Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10 Reasons I’m Not A Lightworker

1. Service to Self and Service to Others (STS vs. STO) is a false dichotomy.

If you’ve been involved with spiritual or New Age material for any length of time, you may have heard polarity described in terms of “service to others” and “service to self” or “STO vs. STS.” These terms originated in the Ra Material allegedly channeled by a small group of people in the early 80s.

Since then, they have been frequently adopted by those of the lightworker persuasion to describe the perceived need to “polarize.” Service to others is of course viewed as “positive,” and service to self as “negative.”

While I’m sure most people understand that in practice it’s not very realistic to pick one and exclude the other entirely, there has still been a tendency to portray them as an either/or, two paths in conflict with each other. This is misleading and problematic.

I have known many people, including myself a lot earlier in my life, who get so carried away with trying to “serve others,” that they completely marginalize and forget themselves.

Nobody can go on like this indefinitely; the outcome is that these people end up being no good to themselves or anyone else, and are forced to swing back heavily toward serving themselves just to get back on some kind of even keel.

If they’ve become overly resentful in the process, they may just end up staying that way. In this way it could be said that being too gung-ho about STO actually creates more STS people.

Things also get problematic in that many lightworkers try to “serve others” against their will, by attempting to convert others to their own paradigm and moral framework. Forcing help on someone who doesn’t want your help is, arguably, a self-serving act. And around and around we go…

It would probably be more realistic to say that there are self-serving, and others-serving elements in nearly everything we do — and if we’re going to survive long enough to serve anybody, this is how it has to be.

Rather than trying to figure out the orientation of every act and then trying to get a sum total out of it (which is what you’d have to do to figure out one’s polarity in STS / STO terms) I find it more meaningful to focus on the understanding that one’s actions come from.

Some people and entities, being disconnected from their heart chakras (or possibly not having them) for various reasons, perceive the world as an inherently competitive place where the way to survive is at everyone else’s expense.

Others, whose heart chakras are present, healthy and functional, perceive a sense of interconnectedness with their fellow beings. This leads them to recognize that their highest good, and that of everyone else who is aligned in this way, are not mutually exclusive; they are, in fact, one and the same.

As for me, my goal is not to be any certain percentage “STS” or “STO” — my goal is self-mastery. The nature of my path means that I will naturally serve and be served by those whose goals and values are aligned with mine.

Self mastery means that, by definition, I have to spend large amounts of time and personal resources on myself, but the result is that I have more to offer others, and am happy to do so, such as by making information that I’ve found helpful available on this site.

At the same time, if I allow myself to “serve” to my own detriment, then I would be moving toward martyrdom, not mastery.

I give simply because I choose to, and aim to live and act in such a way that benefits myself AND those who come into my sphere of influence who are similarly aligned. I have also done inner work on myself such that my overall general focus at the energetic and subconscious level is service (rather than say, security or gratification).

This might seem selfless if not for the fact that I also realize that in this orientation, my basic needs tend to be taken care of without much direct focus or worry on my part, and whatever gratification I might enjoy tends to show up on its own. ;)

Of course not everybody is aligned with my goals and values, and I have no intention of “converting” anybody to anything. Every individual needs to work out their own path for themselves, and I am at my best, and accomplishing the most, when mutually serving alongside likeminded people.

Others will indirectly benefit from my service, though I don’t necessarily focus heavily on those who have no need or use for my particular areas of specialization at this time.

My time, insight and personal resources are also not for those who seek to control and manipulate regardless of whether they have the best of intentions. Those that attempt to block or divert my path generally receive only a complimentary demonstration of free will by being unceremoniously removed.

2. Extreme Passivity is Not a Virtue.

When the subject of nonviolence is discussed, names like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus Christ are typically mentioned in order to illustrate its principles.

The point at which lightworkers often drop the ball on this one even while placing themselves in the same category, is when “nonviolent resistance” regresses into the form of its neutered cousin: extreme and undiscerning passivity.

The three men mentioned above all had specific objectives, of which nonviolence was part of their overall strategy. MLK and Gandhi were both up against a greater power in physical terms, and used nonviolence and civil disobedience as leverage in order to effect change by swaying public opinion in their favor.

Jesus allowed himself to be put to death because he felt it was part of his personal path — though he is also recorded as having used violence on at least one occasion. (John 2:15) The point is that in all three cases, these men were most certainly not passively allowing their opponents free reign.

They were willing to speak out, boldly and loudly, even if it put themselves in danger. Their nonviolent resistance was a calculated means to a specific end. Gandhi, it should be noted, had no place for cowardice among his followers.

To those whose nonviolence is rooted in fear, such as the lightworkers whose stance against violence amounts to their fear of punishment in the form of an imagined karmic backlash, Gandhi had this to say.

“Gandhi guarded against attracting to his satyagraha movement those who feared to take up arms or felt themselves incapable of resistance. ‘I do believe,’ he wrote, ‘that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.’” (Source)

I am personally ambivalent about the use of violence in any form, though the discussion of that subject goes beyond the scope of this article. I’m definitely in favor of using force when necessary, which can be done in many ways without resorting to physical violence.

