Despite what some people now proclaim, enlightenment doesn’t happen in a flash. The spiritual path is like any profoundly important journey; it is full of twists and turns. You will have wonderful, liberating experiences along the way but you will also have the tough times. I have read about self-styled teachers who give themselves long holy names and offer instant enlightenment or easy removal of one’s negative karma. My advice is to keep well away from such people.
Instead, study the fascinating lives of giants from our history books like Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa, or Spiritual Masters like Parahamansa Yogananda, Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna or my own amazing, Spiritual Master, Dr. George King. You will see from these and many other examples, that inspiration, and enlightenment dawn gradually through hard work, determination and a will as strong as a juggernaut!
Enlightenment cannot possibly be a quick fix because it is a process of unraveling all the ties that bind us over the lifetimes. Every negative word, jealous thought and mean action, ties us more surely to our lower natures in the same way that love liberates us. This is why Fifteenth Century Anchorites would literally brick themselves up to avoid any distractions – so desperate were they to attain enlightenment.
When we find that our desires for material possessions and worldly success no longer satisfy us, we are beginning to make progress. It is at this point, that some people feel lost and filled with fear as things that previously seemed so real somehow slip away from us. Instead of being fearful, realize that these are pointers that you are ready to take the most exciting adventure of all – the journey within. We may be treading new ground, but this path has been trod by thousands before us. Wise teachers have given us guidelines to help us through the tests that will come before us, but despite this, these first steps do require bravery.
In the mystic text, The Nine Freedoms, we are given powerful, wise guidelines through our evolution. We learn that bravery is the first freedom and we must, “Break away from this fear by delving deep within yourself and discovering the great dormant Powers which are latent there.”
We learn from spiritual texts like The Nine Freedoms and from the New Age teachings of Jesus, The Twelve Blessings, that we have within us great wisdom, love, and infinite power because we are truly Sparks of the Divine. We have wrapped our light with the dark cloth of wrong thought and action through the lifetimes, and now our task is to realize that every prayer, every act of love and service, unwraps this cloth, revealing more and more of the light within. Having studied many hundreds of spiritual books over my lifetime, these two books are, in my opinion, the very best that any seeker can find in these days. These are enlightened books of truth that will stand the test of time and guide you unerringly in the right direction – God-wards.
As we reveal our true essence that little bit more, again fear may set in as our personalities change. The things that have been holding us back, perhaps for lifetimes, come up for our attention. Our fears, our dislikes, our rigid opinions and our bad choices, come before us for us to discard like the useless garments they are.
We are now beginning to know ourselves – not the shell of personality that is made up of our emotional reactions to people and things – but the real self, the character, that is being forged through the trials of our life.
We are all on this journey of spiritual awakening; a journey through space and time. It is up to each of us whether we will be courageous pioneers, unafraid to plumb the depths and climb the heights of our true nature, or whether we will stand still, afraid to move forward, or fall backward into the increasing chaos around us. Really, we have no choice. This is the time for all spiritual workers to awaken!