way of righteousness

Way of Righteousness Delivers from Darkness

“Let us therefore prepare ourselves to travel to the Lord with an undivided will and purpose. … Let us sever ourselves altogether from the love of the world,and attach our souls to Him only, and keep in mind Him only as our business and care and quest. If we have to be somewhat busied also in body, with the business laid upon us, … let not the mind be parted from the love and quest and longing after the Lord; so that striving in such a mind, and journeying along the way of righteousness with an upright intention, and always taking heed to ourselves, we may obtain the promise of His Spirit, and may through grace be delivered from the perdition of the darkness of the passions.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

Way of Righteousness

What exactly constitutes the way of righteousness is a matter of great debate among churches, mystics, and philosophers. It shouldn’t be, but it is. That is because most people speaking on the subject are doing so based on something they were told, or something they read, rather than on personal experience. Only one who has truly walked the way of righteousness and knows what it takes can actually answer the question. For those who have actually walked the way, the descriptions vary little. They may use different words because language simply doesn’t describe the spiritual very well, but the story is similar.

Detachment

The only way to completely sever ourselves from the world of matter is to leave it, to die. That isn’t necessary (phew!). You can live in this world, you can own material goods, as long as you can remain detached from them. This isn’t an easy thing to do,but if you are destined for a spiritual life, you have probably already found that a life of materialism is not fulfilling. But if you have to wash your car when it gets the littlest bit of dirt on it, or wear your lucky shirt whenever you play a game, you may still need to work on that detachment.

The problem is like the old “Don’t think about an elephant” trick. As soon as someone says that, you immediately think of an elephant. So don’t think about detaching your connections to certain objects. Instead, become totally attached to the spiritual, your spiritual growth, and the needs of your soul. You will then be on the Way of Righteousness. Continue reading “Way of Righteousness Delivers from Darkness”

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Unseen regions, Immune Soul

Unseen Regions of Spirit and Light

“To those who say that it is presumption to penetrate into unseen regions, the occult scientist would merely point out that this can be done,and that it is sinning against the faculties with which man has been endowed if he allows them to waster instead of developing and using them.

“But he who thinks that views about the unseen world are necessarily wholly dependent on personal opinion and feeling is denying the common essence of all human beings. Even though it is true that everyone must find light on these things within himself, it is also a fact that all those who go far enough arrive at the same, not different conclusions. … Difference exist only as long as people will not approach the highest truths by the well-tested path of occult science, but attempt ways of their own choosing.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Into Unseen Regions

It is strange that many people think there is something wrong with trying to delve into higher realms of existence while still on Earth in a physical body. They don’t feel the same about exploring a lost jungle, or exploring the depths of the seas. Yet they think there is something improper about exploring our spiritual side. Fortunately, that group seems to be shrinking.

Occult Scientist

It is unfortunate that Mr. Steiner chooses the term “Occult science” instead of “spiritual science” or “Spiritual growth”. To many people think of the occult as something evil, and that is not the way Steiner means it. So wherever he says “Occult,” just think “Spiritual”.

Mr Steiner s saying that because we have the faculties with which to explore higher dimensions, we should use them. It seems he is saying that because we can do something, we should. On that, I can’t agree with him. There are many things we can do, but that doesn’t mean we should. When it comes to exploring the spiritual, though, we should.  Continue reading “Unseen Regions of Spirit and Light”

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Two roads, Pythagorean Y

Two Roads Through Life: Physical and Spiritual

“Brothers in belief, there are two roads through life, the Road of Good and the Road of Evil; they are not clearly defined roads and often run side by side and sometimes cross each other. Those who travel without a guide or in darkness often mistake one road for the other. We are those who have chosen to walk in light, in brotherhood of men who travel the Road of Good together in companionship.

“We are companions on the Great Path of the True Way, and when an instructing brother speaks of the Great Path of the True Way, he speaks of a double path. The companions of the Right Hand are those who bear the burdens of earthly labor and advancement. … The companions of the Left Hand are those who bear the burdens of spiritual labor and enlightenment, things closer to the heart of men.” ~The Kolbrin Bible (SOF:3:1-2)

Two Roads of Life

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost

In may seem like there are many roads in life, but the Kolbrin Bible is correct is saying there are really only two. There may be many lanes on each road, but really only two roads. And as is also said in the Kolbrin Bible quote, it is often difficult for most of us to know which path is which.

