“The Traveler’s journey to God is complete when he attains knowledge of Him—’Illumination,’ in the language of European mystics. The point at which this is reached is called the Tavern or resting-place upon the road, where he is fed with the divine mysteries. There are also “Wine Shops” upon the way, where the weary pilgrim is cheered and refreshed by a draft of the wine of Divine Love. Only when the journey to God is completed begins the ‘Journey in God’—that which the Christian mystics call the Unitive Way—and this, since it is the essence of Eternal Life, can have no end.” ~Evelyn Underhill
The Traveler’s Journey
This road to enlightenment that Ms. Underhill calls “The Traveler’s Journey” is divided into two parts.. The first part is finding God, the second is becoming united with Him. We could also say that the two parts, or two directions of the journey, is outward and inward.
Knowledge of God
If you follow any Gnostic groups on social media, you will find that there is considerable confusion about what constitutes Gnosis. Many seem to promote the idea that knowledge of any kind, on any subject, is a part of achieving gnosis. But knowledge of how to build a rocket is not gnosis. Knowing how to operate a computer is not gnosis. Even learning how to plant and grow vegetables is not gnosis.
Real gnosis is knowing God. Nothing less is true gnosis. We can claim to have partial gnosis, we can claim to have some spiritual knowledge, but until we truly know God, we haven’t achieved true gnosis.
Everything operates in cycles, and spiritual advancement is no exception. We have to understand that if we are to succeed. There will be times when we must stop and rest. There will be times when we will be pushed back a few steps by those powers that don’t want us to succeed.
We need the rest sometimes, but we also need to recognize when it is time to get up and continue the journey forward. When we are pushed back, we need to be accepting of t and wait for the cycle to swing around so we can move forward again. In short, we need to understand cycles and use them to our advantage.
Uniting With God
The Traveler’s journey does lead ultimately to unity with God. Ms. Underhill seems to be saying that only happens once and is the final step of the process. That is true if this unity with God is permanent. Many on the traveler’s journey experience it in a different way. They gain unity with God for a brief moment and remember it, at least on a spiritual level. This brief unity with God is what give them true knowledge of God, so the two steps cannot truly be separated. As the traveler’s journey continues, this uniting with God will happen more often and last a bit longer. These early steps can (and should) be achieved while still on the physical plane and in a physical body. Permanent unity with God can only happen to the spirit and soul, so can only happen after we have moved back up to the higher plains called the spiritual worlds or spiritual dimensions.