“The Mystic Way will then be described, not as a journey, but as an alteration of personality, the transmuting of “earthly” into “heavenly” man. Plainly these two aspects are obverse and reverse of one whole. They represent that mighty pair of opposites, infinite and Finite, God and Self, which it is the business of mysticism to carry up into a higher synthesis. Whether the process be considered as outward search or inward change, its object and its end are the same. Man enters into that Order of Reality for which he was made, and which is indeed the inciting cause of his pilgrimage and his purification: for however great the demand on the soul’s own effort may be, the initiative always lies with the living Divine World itself.” ~Evelyn Underhill
It is true that the path of the mystic or spiritual adept is not a “journey” in the sense of moving from one location to another. Those people who think that they will achieve some level of enlightenment by traveling to some magical place are mistaken. The “journey” is not one of traveling, but one of transformation. Transformation of self, which in turn leads to transformation of the world around us.
There are many ways to transform. A person who has lived on junk food, cigarettes, and booze can switch to a healthy lifestyle and transform physically. The fat person can transform by loosing weight and growing muscle. The child’s toy can transform from being a car to being a robot. But transformation isn’t always physical.
An ignorant person can began to study and learn and mentally transform. A close-minded individual can have some revelation that transforms him into an open-minded person. And the materialist can suddenly become aware of the futility of constantly chasing after more and more material possessions, and start seeking something higher instead.
The mystic or spiritual student transforms in a way that is not primarily physical, though he may experience physical changes. It is not primarily a mental type of transformation, though she will likely see improvements there as well. This transformation involves primarily the third and highest level of what makes up our complete being: the spirit and soul.
It starts simply by awakening the spiritual faculties that lie dormant in nearly all of us. I know that isn’t what you are taught in conventional churches and schools, yet it is true. I don’t really know why it is that way, but I think it is for our own protection.
If we came into the physical world with our spiritual faculties fully awake, we would be like fish out of water. We would probably not be able to really function in the world of matter. So those faculties must be awakened and “developed” slowly when we have reached a point where we are ready to do so. And by “developed” I mean that the infinite knowledge that the soul has within it must be slowly revealed so as not to drive the earthly brain-mind mad.
There are ways to recognize when a person has gone through such a spiritual transformation, especially if you have known the person for a long time. You will see that the aggressive person will become more peaceful, the hot-tempered person will become more mellow, the angry person will become more loving and tolerant, etc. But sometimes it can be quite different.
We have in this world many people who are so passive that they accomplish little. Governments and big corporations generally love them. They do as they are told, rarely complain, and accept their station in life as something that simply must be. It is unusual, as you might expect, for such a person to be convinced to develop their spiritual side, but it does happen. When they do transform, it is very different. They become more involved with the world around them. They began to notice when they are being manipulated by governments, media, corporations, and other material institutes. Instead of just blindly taking the pills the doctor prescribes, they start to question their value and the side effects. They start to realize that if they lived a healthier lifestyle, they might not need the drugs at all.
With either type of person, a transformation takes place that is almost always beneficial to them and to the universe. So start your transformation now.