Responsibility and Commitment
The word “responsibility” means “ability to respond.”
If I am awake and aware, then it would seem that my ability to respond
in the best possible way for all concerned would be greatly enhanced; therefore,
I would say that I have a heightened sense of responsibility.
I think the problem is that we have made responsibility
synonymous with intervening in the affairs of others and deciding
what they should be thinking and feeling. In that sense, I am definitely
NOT responsible for others.
Responsibility means taking ownership of one's own thoughts,
feelings and actions and refraining from blame or judgment on self or
others. This does not mean we are not influenced by the decisions of
others. Living in a 3D world ruled by power-hungry malevolent individuals
and entities is difficult because the vast majority are either ignorantly
unaware of this or are complicit.
We are influenced and influence, but are not responsible,
for the deeds of every being. However, if we have unresolved karmic
issues with a being or group OR have unresolved emotional issues regarding
the action or actions of a being or group, then we do, in that case,
have a responsibility to ourselves to clear the issues that are being
reflected by the being or group. An example would be terrorism. If we
have inner thoughts of terrorism, we may see them played out on the stage
of life. If none of us held terror thoughts, there would be no terrorism
in the world.
Being Responsible, but Detached
How do we remain responsive to our environment and yet
be emotionally detached? That question underlies much of the difficulty
on the spiritual path. At times, we feel free and happy, in need of
nothing external, while at other times it seems the world closes in
on us with its incessant demands. The problem is, we are attached to
this world. Not only that, we are attached to our experiences and emotions.
Most of us are also attached to our misery. Even though we know there's
a better way, we become comfortable in our little rut. If we put enthusiasm
and determination behind our efforts to withdraw energy from negativity,
we have better results. But when physical survival, economic means
and social status are involved, it becomes more difficult. Perhaps
this is why a large percentage of enlightened yogis live high in the mountains
away from society. Are they opting for the easy way out? Maybe. Is it
our soul lesson to become free of attachment while living in the material
world? Probably. We need to know we will be sustained by Source while
dealing with employer/employee relations. We need to know the IRS is part
of the Divine Plan while at the same time understanding they are unconstitutional.
We need to know that Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Adolph Hitler, Charlie
Manson and others are all part of the Divine Plan, created as perfect
children of God, while at the same time recognizing that we live in a
Being responsible, but detached means being aware of the
dangers and pitfalls of 3D life, while at the same time not buying
into them emotionally. If I desire to remain in physical embodiment on
the Earth, then using my self-preservation instinct is fine, as long as
I do not have an emotional attachment to it. I need to recognize that
Spirit is in charge and will protect me as long as I stay aware of my inner
and outer environment. “Trust God, but tether your camel,” as the Islamic
On a personal note, I made a choice a few years ago to move
to a remote area on land I had purchased, built a geodesic dome and
erected solar panels. I may, if guided, put in a year's supply of food.
Not out of fear, but so I can more easily withdraw the syringe of consumerism
from my veins, as I see that as a major impediment to personal growth.
Of course I have challenges. Until I am able to purchase
a zero-point energy generator to run my car, I will still rely on gasoline
for fuel. And since I live a long ways out, I will, for now, have to
keep pulling up to the pump and giving my money to the Arabs and American
oil companies (God bless them!)
I believe a healthy, enlightened soul must take into account
the many levels of being that exist concurrently on Earth. We have
a real potpourri of souls residing on this planet, from mindless and savage
consciousness, to highly refined and enlightened masters. Somehow, we
have managed (somewhat) to co-exist here.
If I am at inner peace and total self-acceptance, then
no matter what outer reflection I create, the answer will always be
to allow my Spirit, God-self, or higher power to guide my actions. If I
am truly balanced and integrated (enlightened), I will always respond in
the highest and best way to whatever the world throws at me (if the world
is capable of throwing anything). That's because, as J. Krishnamurti put
it, I respond with my whole being, not from fragmented knowledge. I
desire to integrate all the levels of myself that I am aware of. That is
an exciting challenge! This means learning to accept myself as I am, and
others as they are, without the egotistical need to change them. However,
that does not mean I must hang out with souls that are not beneficial
to my growth and well-being. I can bless the drunk, but I do not have
to drink with him.
What if I become a victim? Well, first of all, there are
no victims. On some level, you agreed to play that role, just as the
perpetrator agreed to play his/her role. It may not feel like you are
responsible for being molested as a child, for example. However, on
some level you attracted that experience (if you did). You may think,
“I would never create an experience like that." Maybe not. But it may be
arrogant to assume you'll never be in the company of a child molester –
and then again, maybe you HAVE reached a level of awareness where this
would never happen.
Another facet of being responsible involves the need for
self-honesty. The person we keep the most secrets from is OURSELVES.
Brutal self-honesty leads to honesty with others. If we know where
we are, we can accurately assess where we’re going. I feel more aware
when I take some responsibility for what is happening. That doesn't mean
self-blame, but it does mean watching my own thoughts and feelings to
see how I am participating in a particular drama.
