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To Arrive in the Place Where You Are Not: Fallacies of the Spiritual Path

To Arrive in the Place Where You Are Not: Fallacies of the Spiritual Path

Today, the spiritual field is littered with half-baked truths, crackpot facts, unthought-out meanings and downright lies. For the truth to appear clearly and distinctly amid the hub-bub is a tall order. Perhaps it is best announced quietly, strongly and in a regular voice to distinguish it from spirituality dressed up as business, spiritual liberation presented as the object of individual desire or a relationship to the Infinite reframed and interpreted as happy marriages.

It has, and probably always will, take a great deal of courage, persistence and hard work to arrive in the place where you are not. Seeking the truth without becoming attached to the search itself is a humbling task. As ego-forces worm their way in, truth-seekers guided, misguided and left alone to make of their spiritual paths anything they want them to be may easily flounder.

Some basis of spiritual fact may be useful if you are, or are thinking of, making the spiritual your priority. It is, as I explained to a client the other day, like the advice I once heard from a singing teacher: “If you cannot reach the note, aim to hit the note above it!” This works. And it is analogous to spirituality in the contemporary world. If you are not happy and fulfilled in your relationship, career, finances, recreation, lifestyle, search for meaning and purpose, reach higher. The spiritual world is the higher one and, if you truly reach it, it will rain down upon you a transcendent rain that will turn everything in your life figuratively into gold – the golden treasure of life: all things will be given to you, all help, all experiences, all teachings, all the happiness that you need, desire or could dream of… the only thing is – and please hear this – you cannot do it for that reason.

Why do it then? you say. You do it, because the spiritual path is the way to YOU.

So, here is my encouragement. When you are looking for a way, that is a teacher, a teaching, a method, a meditation or what have you, to further your spiritul journey, please remember this: be discriminating. Think about what you hear, consider how you feel, put your genuine-ness meter on full-time. Do not accept anything on face value, mull over it, ask questions and see if it makes sense, because so much in this field doesn’t and so many so-called teachers when challenged falter and fall.

I know this first hand. When I was writing my book The Flight of Consciousness, my editor, a tough, spiritually cynical Californian who had heard it all before, one day shouted at me, “Richard, you’re not preaching to the converted now! This is not one of your workshops where everyone nods! When you write, you have got to tell people why it is true – you have to justify your statements!” He wasn’t a spiritual teacher, but he taught me to want to learn to write.