Practicing long enough one sees the truth in the adage that our base feelings are either love or fear (with the latter including its close cousin anger). Nowhere is this more relevant to our spiritual development then when we know it’s best to forgive, but instead allow our fear to prevent us from doing so. However, we can choose to proceed toward greater virtue, and purify the shadow forces that lurk within our spirit. We can borrow from a traditional dreamwork approach that tells us we can resolve our fears if we approach, conquer, and then befriend all that scares us. That, what was once denied or avoided as an overpowering enemy, e.g. our having been mistreated, a personal maladaptive habit, or an ugly action of our own, when courageously transformed into a friend or ally actually strengthens our spirit. By relinquishing our attitude that emphasized difference (i.e., not us), either through symbolic action (e.g., visualization), or through personal or interpersonal reconciliation, we can gain a more transpersonal perspective. One of integrating within ourselves what we had previously considered not ourselves but only of the other; with a resultant feeling of oneness in which there is no longer some other. This divine integration of seemingly separate aspects (of life, of ourselves, our social networks) now serves as a force of forgiveness in which we can feel love for what we had rejected; for now, they are us and we are them. By having integrated within ourselves what was once held in contempt, love replaces fear and gives rise to a naturally emerging unconditional forgiveness. And in doing so, moves one forward on the mystic path while serving to promote the development of other divine qualities in the world.
Spiritual Commentary/Blog 2019 to Present
Psychological forgiveness requires regret on the part of the offender, amends, and the ceasing of the harmful action. The event loses any significance, any grief, and is forgotten. Maybe, some right learning has occurred, but life moves on.
Divine forgiveness asks for none of those things. It is a merciful act. And, it always includes a karmic lesson. With this interconnectedness of all things revealed, both perpetrator and victim receive grace. Divinity is approached, with more love, light, and truth in relationship.
Using the Nineteenth Century psychologist William James’ belief that the spiritual personality is located in the silent interval between thoughts, one can imagine a non-striving technique enabling Spirit to emerge. Observe the mind as it darts around, while subconsciously noting the quiet moment that occurs in between these points in time. But make no effort whatsoever to bring the silence about, and do not even consciously note its appearance. Eventually one perceives, but only after the fact, that these quiet intervals have increased. This recognition occurs when you have realized that you feel peaceful, time feels eternal, and your ego feels more ethereal. Not dwelling on this recognition, but remaining mindful and allowing it to pass, opens the door for further transpersonal awareness to come forth.
Blessing or Temptation
When the proverbial door opens it may not always be an entryway, sometimes it is a trapdoor. Blessings are usually characterized by a culmination of significant effort toward a goal that is guided and branded by Spirit. The miracle is in the unexpected opportunity or outcome, but one in which there have been no shortcuts, no bending of the rules, no betrayal of oneself or Spirit. It is a trap, or some may say a temptation from the Devil, when the opportunity or outcome is a shortcut, a way to speedily accomplish or obtain our desire. These occur in many forms. A drug-induced spiritual insight that is not maintained through regular practice, a romantic involvement before grieving the previous relationship, or a business deal that is too easy or good to be true. In discerning whether blessing or temptation, it is self-awareness and witnessing mind that guide us best.
Paradox and Pragmatism in Religious Literature
It is believed there about 4200 religions in the world today. All claim to reveal the truth of reality, and in doing so prescribe righteous behavior. Consider the various means to practice one’s spirituality, e.g. mystic, clergy, monastic, sage, householder, healer, and the complexity of faith increases exponentially. Historians, philosophers, and theologians attempt to codify this wealth of spiritual wisdom but can easily confuse their audience. Historical accounts frequently omit facts and contradict, past and present sociocultural politics can influence what is deemed true, metaphor and allegory can be taken literally, and intuitive knowing does not always take over after reason reaches its point of diminishing return. For those not wedded to convention and logic, paradox in religious literature can serve to open the doors to aspects of reality not accurately recorded, easily described, or understood. And when coupled with one’s willingness to test the utility of religious concepts or precepts through life experience, can guide the seeker toward his or her spiritual goals.
Spiritual Way of Love
Love yourself from within to relinquish
Or else you will seek love from others,
and remain attached to your self.
Love the world to renounce the world.
Or else you will reject the world,
holding disdain for that which
God has created and loves.
Meet hate, darkness, and evil with Love.
Or else you will strengthen their power,
because you will have
mimicked their ways.
Loving with awakened mind and
without judgment is transformative.
And turns the ones apart into the All,
conflict into Harmony,
and the bad into Good.
