Welcome to Sanctuary 4

by Christopher Lovejoy on October 31, 2021

Note to readers: this post is the fourth in a series of posts about flowing into and out of sanctuary

The ultimate challenge in life is to confront and transform the negativity bias, a pronounced bias in the human psyche to scan for bad news; to focus on what is perceived as bad, like pain or loss; to overreact to what is perceived as bad; and to remember bad more easily than good.

It also doesn’t help any of us that painful, stressful experiences sensitize (and de-sensitize) the human nervous system to more of the same, and that human nervous systems are so very susceptible to succumbing to vicious, escalating cycles of conflict in relationship to one another.

To meet this challenge, and to meet it well, requires a willingness to embrace these two aims: (1) awaken the heart of soul to grace through the integration of growth and gratitude (enlightenment), and (2) empower the spirit with courage and generosity to grow and flow with ease.

This dual purpose is equipped to unify a cosmic destiny, and this purpose is best realized, I have found, with a blueprint for the psyche, for the care of soul incarnate in the realization of Soul as a whole. Where the care of soul is the care of soul as an anchor for spirit, the care of Soul as a whole is the care of Soul as a sphere of influence, which includes the spirit.

In light of this purpose, I offer these distinctions for clarification:


soul, as an anchor for spirit: energy swells where attention dwells
spirit, as an expression of soul: energy flows where attention goes

In essence, the Soul (Psyche) as a whole is a composite of body, mind, heart, soul, and spirit, where the body as vessel seeks to embody as peace and love, where the body as vehicle seeks to explore and express as joy and bliss, and where the ensuing integration and application of soul and spirit ideally yield grace and ease, respectively. Here’s the relevant heuristic:


body as vessel + body as vehicle => peace and love + joy and bliss => grace + ease

Now let’s chunk this down even further.

Purpose Unifies Destiny (With a Psychic Blueprint)

The following psychic blueprint is comprised of four essential guidelines for the Psyche, two of which apply to soul and two of which apply to spirit; the first two guidelines concern themselves with loving and trusting; the second two concern themselves with caring and giving:


religious imperatives

1) in loving, I embody a pure love of self with grace and ease
2) in trusting, I cultivate a pure space to live at peace with love

note 1: “a pure love of self” projects as “a pure of love of care”
note 2: “a pure space to live” can be internal or external, or both

spiritual imperatives

3) in caring, I engender a pure path to joy in awe and wonder
4) in giving, I alchemize a pure lust for life from joy to bliss

note 3: in caring (for and about feelings, conditions, situations)
note 4: the natural imperative to give can be clarified as follows:

I give and receive through courage, in a spirit of generosity,
for it is my joy to alchemize a lust for life into a state of bliss;
in giving, I alchemize a pure lust for life from joy to bliss

wholistic imperative
bonus: toggle between these two sets of guidelines, as required

The ramifications of following this blueprint are quite telling: if I’m unduly preoccupied with safety and security, then I’m at risk of not living a full and fulfilling life, or if I’m unduly preoccupied with peace and love, then I’m at risk of not living a spiritually inspired life, and if I’m unduly preoccupied with joy and bliss, then I’m at risk of living inside a spiritual bubble. By the same token, the dominant theme of a life might involve, or revolve around, coming to terms with confronting issues of safety and security, addressing issues of peace and love, or resolving issues of joy and bliss.

In light of these caveats, the guidance that follows can help find and keep the balance:


for the soul : embody a pure love of self < > cultivate a pure space to live
for the spirit : engender a pure path to joy < > alchemize a pure lust for life

for both : embody, cultivate < > engender, alchemize (toggle, ad infinitum)

True, there is nothing wrong with seeking safety and security, nothing wrong with seeking satiety and satisfaction, nothing wrong with seeking status and significance; there is, however, something wrong with being consumed by any one or more of these avenues of worldly seeking.

