As you learned at the end of LP Workbook Three: Connection, making a strong connection to your Spiritual Ego (your soul, your higher self, your atman, etc.) requires that you engage in Flow Purification. As you learned in the previous workbook, and as explained in the SpiritWiki, flow purification is a connection practice used to “clear the pipes” so that your spiritual ego and bodily ego can connect and communicate as one.
To wrap your head around the idea of flow purification, think of it this way. Think of your bodily ego, your body’s ego, as a small child sitting in a field all alone. Think of your spiritual ego as a powerful and brilliant being of pure light, love, compassion, and intelligence, floating about thirty feet above. Now imagine an energy pipe between the child in the field and the brilliant being of light above. Imagine that pipe, when clean, is a scintillating conduit of bidirectional energy flow, but right now, it’s all gunked up with the gooey, icky, crap of Wrong Thought.1 Flow purification is the process of cleaning the gunk out of the pipe so the information and energy can flow free and pure. Flow purification is the process of removing wrong thought.
Of course, at this point, the question is, what is wrong thought exactly, and why do we need to clean it out? Wrong thought is simply thought that undermines, prevents, and corrupts your energy flows. In other words, wrong thought is thought that disconnects you. There’s lots of different types of wrong thought that can harm and disconnect.
For example, wrong thought can cause you to injure yourself. If you injure yourself while playing sports and your coach tells you to ignore the pain and keep playing, this is wrong thought because this thought undermines healing and makes your injury worse. On the other hand, right thought is thought that encourages you to go to a doctor, stay home, and get rest. By the same token, ideas that encourage you to drink and do harsh drugs are also wrong thought, because these substances can damage your brain and nervous system,2 and ultimately prevent healthy connection.
Wrong thought can cause you to fear. Fear of any kind break connection It does not matter whether that is fear of connection itself, fear of being arrested, fear of being ridiculed, or fear from “demons” in your mind. Fear breaks connection and so any thoughts that encourage fear are wrong thoughts. For example, if you want to make a connection, and you believe there is a chance that you will lose control and go crazy, then this thought causes fear, which prevents your connection. In this context, wrong thoughts are any thoughts that invoke fear, while right thought is thought that encourages you to be strong, confident, fearless, and to embrace the powerful Flow.
Wrong thought can also corrupt your Flow. Wrong thought, especially when coupled with a severely damaged human psyche, can turn spiritual insight into anxiety, fear, and even hate. For example, a common insight that people have when they make a strong connection is the insight that “I am God,” or at least, “I am part of a glorious and divine fabric of consciousness.” When we have this insight we realize we are all connected and part of a divine and eternal consciousness. This common insight can be very empowering and healing, especially when we realize that we are all part of the same family of spirit, and all connected in this glorious Fabric of Consciousness. However, wrong thought can corrupt this insight and make it so you think that you are special in some way, that only you are God and everyone else is somehow beneath you and lesser than. When corrupted by wrong thought, the “I am God” insight can lead you to elitism and exclusionary, ego and addiction based practices.
To be clear, wrong thought is thought that corrupts and disconnects you from your Flow. If you want to achieve a strong and permanent flow you have to engage in flow purification. Flow purification is the process of cleaning out the crap, the wrong thought, that infects the pipe that connects your bodily ego with your spiritual ego.
Recognize, Root out, and Replace
So, how do you do that?
How do you engage in flow purification?
How do you clean out the wrong thought that corrupts your flow?
Technically, it is quite simple. To engage in Flow Purification, you
- scoop out all the gunk and
- sanitize the pipe.
Since the gunk in the pipe consists of nothing more than gunky old energy wrong thoughts in your brain, you need to clean out the wrong thoughts that putrefy and clog the pipe. On the LP, we scoop out and sanitize the pipe in a three-step process of recognize, root out, and replace.
- Recognize the wrong thought that corrupts the flow.
- Root out all vestiges of wrong thought, no matter how deep they go, or how scary they may be.
- Replace wrong through with Right Thought, which is thought that purifies and facilitates flow.
To summarize, flow purification involves a three-step process of…
Recognize, root out, and replace.
Recognize, root out, and replace.
Recognize, root out, and replace.
If you want to engage in Flow Purification and move forward towards stronger and more persistent Connection, this is your new Lightning Path mantra. In order to engage in flow purification, you recognize, root out, and replace.
