The Fourth Direction
By Matthew Cosgrove.
From his book: The Altar of the initiate
I Think Therefore I Am
In this stage or lifetime we slowly begin to learn how to manage being in this world. Having been submerged and survived we now have a precedent, we open to a new possibility and potential. We for short periods begin to swim and allow ourselves to feel the energy and power of this sea of emotion.
What is the Fourth Direction?
The Fourth Direction is illness and handicaps. Many who work through addictions go directly into this direction by immediately acquiring an illness or handicap. It is like we are not quite ready to fully descend onto the earth and the world of feeling, so we take on an illness that gives us a place to retreat back into. It can be a permanent handicap, or people that are just continually going from one illness to another.
Indigenous teachings never talked about this because it was probably not common for them, but a severe handicap in western society is that of over-intellectualization in our perception of reality. With the Kingdom divided, and the self-fragmented, as described in Artisans of the New Earth, the king has free reign. Here we do not meet life’s challenges head on but filter them through the safe but limiting concepts of the mind.
In this direction the mind has become like a runaway train that thinks it is going somewhere, but in reality is like a mouse turning on the wheel, and never really leaving the cage. This way of being is so widespread that it is presumed normal and it is highly honored. However, it has nothing to do with real intelligence and is often devoid of simple common sense. We can be brilliant thinkers, but if we are identified with the ego mind, we are still completely unconscious to our true nature. Real genius comes from having the courage to be empty and having openness to imagination and creativity.
I often observe older people in their retirement years. Having their whole working lives behind them, they should hopefully and finally have reached a state of peace and serenity. But sadly they have not, and so often they wear in their faces, a lifetime of being tormented, tortured and imprisoned by the judgments of the mind and ego. This causes such a tension in the body that like an illness, is actually killing them.
The Theologian and the Thief
There was once a theologian and a thief in jail together. One night they took advantage of an opportunity to escape. Once outside of their cell, they quietly slipped out into the courtyard, but having nearly reached the outer wall, the theologian tripped over a bucket. At that moment and without thinking the thief, who was used to surviving by using his wits and instincts, let out a very convincing and loud meow sound, making the now alerted guards believe that it had been a cat that had upset the bucket. After a time, when he sensed it was safe to do so, the thief started to climb the outer wall, but the theologian, trying to follow him, again tripped over the same bucket. This time, the theologian, thinking he was just as smart in his ability to fool the guards yelled out loudly, “Don’t worry, it is just that stupid cat again!’
The Illusions of the Mind
It is possible to so thoroughly describe the taste of an orange, like describing the mild acidity turning to sweetness as it dissolves in the mouth, that we believe we are having a real experience. We can describe the color and the texture from the outer skin to the inner divisions, which when broken open release a soft aromatic spray. We can describe the innermost cells, which explode in our mouth with a flower like flavor. We can describe it so perfectly we are convinced that we have eaten an orange when in actuality we may have never even tasted one. We can write volumes and books, we can hold a Ph.D. on the taste of oranges without ever having really seen, let alone having actually tasted a real orange. It is just like the illusions of the mind, making us believe we are experiencing life, when in fact we are not.
In a similar way theology is the limited mind’s study of God. But God cannot be reduced to ideologies and concepts. God is even beyond experience. A truly Spiritual person has the radiance and luminosity of truth, but has no theology. The more the distance between a person and truth, the more the philosophizing and argument, the more a person is close to truth, the less he or she has to say. It is an effort for the person who knows the truth to speak, but when they do, their words are imbued with silence and are a blessing to the world.
There are many people trapped here, driven by pride, because they have acquired so much information, and are haunted by the judgments that they need to always know more. Working with them I can see that their energies are often completely out of their bodies, causing many problems associated with being ungrounded. They are also difficult to work with because their egos often match the size of their heads, making them often think they are in the seventh direction. Intellectualism is a way of controlling what we allow to enter by over-developing the mental body; it is just another way the ego mind protects itself, never having to meet its dissolution in silence.
Working as an energy healer over many years, I have encountered illness of different types. With this type of work, illness is perceived as a block. Often, removing or correcting the obstruction and imbalance that causes it brings wellness. Other times people are just not ready to let these blocks go, and they hang on to them as if to life itself. Even if they are causing pain, they are safe and familiar, and as long as they hold on they don’t need to change, for to be cured would mean crossing the threshold of the unknown. It is at first startling, but becomes all too familiar to see people desperately hanging on to what makes them miserable. It becomes an identity that our ego fixes itself upon. In this place we are addicted to our woundedness and draw a perverse source of pleasure from it.
But it is precisely the hanging on to that which is obsolete that the illness is pushing against. Illness can be a teacher propelling us to where we have to go. In such cases taking illness away is like taking away a meal from someone who is hungry. They will either starve or find something else to eat. In the same way, the soul always needs something to be working on.
The Seven Directions of the Soul teach us that the purpose of being here alive on the earth is to grow, and for some, working through an illness causes a great shift in our awareness. I have seen people in this direction fully recover from serious illness and move on. They learned the lessons their illness offered and they embraced a new inner attitude of self-love and forgiveness. I have seen someone who stubbornly refused to let go of anger, bitterness and resentment, and the illness finally took him or her. I have seen others, who have learned, grown and inwardly moved on from serious illness, but the illness still took them and on a deeper level they passed to the after life having been healed and transformed by it.
Learn more about the 7 directions of the soul