To see why, let’s expand our purview of what’s at stake with the priorities that follow:


to survive
to feel secure
to belong

to know and grow
to love and be loved
to feel significant

to grow
with the flow

A lot can be packed into these needs. For example, a need “to be certain” can be absorbed by the need “to know and grow” or a need “to make a contribution” can be taken up by the need “to feel significant.” Note, too, that pleasure and desire are integral to each one of these needs.

Note also the placement of “to survive.” Why is this need at the top? Is there not a danger of some one or some group becoming consumed by a focus on survival? And yet, when you peruse the list as a whole, is it not true that every item, save the first one, depends on the first one?

Note also the order of these priorities. Have they not been arranged in order of urgency? That is, if I meet the needs to survive and to feel secure, can I not then attend to the need to belong? And if I meet the need to know and grow and to love and be loved, can I not then attend to the need to feel significant? And in meeting the need to feel significant, can I not then feel free to grow with the flow?

Furthermore, and this is a key point, is it not true that we all have our own ways and means to meet these needs, in our own time at our own pace, even if they might appear strange to others by consensus? Given the track record of humanity with its seemingly depthless capacities for evil and suffering, can anyone really be judged and blamed for being a little idiosyncratic now and then?

And what of the interplay between subjective and collective need? That is, would there be any point in “going and growing with the knowing and flowing” if I knew without a doubt that the groups to which I belong were subject to measures that threatened their lives and livelihoods?

To give universal meaning to these needs, we need only place them inside a cosmic context:


a cosmic context of practice

enlightenment : awaken the heart of soul to grace in the alignment of gratitude with growth
empowerment : empower the spirit with courage and generosity to grow and flow with ease

reinforcement : when in doubt, be _______________________________________

be true, be wise, be free . . . be sincere, be honest, be integrous . . . be wise, be compassionate

This schema offers a way to infuse need with meaning, with relevance and significance from a cosmic point of view, which, as we saw, is held by the principles of Huna Wisdom. Think of this fundamental relationship as a context of basic practices within a context of basic principles.

First, I contemplate the basic principles, and then, I contemplate the basic practices in light of these basic principles. From there, I revisit the needs to see which one requires my immediate attention, while keeping in mind that they all require my attention at one time or another.


1

ike : the world is what I think it is
kala : there are no limits
makia : energy flows where attention goes
manawa : now is the moment of power
aloha : to love is to be happy with
mana : all power comes from within
pono : ‘effective’ . . . is the measure of truth

2

enlightenment : awaken the heart of soul to grace in the alignment of gratitude with growth
empowerment : empower the spirit with courage and generosity to grow and flow with ease

3

to survive
to feel secure
to belong

to know and grow
to love and be loved
to feel significant

to grow
with the flow

4

security, liberty

peace, prosperity

privacy, sanctuary

The fourth section is simply a shorthand for need in the context of practice. Each pair serves as a context for each set of needs. So, for example, survival, a sense of security, and a sense of belonging can be viewed in a context of ensuring security and liberty, while knowing, growing, loving, and feeling significant can be viewed in a context of attending to peace and prosperity.

So, which of these needs, if any, require immediate attention?

What makes a response to this question so complicated is the urgency of another question: whose attention? My attention? Your attention, and therefore my attention? Their attention, and therefore my attention? Their attention, and therefore our attention? Again, whose attention?

Which need, and who are the stakeholders of attention in any given interaction, situation, or transaction? Depending on the complexity of the stakeholder map, my own attention might matter little to the outcome, but then again, it might matter more than I could possibly imagine.

What I find so very interesting about the matter of need is that a focus on a higher-order need could very well help me meet a lower-order need. So, for example, if I feel that my focus is too much on feeling significant, I could bump it up a bit: what must I do now to grow with the flow?

Or, what if my focus is too much on growing with the flowing?

