Spiritual Commentary

Our Brilliance

As we develop spiritually we all shine our own unique “light”. A one-of-a-kind amalgam made from elements of the archetypal spectrum, originating from a vast and enormously complex Source. Explained to us by science and philosophy we are given an infinite variety of psychological, religious, and spiritual ways to describe our personal existence. Even while employing these to the best of our ability our self-knowledge remains limited, and perhaps worse, others never really know us. We all suffer the fate of being misunderstood, maybe even falsely accused. But there is no greater form of this injustice than that imposed on God. Spiritually, no matter whether it is the origin of all, the deity you are responsible to, or what is often referred to as raised consciousness, your god is being maligned. And most often you are the one doing this. For no one can know the true identity of God. Nevertheless, we claim we do. Especially if the aspect of God identified is deemed positive or good. And nowhere is this more rampant and damaging an error than when we declare that God is Love. For no self, and especially that of the Almighty, can be reduced to only one aspect of its being. Complexity of this nature cannot be restricted or made finite. God shines in its own way.

So, rather than professing we know God, we should simply rejoice in the Divine with which we are familiar. Living in the world we inhabit with the God we know. All the while knowing that seeking out what we have yet to understand about existence will reveal more of God’s nature and ways. We then observe God all around us, manifesting as common objects and everyday events. When recognizing the prevalence of godliness in the world it is clear God is more than love. This practice also gives insights into our part in the Divine Character. We come to know God’s presence working in, and through us. And, we recognize that each one of us brings some aspects of God into the world. Nowhere is this more true than when our spiritual practice is one of intimately knowing God. Then, uniquely shining through each of us, God’s Being announces itself and is felt in the world. We become instrumental in revealing the magnificence of God, our God-given brilliance contributing to the godliness all around us.

 

 

 

What Comes Next

How do you feel after completing that “deep” meditation, or having understood that spiritual aphorism or teaching? How does it compare to a “good” yoga class, or perhaps a soul retrieval experience? Scanning your body head to toe, noticing points of warmth, lightness, ease, or their opposites, will give you especially useful information if you correlate it with your conscious awareness. Reflecting on this mind-body connection will inform you of the quality of your spiritual nature and of your relationship with Spirit. Assuming you feel at peace, your mind is quiet, and the world appears fine as it is, what do you do next? Surely, ego monkey mind and its attachments will rise up in you again unless you try to sustain your spiritual feeling. What technique will you employ to maintain the spiritual awareness recently secured from your formal practice time? It need not, nor should it, require great effort, or be noticed by others. Consider activities that are a regular part of your practice that you can employ in a private manner. Simple activities as you continue your day might include carrying a small sacred object in your pocket, focusing on all the beauty around you, silently chanting or praying to yourself, or engaging in random acts of kindness toward others. Not only does this effort contribute to a more enduring spiritual awareness, it also brings Divinity into the world, thereby benefitting others.

Nearly Spiritual

Healing others, mystical union, or making the world a better place are all legitimate spiritual endeavors. But spiritual practice is complicated, requiring that you not pursue false routes. This is especially true of tempting shortcuts that prove insufficient, and even harmful in the long run. However, being human our biology and psychological conditioning push us in that direction. We move toward the shiny objects promising to quickly accomplish our goals, ease our suffering, or make us pleasantly feel more than ourselves. But be careful. It’s hard to get enough of something that almost works. It’s like eating empty calories or settling for “like” when you need “love”. You’ll be starving your soul even as you get more of what you want. And especially when seeking spiritual union, watch out for circumstances that say “drink up”, because not all intoxication is the same. Some will just leave you “high” wandering in a no man’s land, empty and addicted. But the patient and moderate pursuit of spiritual consciousness yields a different result with significantly less hardship. Consistently integrating the sacred union and wisdom of true spiritual experience results in feeling complete and needing nothing more. And as you let it strengthen your spiritual nature, life becomes invigorated by peace and love. Resulting in more than fulfillment for yourself, there is nourishment for all.

Expectations

As your spiritual awareness develops you will have greater expectations of yourself. Do not expect or insist on the same from others. That will only cause you disappointment and frustration. Renounce all expectations you have of others whenever they arise. This strengthens the light you bring into the world, and further brightens yours.

Lucid Immortality

Though there is some commonality to the post-biological death experience it is postulated in an almost limitless number of ways across cultures and history. And most often it is either a permanent destination or a temporary one before returning to life on earth. This phenomenon of “life after life”, with all its people, worlds, and events, exists as and within what is described as the subtle. The subtle is neither material reality, nor the formless non-conceptual Absolute (causal). It is the form that exists between the two. Most are familiar with it as energetic bodies that support our physical body and spiritual mind, and the energy meridians and chakras associated with our bodies and involved in alternate forms of healing, e.g. acupuncture. However, the subtle is more than energy and vibrations. It is also raised consciousness and alternate realities.

As higher consciousness, the subtle through its relation with the material and causal (formless, non-conceptual) reflects one’s spiritual philosophy and creates one’s unique spiritual life and experiences. It may be consciousness as archetypal luminosities, e.g. ecstasy, divine love, or as consciousness existing apart from the physical body, e.g. astral projection. It also takes the form of higher consciousness that breaks the conventional boundaries of time and space, e.g. clairvoyance, precognitive dreams. Additionally, subtle alternate realities exist as other-worlds or after-worlds and are contacted through raised consciousness, e.g. mediumship. Associated with these alternate realities are diverse spirit forms, e.g. spirit guides, angels, which one interacts with in this world. Along with ones already mentioned, when considering other recognized states of awareness, e.g. waking, sleep, lucid dreaming, near-death experience, enlightenment, human existence may be understood as constantly shifting from one state of being to another. The exact nature of these states is shaped by personal beliefs, lifestyle, and images and symbols depicting meaningful aspects of one’s existence. Put another way, one’s mind and spirit determine the nature of one’s comprehensive life on earth.

