knowledge is marked by gaining insight into a spiritual teaching that helps
the initiate understand what they have been through and why they had to
go through it the way they did. It teaches them that there is meaning or
purpose to the initiatory ordeals. Whether we are betrayed on purpose or
by accident, each betrayal experience initiates the movement from the loss
of a dream, through the five stages of mourning, to giving birth to the
truth. Trust is the act of faith that inspires us to live in truth. When
we get past the pain of betrayal, we learn to risk in spite of opposition,
counterinfluences, or discouragement. In other words, we learn to trust.
grows from listening to a deeper truth within—a message from the soul of
one’s being. As James Hillman said, “It may well be that betrayal has no
other positive outcome but forgiveness, and that the experience of forgiveness
is possible only if one has been betrayed. Such forgiveness is a forgiving
which is not a forgetting, but the remembrance of wrong transformed within
a wider context.”6 Remember your betrayal experience with the eyes of your
soul. Though the uninitiated self, with its conditions, expectations, and
demands, is lost, an infinite creative Source emerges within the psyche
as the inner guide and teacher. The acronym TRUST can guide today’s seeker
beyond death’s door into the fourth stage of initiation-the reception of
new knowledge that gives value and meaning to the initiatory ordeals. This
is the wider context that transforms betrayal into forgiveness.
The Teaching of New Knowledge
T - Turn Inward
- Relax, Release, Receive
inward to discover your deepest truth.
To thine own
Self be true.
- Use Intuition to Understand
your body and mind and release fear, then receive intuitive guidance.
- Speak, Share, Stand Up
the tools you have, both inner and outer resources to gain greater awareness.
- Try Again and TRUST
the truth. Share your dreams. Take a stand.
the process that continues to return to your Source within.
We learn to trust
not in our betrayers, but in the truth of the Self. This creative, inner
Self guides us and protects us. The Self inspires us to make meaning out
of life and directs us to align with a deeper purpose in all our relationships,
including our relationships with our betrayers.
find it fascinating that the words trust and truth come from the same root
word. In fact, the words trust, true, truce, troth, and betroth are all
related etymologically to the Old English word treow.7 Treow stands for
the concepts of fidelity, faith, and loyalty. Fidelity, faith, and loyalty
to the Self is the sacred vow of the initiate. Truth is the sacred troth
between the higher Self and your ordinary evolving self. As we betroth
our truth, the bond of trust grows into an experience of personal integrity.
Truth brings a truce to our painful inner battles and emotional struggles
and eases our external conflicts with others.
word treow literally means “tree.” I like to think of betrayal as the fruit
from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We’ve spent centuries digesting
our ancestral bite from the apple. Trust is fruit from the Tree of Life.
It is time for us to take the next bite. Use the image of a tree in your
meditations as a template for developing Self-trust. Imagine that your
roots penetrate deep into the dark, rich ground of being, while your branches
stretch upward and reach toward the sun, the light of consciousness. The
deeper your roots, the more stable your growth. You weather the seasons-scorching
hot sun, bitter winds of change, stormy rains, cold winters-with an innate
trust in spring, the season when life within you sprouts afresh and new.
Observe how you blossom and bloom. Notice how the branches of your knowledge
grow full with the fruits of experience. Each fruit is harvested and shared
and brings nourishment to yourself and others. Within the fruit of your
experience is a seed of truth ready to be planted and harvested in its
own cycle and season.
says that intuitive reason allows us to know truth without the need for
proof, as is required by scientific reason. We can trust our intuition
to guide us to truth. As Karen demonstrated earlier, we have the ability
to know truth for ourselves, from our inner Source, and when we surrender
to the truth, it brings a truce to the mind at war with itself. Each time
we turn inward and contact our inner Source, trust builds. We are renewed
by being reborn into Self-awareness.
we each know what we need in order to grow, heal, and flourish. The Source
within the psyche, which intuitively knows what we need and completely
accepts the truth of those needs, is a reflection of the omniscience and
unconditional love associated with the archetype of Divine Mother. We are
nurtured by contact with the Mother of our soul. Like an infant suckling
at the mother’s breast, we draw our nourishment from the Source of truth
within. Intuition also provides protective guidance from the Source of
healing within the psyche. Protective guidance and direction are expressions
of an omnipotent force in consciousness, the archetype of the Divine Father.
Inner direction empowers us and prompts us to act on our truth in order
to get our needs fulfilled. Direction and guidance come in the form of
inner hunches as well as outer synchronicities. In time, we remember the
sacred troth-we are not alone. We have inner resources, archetypal divine
parents, to support us and guide us to outer resources that fulfill our
Joe and Karen, many of my clients suffered from childhood wounds and earlier
betrayals. In our sessions, I assist them in making intuitive contact with
infinite inner resources like the archetypes of Divine Mother or Divine
Father. This helps them to receive the love, nurturing, protection, or
guidance they never received as children in their earlier relationships
with their physical parents. Intuitively, with the help of this greater
intelligence, they see that their betraying parent, lover, friend, or coworker
acted out of unresolved pain, fear, or hurt, and as in the Frog Prince
tale, the betrayer and the betrayal itself are instrumental in initiating
soul growth and character development for the betrayed. The meaning ascribed
to the betraying incident is very personal, though the betrayal is not.
Our family and friends are bound to betray us just by the fact that they
are human, not God.
contact with our Divine Parents within the psyche, we mature. In time,
we grow beyond the divine parent-child relationship. Self-nurturance and
self-direction become expressions of the Self. The Self is the archetypal
representation of one’s wholeness, a wholeness that we usually seek in
or project onto our relationship with our spouse, lover, or partner. For
example, colloquial expressions like “my significant other” or “my other
half” allude to this projection of the Self onto one’s partner or lover.