Sounds simple enough, right? Technically, it is. However, the process can be challenging for at least three reasons.
Challenge Number One: Recognizing Wrong Thought
The first challenge to the process of flow purification is that it can be hard to recognize the wrong thought in your brain. Who even ever heard of the idea that thoughts can disconnect or corrupt your Flow, and what exactly is wrong thought, after all? Even if you accept the idea that your connection pipes are clogged up with gunk, you still have to be aware of the fact that wrong thought can be embedded so deeply in your brain, and can be such a pervasive part of your thinking, that it can be very difficult to identify.
For example, consider what we call the “Fool in School” archetype. The fool in school archetype is the idea that you are here on this Earth to “learn lessons,” clear karma, and work towards being a better person. This idea, this archetype, is embedded in our religions, our spiritualities, and even our atheist systems of belief. Almost everybody on the planet thinks this way, and this idea governs our thoughts and actions. Yet, this idea, this archetype, is wrong thought. This archetype does not reflect the truth of who you are at all. What is worse, for reasons we will explore later, this idea is so far from the truth of who you are that it brings with it profound disconnection; nevertheless, we all have this idea. Because of that, because thinking this idea is literally the global normal, it can be very difficult to recognize this thought at all, much less as wrong thought. Even if we tell you this thought is wrong and it disconnects you, you may resist. After all, your religions, your spiritualities, your priests, your gurus, everybody tells you that you are here to learn lessons, so it must be true. Nevertheless, it is not. You need to recognize this idea for what it is, an ideological imposition of The System, so that you can finally work to root it out.
Challenge Number Two: Rooting It out
Speaking of rooting out wrong thought, the second challenge, in addition to simply recognizing the wrong thought in your brain, is rooting it out. Even if you do recognize an idea as wrong thought, even if you are willing to root that idea out, it can be extremely difficult to actually dig into your mind and clear that idea out. There are two reasons for this difficulty.
The first reason it can be a challenge to root out wrong thought is because wrong thought is spread through your body’s brain like fungus through the floor of a forest. The deep, spider web-like penetration of wrong thought into your brain makes it hard to get it all out. You can usually get out the big chunks, because they are obvious, but getting all the tiny tendrils snaked through the deepest recesses of your mind can be a real challenge. Even when you do work hard, even when you think it is all gone, tendrils of wrong thought can snare your mind, often when you least expect it, and especially during times of stronger connection. In order to actually “root it out,” you have to keep going back and forth between normal and connection, each time recognizing wrong thought when it comes up, and each time working hard to root it all out. It can take a certain period of constant attentive effort before the wrong thought is finally and forever gone. If you stay disciplined and keep practising though, you will eventually get it all.
The second reason it can be a challenge to root out wrong thought is because wrong thought can cause a lot of confusion, anxiety, fear, and even panic, especially when we experience connection. Under conditions of normal consciousness, even very negative ideas, even very negative events, can pass under your emotional and psychological radars without much notice. Put another way, under conditions of normal consciousness, wrong thought can sit dormant, only controlling you in subtle fashion. However, when you connect, wrong thought can take on a power that you are not prepared for. The best analogy is an analogy of demons or dragons in mind that rise up and cause you panic or fear. When you connect, wrong thought becomes like a demon or a dragon, looming over you and pressing you down.
Why does this happen? Why do the demons of wrong thought sometimes bubble up when you connect? Connection is like shining a light in a dark room that you have been living in all your life. In that dark room, on crumpled up sheets of paper, are all the ideas that you have in your brain. When that room is dark, you do not know what is written on those papers, unless you pick one up and squint. Even then, it can be hard to make it out clearly. However, when you light the room up, all the ugly, scary, stupid, confusing ideas that have been sitting there just below your conscious awareness suddenly come into clear focus. If you are not prepared, and if you do not have assistance, that experience can be overwhelming, confusing, and terrifying all at once. If you got good guidance, you can probably get through that experience; however, if you do not, it can be a real struggle to face those demons, and continue with the process. These Nadir Experiences[wiki]3 as we call them can be so frightening that people stay permanently away. Obviously, if, after a Nadir Experience, you avoid connection practice because you are too afraid to try again, then even if you recognize wrong thought, you will not be able to root it out. If you do not confront it and work to remove it, it stays there and permanently impacts your ability to connect.