A Transpersonal Truth
has its place in existence.
But never belongs in the hands of the ego.
Watch ordinary mind fade away,
and lean into the spirit God wants you to be.
Intentions and choices altered,
be transformed into someone else again.
follow the force pulling you forward,
graciously relieved of a future that is personal.
No longer committed to a self,
any and all striving gives way to Being.
Pure perfection meets karma,
bringing God’s love and will into the world.
The spiritual life requires mindfulness, and so all personal experience one deems important or unique needs examination. Regardless of its informational nature, e.g. ordinary, psychic, unitive, it must be examined according to general validity (i.e. what happened) and spiritual truth (i.e. congruency with one’s theology). And of course for the mystic, service to divinity.
A strategy available to most practitioners is to jointly use meditation and contemplation to conduct this important analysis. First, one establishes the best (minimally transcendent) spiritual mind available to one, and then contemplates the experience. Contemplation is holding in transcendent awareness an element of one’s experience one considers most important. One way to do this is to continuously hold in mind an image from one’s experience. Another would be to ask one relevant question repeatedly. In both instances one allows the mind to address this information without focusing on, or choosing a particular response as an answer. Rather, one observes and experiences whatever arises, bringing one’s focus back to the image or question whenever the mind strays. It is only after completion of the meditation-contemplation that one reflects on the material. Then, if possible one decides what is important to use in one’s spiritual practice. Most preferred are insights that are inspirational and serve divinity. Others that might reveal one’s mistakes, if understood through mercy and love, are also of value.
Acting on the insight is now required. Feedback from one’s actions ultimately determine the validity of one’s insights, points one to other considerations heretofore missed, and (always) reveals the workings of spirit. This pragmatic approach is always conducted through the lens of faith awareness and service to the divine; the sine qua non of mystic practice. Repetition of this action phase is often required, perhaps maintained for protracted periods of time, until new experience and insights, developmental changes in one’s spiritual emergence, etc. lead one beyond the immediate insight. And on to the next useful aspect of one’s “following spirit’s way”.
Following The Way Outlined
“Following the way” is defined here as following the principles of the Cosmos, the inherent laws of existence; also known as the will of God Spirit Source. Simply stated, “following the way” is “following divinity”. The way inherent in our superlative awareness.
We start by following these principles with reason, forethought, and intention. Often unknowingly in service of our individual needs and desires. And this usually involves some type of problem-solving, whether pre-emptive or responsive to an external event. We acknowledge our situation is the result of previous choices, actions, etc., and we address the resulting consequences. But ignorantly we do so with the intention of shaping things according to our personal will. Technically then, not so much “following the way” as creating one’s own way.
A true following the way comes when we are in unity with existence. Our agency is wedded with the forces of reality and we always defer to them. Approaching life with a personal autonomy that comes second to these laws. Or, if we think in terms of God Source Spirit, second to its omnipotence. Efforts are focused on going where omniscience wants us to go. This is truly following the way as we tend to think of it without ego involvement. It is not so much a problem-solving approach, as discerning what it is that we are being directed to do. Higher inspired intuition associated with unitive awareness is an integral part of this process. As is the wise application of the spiritual principles of one’s theology. Without regret or wanting the past to be different, one opens up to the possibilities being presented. Not necessarily foreseen or wanted, one receives them with a sense of newness and adventure. We accept and respect the happenings of now. And we rely on, and trust, divinity for what comes next.
Being the way is the nondual experience of enlightenment. Respecting the eternal now, no singular action or thought, nor experience, of any kind is deemed significant, or even fully understood. Other than that its occurrence is right. For it can be no other way, the principles of existence have been enacted, and the will of God Spirit Source is occurring. There is no thought of questioning, except to be sure one is in righteous raised non-dual awareness of form-formless consciousness. No separation exists between oneself and material-spiritual reality. One moves according to the truth and wisdom inherent in being; it is said that “one acts without acting”. Divine love and bliss prevail in all circumstance.
Have you noticed that operating more regularly from the spiritual mind raises your moral and ethical standards, while also making it easier to abide by them? And, that they are more clearly defined, even as they are different from the usual mundane standards we all live by? There is greater compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional loving. Yet, even as they are different and higher, it now feels perfectly natural to act this way. There is a wisdom force moving you through the world effortlessly. And wonderfully, there is an ongoing surprise and freshness added to your life experience no matter the consequences. There is self-discovery and self-transcendence occurring simultaneously. You observe what you do, while also attributing it to other than your mundane egoic self. Divinity is recognized as the Source and Actor. A true paradox of mystical spiritual emergence.