Conscious Growth in a World of Limits

One of the insights I have found to be most valuable within the Trillium Awakening (TA) dharma is that we are simultaneously both without limits and highly limited. Since this is a pretty standard part of our dharma, I won’t describe it further here.

In my experience as a spiritual practitioner and TA teacher, there is also an enormous potential for growth in all kinds of dimensions. This aspect often receives less attention in our dharma and yet it is one that can make life richer, deeper, and all around better.

However, our growth potential initially can make the awakened or awakening human experience even more confusing. The paradox we face is not only that we are – at the same time – inherently limitless and limited. It’s also that in addition to all that, we are still inherently capable of growth.

How can we deal with the mindboggling complexity of this situation?

One approach that we often see modelled in the world is the “Striving for Perfection through Growth.” However, perfection can never be reached within the material world since this world has limits. Therefore, following this approach often leads to stress, frustration, and self-judgment. In our community, I think this is an expression of “hypermasculine striving.”

The other side of the pole is “Complete Identification with our Current Limits.” Instead of striving for the unattainable (perfection), we view our current spiritual, emotional or psychological limits as unchangeable and something that we have no control over. When I see people taking this orientation or when I take this view myself, I notice that I feel stagnant, stuck, and like energy isn’t flowing.

Is there perhaps a better orientation?

I think a more balanced approach is something that we could call “Conscious Growth in a World of Limits.” Many of the limits we currently feel constrained by (e.g., challenges with getting triggered in a certain situation) may feel less pertinent in a year. (And even when we feel a limit, getting in touch with our limitless nature can sometimes help reduce the sting.)

That does not mean that we can escape all limits (or in other words, avoid the core paradox), but that there is such potential for growing into more of our fullness and wholeness from the perspective of the individual self. In this context, growth can mean a wide range of things such as deepening in your Awakening, healing broken zones, growing into maturity, or having a deeper devotional relationship with the Goddess.

Given where you are at in the TA path, growth within this path can also look very different such as if you are in the “rot” or “wakedown shakedown.” As we develop our capacity for listening to Being as an individual, we can increasingly discern the ways we are currently yearning to grow such as what makes us feel alive or what just feels right.

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