Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Loneliness, Neediness, and Vulnerability

Loneliness, neediness, and vulnerability all have their roots in our fundamental yearning for spiritual completion. These emotions emanate from the deficit at our core and present us with an uncomfortable glimpse of, and misplaced response to, our central problem: we live our lives cut off from our inmost self, from other people, from the higher worlds, and from the Divine. We dwell in a world of separateness and incompleteness, looking outside ourselves to fill our hidden inner emptiness, to assuage our half-formed spirit. We look for relationships and outer security in the false belief that these will solve the problem. Though we always misinterpret and displace it to the outside, our true need is a sacred longing, drawing us into the depths of our being, toward the Divine. Only through spiritual completion can we satisfy this central hunger of human life, by coming into oneness with other people and with God.

Our practice then is to reinterpret into truth our feelings of loneliness, neediness, and vulnerability. When we notice such emotions arising in us, instead of pushing them away or desperately looking for someone to marry, we open to these feelings, look into them, and recognize their source in our spiritual need. We allow our loneliness, neediness, and vulnerability to feed our spiritual practice, by turning their outward orientation and their energy toward our inner work. Working diligently at spiritual practice fills that inner void, brings lasting satisfaction, and opens us to the higher. We let our need become a source of strength that helps drive our spiritual efforts.

We can grow closer to other people and more complete by recognizing our inner emptiness and letting the higher fill it. Then instead of others feeling our grasping for relationship and being repulsed thereby, they can feel our growing wholeness and love, and be drawn by those qualities. In this way we develop our relationships both with people and with the Divine.


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