“So long as the soul advances from strength to strength and from glory to glory, that is, so long as it advances from one degree of virtue to a greater degree and from one level of spiritual knowledge to a higher level, it remains a ‘sojourner,’ one who has no permanent home, as in the saying, ‘My soul has ling been a sojourner’. For great is the distance and many are the levels of knowledge through which the soul must pass before it reaches the place of the miraculous tabernacle, the house of God itself, with the voice of exultation and thanksgiving. …
“The place of the miraculous tabernacle is a dispassionate and untroubled state of virtue in which the Logos of God adorns the soul like a tabernacle with the varied beauties of the virtues. ‘The house of God’ is spiritual knowledge compounded of many different forms of contemplation when God dwells in a soul filling it from the bowl of wisdom. ‘Exultation’ is the soul’s leap of joy at the riches of the virtues. ‘Thanksgiving’ is gratitude for for the bountiful outpouring of wisdom.” ~The Philokalia
Yes, it is good and proper for the soul and mind to travel from strength to strength, level to level. This has nothing to do with physical travel. We need not visit earthly locations said to be spiritual or holy. This is spiritual travel into higher dimensions of being.
We are all starting from different places and we all move at different speeds. The important thing, as the quote reminds us, it that we keep moving forward, learning more, and becoming more completely spiritual.
In the business world, they say that one year of experience repeated ten times is not the same as ten years of experience. What that means is that if you stopped learning after one year, you only really have one year of experience, no matter how long you have been on the job.
Sadly, there are many who complete what is essentially the spiritual equivalent of first grade, then stop learning. They believe that they have already learned everything there is to learn for complete spiritual development. Even sadder, there are spiritual writers and gurus, more interested in money than in truly helping students, who promote this idea because it is what the students want to hear. They get instant meals, instant clothes, so they want instant spiritual development. What they are really doing is anchoring themselves at the first or second road stop on a much longer journey. The one who succeeds is the constant sojourner.
I highlighted a line in the quote to emphasize its importance. The spiritual journey is one of great distance through many levels. It is not a quick trip to the country for a weekend. It is and must be, a lifetime commitment. The truth is, very few individuals reach the highest level while still living in a physical form. Fortunately, the journey continues even after we have abandoned the temporary shell of a physical body. The sojourner continues to move forward as a spirit. Rest in Peace usually doesn’t happen to even the more advanced spiritual people until many years after physical death. The spiritual journey continues up level after level.
What is called in the quote Levels, is what we call in our modern world dimensions. The complete universe consists of nine primary dimensions. We live in physical form on the third. Some spiritual schools talk a lot about trying to reach the fifth dimension. That is certainly a good goal, a great step forward. But even when you get there, you still have five more to go. Don’t stop being a spiritual sojourner too soon.
House of God
The highest dimension, which is called the House of God in the quote, is every bit as great as the writer describes it, and more. It is the place where we unite with the One, where we become whole again. It is the place of ultimate knowledge and wisdom, that wisdom and knowledge that the Gnostics called Gnosis.
Don’t think that you have to permanently attain that level to achieve gnosis. The true spiritual sojourner is fortunate enough to often have quick glimpses of dimension one or two levels higher than where he is. This is what has made it possible for a few to grasp some of that wisdom and bring it back to the third dimension with them. These are the spiritual sojourners who become great prophets, gurus, or religious leaders. But if you ever speak to one of these advanced sojourners, they will tell you the journey is never over, keep moving forward. Being a spiritual sojourner is a dedication, not a hobby or a fad.