It is important not to underestimate these challenges. Wrong thought has been inserted in your brain since the very day you were born, and it has been there guiding your thinking and actions from the very first words you spoke. It surrounds you and penetrates you like the water a fish swims in, and it shuts and corrupts your connection in a very real way. Recognizing and rooting it out is absolutely essential, even though it can be a significant challenge.
So how do you do it?
How do you learn to recognize the deep tendrils of wrong thought? How do you get through the (sometimes terrible) fear and confusion that it causes? That requires two acts of faith.
Act of faith number one is faith in yourself, specifically that you have the power, intelligence, and ability to handle the process. If you do not have faith in yourself, then the discipline required to root out all the fungus tendrils, and the energy you need to defeat the demons in mind, will halt the process and beat you down. If you want to move forward and meet the challenges to flow purification identified here, you have to have faith in yourself.
It sounds easy to say: just have faith in yourself. Unfortunately, having faith in yourself and your ability to navigate the process can be a particular challenge, especially at the start. This is because, as we will see, many of the wrong thoughts in your brain are specifically designed to undermine your faith in your self. Consider the [wiki]Fool in School[wiki] archetype, already introduced. This archetype basically encourages us to think of ourselves as incomplete, broken, students of creation on a path of cosmic tutelage. As already noted, and as you will see at more advanced levels of LP study, this is not true. In fact, we are powerful beings of light whose full expression and full power has been handicapped by our experience of toxic socialization. However, if you adopt this archetype, if you believe you are a “fool in school,” you will not be the person you need to be in order to be who you were meant to be. You will not feel like you have the power or authority to engage in the actions necessary (like rejecting the fool in school archetype) to move yourself forward. If you adopt the fool in school archetype, you might even feel a little fear at the idea of mucking around with the “sacred” truths in your head. If you do not feel you have the power or authority, or if you are afraid to root out all the old energy wrong thought you will not do it. You might go through the motions, you might act like you working the process, but the ideas will remain and your progress will be stalled.
If you want to move forward and engage flow control, if you want to get through the fear and confusion, if you do not want to get stalled in the process, you have to have faith in yourself.
If you do find you are experiencing a bit of doubt in your own abilities, recite the following affirmation of love and power. When you recite it, really mean it. Do it as many times as necessary, as often as you need, to in order to build up faith in yourself.
Affirmation of Love and Power
The universe is a universe of love and compassion.
I am a being of power and might.
I am safe. I am loved. I am loving. I am Light.
I have the authority and the ability to make this all right.
As noted, if you want to move forward, there are two acts of faith you need to engage. As we have seen, act of faith number one is faith in yourself. Act of faith number two is faith that you are moving in the right direction. This act of faith is faith that the path you are walking is an authentic one, faith that the guidance you are getting is good, and faith that the ideas you are identifying and clearing out, do in fact need to go. Past this point, you really need to really trust in the path and guidance you are getting because if you do not, as with faith in yourself, you will not have the will to proceed, and you will not have the emotional or psychological energy you need. Invoking the effort and energy you need will require faith that you are on the right path. It’s like doing anything. If you think your effort is going to be wasted, you simply won’t put in the effort. If you do not really believe in what you are doing, your motivation and commitment will be weak. Consequently, you will not be able to move forward.
This is important, so it is worth repeating.
You need to believe you are moving in the right direction, otherwise you will not have the energy or will to do the intellectual and emotional work to take the next steps. Without faith in your path, you will always harbour doubts, you will never fully commit, and your energy and motivation will be too weak to make progress.
How do you get faith in the path you are on? On the LP, we do not recommend blind faith. Instead, we recommend logical, grounded assessment of your spiritual beliefs and practices. This sort of grounded assessment can be a challenge, particularly since we are normally taught to accept spiritual beliefs on faith, or reject them based on science; nevertheless, grounded assessment is essential for developing faith in your path.
