Roberts: Stages of inner growth

Roberts: Stages of inner growth

August 3rd, 2010 by Dalton Roberts in Opinion Columns

The secret to growing great souls is found in these words of Mike Dooley: "To young souls, there are good folks and bad folks. To mature souls, there are only good folks, though some do bad things. Old souls only see themselves."

Duality rules our lives at first. Everything is either right or wrong. Everyone is either good or bad. Even ideas are either good or bad. That's the political gridlock in America right now.

The Republicans and Democrats each have a little thimbleful of ideas they think are right (abortion, gun control, etc.), and they just cuss and fuss and make fun of each other's tiny little thimbles. There is no room in their thimbles for one great thought, like what would be a great thing for every citizen of this country (improve Social Security, stop a stupid, wasteful war that is killing innocent women and children and creating terrorists every day like a black widow spider's nest breaking open).

Duality especially rules the political molasses in America, and our elected people are like little flies trying to walk around in it, pointing their fingers at each other, repeating the same little catchy phrases that mean nothing. They assume the people are too dumb to notice, and sometimes it seems they are right.

Duality rules every soul until the day dawns when they realize bad people just might have one little good trait and they might even have one little decent idea. That's the second stage Dooley mentions: "(They realize) there are good folks though some do bad things."

This may not seem like a great stride in inner growth - to go from duality to thinking good folks can do bad things now and then - but it is really a giant step. Duality locks us into a judgmental consciousness that locks people out of our lives and locks us into a tiny mental cubicle where we breathe the same stale air year after year until we finally die of dead air.

A person takes off like a rocket when they reach the third step and realize they are only looking at themselves all the time. I started easing into this stage one morning when I was having breakfast with a friend who had a gambling addiction. I said some harsh things and then remembered my years as a nicotine addict. I paused and said, "I apologize for talking like you are not the man I am. I see, instead, that I am the man you are. I have been a fellow addict most of my life. There are times I still crave nicotine. Let's just continue to love each through any and all of our addictions."

We have all done, or been tempted to do, just about everything we read in the daily paper or hear from people throughout the day. If we haven't murdered, we have been angry enough to think about it. If we haven't committed adultery, we have thought about it, and at that time some part of it has already happened in our hearts. Cleaning little mud balls from our own inner being is enough to keep us busy.

When this attitude becomes operational in our lives, we have tasted an experience of oneness and the growth of that oneness becomes our goal. Even a tiny taste of this kind of oneness makes us glow and grow.

E-mail Dalton Roberts at