As one matures, instead of looking for divine perfection in one’s human
companion, one seeks union with one’s perfectly divine inner Self. Returning
to our Beloved within, making love with the One who loves us so well, we
are betrothed to our true companion. Our soul-mate relationship is really
a union between the higher Self and the evolving self within the psyche.
Higher Self is the one who will never abandon us, the one with whom we
are truly One. The sacred marriage that the alchemists call the hierogamos
is an inner marriage instead of an external affair.
sacred troth is a vow to have faith in the process of life, which continually
guides our return to our inner Source. All life’s teachings allow us to
renew our sacred marriage vows to the higher Self. Personal betrayal wounds
of infidelity and jealousy frequently indicate a misplaced alliance projected
onto one’s lover, spouse, or partner-giving them godlike status. These
false idols crash off their pedestals, and in the dust, we come to know
the One within the psyche, in whom we can truly trust.
love the fact that the word intuition comes from a Latin root word tueri,
which literally means “to observe, guard, or protect.”8 Through self-observation,
we come to know what we truly need. Intuition, not our psychological defenses,
provides all the protection we require. Our intuitive resources guard us
as we are guided to discover a deeper, more personally meaningful truth
contained within our painful betrayal experiences. Hidden from the ordinary,
rationalizing mind, which is caught in the traditional explanations of
why the past causes one to be the way one is, nonrational intuitive resources
extend beyond the limits of historical time and place to reveal that one
is already whole. Returning to the metaphor that faithful Henry provides,
the truth breaks the constricting bands of our psychological defenses and
sets us free to trust and be true to our inner Self.
is never punishing, shaming, or blaming. Punishment, as a construct for
life, dies along with other fears, which block us from the truth. Punishment,
whether self-punishment or the vindictive punishment of others, signals
that we are caught in fear. Once we have quelled the punishing and judging
mind, the silent voice of our impartial, observing Self can be heard. There
is a difference between the judging, rational-irrational mind, which is
full of beliefs and biases, and the nonrational mind, which intuitively
knows truth without proof. To show you how you might distinguish between
them, I’d like to tell you the tale of the Aged Mother.9
story opens with the Aged Mother returning from the graveyard after attending
the funeral of her last living friend. The Aged Mother is tired and weary
as she rekindles the hearth fire in her empty cottage. Alone in the darkness,
the Aged Mother sits before the crackling flames of the fire, musing on
the life she has lived. Images and memories of her husband, two sons, friends,
and family dance in the flames. One by one they all have died. Of all her
losses, the death of her children is the hardest to bear. In her grief,
she rages against God, blaming the Almighty for taking her sons from her
when they were still children. Now there is no one to keep her company
in her old age. She is all alone.
she hears the church bells chiming. Thinking that she dozed through the
night, the Aged Mother hurries off to the church. But when she gets there,
a ghostly light filters out through the church windows. The Aged Mother
opens the door, and she notices that every pew is filled. Rising from the
Aged Mother’s usual seat, a deceased aunt comes to greet her. All at once,
the Aged Mother realizes that the hall is filled with all her dead relatives
and friends long gone. “Look up, upon the altar,” her aunt says to her,
“and there you will find your sons.”
Aged Mother looks up and sees two strapping young men, one hung to death
on the gallows and the other tortured upon the wheel. The Aged Mother falls
to her knees and prays, giving thanks to God that her dear children did
not live long enough to meet such cruel fates. Trembling and shaking, the
Aged Mother makes her way home, grateful that God has dealt so kindly with
both her and her sons. Three days later, the Aged Mother dies and rests
lesson in this story suggests that to heal betrayal, we must move beyond
the rational-irrational mind, which gives us easy answers based on our
historical thoughts and feelings, unresolved security needs, low self esteem,
and other unhealed wounds of the past. The Aged Mother’s righteous resentment
about being alone in her old age pales against the wisdom, mercy, and power
of a greater truth. The Aged Mother’s clairvoyant visions, contact with
spirit guides, and communication with her spiritual understanding. Regardless
of the form of introspection, one gains a new
the past by reviewing one’s experience in the clear light of intuition.
from betrayal to trust is an advanced initiation. The spiritual teaching
is supplied primarily by one’s inner teacher during the new knowledge phase
of initiation. The questions one asks oneself guide one’s quest. Let your
questions lead you to understand the greatest good contained in your betrayal
experience. The message you receive from intuitive resources may contain
a blend of personal elements, or collective, archetypal, and mythic elements.
Intuitive truths are typically symbolic, instead of literal. Intuitive
symbolic processes and your personal quest for meaning, value, or purpose
guide your passage through betrayal to trust. A quest for meaning-to understand
your soul purpose, teaching, or lesson often provides new awareness, a
truth that sets you free.
your intuition to awaken and acknowledge your inner teacher. Identify an
intuitive tool or method to help you create contact with the Self. Commune
with your inner Source of wisdom and healing. There are many ways to create
contact. Watch your dreams and keep a dream journal. Notice synchronicities.
Use augury: tarot, runes, I Ching, astrology, numerology, and channeling.
Use meditation, creative visualization, guided imagery, affirmations, prayer,
ritual, chanting, dancing, creative arts, creative writing, or journal
keeping. Sometimes friends, support group meetings, teachers, or inspirational
writings like poetry and other creative works echo the whispering voice
of our inner teacher. Regardless of the form, the truth reveals a new perspective
on the betrayal, one broad enough to encompass the paradox of feeling betrayed
and feeling acceptance simultaneously.
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