Monday, March 30, 2009

Steps Toward Awakening

Realization of unity with all of life can come in a blinding flash of insight or in gradual stages of development. Each soul grows in its own way, and each must find the path to its own deepest truth.

Along the way, it is common to feel that one is not moving as fast as others toward awakening, or, at times, to feel one is not moving at all. In relation to 'unity-consciousness,' for example, it is relatively easy to feel love and harmony when love is all around us. It is more difficult to feel it when emotions are being challenged by challenging situations and when selfishness or fear rise into a more prominent focus.

At some point in the future, the power of spiritual truth will be strong enough to no longer be influenced by negative or separating emotions. This has not happened yet, and for many, emotional states still prevent the acquisition of constancy in maintaining love and connection.

In the presence of these emotional states – eg. fear, selfishness, self-absorption - an understanding must be held that the origin of selfishness is often self-protection – the feeling that one is on one’s own in caring for the self. This feeling flourishes in the absence of an experience of the Divine. Self-protection can generate an exclusive interest in meeting one’s own needs without consideration for the needs of others. It has a direct bearing on one’s ability to join with others.

Neverthekess, even while such tendencies are still present within us, intention, the will-force of the self, remains a powerful tool of the spirit. It creates a bridge between where we are and where we wish to be. It activates both mind, heart, and will around a goal that the whole self longs for. It directs energy and attention toward the aim that is being pursued.

In the presence of selfishness, self-seeking, or fear, unity can still be sought. Beyond need, beyond want, unity with others involves allowing another to be as real to us as we are to ourselves - allowing them to be seen and to make a claim upon our heart simply because they exist.

The intention toward unity is a spiritual practice that can be undertaken at any time. It is not the practice of the future in which all will be given through the higher vibrations of light. It is the practice of the present while things are still not clear.

The ‘intention toward unity’ takes the human self beyond the separating ideas of 'like' and 'dislike' to a different way of relating to life. 'Like' and 'dislike' regarding others are natural during the early stages of spiritual growth. They are natural as long as one is limited to identification with the physical self. However, beyond these distinctions is the awareness of “I am my brother’s keeper” – the motivation toward compassion and helping. And beyond “I am my brother’s keeper” is “I Am that I Am,” the essence of the Divine, perceived to exist within each created being. It is this awareness of the divine Essence within each that becomes the basis for unity, bringing an end to the sense of separation from others and an end to the illusion that there is anything but God at our deepest Source.

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