I don’t know if Robert Frost was a very spiritual person, but the quote form one of his most famous poems certainly fits this situation. He tells us that when he came to a fork in the road, he looked and say that one path was well-worn from much use. The other path had grass and weeds growing on it from lack of use. He took the path less traveled. That path is the spiritual path. Very often we can tell the correct path in the same way Frost did. Another way is our intuition. If we have it and use it, it can guide us to the correct path in most cases.

Today’s Confusion

In our age of rampant materialism, we even have churches and religious groups who seem to be more concerned with the material than the spiritual. They worry more about how you dress than how much you develop your spiritual self. Hey get very involved in feeding poor people (a worthy cause, to be sure), yet do nothing to feed the souls of the spiritually hungry. They think they are on the right path, but they are not. They are not the only ones. There are the most obvious examples of criminals and the greedy people who would be considered criminals in a more spiritual society. There are less obvious examples of those who are always putting material “needs” ahead of the spiritual.

The truth is that few of us stay on one of the two roads forever. We are often finding ourselves taking a wrong turn at one of those points where the paths cross. We should not give up, or berate ourselves when that happens, just move back to the correct path as soon as possible.

A Good Guide

The Kolbrin Bible recommends we get a good guide to help us stay on the correct path. This is certainly the best answer. A mountain climber would never try to climb Mt. Everest without making use of the Sherpa Guides. SCUBA diving adventures in most places require that a dive master or dive instructor always be part of the group. A person who doesn’t want to get lost on the path to spiritual enlightenment will work with a spiritual teacher or spiritual school. Unfortunately, you will again have to rely on intuition. There are greedy people who are creating spiritual schools all the time as a way to make a quick buck.

Right Hand and Left Hand

The quote from the Kolbrin Bible then goes on to tell us that one of the two roads, which it calls the Right Hand path is the road of earthly labor and advancement, while the Left Hand road is that of spiritual labor and enlightenment. The important thing to note here is that there is no indication that either of them is the wrong path, just different. In fact, most spiritual people start out by doing good deeds on the material road before advancing to the spiritual. Even advanced spiritual people must do some physical and material work at times. So going from one to the other of the two roads isn’t wrong, or even undesirable. It is only those stuck always on the road of matter who are lost.

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Mystical Life and the Steps to Follow

“Here, then, is the classification under which we shall study the phases of the mystical life.

  1. The Awakening of the Self to consciousness of Divine Reality. …

  2. The Self, aware for the first time of Divine beauty, realizes by contrast … the manifest illusions in which it is immersed, the immense distance which separates it from the One. …

  3. When by Purgation the Self has become detached from the ‘things of sense.’ and acquired the virtues which are the ‘ornaments of the spiritual marriage.’ … It has awakened to knowledge of Reality. …

  4. … The final and complete purification of the Self, which is called by some contemplatives the ‘mystic pain, or ‘mystic death,’ by others … the Dark Night of the Soul. …

  5. Union: the true goal of the mystic quest. In this state the Absolute Life is not merely perceived and enjoyed by the Self, as in Illumination: but is one with it.” ~Evelyn underhill

The Mystical Life

There are many ways of breaking down the mystical life or mystic’s path into steps, and no one of them is necessarily true or absolute. They are simply a convenient way for a particular school of teacher to judge where the students are along the path. Whether you have five steps, seven, or eight doesn’t matter. Like the division of the rainbow into colors, they are somewhat arbitrary.

Not only is there overlap in the steps of the mystical life, but they are not always followed in order. There are, for example, cases where one goes through the Dark Night of the Soul to bring about the Awakening of step one. But for now, lets look at the path described by Ms. Underhill.

Awakening

This step of the mystical life means a spiritual awakening, not a physical one. While the mind may be involve, it is primarily a thing of the soul. We come into the world of matter with our spiritual faculties alive, but in a dormant state. It is as if they are in a deep coma. Making those spiritual faculties active is often called “Awakening.” It may also be called “rebirth”. It is this awakening that Jesus and the apostles meant when they said we needed to be reborn. Continue reading “Mystical Life and the Steps to Follow”

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