Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Three phases of Spiritual Seekers
This article is dedicated to the sincere spiritual seeker who have not yet awakened to peace and inner-knowing enough to live the truth of their Being. In other words, if you still feel that you are confused, uncertain, frustrated or still get caught in your egoic world then you are in phase one.
Phase one is not only common but most seekers do not know anything else despite the fact that they think they know. Paradoxically, it is this belief in thinking one knows that blocks further inner experience.
Phase one usually lasts several years to a whole lifetime simply because he/she is intellectually driven (trying to figure out; make sense of what you read or hear; looking for answers where none exist.
Spiritual answers only exist in Silence, in utter emptiness and deep listening.
There are three phases:
1. The information gathering phase (which often lasts).
3. Direct experience of Source.
1. Information gathering: Actually many of these seekers in phase one already know all the words; have been or still are with many teachers; they have traveled the road to different teachings, teachers, ashrams and applied methods and techniques. The worst part of this phase is the belief that one knows truth and, it is this very belief that keeps phase one unchanged for many years.
I keep getting email questions of this nature, “I know the truth but I still don’t feel at peace.” The belief that information can change your life is so strong and unyielding that even intelligence is not enough to make you aware of it. Here’s a fact – there’s nothing to know about truth – Truth is Being!! If you are NOT living the truth in daily life then you do not know truth.
A true teacher does not talk about Truth simply because there is nothing to say, there’s only to teach what blocks you from truth and, that’s the belief that there’s someone separate who knows. It is only in inner Silence that we can live in innocence (Truth).
This phase is a difficult one because there is a lust for knowledge but at the same time one can’t settle for any teaching enough to commit oneself to it fully. There is restlessness, uncertainty, often depression, frustration and confusion. Words in reading are taken literarily and when teachers make contradictory statements or simply seem to conflict from teacher to teacher they end up confused and even bewildered. In other words there is no happiness nor peace yet and the ego is strong in wanting, needing, craving and searching.
Another paradox is that even though they find genuine teachings, there is no listening yet…just more information.
These three phases are really phases of learning to listen…not to words but to their heart-meaning. If they are honest with themselves they will at least realize (which is a big step) that their theology, metaphysics and including Advaita teachings has not given them peace or true lasting joy in life.
A beautiful statement from ‘A Course in Miracles” states “You are at Home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality.”
This statement, if truly listened to, can break the first phase but chances are it won’t because the gathered information says, “There is no doer.” And so after reading it there is the intellectual thought of believing that one has no choice. The truth is that there is no individual separate person but there is the interpretation which takes place all the time. When one suffers, it is simply because one is following his/her own conditioned interpretation of what seems to be happening. In a way it is an unconscious choice to suffer. This is the delusion of the separate phase one. They can’t seem to apply the heart of listening which is often confused with making sense or figuring out.
Breaking free from phase one
Breaking free from phase one is simpler than imagined simply because there is no doing but the choice of interpretation. Phase one people love to debate even argue as if truth consists of words. Truth is love, period. You can’t make sense of truth because it is whole, complete and timeless. It can’t be understood by the linear brain because it is an experience of the heart. In other words, truth is Oneness.
You start to break free from phase one by the following reminders…
1. There are no answers to life; there is only love and forgiveness.
2. There is nothing to figure out; to understand; there is only the Silence of the heart at any given moment.
3. Choose one teaching that resonates with you and makes you feel good until you are convinced this is the road for you. Then commit yourself to it.
4. Whenever you feel confused, uncertain, frustrated or anxious just stop for a moment, take a deep breath and forgive it. Forgiveness is a term often misunderstood but for now it suffices to use it as you know it.
5. Remind yourself that whenever you are unclear or confused then you are using your intellect which can only complicate things. If ever you are not happy with anything then you are not in your heart, simply forgive it. It takes courage to let go but moving to phase two requires breaking free from the addiction of seeking.
2. Application: This is the most important phase because it will make phase three almost direct and effortless. This means that you take everything you have learned intellectually in phase one and apply it. Application means LISTENING to it even if you have to repeat it often until you actually hear it. This is a form of subconscious deprogramming from the past conditioned hypnotic beliefs in limitation. You had taken words like Love, Joy, Oneness, Silence, glory, beauty, Heaven, meaning, Peace as separate words and gave them your meaning. Now look at them again and with closed eyes LISTEN to their ‘feeling’ in your heart. When you discover that all of them mean the same thing then you will start opening to oneness. All is One. There is no individual doer but there is interpretation. There are two interpretations in life. One is from ego conditioned belief systems and the other is the Oneness interpretation which the Course calls the Holy Spirit’s interpretation.
Ego judges, intellectualizes, fears, suspicious, holds on to beliefs, prone to reaction and negativity and pain. We interpret through the ego every time we are faced with something we don’t like. The Holy Spirit interprets anything we don’t like as something that-simply-IS! The Holy Spirit does not judge, does not condemn or blame nor tries to negate anything. It is ready to love, forgive and be at peace with whatever is. We can ‘choose’ either the ego or the Holy Spirit in any situation – we have that option. When we indulge in judgment or pain then we have gone back to phase one conditioning.
When we make use of phase two here then we are ready for the direct experience of Oneness.
3. Feeling one with Source: All debates and arguments and harsh judgments and self-abuse and self-sabotage including anxiety are now a form of history. You have opened your heart to the moment to the point of LISTENING direct to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the eternal “I AM” of you and is One with all. It is who you are.
You enter this phase by asking “who am I?” and realize happily that you have no idea who you are simply because the mind can never know what is beyond itself. This becomes your ‘answer’ as being the vast space, a clearing, a borderless being, pure awareness which is unconditional love. This is also experienced directly in daily life as Presence. It is at this point that you feel complete, at peace and unafraid of life or death.
NOTE: If you have inner conflicts and want to move beyond them then email Burt for a possible face-to-face Skype session. You can agree on a payment before the session.