It should be pointed out that many bullies and predatory types will immediately back down when confronted by a show of force, although discernment is required to know whether this is a safe option.

In any case what concerns me is the tendency among “spiritual” people toward the view that being a spineless jellyfish, and immediately rolling over in submission at the first sign of opposition, is a virtue.

I recently read a quote from a lightworker to the effect that in the hypothetical event of an attack on his family, he hoped that he could be a “willing punching bag” so that they could get away. After reading this, I must admit I had the urge to knock some sense into him myself. Ahem.

This underscores the major difference between the lightworker approach, and that of the Three Amigos of Nonviolent Resistance up there.

The former doesn’t resist or accomplish anything; it only disempowers the individual and encourages bullying behavior to continue unchecked. It’s really no wonder that so many bullies, liars, predators and sociopaths are able to elevate themselves to positions of power and influence — when we’ve got so many lightworkers who see it as a virtue to hand over their own to the darkworker’s cause.

Every individual should take an approach to this question that best fits with his or her conscience, and nature. Whatever your stance on violence though, the best position is one that empowers you, takes a firm stance against bullying or predatory behavior in any form, and refuses to indulge or help perpetuate it — including by being a victim.

3. Darkness is not “bad.” It just IS.

We all have a dark, or shadow-side. That part is a given; the important question is what you choose to DO with it. Lightworkers tend to view any manifestation of darkness in a negative light, including their own, and either try to change or deny those aspects of themselves.

The problem is that when you deny or repress any part of the self, especially that one, it simply expresses itself in a way that is not healthy for you or anyone else, internally and externally. Granted, we live in a world where some very dark individuals routinely get away with very nasty things.

The irony is that if lightworkers (and everyone else for that matter) were to take responsibility for and integrate their own darkness, and become masters of their own personal power, there would be no darkworkers. Why? Because most of the power darkworkers hold is stolen.

If we weren’t making so much available for them to steal, and making our unexpressed darkness available to exploit, they’d simply be forced to find another way to sustain themselves, because doing so at the expense of the rest of us would no longer be an option.

That’s not to say that darkness is always unhealthy or destructive, although “destruction” is itself a force of nature that is necessary for creation to take place.

Darkness is only unhealthy when it gets sociopathic and predatory, or when it’s manifesting unconsciously. My own approach is to become conscious of my darker aspects without trying to change them into anything else, but finding a way to align them with the highest common good.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we could actually learn a lot from darkworkers. Without being able to rely on the cooperation of others, theirs is a path of high resistance and struggle, which forces them to develop other strengths such as intelligence, organization, drive and ambition.

Can you imagine what our world would look like if what I described above were to happen; if all that misplaced power, resources and the talents of the people who have taken them were freed up and put toward the common good?

It may be a pipe dream, but if you’d like to see it happen as much as I would, then making friends with your own darkness would be a good place to start.

4. We are not all the same.

Lightworkers have a bad habit of assuming they’re the only people in creation — that everyone is either a lightworker or a potential lightworker who doesn’t know it yet. Diversity and free will be damned!

This gives rise to the desire to convert or “fix” others, usually in terms of convincing them to accept a given belief system and moral framework. Nevermind that we coexist with a diverse cast of characters on a variety of paths, whose choices are theirs to make.

I recently saw a quote from a self-described lightworker to the effect that “everyone wants love.” This idea is common — project enough love ‘n light at any person or entity, and they’ll eventually morph into Mother Teresa.

The problem there is that not everybody you meet has a heart chakra with which to process love, sometimes by choice as they have willingly signed on to the darkworker path.

Even if someone wanted a heart chakra who didn’t have one, who wants to bet me a sandwich that the average lightworker has neither the knowledge nor the tools necessary to make that happen?

Speaking of sandwiches, another good reason not to assume that everyone is fundamentally the same and headed in the same direction, is that it can be unnecessarily dangerous — if the person you’re looking at and seeing “latent lightworker” is looking at you and seeing “lunch.”

At the very least, by trying to fit everyone in the same mold, you run the risk of infringing on the free will of someone who may be just as concerned with “doing good” as you are, but have a very different definition of what that means.

5. “More polarized” is not “more advanced.”

I have noted a tendency among lightworkers to view the decision to “polarize” as a sign of spiritual advancement. And it is… for them. In other words, they have designated this incarnation to experience polarity from a certain angle, and so the conscious decision to be a lightworker is an affirmation of the path they signed up for.

More power to you if you have come to this realization in your own life. However, the mistake I see many make is to view everyone else in terms of lightworkers, darkworkers, and “those who haven’t made THE decision to polarize YET.” This decision is often portrayed as an eventual hallmark of everyone’s path. Why is this a mistake?

Because one man’s path is another man’s distraction.