How do you evaluate a spiritual system or spiritual path? How do you assess it in a grounded, rational way? Guidance on how to assess a spirituality, religion, or school like the LP is provided in the LP’s Rocket Scientists Guide to Authentic Spirituality, so if you have not done so already, pause and go read that book to familiarize yourself with the Seven Pillars of Authentic Spirituality[/wiki], and the various outcomes measures that can help you tell.4 If you have read that book, then remember this: authentic spiritualities are gentle spiritualities of love, inclusion, and empowerment. They are logical, consistent, compassionate, and empirically verifiable. If you find these pillars on the path you are on, you can probably have faith in the path. Moreover, authentic spiritualities focus on healing, awakening, activation, and ascension. If you find the path you are on is gentle, inclusive, and loving, if you find that it focuses on healing, awakening, activation, and ascension, and if you find the presence of all seven of the Seven Pillars, then you can have faith you are moving in the right direction. On the other hand, if you find any of the above elements, if you find hate, hierarchy, exclusion, irrationality, inconsistency, illogic and so on, then our advice is, watch out and get out; find another path to follow,
Challenge Number Three: Replacing Wrong Thought
As noted, if you want to be successful at flow purification, if you want to be successful at rooting out all the old energy wrong thought in your brain that blocks and corrupts your flow, you are going to to have faith in yourself and faith that you are following the right path. If you do not, you will not have the energy to move forward, and your progress will come quickly to a halt.
If you can manage to keep the faith, then the final challenge you have to meet is actually replacing the wrong thought that corrupts and disconnects the flow with right thought that grounds and facilitates connection. This can also be a major challenge, especially since you may not know where to start. For example, once you have identified the fool in school archetype, once you see how deeply it is buried and how often it pops up in your thinking, what do you replace it with? What is the true answer to the question “why am I here?” What is the correct perspective on your life’s meaning and purpose? If you are not a fool in school, then what, exactly, are you? You can see the problem. It is not easy to find alternative answers to big questions, especially when you consider the fact all religious systems, from Bahai to Zoroastrianism, even science itself provides you with a version of the fool in school answer.
So what do you do? Well, you can figure it out for yourself if you like. That is possible and professional mystics (i.e., people who practice connection on a daily basis for the purpose of connecting with The Fabric and grounding/sharing the truth) do it all the time. The problem with doing it yourself is that it requires a lot of effort and it can take a lot of time. It can take years, maybe decades, to cut through all the wrong thought and answer all the big questions for yourself in a grounded, modern, and intelligent way. In the past, people who were interested in connection practice, people interested in practising connection for the purposes of sorting it out for themselves, would self-isolate in a temple or monastery for years, decades, or even a life-time. For myself, ever since my first connection experience I (Michael) have been engaged in daily connection practice and disciplined writing for over sixteen years now. But, that is a lot of work, and few people have the freedom to go live in a monastery or the time or the space to engage in that kind of spiritual work. Most people have lives, jobs, family, children, friends, and so on. Given that we all have lives, most people will be challenged to engage in connection practice three of four times a week, much less every day for two or three hours or more.
Finding the time to sort it all out for yourself is only one problem. Another problem with doing it yourself is that answers you get can be a challenge to sort out and ground. Consciousness is complicated and when you connect to The Fabric, you connect through your own misconceptions and biases, and the misconceptions, biases, and outright deceptions of others as well. These can tint and distort the information you get in some pretty dramatic ways, ways that can make the information useless, even harmful. It is possible to sort that all out, but it is challenging, and it does add to the time commitment. We will discuss some of the issues of bias and distortion of connection a bit later in our LP study. The point here is that, once again, most people cannot do that. Most people just do not have the time or the inclination to put in the effort to do it all themselves.
So, if you cannot trust traditional systems, if you do not have the time, if you cannot isolate in a monastery and devote your entire life, how do you engage in flow purification? How do you come up with right thought so you can replace the wrong thought in your brain? This is where the LP comes in. The LP is all about providing you with right thought. From the very first LP workbook to this point, the LP has been providing you with ideas and thoughts designed to you heal, uplift, empower, and connect. This service continues now with the provision of a system of right thought, the Triumph of Spirit Archetype System or TOSAS (pronounced TOE-SAS), which you can, if you so choose, use as a guidebook and catalyst to help you efficiently and effectively recognize, root out, and replace diminishing and disconnecting wrong thought with uplifting and reconnecting right thought. It is to the Triumph of Spirit Archetype System that we turn our attention to next.
2See for example this article on the brain damage caused by alcohol https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm