the path

The Path of Truth and Joy

“”O thou that lovest, wouldst thou know
The path wherein thy feet should go?”
”Yea, teach it, Lord, to me.”
Through drear repentance leads the way,
And the shame of sin confessed—
And when thou hast trod on the world’s display,
And on the devil’s behest,
And on the flesh in its haughty pride,
And on thy helpless will,
That holds the soul of the chosen bride
In bonds and slavery still,
And when the enemy conquered lies,
And weary art thou and athirst—
Then to Him whom thou lovest lift thine eyes,
To Him who loved thee first.” Then shall He speak and say—
I hear a voice that calleth amain,
A voice of love and tears;
I have wooed, and I have listened in vain Through long, long years—
And it speaks to-day.
My heart is troubled, and I must haste To the sad sweet voice across the waste.”
. . . . . . .
And in the morning, when the dew is sweet,
She hears the gentle music of His feet— She hears Him speak and say,
I heard thy voice.”
The glorious One draws nigh;”
“Amidst the dew when all the woods rejoice
With gladsome melody.
And she arrays herself in fair attire,
In raiment of a bride;
Her mantle is the holy judgment fire
Wherein the gold is tried.
Of meek humility her stole is spun, Her robe is white as snow,
For unto Him, the High and Holy One,
She fain would go.
And thus she passeth through the forest dim,
Where holy people dwell,
And day and night, with dance and song and hymn,
Their gladness tell;
With solemn dance of praise that knows no end,
Hands linked with other hands of ancient years;
The mighty faith of Abraham His friend,
The longing of His seers;
The chaste humility of her who bore God’s blessed Son;
And all the victories that in days of yore
His saints have won—
These join in dance attuned to glorious song
And move in cadence sweet,
And multiplied as ages pass along
Are those rejoicing feet.” ~Matilda of Magdeburg

The Path

Matilda starts her poem by asking God to show her The Path. This is not a path to her home or a path through a forest. By The Path, she means the path of spiritual awakening and the path of spiritual enlightenment. This is something that many who call themselves spiritual these days don’t believe in. When false teachers are questioned about why the path they teach is so different from that taught by the ancient mystery schools, they will usually answer that there are many paths and we must each follow our own path. This idea has caught on with many, especially those who don’t like being told what to do. But it is a false teaching. Yes, it is possible to reach enlightenment by more than the tried-and-true path, but the direct path that is known to work is always the best. If you are in Paris, France, and you wish to go to Rome, you can head off in many directions, but if you head north or east it will take you forever to get there. It is best to head in the right direction. That is why smart spiritual students like Matilda ask to be shown the correct path, the one that is known to work. Continue reading “The Path of Truth and Joy”

Share
sojourner

Sojourner Soul and The Spiritual Quest

“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

Sojourner Soul

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.

Many Levels

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.

Share
Siddhartha

Siddhartha Begins His Spiritual Journey

“Siddhartha was thus loved by everyone. He was a source of joy for everybody, he was a delight for them all. But he, Siddhartha, was not a source of joy for himself, he found no delight in himself. … Dreams and restless thoughts came into his mind, flowing from the water of the river, sparkling from the stars of the night, melting from the beams of the sun, dreams came to him and a restlessness of the soul, fuming from the sacrifices, breathing forth from the verses of the Rig-Veda, being infused into him, drop by drop, from the teachings of the old Brahmans. Siddhartha had started to nurse discontent in himself, he had started to feel that the love of his father and the love of his mother, and also the love of his friend, Govinda, would not bring him joy forever. … The sacrifices and the invocation of the gods were excellent—but was that all? …

“Not to be looked down upon was the tremendous amount of enlightenment which lay here collected and preserved by innumerable generations of wise Brahmans.—But where were the Brahmans, where the priests, where the wise men or penitents, who had succeeded in not just knowing this deepest of all knowledge but also to live it? Where was the knowledgeable one who wove his spell to bring his familiarity with the Atman out of the sleep into the state of being awake. …

“Was not Atman in him, did not the pristine source spring from his heart? It had to be found, the pristine source in one’s own self, it had to be possessed! Everything else was searching, was a detour, was getting lost.” ~Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Begins His Journey

Siddhartha had grown up in a spiritual family. His father was a Brahman. So he knew the importance of spiritual development. He knew it was necessary. So he practiced his meditation diligently. He prayed and fasted. But eventually, like many today looking around at the conventional churches, realized that these daily practices were not helping him progress. They were doing little more than taking up time and keeping him under control. He mentions at one point that these spiritual practices are doing nothing more than helping one hide from the world. He realized that they did no more than alcohol or drugs do for many. He was little more than a drunk who hid from reality and real spiritual growth in ritual fasting, praying, and meditating.

Siddhartha and Asceticism

So Siddhartha then decides to join a group of ascetics. He gives up his fine clothes and good meals and begins to wear rags ad eat little. He soon discovers that this path isn’t really doing any more than the constant praying and meditation.

Then he hears of Gautama Buddha. Everyone is saying this man has become a true Buddha, an enlightened one, yet has rejected asceticism as the best path to follow.

Siddhartha and Buddha

So Siddhartha, along with his best friend Govinda, leaves the ascetics and goes off in search of this new enlightened one, Gautama Buddha. They find him and listen to him give a public talk. Both Siddhartha and Govinda are impressed with Buddha’s speech and whole personality. He is clearly one who has achieved a high level of enlightenment. This causes Govinda to join the group of devoted followers who pledge to listen to and follow the teachings of the master. Siddhartha, however, does not. He meets with Buddha and explains to him that, while he recognizes that the Buddha is an enlightened one, he has learned from Buddha’s own teachings, that simply listening to the talks of an enlightened one will not bring about his own enlightenment. He must seek enlightenment within himself and not from others. Buddha smiles a faint agreement and wishes him well.

What Siddhartha Learned

We hear so much these days from spiritual people on social media that religion is about hearing other’s experiences, spirituality is having your own. Yet those same people ask others for recommendations of books and videos that can bring them enlightenment. That is doing exactly the same thing as the religious people, just with different books! And following meditation methods with little or no evidence that they accomplish anything except turning people into docile sheeple is no different than the religious people attending weekly services that have become empty ceremony. They are correct in rejecting the empty ceremonies as a path to true enlightenment, but too many of them are simply following a different, yet equally empty, spiritual path.

Siddhartha learned that we must awaken our own spiritual self and learn from that true self. All we can get from books or teachers are methods for doing that. The teachers cannot give us truth, they can only point us in the right direction. And hiding from the world in drugs, booze, or meditation isn’t going to do that.

More to Come

This is only the beginning of Siddhartha’s journey. I’m sure I will have more to say about it as it continues.

Share
God's work, spiritual poverty brings joy

Doing God’s Work is the Path to Perfection

“Be Perfect Someone asked the Master, “What is the new way of doing God’s Work?” The Master explained: We need to participate in God’s Work; that is, we need to think, feel, and act as God does. We need to work with Nature in a new way, as God works. He works in an all-perfect way. God is long-suffering; we should be patient. God is all-knowing; we should be wise. God is all-loving; we should be loving. God is all-powerful; we should be strong. It is God who gives us the impulse to think and to work. You feel low; God uplifts you. You feel despair and wish to die; God gives you the impulse to live. You do not want to work; from within you, God says, “Go and work.” I aspire that my thoughts and intentions be in accordance with God’s intentions. I do not wish the weather to change because of me, but I subject myself to the weather that the Great Omniscient Cause has ordained. What is your task? Continuous self-development and self-perfection. God is the continuous manifestation of Perfection and man is the continuous self-improvement on the path to Perfection. This is the meaning of the Scripture, ‘Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.’ Man needs to continuously correct his imperfections on the path to Perfection.” ~Beinsa Douno

 

Participate in God’s Work

We do need to participate in God’s work. We do need to think and feel as God does. Most importantly, though, we need to act as God does. That means we are supposed to be co-creators. But here’s the catch: we can only do that if we can communicate with God so that we know what He wants. That means communicate with God directly. Don’t simply accept some minister or spiritual guru’s interpretation of what God wants you to do. You must learn to communicate directly with God yourself. That is the only way to truly know what He wants of you. And knowing what God wants and doing it is the way to participate in the creation. Or perhaps we should say participate in the recreation as God reclaims the realm of matter created by the fallen angels and returns it to its correct form as spirit.

 

Work With Nature

While working with Nature isn’t a complete solution, it’s a good start. We need to get away from the stupid idea that nature is our enemy and we need to defeat her. Nature isn’t our enemy. If she was, we would have no chance of defeating her. We need to work with Nature in farming, in industry, in building housing, etc.

I can only shake my head in disbelief when I see people on TV after a disaster such as a flood or hurricane destroys their house or business for the second or third time and they vow that they will return and build again. If I got severely sick every time I ate turnips, I would stop eating turnips. If every time I build in a particular location, my house gets destroyed by storms, I would build elsewhere.

Another reason why we should work with Nature is that unlike humans, Nature never defies God. Nature always does her work within the will and desires of God. So by working with Nature, we are also doing God’s work.

 

I Subject Myself to Weather

Douno says that we should subject ourselves to the weather because God has ordained it. On this, I disagree. The things that happen on the physical level are not being done by God, but by us. This is our playground, our place to learn. Someday, we will realize that anger, jealousy, hatred, and other negative thoughts and emotions generate the hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts.

I do agree though that we need to stop being such wimps when it comes to weather. Many people today won’t go outside if the temperature is above 80° F and will bundle up in much clothing if it is below 50° F. They never allow the indoor temperature to vary more than two degrees. This is weakening us in may ways (read “What doesn’t Kill Us” for more details). I now practice going outside even when the temperature is over 90° F and practice spending a little time outside wearing very little in temperatures below freezing. Contrary to popular beliefs, this is making me stronger and healthier, not sicker. Staying healthy is also God’s work. (Note: I’m not the guy in the photo also practicing Wim Hof method.)

 

Self-development and Self-perfection

Creation is all about self-development. It is said by some that God creates to know Himself. Others say He creates simply because it is His nature to do so. In either case, creation is a form of self-development. But that is only true if we create in a beneficial way. Creating a pile of ash by burning down a forest isn’t real creation, isn’t self-development.

The proper way to create is to seek perfection in ourselves and the world as we do so. Some argue that perfection is impossible, so we shouldn’t waste time trying. By that logic, we should all commit suicide since we can’t live forever in physical form.

Even if perfection can never be reached while on the physical plain, it is the goal to aim for. The closer we get to it, the better we are. The real problem is that many people have no idea what perfection is. That is why we all need to awaken and develop our spiritual faculties. Only the spirit and soul can understand what real perfection is. Only they can guide us on that self-development path, which is also the way of God. Following the Way of God is always God’s work.

Share