Theme: Physical energy transferring to spiritual energy. During transition, the student is susceptible to sickness and illness. Emotional breakdowns and suffering are expected in beginning. Choosing to ignore past endeavors to focus on spiritual improvement.
Reference: Stairway To Freedom – Pg. 21
It is of paramount importance that seekers after spiritual knowledge should prepare themselves both physically and mentally for the journey that they must undertake. The road is long and the way arduous. Spiritual work makes great demands upon the physique due to the fact that in order to gain or receive spirituality, an exchange has to be made in terms of the vital power that is related to the body. An exchange signifies that, to receive, it is necessary to give. The receiving of spiritual blessing implies that the receiver gives a certain portion of his physical power, the power that would normally be used to sustain and regenerate the body.
Power, once given, is lost at least for the time being and that leaves a vacuum in terms of power. The vacuum is filled with spirituality. The spiritual power, once received, is equivalent to the physical power lost and restores balance in a physical sense. The spirituality of the individual has, of course, risen by that degree by which spiritual power has been absorbed. However, the danger point is during the period when energy has been given and the body is depleted, awaiting fulfillment by the Holy Spirit. At such times, the person concerned is in a weak condition and is open to all manner of illnesses and infections which can take hold during such times.
It is advisable for the student of the mysteries of life only to aspire to receive spiritual power at times when he is feeling fit and well and at times when sleep and rest may be gained at will. If, during the long journey towards perfection, a person incarnate attempts to perfect himself and yet still makes the normal demands upon his body that employment and the home environment make, there is a real danger of the body becoming overtaxed and serious illness and even death of the body occurring. The advice given to the student is to plan his voyages in stages and listen to the dictates of his body so that he does not overtire himself. Thus it is that many who made great progress during their earthly incarnations found their life force shortened.
This is unfortunate when it occurs as there is much to be gained by an earthly incarnation, a fact often only realised once that incarnation has terminated. It is sad to shorten it through overexertion which, to a certain extent, defeats the object of attempting the voyage. However, having stated the dangers on the path, the rewards will be considered and they are many. Such is the value of the blessings accrued through having achieved certain progress along the way that any effort made to reach that goal is worthwhile. The blessings, whilst themselves taken individually may appear insignificant, are nevertheless vital and wonderful progressions towards perfection.
The steps can be appreciated in hindsight and are noticeable in that the problems that one was bound with gradually lift and are diminished in proportion to lessons sent from the Almighty for the betterment of the recipient. Peace of mind is an adjunct to progress and finally bliss. A state of at-oneness is achieved. There is felt no desire to escape from perceived realities of life as there are with drug-induced enhanced states. Indeed, involvement with aspects of life relevant to the progressive needs of the student is essential to the achievement of these goals. There can be no progress without sacrifices and spiritual sacrifice is not the killing of an innocent animal nor is it drinking wine or eating bread. Sacrifice implies that the individual must be brought to the altar and should suffer. The suffering, which is nearly always in the form of service to God made manifest in man, results in a reward being made by God through acceptance of the sacrifice. Reward, of course, has been mentioned earlier. Thus, it is that service in any way, shape, or form is considered a necessary part of the spiritual path.
Some factions would attempt to achieve perfection by total withdrawal from life. This path has its adherents and the act of withdrawal is, in itself, a heavy penalty to pay for the rewards gained because it is unnatural for humans to live a solitary life and so that sacrifice is rewarded by the granting of blessings. However, one feels that the path is rather a negative and passive way, not perhaps conducive to the furtherance of the human race on Earth and thus perhaps not to be regarded as a path most suited for the vast majority to follow.
A more promising avenue to the future would be total involvement with aspects of life chosen by God for that individual where that individual would be most able to serve and be most able to benefit by service. Service done for the benefit of financial profit brings no reward. Service performed for God, even when rewarded financially, is accepted by God and confers blessing upon the worker. And so, the advice given to any individual contemplating progression towards perfection would be to seek the guidance of Almighty God in obtaining a suitable arena of service and, once that has been attained, to devote himself ardently to serve mankind within that arena to the best of his ability and to rest assured that that labour will be accepted as sacrifice upon the altar of service by God. His blessings will follow in due course.
