The key factor in the success of any endeavor is the commitment to it. The reason for this is that the realization of the desire inevitably includes the stage of difficulties and trials. If a person is not 100% committed to the desire of achieving their goal, when they reach the stage of difficulties and trials, they will not continue and will give up. Then stronger than their desire to see things through will be their desire to avoid suffering. And the mind, which has not yet learned to emancipate from the changing nature of desires, will produce a number of explanations to justify giving up. It will be like in Aesop’s fable of the fox and the grapes when the fox says that the grapes are not too tall, but they are sour.
Therefore, your very first assignment is twofold. The first part is to explore your innermost desire, the manifestation of which you would like to support through your psychological work during these 29 days. This means articulating it clearly, telling yourself “there, this is the most important thing I want to achieve in my life”.
The second part is to explore how strong that desire is. Are you afraid that if it gets difficult, if the difficulties persist and you have to make a painful sacrifice, you will give up? Is there even 1% doubt that this could happen? Because if there is doubt, even a minimal one, it will thwart things when the going gets tough. Therefore, it is good to be warned from the beginning – the seed grows into a flower only for those who are 100% committed to nurturing it.
This assignment introduces the most basic duality and your main practice for the rest of this Program is to become aware of it. This duality is created by the battle in our soul between opposing desires. On one hand, is the desire to get what we want. On the other hand, is the desire to receive what we want but without suffering.
It becomes clear that these two desires are in harmony only until the going gets tough. Unfortunately, the important things in our lives always involve going through the stage of hardship. When this stage comes, these two desires, which have been in harmony up to this point, clash, and the conflict creates tension.
Should we give up achieving what we want in order to feel the relief of resolving our inner conflict? Or should we move forward, even though we are struggling and full of doubts whether we will make it and last until the end? Which of these two should we choose?
Things become even more difficult if there is a temptation that offers us to receive what we want the easy way. Will we resist this temptation? Or will we instead stay true to our moral values and commitment, even when we struggle?
It is no coincidence that the devil is associated with desire. But he is not related to desire as such, only to the desire to avoid pain and to have it easy. His role is that of the tempter who tests our moral strength. All desires are innocent, and the only thing that connects the devil with the desire is the temptation to take the easy path, to avoid the pain, and to give up before the end.
And we all know what the other path is – narrow and steep. It is the path of suffering, the crucifixion, and the death of the ego, symbolized by the life of Christ and the road to Calvary. It is a path in which “many are called, but few are chosen” because not everyone has the mental strength to continue where others give up. In this path, we are crucified on the cross of opposing desires, and for long periods we have to contain this tension until a stable inner center slowly begins to crystallize from it.
This path of uniting the opposites at the center of Self-consciousness is called “individuation” in Jung’s Analytical Psychology.
The irony is that the opposition to the desire for the easy path comes from a part within ourselves. It comes from our soul. The desire of our immortal part is different from the desire of our earthly ego. Unlike our empirical personality, which seeks pleasure and avoids pain, the soul’s desire to incarnate on Earth inevitably involves going through hardships and temptations. They are the condition to develop moral endurance and manifest the heroism inherent in every person.
This idea is best presented in the magnificent book, “The Power of Kabbalah” by Yehuda Berg, where the author describes the original creation of the soul as an empty vessel whose function is to receive Light from its Creator. But since the soul was created in His image and likeness, after time another and even opposite desire arose in it – the desire to give and create. When this second desire arose, the soul closed itself off to receiving easily (Kabbalah calls it “the Bread of Shame”). This is also the real reason why we face difficulties and pain – the resistance of the soul to receive for free. Because the goal is for us to learn to be the source and cause of the way we feel and choose to react.
Yehuda Berg compares this desire to activating the DNA of God.
Although we all have the potential for godlikeness, the second desire is not awakened in every person – the soul’s desire for development. This explains why some people’s lives appear/seem easier and less dramatic. It looks like they adapt to the world more easily and suffer less from being different. Although they also have struggles, they lack that inner factor that makes them constantly feel very dissatisfied, difficult to adapt, too sensitive, too deeply connected to humanity and the values that maintain its well-being.
This inner factor for spiritual development in Jung’s Analytical Psychology is called “awakened individuation impulse”.
The activation of this impulse in the human psyche means that the source of their experiences arises from the deeper layers of the personality (the so-called “collective” or “objective” psyche). Along with it, the scenario of trials is activated – bearing the cross of opposites, going through the stage of loneliness and isolation, and subordinating the ego-desires to the transpersonal will.
At the level of emotional intelligence, this means the time has come to break out of childish reactive behavior and learn to master our emotional reactions. In this way, we will obtain the freedom to choose when and in what way to express our emotions. We will find the inner motivation to keep going even when things get tough. We will accept life’s limitations while continuing to strive to overcome those limitations through our own efforts, patience, and discipline. We will become emotionally independent individuals capable of building meaningful relationships with other people.
In short, we will grow and mature, and from an emotionally dependent child, susceptible to the whims of our various desires, we will develop a new inner part – the wise parent. Then, although we will not always give our “inner child” (a metaphor for our desiring nature) what they want, we will always give them our love. We will stop judging them, we will try to understand them, have faith in them, and support them to move forward on their path, overcoming their fears and laziness.