Early on in my own path, I encountered the path of the lightworker being portrayed as the be-all, end-all… and it sounded good! So I tried it on for size… and soon found that it didn’t fit me. All I experienced at that time was tension and problems — a sign I was not being true to myself.

What I later found out is that for me to advance on my path was to acknowledge that I’ve had my fill of experiencing either polarity by itself — I’m on a path of balance.

6. I don’t want to be positive all the time. I want to be real.

Under the lightworker philosophy, there are no negatives — the ideal is to frame every thought, emotion and situation in a positive way. The usually stated reason for this is “we get what we focus on”

This is problematic because our emotions — even our negative ones — serve a useful purpose. By paying attention to how we’re feeling, we get important feedback about ourselves, our environment and the state our lives are in. Negative emotions are often the body’s way of letting us know that something is wrong.

Repressing them not only causes serious problems at the physical, psychological and energetic levels, it can lead one to accept or not even recognize an unhealthy situation, rather than making the changes necessary to improve it or move on.

I have learned to view my emotions as tools — and the “positive” ones are just as valuable as the “negative” ones. Expressing negativity only becomes a problem when it becomes a habit; otherwise it’s much more useful to let the emotions express themselves, get it out of your system in a healthy way and move on.

If you’re in a genuinely crappy situation, the first step toward a better one is to acknowledge it for what it is.

It is important for me to be real and genuine in my dealings with others. When we’re angry or sad for instance, and mask it with happiness, we send out mixed messages.

This disempowers ourselves and deprives our relationships of the opportunity for growth and change. If a problem that should have been acknowledged gets buried in the interest of “staying positive,” it only builds resentment and puts an increasing strain on ourselves and our relationships.

So-called negative emotions also play a valuable role when it comes to enjoying and creating art and music, where the darkness is just as important as the light.

If it was all fairies and unicorns, all the time, it would make for a pretty bland experience, and I think I really would go crazy. All told, I much prefer being able to acknowledge, value and utilize ALL aspects of myself, rather than trying to force myself into a contrived semblance of perpetual sunshine.

8. I like my ego.

Popular spirituality and common lightworker parlance takes a page from the book of Eastern philosophy (and distorts it heavily in the process) by declaring war on the ego. Ignore it, repress it, deny it, kill it, get rid of that ego!

Sorry, but I’ve never done away with part of myself, and don’t intend to start.

I plan on writing in depth about exactly what the ego is and why it’s a valuable part of our experience, as this is an important subject.

For now I will say only that my objective is not to do away with my ego — it’s to do away with all the influences my ego has absorbed that aren’t aligned with my purpose and what I want to experience. In doing so my ego has become my own creation.

9. Living as if “all is one” is a recipe for disaster.

The lightworker paradigm tends to downplay the practical need for personal boundaries, in favor of viewing everything and everybody as One.

In a previous article I recounted a conversation with a fellow who had likewise taken to viewing everyone, including sociopathic people and negative entities, as part of himself — and was wondering why he found himself continually targetted for abuse by beings of the physical and nonphysical persuasions alike.

We all may be from one Source, but for practical purposes, we experience ourselves as separate individuals when living in a 3D world. Revolutionary concept, no? ;) The problem is that trying to live as if we were literally one with everyone else for practical purposes, especially when combined with other common lightworker traits like repressing anything dark or negative, is a good way to get a swift and uncomfortable lesson in just how diverse humanity really is.

10. Light vs Dark is more like a dysfunctional marriage than an epic battle.

“The cosmic struggle between light and darkness” — sounds like the material for a good movie doesn’t it? An ongoing conflict that, from one perspective, has winners and losers, and from another, has only winners.

This is how the situation is usually portrayed, anyway. In reality the way it plays out in our world is more like a mutually abusive marriage. Lightworkers and darkworkers both want to control what you, and each other, do, say and think.

The only real difference is that to achieve their goals, the dark uses the worst of the male principle (fear, coercion, aggression) whereas the light uses the worst of the female principle (nagging, guilt tripping, passive aggression).

Granted one may threaten you outright whereas the other is mostly just irritating… but both only respect your free will insofar as your choices agree with their personal agenda. As such I stand in opposition to both of them.

Further Reading

As I was developing the content for this article, I happened to cruise over to In 2 Worlds and find that Carissa just wrote an article that covers eerily similar ground. Must’ve been a ripple in The Force™. :D

New Age Love and Light Fallacies

Then as I was looking for articles by lightworkers to make sure I was representing their views in an unbiased way, I found this one written by another non-lightworker.

Why I am Not a Lightworker

…So then my challenge was to come up with content that couldn’t be summed up with “yeah, what they said.” :P

Here are two of the main articles by self-described lightworkers that I read to make sure I was accurately representing the lightworker viewpoint in order to disagree with it. Both Steve and Erin have written extensively on the lightworker viewpoint. Both also have a lot of useful and valid things to say on a variety of subjects; this just happens to be one on which we differ strongly. :)

Rise of the Lightworker”

Pick a Side, Any Side


cybershamans (karmapolice) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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