The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment  

Click for audio: The Truth About Spiritual Enlightenment

The belief that our soul is evolving produces a number of side effects that have a subtly negative impact on how we approach our spiritual quest. One of these is our view of spiritual enlightenment. Many see this as a state they will reach after years of study and devotion, a time when they will live with the perpetual awareness of the wisdom of the ages and remain blissfully unperturbed when negative appearances arise.

The principles presented in The Complete Soul challenge this spiritual stereotype. Spiritual enlightenment is not a condition we find at the end of our spiritual journey; it’s a shift in values that truly marks the beginning of our spiritual journey.

I refer often to the parable of the man who discovered the buried treasure in a field, then sold his possessions so he could buy that field. This man was not enlightened after he owned the field. He was enlightened the moment he discovered the treasure. At that moment, his search for treasure ended. All his actions were then focused on possessing that which he had discovered.

You are enlightened the moment you realize you are an eternal, spiritual being who currently inhabits a physical body. You have discovered the buried treasure. Your work now is to free yourself from all previously learned falsehoods and bring the realization of your spiritual understanding to bear in every area of your life.

Implementing this truth is a progression. Coming to know it is not. When you connect with an idea you know at your very core is true, you cannot turn back. You will, of course, expand your understanding, but when you are moved by an exposure to what your soul knows is true, you are changed for life. No one can argue you off what you know is true. You are an enlightened being.

It is not wise to discuss this with others, as they will consider you arrogant. It’s nothing to brag about. You have simply reached that point in your journey where you have made a significant and permanent breakthrough. Recognize and cherish it.

The Quest for Immortality

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Many metaphysical teachings suggest that the body need not be subject to the laws of time, space, and gravity, that there’s really no reason for the body to age, get ill, and perish. Some have even taught that we should be able to so align our consciousness with the regenerative properties of God, that we could live in the body forever.

Most who have sought the brass ring of perpetual youth – physical immortality – have taken a less philosophical approach. All one had to do was bathe in the proper healing waters, no consciousness-lifting required. In Jesus’ day, this was the pool of Bethesda. If you were first to make it to the pool after the angel’s disturbed the waters, you would be healed of your malady. And we’ve all heard of Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon’s quest for the fountain of youth.

It’s estimated that by 2019, the global anti-aging market will be worth an astounding, $191.7 billion U.S. dollars. Beginning in 2012, pro-immortality political parties have organized in Russia, the United States, Israel, and the Netherlands whose aim is to provide political support to research and technologies focused on anti-aging and what they call, radical life extension.

All of this points to the obsession with the body-based self-image. The quest for physical immortality reveals a deep-seated fear that the loss of the body is equal to the annihilation of the soul, our true essence and identity. This fear is reinforced by modern science’s assumption that consciousness is a product of the brain. When the brain dies, so do we.

Because it is easier to identify with the body and its endless needs, we can easily lose sight of the truth that we, as spiritual beings, are by nature immortal. When Paul suggested that we will not all experience the sting of death, I believe he was referring to those who know who and what they are at the deepest level. Near-death research reveals that one of the most common elements of those who have had an NDE is the complete loss of the fear of death. This is because they have experienced the soul and found it to be immortal.

Our quest for immortality amounts to nothing more than a perceptual shift. We are not the body. The body is the physical interface we use to interact with the world. That which we are, the soul, is in this world, but as Jesus said, we’re not of it. We are expressions of the eternal Source of life we call God.

 

Facebook/Linkedin Detach

Just so you’ll know, I’m disconnecting my Facebook and Linkedin accounts from this blog. Those of you who receive blog updates via email are subscribers. Those who get the Facebook/LinkedIn notice are not subscribers and may not be interested in the content of this blog.

When I publish something I think will be of interest, I’ll manually post it on both social media sites.

You’ll notice a drop in followers of this blog. Disconnecting from Facebook and Linkedin will explain this.

Thanks,

Doug

Missing in Action

Yes, I know I’ve been missing in action.

I am currently developing a video project based on The Complete Soul. I think it’s going to be one of the clearest presentations of spiritual principles I’ve shared since I began writing for Unity Magazine in the early 80’s [God rest their soul].

Please bear with me through this process. I’m publishing my weekly Sunday talks so you’ll know I’m still alive.

As always, thank you all for your continued love and support.

Doug

Resolving the Enigma of Divine Order

Click for audio: Resolving the Enigma of Divine Order

When we seek spiritual guidance, we usually do so from one of two states of mind. We’re either seeking spiritual wisdom to implement a plan of action, or we’re clueless about our current state of affairs, and we’re asking God for ideas. In either case, it’s a good practice to remind ourselves that all things are unfolding in divine order.

