“Jim, I seem to know the truth. But why am I still screwed up?”
“I want to make a distinction here. No person has a spiritual problem. Every person is screwed up.
First, no person truly has a “spiritual problem.” Your true Self is one with God. That Self is an extension, expression or manifestation of all that we mean by using the word “God.” Your true Self is whole and complete. Your true Self has never, is never, and will never be separated from God. Your true Self cannot be improved or diminished. This is the fundamental fact that is never threatened. There is nothing for you to improve, change, attain, earn, achieve, or acquire spiritually. You have NO spiritual problem. What trips you up in your human journey is falsely thinking you have a spiritual problem. All human suffering, in one way or another, is rooted in the ignorance or denial of who we are.
Secondly, we are all screwed up. Right now the person who is reading this post (you) is a mash-up of a lifetime of circumstances, situations, people, relationships, experiences, choices, and numerous elements we had no control over. Our humanity is affected and shaped by all these factors. One person deals with depression, another has Bipolar Disorder, another has codependency, some have an addiction, others have ways of thinking about themselves that are self-defeating, etc… We are all “screwed up” in some way. None of us are left unscathed on life’s journey. Join the club.
You don’t have a “spiritual problem” but it requires courage and determination to wed the truth to your particular human situation. Each of us has personal work to do in order to address our particular human “screwed-upness.” Knowing your true Self and the truth of all things is not a substitute for doing your personal work, and skillfully responding to your human situation as it requires.
If your car breaks down, no amount of spiritual enlightenment is going to fix it. Knowing your true Self and the truth of all things will likely influence the degree to which the car situation rattles your equilibrium, but it’s still not going to fix the car. Fixing the car is a mechanical issue, and responding to the situation as it requires would require taking the car to a mechanic. Likewise, if you have depression, codependency, self-hatred, addiction, a mental disorder, etc., though spiritual enlightenment will transform your relationship to the issue itself, you still must respond as the situation requires… whatever that means or entails. In other words, spiritual enlightenment can transform your relationship to your alcoholism, but you still have to determine the proper personal work (i.e. 12 Step Program) to properly address the dynamics of Alcoholism.
Know and embrace the truth of your Self and all things, AND do your personal work as the situation requires.
Remember that you are never alone in two ways. First, you are a permanent card-carrying member of the “No Spiritual Problem Club.” Secondly, you AND every human being has their personal work to do in addressing their human “screwed-upness.”