Chapter Two

Taking a Closer Look at the Wheat

“It is not depression or anxiety that truly hurts us. It is our active resistance against these states of mind and body. If you wake up with low energy, hopeless thoughts, and a lack of motivation – that is a signal from you to you. That is a sure sign that something in your mind or in your life is making you sick, and you must attend to that signal. But what do most people do? They hate their depressed feelings. They think “Why me?” They push them down. They take a pill. And so, the feelings return again and again, knocking at your door with a message while you turn up all the noise in your cave, refusing to hear the knocks. Madness. Open the door. Invite in depression. Invite anxiety. Invite self-hatred. Invite shame. Hear their message. Give them a hug. Accept their tirades as exaggerated mistruths typical of any upset person. Love your darkness and you shall know your light.” – Vironika Tugaleva

I liken the BRAN, the outer shell of a wheat grain, to that collection of beliefs that serve as a protective barrier we fabricate around ourselves as we develop our set of rules and skills for living. They mostly come from what we see and hear from an early age. They become the template for how we see ourselves and others, and how we are to live out life in order to achieve our dreams and survive in a world that we believe operates in accordance with the same rules. It is also an aspect of our human condition to push down some of these negative beliefs about ourselves in order to not feel the discomfort and pain that arise when we view ourselves in the framework of such judgments. We also sometimes project these judgments out onto others, blaming them for how we’re feeling, for the situation that we find disturbing.

For most of you reading this, you are of an age where you can agree. Yes, my values and ways of seeing myself and the world around me have been shaped by my parents and teachers. And, now that I’m older and have had more life experience, I’ve learned a thing or two from those experiences, and they’ve reinforced many of my views. You’ve got to be smart and cautious to get ahead or even to survive! And I would agree. That was pretty much my experience too.

All of this pushing down and/or away—deflecting back onto the world around us—is a way of dis-owning an aspect of ourselves in the form of self-judgment, of non-acceptance. What I’ve discovered is this: By being open to bringing out of the darkness these judgments about myself and others, and by allowing the light of inquiry to bring them into full view long enough for me to take a deeper look at them—and this time with an open heart—my longstanding judgments dissolve in the presence of understanding, love, and acceptance. What is key to successfully wading through these waters is that our inquiry be one of compassionate curiosity, that we be kind to ourselves.

I want you to also consider how these beliefs may also be serving as limiting factors in your life. They are, in truth, the very things that keep us separated from ourselves and from others. So, I’m inviting you to suspend, for a moment, all judgments about these aspects of your human condition. We’re going to do that in the next chapter, but right now, I want to further lay out the analogy as to how the process of our life journey compares to the process a germ of wheat undergoes in order to realize all of its potential.

As has just been explained, the outer layer of hardened material (important antioxidants, B vitamins and fiber) serves as a protective agent to the rest of the grain. Note that it has value and shouldn’t be dismissed and discarded without first looking for and recognizing how it has served us. It is, however, separate and distinct from the ALEURONE LAYER, which resides between the BRAN and the ENDOSPERM layers and serves as a protective layer while the wheat seed develops.

Continuing the analogy, we human beings are offered a similar protective layer of beliefs and prescriptions from our parents, other family members, and our immediate social environment that includes our teachers and other significant adults as we’re growing up. We can liken those that are positive and promote our self-confidence, that encourage us to have courage to be ourselves and to become successful, responsible adults to this inner ALEURONE LAYER. This layer of beliefs may evolve over time as our life experiences influence our beliefs and actions, but they are likely going to remain as aspects of who we are and will only become more valued as we learn how to align our lives with who we are as spiritual beings.

The ENDOSPERM embodies over 75% of a wheat grain and contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins and minerals necessary to sustain the grain. It serves as the food supply for the GERM and, like the endosperm, we, as human beings serve as the human source through which our spiritual essence, our Godself (the GERM of who we are) can be expressed.

The GERM of a wheat grain is the embryo which has the potential to become a new plant. As I said before, the GERM in our human condition can be likened to our Godself, to that higher aspect of ourselves which serves as a connection to the One Source we call by many names. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we need to claim and own all aspects of who we appear to be, both those parts that are easy to love and express outwardly and those that our conditioned human instincts tell us to hide, to deny, and to deny without compassionate inquiry is a prescription for a life of unfulfilled possibilities, of visions and dreams that may pop up into our conscious mind, only to trigger all those false beliefs that separate us from discovering who we truly are.

In the next chapter we will take a closer look at how judgment serves as the primary culprit in keeping us separated from ourselves, from others, and from fulfilling our dreams and desires.