Perhaps my relationship with need overall lies on a continuum of perceived urgency, in which case, a number on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 “feels not at all urgent” and 10 “feels extremely urgent” could be assigned to each need. To wit: how urgent, in this moment, is my perceived need . . .


to survive = 0
to feel secure = 0
to belong = 0

to know and grow = 0
to love and be loved = 0
to feel significant = 0

to grow
with the flow = 0

Here, no perceived urgency is indicated in this moment to meet any of these needs, but then, it might be wondered, “just how important?” On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 “feels not at all important” and 10 “feels extremely important,” just how important, in this moment, is the need . . .


to survive = 0, 0
to feel secure = 0, 0
to belong = 0, 0

to know and grow = 0, 0
to love and be loved = 0, 0
to feel significant = 0, 0

to grow
with the flow = 0, 0

Are all of these zeroes making you feel uncomfortable? I mean, could this be the profile of a spiritual nihilist who has lost all interest in making a mark on this world? But then again, could this profile belong to one who has approached if not realized the ultimate in personal fulfillment?

In light of these questions, consider this schema of priorities . . .


1
a deadline or crisis? > urgent and important > just do it

2
future growth and development > not urgent but important > plan

3
a distraction with a deadline? > urgent but not important > delegate

4
a frivolous distraction? > not urgent, not important > eliminate

We have one of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s college professors to thank for these priorities, and we have Stephen R. Covey to thank for making them popular in his bestseller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, vis a vis Habit # 3 (First Things First), but they do beg questions.

Working backwards: when the waters are calm, “how well do I eliminate?” In the heat of action, “how well do I delegate?” When all sense of urgency is lost, “how well do I plan my future?” In the midst of crisis, “just how well do I rise to the challenge?” A person of consequence and significance is a juggler of priority: “am I such a person? Do I wish to be? If so, why? If not, why not?”

Only someone who has been driven by a purpose, and by purpose in general, could ever appreciate any one or more of these priorities, as well as these priorities as a whole, but what if, just for the sake of discussion, we drop the schtick of “being driven by purpose in life,” and opt instead for a more relaxed approach to life? How do you suppose such a life would look, sound, and feel?

Let’s start here: a wholly spontaneous life can be and feel very loving, trusting, and caring, where giving and receiving naturally, sensibly, and easily are par for the course. Without a sense of being driven, what distraction? Without a sense of being driven by importance, why plan?

With no sense of urgency around purpose, where’s the deadline or crisis?

In view of these rather unorthodox questions, I nevertheless invite you to consider the following prescription for a life lived and loved without feeling driven by purpose. In mulling its implications for your own life, take careful note of the creative tension generated by the contrast:


soul <-> spirit : peaceful satisfaction <-> blissful dissatisfaction
witness and ego : choose happy now, but keep reaching for more

As you can see, this prescription for finding “sanctuary-on-the-go, sanctuary-in-the-flow” does not do away with purpose, but it does throw a monkey wrench into a purpose-driven life. The upshot of this prescription is to “keep reaching for more,” but the questions go on begging . . .


more of what?

more of who you are

how am I supposed to do that?

by letting what you do come naturally, sensibly, easily, spontaneously, effortlessly from who and where you are

how am I supposed to do that?

by learning to trust your knowing and feeling in every moment

in every moment? how am I supposed to do that?

by becoming intimate with who you are in relation to others

intimate?! how am I supposed to do that?

with awareness, courage, and blisscipline

blisscipline?

the blissipline of cultivating, calibrating, and celebrating goodness, kindness, and sweetness, respectively

very poetic, but seriously, how am I supposed to do that?

by cultivating and calibrating a tension between peaceful satisfaction and blissful dissatisfaction

sounds good, but how am I supposed to do that?

with an ongoing review of this psychic blueprint :


in loving, I embody a pure love of self with grace and ease
in trusting, I cultivate a pure space to live at peace with love
in caring, I engender a pure path to joy in awe and wonder
in giving, I alchemize a pure lust for life from joy to bliss

for the soul : embody a pure love of self < > cultivate a pure space to live
for the spirit : engender a pure path to joy < > alchemize a pure lust for life
for both : embody, cultivate < > engender, alchemize (toggle, ad infinitum)

soul <-> spirit : peaceful satisfaction <-> blissful dissatisfaction
witness and ego : choose happy now, but keep reaching for more

I fear that if I follow this blueprint, I won’t always know whether I’m coming or going

but isn’t that the point?

if I always knew whether I was coming or going, what would be the point?

precisely

so can I tweak this blueprint to suit myself?

of course

can I go back to feeling driven by purpose?

if you keep finding your sweet spot in every moment, you won’t need to do that

This fictional dialogue poses some really good questions about finding and following the bliss of M&M (motivation and momentum). So how do we keep finding our sweet spots from one moment to the next, and in so doing, find sanctuary wherever we happen to be in the moment?

