The process of spiritual growth is different for everyone. During this time we absorb so-called “rules” about spirituality that we never think to question but, according to author Betsy Chasse, perhaps should.
Author Betsy Chasse began to question these spiritual rules after she went through several crises in her life. Her book, “Tipping Sacred Cows,” examines the spiritual tenets we assume we must ascribe to and whether we actually need to buy into them in order to “be spiritual.”
I read the book and enjoyed it very much. I recommend it if you too question some of these “rules.”
1. What does “Tipping Sacred Cows” mean?
A sacred cow is something we hold it up against any sort of criticism. We protect it, even if it doesn’t serve our highest good. We have beliefs about ourselves and the world that we have picked up along the way from our family, friends, teachers, the media and they become ingrained in us and we mold our lives around those beliefs, often we don’t even know they exist. To tip those sacred cows means to take them out and really examine them, see if they are true or just a belief, a story you’ve convinced yourself is true. If it’s not – tip it over, let it go, work at it until it’s gone.
2. The book is a hilarious guided tour of what you perceive to be the spiritual propaganda most of us have been fed; please tell Powered by Intuition readers what happened in your life that changed how you perceived these spiritual concepts?
Life is a series of epiphanies. It’s a constant unraveling of self. With each one we can either choose to evolve, re-examine our beliefs and change or continue living from the same place. The biggest change for me came when I realized nothing was static. An idea, a concept of a belief needed to be able to evolve as I did, as my life evolved. What might have been working for me during one part of my life, doesn’t mean it will always work or always be true or ever was true. Being spiritual isn’t about what you practice, what yoga you do, whether you’re a vegan or not. You are a spiritual being. Meaning comes from you, not what you do. For me finding my meaning came when I looked at myself and asked myself, what do I want in my life, who do I want to be and started to be that. I let go of worrying about the how’s, the yoga pants, and if I had Ganesh in the right part of my house.
3. “Like any good drug, once a moment of enlightenment happens, we begin to attempt to recreate that experience, and with every attempt it seems to get further away. Thus the eternal hunt through the maze for the cheese. The seeking becomes the endgame, and when we are seeking, we aren’t really being.” (P.35)
I loved this section Betsy and I have experienced this myself. Can you give readers an example of one of those “enlightenment experiences” that was the catalyst for chasing experience instead of being? Instead of chasing these experiences what should we do instead?
One of my most powerful experiences came when I first experienced a group of people so enthralled by a teacher. I got caught up for sure in group consciousness, suddenly feeling connected to the people around me in a way I had never experienced. I felt I belonged for the first time. That was amazing and I wanted to recreate that experience over and over again, so I attempted to manufacture it instead of just allowing it to happen, like it did the first time, organically, but just living my life fully and taking each experience as it comes rather than forcing it.
4. Why does living in “non-attachment’ from your point of view, not work for most people?
Mostly because we are a society built on attachments. Our entire realty is based on having. Not just things, but love, relationships. We are a social species, we are emotional and the more we try to be less emotional and less attached because it’s the “right” way to be, the more frustrated we become. It’s like saying no: try telling yourself you can’t have something and watch your body react. I have found the more I allow myself to be honest about my attachments the less I feel the need to be attached.
5. You book covers all the major spiritual topics such as enlightenment, the law of attraction, attachment, the Universe, masks we wear through life, feelings, living in bliss, the ego, fear and judgment, self-love and forgiveness and anger. Which of these topics do you feel is the most misunderstood and why?
For me the biggest was what does it mean to be spiritual. I always felt I was doing it wrong, or that I was somehow missing something. My definition of spiritual didn’t match up with someone else’s. I don’t feel alone in this. We all want to be happy so we’re looking for “the answer” and we keep looking for it. We’re busy and it’s hard and time-consuming work, so we look for the short cuts and we slap on the newest and greatest practice or platitude and we keep on truckin’. And it works for a while, but because most of these concepts are complex and intertwined and take a willingness to be uncomfortable and a mess, we either quit out of frustration, or we attempt to skip to the master class. I misunderstood a lot of these concepts because they sound so easy, they’ve almost been trivialized. Make a vision board and your life will be better. But we don’t want to ask the hard questions, like why do we want what’s on that vision board? Being spiritual became more about doing it right than living authentically. If I wasn’t manifesting what was on my vision board there must be something wrong with me. And much of these concepts have been taken out of context and overly simplified.
6. What central point do you wish readers to take away from reading the book?
Ultimately happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a state of mind. Spirituality doesn’t have a rule book, there isn’t a right and a wrong way, it’s just life, your life. I’ve got a million platitudes and I hate to say it, but they are all true. Life is messy, life is a journey (yep I just said that), give yourself a break, and if you can only hold on to one sacred cow, make it this one: Everything is going to be ok and you might as well laugh…cause really it is damn funny, even when it sucks.
7. How did writing the book change you? How would you like it to affect readers?
Writing Tipping was a catharsis in that I let go of all the thoughts and ideas that had been swirling about my head for a very long time. Just like in the game I describe in the book: “My life Sucks”, it was freeing to write it and say it, I had to dig deep into myself to the places I often avoided. My hope is that readers will see that in doing that, there is peace, laughter and a path towards the life they desire. And that in the end the only path you need to be following is your own.
8. What’s next or what are you working on now?
I am currently filming another “BLEEP” and am working on getting a new film going “Killing Buddha”.
What sacred cows are you holding onto? Do they inhibit your growth or assist you in it? Share with us in the comments.
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Betsy Chasse is an internationally known author, filmmaker and speaker. She is the Co-Creator (Writer, Director, Producer) of the film “What The Bleep Do We Know?!” and the author of 3 books including Tipping Sacred Cows (January 2014 Atria/Simon & Schuster), Metanoia – A Transformative Change of Heart and the companion book to BLEEP, Discovering The endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality. She also enjoys blogging for Huff Post, Intent.com, Modern Mom and other sites. Chasse continues to make provocative films, with the recently completed documentary CREATIVITY and two currently in production— The follow up film to “BLEEP” and Zentropy a narrative comedy about what happens when the least spiritual person on the planet gets hired to make a movie about spirituality.