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” 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.
In your most difficult of times, allowing fear to make your choices, is doing nothing more than waiting to die.
The intention is never to prevent the darkness from demoralizing or angering you. Nor is it to handle it like a master.
It is to respond to it with love; remembering that’s not the same as loving it. In the former, God guides our spirit. While in the latter, ego acts the misguided hero.
Light from the perfect solution always overcomes the fear and darkness.
Bringing with it peace, love, and greater vitality.
When we are faced with problems
fear does not reject truth.
Though it will seek the solution most easily applied.
One that does not disrupt the status quo.
Even though in the long run,
it may prove to be the most complex and challenging one to employ.
If it works at all.
That which recognizes the whole truth however,
it always seeks the most personally challenging solution
for us to carry out.
Knowing that when we allow truth and mercy to work together,
there is always light.
Resulting in divinely inspired solutions for our circumstances,
that also benefit the greater.
irony takes you in one direction
while leading your mind in another
showing you the one certain truth
getting you to believe the other
laughing with you along the way
revealing it is both and neither
past all the confines and limits
mystery’s truth is more than either
My God is:
with no horizon
with no holding
with no moments
without a later
without an understanding.
In the beginning of spiritual practice we seek empowerment. And in doing so we develop a much stronger confidence, and if it was lacking before, an optimism. Our ability to master our world improves. We are grateful, and perhaps even feel blessed. Later on the spiritual path, we discover that we have relinquished this optimism. It happens slowly, almost imperceptibly. But sacrificing and transcending ego eventually leads us to rely more and more on God, Spirit, Source. As our union with Divinity expands, and our identification with individuality and independence weaken, optimism is no longer ours to claim. Wisdom has shown that no matter what we wish and plan for, even though influenced by us, is completely the result of the decision made by God, Spirit, Source. Eventually the insight comes, that through faith we best leave the future up to Divinity. That we can only hope. We also learn this requires responding to all resulting circumstances by following the intuitively received direction of God, Spirit, Source. That ego has no say in our lives now. Practicing in this manner, we “feel free” not constricted. The feeling of being “of this world” is replaced with the feeling of being “of God, Spirit, Source”. And brings with it more unconditional peace and love to share.
Spiritual obedience is misunderstood. It is not following some set of rules, nor is it making an independent decision to act for the best. And neither is it intuition deciding what to do. Rather, it is feeling God’s spirit within, moving you into action.
To act otherwise is most often out of a particular ignorance. When worse, it may be out of shadow influences or temptation. At its most demonic, evil is the cause.
To obey in this manner is to receive a gift, a blessing for your spirit. Follow where it leads. And never be separated from God.
No matter where I am on the mystical path, and no matter the degree of severity of my “dark night of the soul”, it lasts only as long as I allow it.
My beliefs and rituals either bring me back to God in a timely fashion, or I endure a protracted loss of identity and suffer a hell of my own making.
If it is the latter, it is usually because I misunderstand the message I am being given by God. Or, I am resisting the way of truth that is being laid out before me. Only a disciplined return to my authentic practice solves this dilemma.
My mystic path tells me: surrender, adoration, and glory. It says return to sacrificing the self, loving all unconditionally, and praising God. Give up your will, attachments, and pride. Return to the helping hand, faith-based love, and being of God.