When people are on the spiritual path, they can be at any level: starting out or just awakening to the possibility that there is more to life than beer and football. People start to awaken when they seek out answers that reveal the nature of the Universe, its mysteries, the truths, the mechanisms of how the earth works and how we as humans can become something beyond what we know and comprehend.
We see others who seemingly have “all the answers”. Using various forms of knowledge that is based both on physical reality and metaphysical theories, we seek out their advice, their guidance and follow them along on our journey. As we learn, we tend to develop a filter and develop a set of antennae that is programmed to gravitate to a particular ideology or vibration. Since everyone is at the core, talking about the same thing, we cannot go down every road at the same time. We can however, pursue a path and change paths, all the while learning of different viewpoints and explanations of our true nature, how to live, how to feel, and how to just BE that you are ONE with anyway.
So where are you on the path? Are you in Spiritual Overwhelm Syndrome? Are you the type of person who likes to sample every type of candy in the store before deciding to choose which one to buy?
Within the University of Spiritual Development, there are those that dwell in certain classrooms. There are great teachings and writings about the theories of the Universe, what it means its origins, the philosophy of existence etc, all providing keys to what we seek, but never getting to the Holy Grail of the state of mind and awareness of that which we seek. These classrooms dwell on information as though the words and the knowledge imparted in and of self, will magically provide for that transcendental experience and thus lift the veil of our true nature together with a rich experience of the How, Why, Where, What and When questions we all seek.
Some classrooms are conducted in group settings offering the information to many people at a time; others are tutoring sessions, where the practitioners or gurus handle the information one on one. The information is of course available in books, tapes, videos, workshops, lectures, retreats and other focused venues to disseminate the information.
The concept of experiential learning imparts another dimension and possibility upon the student. As Confucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Thus, the best form of learning is by doing and experiencing first hand.
As we learn about the nature of the Universe, we are bombarded with a myriad of messages that all claim authenticity. Our knowledge comes from the documentation of our history through the ages as each culture; spread out regionally over the earth espouses their own version of the nature of the Universe. Belief systems are inculcated in our culture and passed down through generations via folklore, myths and legends. Symbolism, archetypes and iconography provide keys to this great knowledge and wisdom.
We can certainly learn from the past, through history – both written and oral, but the greatest form of learning is direct experience in the here and now. That is why we go to psychics, astrologers, healers and spiritual guidance counselors in order to open a window to our soul and look for messages that will forever squash our doubts, fears and resistance to that which we know on a soul level to be “real”. If we could only reach out and touch it…
There is another University of Spiritual Development, and that is organized religion. Most have a central deity or God that represents the source of all knowledge and reality. Most have a Divine plan that provides for an afterlife or Heaven often as a reward for being a true believer or devotee to the religion and its principles of living.
Organized religion has everything figured out. All one has to do is follow the leader, live a life in keeping with the teachings of the Church. Its promises are all based on the human’s inherent attraction to know its creator, its source of being, its Father and Mother on a spiritual level. It also promises that we will all be together again in the afterlife so as to assuage man’s fear of death.
Those on the spiritual path who are not inclined to or have changed paths away from a particular religious ideology are akin to free souls, albeit on their own to find their way. A spiritual wander is subject to the normal inquisitive thoughts of a human being. Its quest for knowledge is unceasing. Questions such as, What is the purpose of my life? Is there a God? Why is there evil? What does this all mean?
As humans, we tend to “think” as humans. Our brains are wired for living on earth. We are evolved creatures that have instincts of survival, yet we have a developed consciousness that has a sense that there is more than what we can perceive and measure through science in three dimensions of the physical world.
As we dwell in our thoughts, our brains, we are forever attempting to make sense of our world. We classify and categorize everything. We compare our experiences to our memories as in retrieving data in our memory storage devices aka our brain. Our thoughts are most often triggered by our memories that are associated with the circumstances and current perception of what we are experiencing. Thus we become predictable, both in thought and behavior.
To live a life or to perpetuate a state of mind that is like a child without preconceived ideas about its environment is foreign to us. We are too “hard-wired” and have all developed routines and habits in order to “survive”. Yet we still seek out that which we cannot see. We have a sense of knowing that there is a larger purpose to everything we do day to day. We strive to have meaning in our lives, whether to justify our own existence or to feel that we contribute to the larger whole of the Universe and therefore, by default give purpose to ourselves as individuals.
As we attend more advanced studies of Spiritual Development, we graduate not only by becoming intellectually educated with knowledge, but awareness and an evolution of our consciousness that is a sponge to actual experiences. Our left brain centers, seeped in linear thinking and analytics provide data for our consciousness to synthesize. Our experiential, right brain centers develop a multi-dimensional, interconnected sense of awareness that complements the tendency for our left brains to want to classify and label everything we experience. The state of “experiencing” in its pure form often cannot be described, classified or even put into words.
“A dog knows, but a dog does not know that it knows”
On the spiritual path, are you seeking knowledge as a human being? Are you seeking a remedy to heal your pains? Have you been told that the root of all your problems is that your body is out of alignment? That you should get treatments to heal you in mind, body and spirit?
Do you believe that in order to answer your highest, most revered questions about the nature of the Universe that you must on a human level, become centered, balanced, holistic and pure in all forms of existence? Be that on an emotional, spiritual, mental and physical level?
Does it then seem that it order to achieve spiritual connection and a sense of our connectivity to that which we believe is our “Source or our God-Creator”, that we have a major obstacle in the way known as the human body?
We are told that God exists all around us, that God is within all of us and all things around us. If true, then why cannot we see it? The sage would say, “Because you are looking too hard” or that, “Stop looking, and it will appear”. We seem to be told of such ‘gems of wisdom’ continuously, but why cannot we simply experience their true meaning? Perhaps it is because they are simple words. And as said previously, profound truths cannot be put into words and therefore the hidden secret is still unrevealed.
“You can’t get there from here, and besides, there’s no place else to go.” -Sheldon B. Kopp
Each one of us has gifts that we can tap into in order to help us help ourselves to unveil the curtain of reality and to help others do the same. By recognizing what these gifts are, we can answer a higher life’s purpose question, and that is, what is my purpose here? How can I feel a part of the Universe? We are all interconnected. We are a social being. By being among each other, we help each other communicate and exchange each of our gifts. We must recognize in each other that there are gifts inside of us, and that all of our gifts are wrapped with the same ribbon.