Excerpts About Spiritual Path
Inner Journey Home, p. 342 • discuss »
Facets of Unity, p. 61 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 6 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 151 • discuss »
So when we embark on a spiritual path, we unconsciously believe that we are setting out for heaven. We think that the path is a matter of going to a spiritual universe that we somehow see as separate from physical reality, from the here-and-now, from the world we live in. This deep split is implicit in Western culture, and Western religions actually support it. All theistic religions basically look at things through this dichotomy: There is God and there is the physical world. Their religious formulations are based on it, and only when you get into the mystical elements of these religious traditions can this split be seen through. This split in which heaven and earth are two different things is not the fault of Western culture but rather, a reflection of a characteristic of the development of ego itself: its loss of contact with reality. As we develop, the environment inevitably fails to hold us completely. The spiritual element—our essential nature—is rarely fully or even partially held, while our physical nature, our minds, and our emotions receive much more holding. Because we gradually lose touch with what is not held within us, the spiritual recedes from our awareness and becomes split off. While we are by nature spirit manifesting in a body, as our ego develops, we become blind to that reality. It is analogous to becoming color-blind, seeing only part of the spectrum. We see the physical world but we do not see the fundamental or spiritual component of it. We could call this seeing and experiencing of only part of what we are and what is around us essential blindness.
Facets of Unity, p. 54 • discuss »
The universal logos is the ordered pattern of the flow of manifestation, as we discussed in chapter 20. It is the flow of embodied concepts as cosmic speech, which articulates its intelligent optimizing force. But the term logos also means a particular pattern of change, flow, and development, with its own logic and conceptualization. This latter meaning implies that there can be logoi, different forms of logos that apply to different situations or systems. All the logoi must reflect and express the universal logos as an ordered pattern of unfoldment, but they can differ in their conceptualizatons, their logic, and the particulars of the phases of development. It is possible to see that each teaching is an expression of a particular logos. The logos of a particular teaching has its own unique view of ultimate reality or truth, self or soul, and spiritual path. Each possesses a different and unique technical language, logic of experience and understanding, ideals of development or realization, phases of unfoldment of experience and understanding, and kinds of experience, perception, and knowledge. Furthermore, each possesses an approach to spiritual work or practice, determined by its view of ultimate truth and realization. This necessitates different methods and approaches, and varying spiritual technologies, that are often different in principle.
Inner Journey Home, p. 568 • discuss »
So, this is one of the central dangers on the spiritual path: whenever we experience something new, we want to put it in a box. We reify it and then separate from it in order to identify with it. Students sometimes ask me, “I had such and such an experience. what is it? What do we call it?” They ask in part because they want to recognize what has just happened to them, but they also ask so they can label and define their experience and hold on to it. The idea is: “If I can package this really nice thing that happened to me, I can identify with it—I can think that it is me, that it is part of me; it’s something I can say I have.” True presence, on the other hand, doesn’t care what it is. It is totally uninvested in itself. It is simply being itself. We can become aware of the tendency to want to freeze-frame our experience so that it can be known. Having all these snapshots is how we reify, but reality is more like a movie than a still picture. When you are being, everything is flowing.
The Unfolding Now, p. 147 • discuss »