With reality understood as the intertwined concurrent phenomena of material, subtle, and causal it is reasonable to posit that the transition from this world, as well as the after-world at which one arrives, originates within the individual psyche and spirit. Highly personal, the post-biological death experience is influenced and created by one’s life (or lives) history across all levels of mind from the physical to Absolute. Of course, this requires a spiritual life dedicated to practices such as non-attachment to the material including attenuated individuality, a personal theology that serves as one’s map of reality, and familiarity with the subtle, its phenomena and operating principles. Though ultimately the Divine Principle determines this outcome, through specific mastery of one’s body, mind, and spirit one can actively influence the form, quality, and outcome of one’s immortality experience(s).

 

Dealing with Ignorance and Ridicule

When others do not understand and then ridicule you, they reveal their ignorance. With a strong ego calmly detach, observe the foolish behavior, and remember who you are. From this stance assertion comes easily, the topic changes, and there are smiles all around. Meanwhile, the spirit within acts from grace, privately wishing them well, and sometimes even praying for them. It is in this last gesture that you move your being to divinity, and feel and project unconditional peace and love. And now if God is willing, the event moves beyond geniality, and ignorance is transformed into principled behavior on the part of the previously ill-mannered. In a miraculous moment your prayer has been answered and has benefitted everyone concerned.

Outside, Beyond, and More

Spiritual development is getting outside yourself, beyond yourself, and becoming part of something bigger and more than yourself.

You objectively recognize who you are and what you do, then you discover what is truly meaningful to you and genuinely live it without limitation. Lastly, transcending individuality, existence now becomes unity with all forms, and your being is the pure consciousness that gives rise to them.

Your identity shifts from ego to existential self to spiritual self, and then to Absolute Source.

 

 

Union with the Divine, the kiss from one’s Beloved, is the wish of all mystics. Not only because it brings one beatific peace and bliss but also because it brings love into the world. And all who come into contact with the mystic practitioner, as s/he radiates Divine Love, feel this Love. And feeling this Love the human condition is elevated and the world made a better place.

 

The spiritual practice of emptying the heart of all but Love means love is your response to all the world presents to you; a commitment to renounce the world’s mundane ways and to not become attached to desires that hinder your relationship with the Divine. All the while unconditionally accepting every worldly thing and event as an aspect of the Divine. With this surrender you bring compassion into the world, and also find that love comes to you from the world.

Not the Proverbial Life

Like the proverbial stone thrown into the pond with ripple begetting ripple, quick personal change results in the need for further changes. You are alerted to this by a discomfort caused by challenges emerging from the most recent changes you’ve made. Additionally, this success reminds you of your long-term life goals and raises fears that if you don’t take further action you may miss out, and then never be happy. Both these welcome and unwanted results are unknowingly reinforced within you by the world through social convention, capitalistic corporations, governmental politics, and dogmatic religions. Even those close to you, who wish you well and want the best for you, participate in this operation telling you there is more to do. They suggest what to do, try to persuade you to do it their way, and may even offer to help you do it. But what others and the world do not do is support you in being your unique self. Rather they encourage you to be who they believe you to be. And because they are also under the same worldly influences as you, and are also conditioned to be what world culture wants one to be, they will unknowingly support those goals not your personal ones. It is not possible for it to be any other way; most people are simply not aware of this conditioning and often lack insight into their own unique character and life to be of any genuine assistance to another. Furthermore, others rarely have a thorough comprehension of your values, character, and unique destiny, the information required for anyone to make an informed decision about their life.

To wisely make changes in your life it is important to remember it is a process in which one change leads to another, and then requires yet another. Change occurs in more than just one’s beliefs, feelings, and behavior. Change in these habits results in one’s identity and character also being reshaped. Each change redefines you, even if only slightly, and it is from this new identity that you make the next change required to continue your healing or growth. And with each change you must consider your personality traits in relation to specific aspects of your personal journey. A simple illustration is the need to take the next step after having previously increased recreational activity to increase social time with others. Further personal work may now be necessary to reduce a noticeable increase in anxiety, strengthen one’s confidence and esteem, or improve one’s interpersonal assertion. These secondary efforts are the necessary follow through that support the initial habit change, and make it more natural and regularly occurring in one’s life. The resulting permanent change in personality now supports what is meaningful in one’s life, i.e. active lifestyle, friendships, interpersonal effectiveness, and leads to self-actualization.

Not only does this understanding of personal change produce lasting results, but it also fosters an attitude of living every moment of one’s life on a leading edge of personal discovery. And it grants one further insight into the world, providing an objectively real, rather than conditioned view of it. Together they give one the feeling of newness in every moment of every event in one’s life. With this approach one feels openly receptive to the present, unconditionally alive, and that one is living life as a daily adventure. And most importantly, one secures and is able to live one’s true life and destiny.

     Questions:

What is the origin of your beliefs, values, and goals in life? Consider the significant sources and people who have influenced you.

Who do you trust to give you good counsel about yourself and your life when you need it? What is it that makes you trust them in this way?

When was the last time you attempted to change a habit, only to revert back to it after a brief period of change? Did it become a complete relapse or only a partial one? Explain the outcome.

Consider a habit you would like to change, how you would do it, and how it would feel when the habit is first changed. Then imagine the challenges that would arise upon the initial change in habit, and consider what your strategy would be to prevent a relapse.

Consider three things in your life you wish were different or not in your life. Now consider each one’s exact opposite. Reflect on whether or not these reveal what is meaningful to you, and if they provide some direction for you to live a more fulfilling  life.

(Mind and Behavior)