But what does this mean? Does it mean that if we don’t affirm divine order, chaos will ensue? Does God need our reminder to initiate the highest process of order to ensure the best, most successful outcome?

It’s been said that we don’t affirm a thing to make it true; we affirm it because it is true. The declaration that, My life is now unfolding in divine order is a statement that aligns our understanding, our expectations, with the truth that that which is best and highest for the expression of our soul, is now taking place. Whether we’re in the process of pursuing a dream, or we feel completely lost, adrift in a sea of uncertainty, we experience the peace of knowing that all is well.

Though this may not seem to be true, the feeling of being lost is foreign to the soul. It’s the self-image that experiences the opposites of certainty and uncertainty. The soul is grounded in the Infinite. Our spiritual core never becomes lost in the weeds of circumstance. Nor is the soul’s worth based on our successes and failures.

The self-image tends to read its ever-changing circumstances like tea leaves. We hope that the patterns left by the grounds in the bottom of our cup will give us some indication of what we should do. The problem here is that we will read into appearances exactly what we want to see. We’re like dooms-day advocate that sees that latest volcanic eruption, hurricane, political scandal, or violent outbreak in the Middle East as the signs that the end is near.

When you affirm divine order, do so with a deep feeling of certainty that your soul’s purpose is now being fulfilled. Pursue your plans and move through your circumstances with the understanding that all things are working together for your highest good, and for the highest good of all. In those moments of uncertainty, turn your attention away from circumstances and re-establish your faith in the truth that your life is now unfolding in divine order.

 

Resolving the Enigma of Divine Order

Click for audio: Resolving the Enigma of Divine Order

When we seek spiritual guidance, we usually do so from one of two states of mind. We’re either seeking spiritual wisdom to implement a plan of action, or we’re clueless about our current state of affairs, and we’re asking God for ideas. In either case, it’s a good practice to remind ourselves that all things are unfolding in divine order.

But what does this mean? Does it mean that if we don’t affirm divine order, chaos will ensue? Does God need our reminder to initiate the highest process of order to ensure the best, most successful outcome?

It’s been said that we don’t affirm a thing to make it true; we affirm it because it is true. The declaration that, My life is now unfolding in divine order is a statement that aligns our understanding, our expectations, with the truth that that which is best and highest for the expression of our soul, is now taking place. Whether we’re in the process of pursuing a dream, or we feel completely lost, adrift in a sea of uncertainty, we experience the peace of knowing that all is well.

Though this may not seem to be true, the feeling of being lost is foreign to the soul. It’s the self-image that experiences the opposites of certainty and uncertainty. The soul is grounded in the Infinite. Our spiritual core never becomes lost in the weeds of circumstance. Nor is the soul’s worth based on our successes and failures.

The self-image tends to read its ever-changing circumstances like tea leaves. We hope that the patterns left by the grounds in the bottom of our cup will give us some indication of what we should do. The problem here is that we will read into appearances exactly what we want to see. We’re like dooms-day advocate that sees that latest volcanic eruption, hurricane, political scandal, or violent outbreak in the Middle East as the signs that the end is near.

When you affirm divine order, do so with a deep feeling of certainty that your soul’s purpose is now being fulfilled. Pursue your plans and move through your circumstances with the understanding that all things are working together for your highest good, and for the highest good of all. In those moments of uncertainty, turn your attention away from circumstances and re-establish your faith in the truth that your life is now unfolding in divine order.

 

The Body is a Choice

[excerpt from, The Complete Soul]

I want to close this chapter by sharing a few thoughts on the idea that we incarnated by choice, that we did so with the full understanding of the limitations and drawbacks involved. By this, I do not mean we knew we would have abusive parents, for example, or that we would suffer some handicap, or that we chose these or other issues for the lessons our soul needed. I realize some people draw comfort, even closure from this idea. Like many in my profession, I once embraced this theory as a way of helping others make sense of difficult experiences. Now I see this as an unnecessary spin-off of the evolutionary model. The idea of the complete soul offers a more spiritually productive, logical, and fulfilling perspective. From this starting point, logic dictates that further incarnations, with whatever experiences they hold, will not make the soul more complete. A full pail, after all, can hold no more water.

