Excerpt About Spiritual Development

Spiritual Development Seen as the Further Development of the Self

When we are self-realized, we are aware of ourselves as completely pure, completely virginal, and completely new. We may say, “It feels like such and such.” We may conceptualize our experience. But if we take that description to define us, if we hold on to a memory to define who we are, then we will have lost our self-realization. So, even though the development of self-representations is a natural property of our mental functioning, it alienates us from our essential Being. Narcissism, then, is a natural and unavoidable result of identification with self-representations. We believe that spiritual development must be seen not only as a correction to normal experience, but more importantly, as further development of the self. Much spiritual work functions to correct the delusions of the self regarding its true nature and the nature of the world by encouraging disidentification with self-concepts. However, we understand the natural unfoldment of the soul to lead to one becoming discontent with, and seeing through, one’s identifications. This unfoldment need not involve a rejection of the capacity for conceptualizing; it can simply allow an increasing transparency of mental concepts as the appreciation of our nature as essential presence reduces our identification with self-representations.

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