Commensurate with service should come devotion. Devotion implies that the individual subjects himself to a higher being and recognizes that that being is capable of receiving that devotion and is able to confer blessings upon the devotee as a reward for the devotion given. The process is a dual one. It is a giving out from the devotee to the devoted one and a receiving by the devotee. That which is given in a period of devotion is, in fact, the power that would normally have been used to fuel the fires of personality and ego, power that would have been used to strengthen the bonds of earthly ties. Having given that power to the Almighty, the giver receives, in return, spiritual power which raises and strengthens the spiritual concept of the individual. Thus, gross matter has been transmuted into spiritual gold.
This process is vitally necessary for the individual concerned. His future in all respects depends upon the change that occurs. Should devotion not be practiced as a daily ritual, then any other spiritual activities undertaken would be harmful to that individual. Spiritual work makes demands that only spiritual power can satisfy. Spiritual power alone is sufficient to transport the voyager along the path towards perfection. Therefore, it must be stressed that regular periods of devotion are necessary and must become daily routine for the disciple of God. Stress must also be placed on the need to consider the physical body at such times and care taken to minimise physical and emotional exertion at the times mentioned previously when the body has given up a certain portion of physical power and it has not yet been replaced with pure spiritual power.
There is need also to consider one’s emotional stability at such times. The turbulence created in mind during early endeavors towards perfection are great. Stability, albeit tenuous, is achieved as a compromise by most individuals prior to feeling the need to find God and, once new routines are firmly established, stability returns once again. During initial periods of spiritual endeavor, sweeping changes are wrought throughout personality which causes much turbulence and emotional discomfort. Indeed, it is not uncommon for people to experience emotional breakdown at such times. This should not occur, however, if the path is followed with care, considering always the feelings of the body. Emotional trauma is, however, a prerequisite to receiving spiritual blessing and the student should be prepared to experience it to a degree and adjust his work, devotion routines, so that changes happen slowly and without drama.
Taking stock of the information imparted so far and assimilating that information into the subconscious will cause changes to be wrought in the personality of the student. These changes, though subtle, will begin to allow a process of expansion of mind to occur, the results of which will be a fruition of inventiveness and a process of creativity which is indicative of the beginnings of wisdom. Wisdom is a word often used by individuals where the correct word would be cunning. True wisdom is not acquired through experience of life alone nor is it achieved through academic knowledge. Power, when acquired, does not bring wisdom as a handmaiden.
Wisdom is a process of merging worldly experience with soul growth. The result of that activity is to create a person who has the ability to make decisions and to act upon them to influence others, not for financial, political, or theological gain, but to act in a manner that implies godliness transposed into an earthly environment. Such actions are not coloured by selfishness but are the epitome of selflessness molded upon reality. Few decisions taken in the world today or in the past use such criteria as process for action, and few individuals could genuinely be called wise. However, as with all gifts of the spirit, wisdom is open to all. Intelligence, though important, is secondary to spiritual growth and it is spiritual growth that decides a person’s wisdom. The process of acquisition is long and requires diligent application by the student before it is released into his custody, but, like all gifts of the spirit, it is worth gaining and as soon as possible.
The manifestations of perfection are such as to leave no doubt upon the disciple that perfection is being achieved. So that there can be no doubt in the heart and mind of the inquirer as to his progress along the path, there are placed certain milestones to guide him, to remind him of the distance travelled and to act as a warning that the traveler has not arrived at his destination. The past is strewn with the debris of past endeavours and should be picked over with great caution. Past endeavours, whilst themselves valuable at the time, bear no relation to that which will be necessary in the future and should be left on the path, shunned, with one’s face always turned to the light, the eyes only upon the goal. Disciplines relevant to today’s exercises need not necessarily apply tomorrow for, as the student progresses further from the land of Maya and further into the reality, so the rules governing his actions within those spheres alter.
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