Someone will ask, if our soul did not come for the lessons life has to offer, then why would we go to the trouble of incarnating? I’ve given this question a lot of thought over the years, and I believe the answer is a lot less complicated than the evolving soul model allows. For reasons of our choosing, we came simply because we wanted to be here. Getting here meant we needed a vehicle, a way to bring our soul from the spiritual to the material plane. The most efficient way of doing this is through a body.

Saying the body is the most efficient way of bringing the soul into expression doesn’t mean that our experience of incarnating has been perfect. Stepping into the body vehicle made us susceptible to rough roads and all kinds of foul weather, so much so that the bulk of our attention has gone to the maintenance needs of the body vehicle and its journey, while the soul, in a sense, remains nearly unnoticed in the cargo hold.

A major pitfall of the evolving soul model is that it makes the spiritual experience about the vehicle, its journey, and the belief that we will one day arrive at some special destination on this earthly sojourn. The truth is we have arrived. We’ve been so busy looking for specific conditions on this planet that we have forgotten that earth itself is our destination. We didn’t come to experience life from the cab of this delivery truck, driving endlessly from one place to another, looking for the right location to offload and unpack our cargo. We came here to experience life from our soul, right here and right now, using this body vehicle as our means of being here.

I said earlier that we are here for reasons of our choosing. We may doubt this because, unlike picking last year’s vacation spot, we have no clear memory of making such a decision. This memory is there, however, embedded in those things that truly interest and come most natural to us. These things do not boost our egos, advance our positions, or make us feel powerful. These are the things we quietly and reverently give our time and attention to without pay, persuasion, or recognition.

I see in the process of writing books some useful parallels that may help shed light on our reasons for incarnating. People write books for all kinds of reasons. Some write for sheer entertainment, others for educational purposes. Still others combine education with entertainment. I write because I want to share ideas that I think are important and will be of value to my readers. Sharing these ideas requires a way of doing that and the book is my vehicle of choice. Writing a book is fraught with challenges. It involves embodying inspired ideas in words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters that create a cohesive presentation one can read on a bus.

In the beginning of this section, I said we incarnated by choice, and that we did so with the full understanding of the limitations and drawbacks involved. I say this in the context similar to that of writing a book. When I made the decision to undertake this project, I knew from previous experience the nature of the challenges involved. Ideas often come in a flash and I can jot them down with relative ease. Including them in the context of a book is another matter. This can take hours, days, weeks, even months to accomplish. I have spent days working on a single paragraph only to delete it later. What comes quite easy on one level, is not so easy to express on another.

If we think of the soul as a set of ideas and the body as the book (our means of literally publishing the soul to the world), then we see the challenges we encounter in this incarnating/publishing process have little if anything to do with the soul itself. The ideas I want to convey through a book are largely unaffected by my struggle to convey them.

It is our associations of soul with body (our body-based self-image) that make our body-oriented challenges feel so personal. We mistakenly associate these challenges with the condition of our soul, but a clear understanding of the difference spares us this unneeded stress. Having great ideas is not the same as having the ability to put them in writing. This is where the work comes in.

If, as I have suggested, you were unfortunate enough to have had the experience of abusive parents, you may have made the mistake of interpreting this situation as something your soul needed to learn from these people. Dysfunctional, abusive people have little or nothing to teach our soul. Assigning them the role of teacher is often an attempt to put a positive spin on destructive behavior we struggle to forgive, a willingness to blame ourselves so we can let them off the hook and move on. Genuine forgiveness, however, has nothing to do with making peace with the actions of another. Forgiveness occurs when we touch our own wholeness and realize that the power and soul integrity we thought they took from us has remained with us all along. They may indeed provide the catalyst that causes us to look deeper into our soul, but what we find is nothing they brought. Nor does their negative influence have the power to detract from our real purpose for incarnating. We did not need their negativity to enrich or advance our soul. If we are giving people and various conditions this kind of power, we ourselves are obscuring our purpose for incarnating. We’re experiencing writer’s block, so to speak, staring blankly out the window, hung up on some writing issue, while our book goes unpublished.

The specific issues we encountered by taking on a body were, in all likelihood, unknown to us. Our soul did not choose them for the growth opportunities they might offer. On the other hand, fully aware of our soul’s completeness, we understood there would indeed be challenges associated with temporarily tethering this vast, nonlocalized essence we call our soul to a vehicle subject to the restrictive laws of time, space, and gravity. We are not here to work our way through the school of soul development, or to pay some karmic debt. We have incarnated for reasons similar to those I have agreed to take on when writing books: I do it because I want to. You and I are here because we made the choice to be here.