“If the highest state of spiritual development is attained the spirit, endowed with the highest spiritual activity of the soul, attracts the truth, and perceives and knows at once the conditions, causes, and effects of all external and internal, natural and divine things. It sees them within the eternal truth like a mirror of Eternity. By this process Man, while he still remains in eternal nature, may know all that exists in the internal and external world, and see all things, not merely those which are, but those which have been, or which will exist in the future.” ~Franz Hartmann
Some people think we are simply born with a spirit and soul and there is nothing about them that needs to be developed. They are whole and fully functional when we are born. We simply have to acknowledge they exist and we instantly achieve complete spiritual enlightenment.
That is like saying we are born with muscles, so there is no need to exercise. We have muscles, so just leave them alone and they will grow on their own. Back when we did almost everything without the help of machines, they may have been true, but not now. If we want big, strong muscles, we have to work at it.
Likewise, with our spiritual faculties. We come into the world with a spirit and soul, but they are in a dormant state. They must first be awakened, then developed. And this spiritual development is an ongoing process. It doesn’t end after a month, or even a year. It generally takes decades for one to reach the highest level of spiritual development and achieve Gnosis and Christ Consciousness.
Perceives and Knows
The brain-mind is a wondrous thing, but it’s ability to understand things is limited to the realm of matter. Only the awakened spirit and soul can understand the realm of spirit. But even the awakened spirit doesn’t understand everything immediately. And much of what is does understand isn’t shared with the brain-mind. So you may be more enlightened than your mind thinks you are.
The awakened spirit and soul perceives things in a different way than the mind. For one thing, time has little meaning in the spiritual realm, so they perceive past events as easily as they perceive current ones. And many see some future events as well. They may not see every detail, but they get some idea of what the future will be like. They see the big picture, not next week’s winning lottery numbers.
Truth and Wisdom
Even more important than seeing into the past and the future is seeing truth. This is where spiritual development really pays off. Much of the knowledge we gain from books and classes is conjecture and opinion. Even that which is definitely proven true is usually limited because only the material side of it is known and discussed. The spiritual side is ignored.
Some spiritual schools, sadly, work the same way. But real spiritual schools don’t tell their students to learn truth and wisdom from books and gurus. Instead, the teach the students to learn the path to wisdom and truth from books and gurus. Once they have truly awakened their spiritual self, they see truth without having to read it. They understand what is wise without a guru telling them. When they become united with God, they know all that can be known. This is real Gnosis. That is what real spiritual development achieves.