Although I live in a sea of discordant vibrations, I can
do my very best not to contribute to that which, in my opinion, does
not promote the highest soul growth of myself and others. I can strive
to radiate and emanate only that which reflects my true beingness.. If
I fail to do that, I can forgive myself and do better next time. There's
a certain amount of trial and error in this universe. In doing the above,
there is no blame or projection if I fail to find the most efficient
methodology the first time. I take responsibility for the results I create
on a daily basis and learn from the mistakes.
There are gradations of responsibility. To illustrate, let
me use the analogy of the dimensions.
I think of dimensional continuums as concentric circles (sets and subsets),
whereby the higher dimensions contain the lower ones. If a specific
subset of the universe is my own personal sphere of influence (body-emotions-mind-personality
and immediate environment), then that subset has a relatively high
level of responsibility. I am always responsible for my thoughts, feelings
and actions. I may have physical responsibility for the care of an animal
or disabled person. I am also responsible for how I perceive the world.
In the larger universal set containing myriads of worlds and civilizations
of which I am only marginally aware, my level of responsibility is probably
a lot less. I still have an effect on these realms, but it is a lot
Another analogy would be that of the human aura. The aura
closest to the body is the most powerful and easiest to observe with
sensitive photography. As you get further from the body, the aura becomes
less dense and harder to identify, but it is still there. Theoretically,
each human aura extends indefinitely outward from the body, so my aura
could be influencing a being from Andromeda.
I can hear objections from quantum physicists who say that
if you go out far enough, the auric density will be reduced to one quanta,
but if that quanta is in the form of a wave and not a particle, then
won't the ripples from that wave continue indefinitely?
I guess I'm splitting straws now, but I think a healthy
balance point would be, "I am LESS responsible for the being on Andromeda
than for my personal life."
If I feel I am at the effect of something, recognizing
that I am the creator of my experience will help me take responsibility
and forgive where necessary. A Course In Miracles states that ultimately,
there's nothing to forgive. Forgiveness is for the one doing the forgiving
– it helps clear the mind of grievances and victimhood feelings.
When we expand our awareness beyond the little "I", forgiveness
becomes a moot point because whatever "horrible" thing that so-and-so
did to us becomes soooooo insignificant in the larger picture. Our souls
are eternal, ever seeking out new experiences in an infinite sea of worlds
beyond worlds. When we come from THAT perspective and realize so-and-so
was simply acting out his/her part in this little drama, it becomes much
easier to forgive, forget and move on.
It is our egos that need to save or be saved. Our spirits
are naturally compassionate and work for the highest good.
Detachment vs. Separation
To me, detachment does NOT mean separation. Detachment
means to not identify with feelings and beliefs propagated by ego or
worldly experience. For example, if a friend is going through a crisis,
I may empathize and feel compassion and offer assistance, but if I'm
detached, it means I don't get all caught up in his/her drama and start
feeling emotionally drained. In other words, when he/she is drowning in
quicksand (illusions), I remain on the shore (my center) and offer a rope
(love) instead of jumping in too.
In psychology, the jumper is the codependent (misery loves
company, etc.). Our egos want desperately to "fix" the problem, avoid
the pain, make it better. Unfortunately, some people go the opposite
route and take detachment to the extreme and rationalize away their feelings
in the name of "it's her karma, she created it," etc.
As A Course In Miracles states over and over, the problem
is separation (not detachment). When we feel or think or believe we
are separate from God, we then identify with ego, with body, with our
little drama, and that's when the trouble starts.
Commitment means to be focused and determined to follow-through
with purposes, goals and objectives. Commitment has become a dirty
word to some. It implies obligation and contractual agreements and
all sorts of things. However, if I am committed to my joy, happiness,
fulfillment and love, then suddenly the word takes on a new meaning.
I would offer that it’s not commitment that’s the problem. It’s the fact
that most of us are not committed to our true path. Instead, we are listening
to the ego and following its dictates. Commitment to truth brings about its
own morality. We do not have to legislate morality. If God’s Love is pouring
through me, how could I possibly commit a crime against someone?
This is not to say that being committed to one’s own truth
is easy; it is not. The world is full of distractions and alternative
views and people who want to convince you that you’re a nut case for
believing all this spiritual baloney. “Get real,” they yell. “It’s a
dog eat dog world.”
This is where vigilance and determination come in. If
at first you don’t succeed…In other words, if you get knocked off
center repeatedly, do not give up. Resolve to stay centered when the
IRS sends you an audit. Commit to staying balanced when your son wrecks
the car. Be vigilant against negativity when your spouse leaves. No,
it’s not easy. But if you are committed to inner peace, your vigilance
will pay off. It may feel bad for a while, but you will get through it
stronger for the experience.
Commitment to a cause or way of life may mean spending
long hours and hard work, but it will be work that you love, not an
obligation. If you feel tired and exhausted after your work, then on
some level you are not honoring your commitment. Resolve to follow your
heart and spirit in all your affairs and you will be amazed at how effortless
it may feel. It’s NOT effortless; it just feels that way when you are
doing what you love.
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