as humans try hard to avoid feeling. He asks the question, “At what point does our understanding of spirituality serve as a departure from our unresolved issues.”
Brown questions if some of the most popular religious and mystical teachings of our time, such as being told to get rid of the ego, for example, is wise. His message is that we need a healthy ego to function and that the ego is functionally entwined with the soul, rather than the soul vs. the ego, that this integration, in reality, can affect real change.
He urges us to look under the cloak of enlightenment into the repressed emotions we may be avoiding so that they can actualize them into spiritual lessons.
Brown rigorously challenges the leaders, teachers, influencers, and “soul-celebrities” that claim enlightenment but don’t display integrity, using the example that they can separate their human flaws (such as sleeping with the young girls of the sangha) while claiming a level of Spirituality or enlightenment that separates the two.
When you ground your Spirituality into the deepest parts of your humanness, your bone body, warts and all, you can integrate the two rather than bypass them. The result is authentic wholeness, being wholly human while living a spiritual life.
Brown feels that we are at a collective planetary crossroad and discusses how the bypass is leading humanity away from developing the capacity to save itself from itself.
He believes that patriarchal Spirituality has conditioned us to believe that Spirituality is a way of being that is above and beyond our human experience and that we are in our bodies only to witness it rather than being in it and calls us to get out of our fleeting “bliss-trips” and transcendence, to truly work on our issues, and transform emotional maturity with spiritual maturity, rather than trade one for the other.
Brown calls us to come down a path of transfiguration because everyone, everywhere needs to align themselves with the evolutionary will of the Divine — not so it can destroy us, but so we can be transfigured and become conscious, embodied, co-creators of a wholly new way of being and doing everything.
Spirituality isn’t outside ourselves — it is ourselves.