The Key to Sanctuary

may I find the serenity to accept and to appreciate what I cannot change,
the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference

Let us suppose that the key to sanctuary is a skillset, one that can be summoned in the moment and applied spontaneously and responsively with grace and ease. Let us further suppose that the skills in this skillset can be summoned and applied coherently, congruently, and consistently.

Here’s a snapshot of the skills, along with a case study to make sense of them:


intuit : what needs my attention now? who can I be, and what can I do, here and now? (address the gap between being receptive in the midst of passivity and being assertive in the midst of activity, for is it not true that confusion comes from assertion in the midst of chaos or conflict?)

intend : in the midst of passivity, I can be receptive to intention to clear confusion, but in the midst of activity, what must I do (psychologically), what should I do (morally), or what can I do (spiritually) in the midst of chaos or conflict to clear confusion with intention to move forward?

inform : am I open to learning more about what to do even at the risk of bringing more chaos or conflict into my life?

inspire : am I open to growing with the flowing, notwithstanding any chaos, conflict, or confusion that might arise?

case study

intuit : what needs my attention now? I don’t feel so good: I feel more tired than usual, I don’t feel as motivated, inspired, and energized as I usually do, and I sense I ate something in my dinner last night that is making me feel less than my best, so who can I be, what can I do?

I can put on some soothing sounds from nature to help me stay calm and be curious; I can inquire: what can I do here and now to address and resolve these feelings? I can be still to welcome the best of intentions, and I can now welcome the best method to resolve these feelings

I now realize that the best way to resolve these feelings is to . . . rest, relax, relieve, release, restore, renew, refresh, rejoice, and return

intend : I now allow myself to . . . rest, relax, relieve, release, restore, renew, refresh, rejoice, and return

inform : I remain open to learning more about resolving the feelings that keep me down or hold me back

inspire : I remain open to going and growing with the knowing and flowing of caring for all of my feelings

In view of this analysis, let’s be honest with ourselves: how well do I intuit what needs doing now? How well do I intend clarity, harmony, and serenity in the midst of chaos, conflict, and confusion? And how open am I to being informed and inspired as and when I know I need to be?

In view of these questions, how cognizant am I of the complexity involved?


I can do this! but I could do this, but I must do this, so I should do this . . . !

recall: ‘must’ is psychological; ‘should’ is moral, ‘can’ and ‘could’ are spiritual

I put it to you now: knowing what you do about Huna Wisdom; psychic structure; the nature of reality; measures of meaning; Ekos sacred, Eros divine; coherence, congruence, and consistency; having a psychic blueprint for life; enlightenment and empowerment; basic human needs; the need for principles, practices, and priorities; peaceful satisfaction and blissful dissatisfaction; and the key to sanctuary . . .

  • what can I do now?
  • what could I do now?
  • what must I do now?
  • what should I do now?

In view of this snapshot of skills, in view of the questions posed, and in view of the complexity involved, I am given to wonder: just how positively sensitive am I in my relationship to chaos, conflict, and confusion? And just how susceptible am I to the objects of this relationship?

You may wish to explore these questions now, or you may want to wait until after I’ve covered the two sections that follow, which I’ve entitled My Body, My Temple (an exploration of personal boundaries) and My Word, My Wand (the cultivation of impeccability as a primary virtue).

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Note to readers: this post is the fourth in a series on finding sanctuary. As I post each one to my blog, I’ll be placing it into Sanctuary under the Resource tab in the Navigation menu at the top of this site

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