At the level of spiritual intelligence, all this is exactly the same, and the only difference is that the difficulties become much greater. It is like being the parent of a mentally challenged child who is hyperactive, emotionally unstable, with severe adjustment difficulties, often super shy, and inexplicably anxious. Our emotional reactions to pain, fear, anger, or depression are greatly exaggerated – they are too intense, often completely irrational, and do not correspond to what is happening. In spiritual literature, this is called “to be born again” and moving through it is a huge challenge. However, if we can endure the trials, a day comes when we understand the meaning of the expression “The Father and I are One” (John 10:30).
Thus, both emotional and spiritual intelligence refer to the development of the qualities of a psychologically mature person. The ability not to give up in the face of difficulties, but to continue where others give up, refers to the third group of skills in emotional intelligence – self-motivation. At the level of spiritual intelligence, this same quality is “commitment” and “faith”.
At first glance, it appears to be a commitment to achieving a goal, but upon second glance it becomes clear that it is a commitment to the processes of inner growth. It is a commitment to being honest with ourselves, staying true when the going gets tough, owning up to our responsibilities, and not running away from pain.
It is the commitment that transcends the conflict between the desires of the ego and the desires of the soul, between the desire to have it easy and the desire not to run away from pain and overcome ourselves.
We manage to get to commitment by redirecting our resistance, and instead of resisting pain and limitations, we begin to resist our resistance to pain and limitations. When we know that painful feelings and difficult emotions are also a part of life, we make the conscious decision to experience them too. Then, the desire to be complete, to unite the dark and light parts of life into one, becomes stronger than the desire for ease and pleasure.
Jung’s famous expression that “every psychic advance of man arises from the suffering of the soul” refers to this second resistance.
So the first part of your assignment today is to plant the seed of a desire, and the second part is to examine how committed you are to nurturing that seed. The latter is the condition for the success of the former. In this sense, they are connected in the same way as the beginning and the end are connected.
Planting the Seed of a Desire
Take time today to look for the answers to the following questions:
“What is the thing for which my heart longs the most?
What is the change I want to see happen the most?
What are the things I want to manifest in my life?”
Try to formulate the essence of your innermost desire as clearly and precisely as possible, and do not be alarmed if your mind tells you that it is too petty, too selfish, or too material. Do not listen to it. Instead, honor the truth of what your being longs for the most now, at this time in your life. This is the seed that the Spirit has brought to you and planted in the soil of your body to someday sprout and blossom.
After clearly and succinctly articulating the desire you want to nurture with your attention and care for the next 28 days, get into a comfortable position for meditation and close your eyes. Imagine this desire in the form of a small seed and hold it in the palm of your hand. You do not know how long it takes to sprout, but you know that you really want to help it take root and blossom someday. So you decide to trust this little seed. It contains the entire program of what, how and when it will develop into. Promise this seed that you will water it and give it warmth and light.
Since light is a symbol of consciousness, to give it light is to be an alert observer of yourself, your bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions. And warmth refers to the qualities of the heart – your commitment to the processes of growth and your efforts to move forward on your path, to take risks and to mature.
Imagine that this seed is like a little light that lands in your heart and sinks into fertile soil. Breathe in deeply and breathe out, feel that there is something alive within you that will grow, supported by the intelligence of the Whole as to how and when to manifest in your life. Breathe in and out again, and release control over its germination and growth. Feel the expanding sense of trust in the hidden intelligence of the Whole. Feel the inner peace spreading throughout your body.
For the next 28 days, you will completely forget about this seed. Instead, you will work on understanding your emotions and taking care of them. And when the last day of this lunar month comes, the 29th day, I will remind you to come back to it and check if anything has changed. Until then, however, I suggest that you do not think about it, because the seeds, when germinating, should be left in peace.
Another Way to Plant the Seed of a Desire
Another way to plant the seed of a desire is by dedicating it to the topic of this training – the development of your emotional intelligence. Here is a suggestion on how you might formulate that desire:
“I want to develop my emotional awareness skills and become the master of my emotions. To be connected with them all the time, to hear their messages and to understand them. To take care of the underlying needs as a loving parent cares for their young child and to choose how to react to what they want.”
The term “master of emotions” may sound unsettling to some of you because it can be associated with something negative, with something that oppresses, exploits, and dominates. If this word brings you discomfort, replace it with another one. However, I quite deliberately use this expression, and I believe that in the course of this lunar month it will become clear why. What I want to say now is that it is related to the skill of controlling emotions. It is a core skill in emotional intelligence because it helps us come out of reactive behavior and instead of being servants to our emotions, we become their wise masters.
In addition to the visualization I offered you, you can also choose another ritual – for example, write the desire on a piece of paper, send it mentally while meditating in front of a candle, or simply imagine the pictures of how it has materialized in your life. The form the ritual takes is not so important. What is important is to bring awareness to what your heart’s greatest longing is. To see it clearly, to name it clearly, and to clearly state your intention to take care of this longing until it manifests in your life.
Since astrological factors have an important influence, please check if there is a “moon void of course” on the day of the new moon and do the assignment at a time when this is not the case.