The Truth You Seek

“What we are trying to grasp with our head (intellect), the heart has always known. The spiritual pop culture worships the quest. It thrills in filling its bookshelves, accumulating credentials and traveling through all the wide gates of the world in search of the fulfillment that can only be found at the quiet center of every individual.”

Question: Could you elaborate on this part of your previous post? I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.

Response: If you declare yourself on a spiritual quest today, you will be on a spiritual quest tomorrow. You will still be on this quest a year or ten years from now. This means you are not finding what you seek. Because you are not finding what you seek, keeping the quest going becomes your objective.

The truth is that God is centered in you. To experience God, you must make a conscious connection with this divine center. At this moment of awareness, your quest ends because you now know the location of that which you seek. You are the man who finds the treasure hidden in the field. His quest for wealth is over. Knowing this, he is entirely devoted to letting go of that which is of less value than the treasure he found.

The trap that many fall into is that they tie the spiritual quest to unity/oneness among people. Because global unity becomes the benchmark of success for so-called spiritual movements, we consider the success of such movements as a sign that collective spiritual progress is being made. This deception turns the individual away from their inner connection to God and places their hope in the growth and success of the external movement. They then take their cues from the movement, which can only promise a perpetual quest and a dissatisfying spiritual void that never can and never will be satisfied.

The world changes but Truth does not. All valid spiritual disciplines teach that the individual’s connection with God is internally accessible. The spiritual movement, the book, or that particular teacher that reminded you of this truth is not the one that will make it real to you. They were but the catalyst that reminded you what you already know at the deepest level of your being.

Have enough faith in yourself to uncover this buried treasure, to declare an end to your quest for Truth, and dare to live the life your soul longs to express.

 

The Narrow Gate to Freedom

YouTube: The Narrow Gate to Freedom

Audio: The Narrow Gate to Freedom

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter though it” (Matthew 7:13).

Though I have referenced this scripture many time in my talks and writings, I return to it again to reiterate the profound truth it embodies. Many on the spiritual path today distinguish between religion and the quest for a deeper understanding of their spirituality. What is implied here is that the old worn paths of religious dogma and creed no longer suffice, that the seeker is looking for a more organic, experiential approach to spiritual understanding. While this quiet rebellion against stiff tradition is understandable, this new version of the spiritual quest has also become a wide gate through which many have entered. There exists a spiritual pop culture that makes the same undeliverable promise of enlightenment.

The narrow gate that Jesus spoke of is so simple that it is easily missed. The fulfillment of our spiritual quest is present, right where we stand. We are looking for our soul. To label our search a spiritual quest is to guarantee that we will not find what we seek. What we are trying to grasp with our head (intellect), the heart has always known. The spiritual pop culture worships the quest. It thrills in filling its bookshelves, accumulating credentials and traveling through all the wide gates of the world in search of the fulfillment that can only be found at the quiet center of every individual.

The truth Jesus conveyed is true still. He was not talking about the narrow gate of religious belief. He was talking about the correct understanding of the soul. The soul is complete now. How do you get to the now? How do you experience that which you already are in truth? You settle in, you turn your focus away from the demands of the self-image and you observe that changeless point of awareness you have always known as I. This is the narrow gate to freedom. The moment you step through it you will know without a doubt that your spiritual search is over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Here, Not There?

Who hasn’t experienced moments when things seem to be drifting no place in particular, and our efforts to establish a firm direction seem in vain? At such times we may turn our attention to life’s meaning and our purpose for being here.

There’s no shortage of explanations designed to address these questions. Some think of our experience on earth as a test to see if we deserve the keys to our own great mansion in the sky. Though I admit having once accepted a version of this, I struggled trying to reconcile the disposition required of one who would devise and administer such a test. It’s like a person afraid of spiders drops one into the toilet bowl to see if it can escape. If it makes it to the rim, the spider earns passage to the great outdoors. If not, it gets the big flush.

I passed through an even longer period believing the earth is a school and we’re here to learn lessons designed to advance our soul’s condition. Now, however, this makes no sense. What lessons could a soul learn through a body that shuts down 99% of its capacity? And we’re supposed to believe that we jump from one body to another for as long as it takes to remember what our soul already knows? It’s the body that makes us forget.

If we start with what we actually know, we can reach a couple of practical conclusions concerning our purpose for taking on a body. First, we’re here because we can’t be anyplace else. Most of us have tried all our life to escape from here, but no one has succeeded. Try as you may, you have an eternal arrow pointed at you with the caption that reads, You Are Here. No one has an arrow with a caption saying, Finally, You Are There. Regardless of where you might want to be, you are here. Walk across the room and you’re still here. Fly around the world and you’re still here. Walk on Pluto and call your mom.
You: Hi Mom, I’m just calling to say I love you.
Mom: Where are you?
You: I’m here, on Pluto.
Mom: What’s the weather like? Did you bring your coat?

The next thing we consider is what we mean by the word here. For most of us, here is our body and our physical surroundings. Why am I here in this body surrounded by this particular set of circumstances? But a little thought reveals that here is more an attitude than a physical location. Let’s say your here is a deserted tropical island in the Pacific. If you’re vacationing on this island it’ll mean one thing. If your plane crashed in the ocean and you, the lone survivor, finally drifted to this same island, it’ll mean something completely different. One mindset sees the island as an escape. I can’t believe I’m here! The other sees it as a prison. I can’t believe I’m here!

If we conclude that here is more an attitude than a set of circumstances, we’re confronted with a choice. Am I here on this island of circumstance because my plane crashed, or am I here by choice? There’s no right or wrong answer, but there are consequences to the choice we make. I’m either a victim of these circumstances or I’m the adventurous vacationer. The fact is, I am here. Now what do I do with it?

Let’s add another item to our list of things we can say we know. Without a body, we can’t talk to another person. We can’t enjoy a cup of coffee or make a pina colada from all those coconuts on our island. We can’t even pick up our cell phone.

To my personal list I add another item of things I can say I know. I know that the existence of my soul is not dependent on my body. The existence of my body is dependent on my soul. My body is a perfectly designed vehicle that allows me to interface with the material world. My soul was not forced into this body. I took it on because I wanted to have this earthly experience, and there’s no better way to do it.

Which of these many earthly experiences did I come for? All of them—the conversations, the coffee, the pina coladas, tinkering with cell phones and all the other things that make up this experience. My purpose on this earth is not found in any specific mission or goal. My purpose is to experience here through the vehicle of a body. When this body drops dead, I’ll still be here, and I’ll still have the power to choose what I want to do with it.

As a castaway on our island, we spend our days focused on survival and scanning that endless horizon for rescue. Our purpose is to signal that tiny dot that may be the ship that will finally take us to that magic somewhere over there. If, on the other hand, we’re on our island by choice, we spend our days exploring the wonders of our world and let those tiny dots pass unnoticed.

I don’t think our fulfillment of purpose is not found in people, places or things on this earth. I’ve come to believe that being here on earth to experience these things as only we can through a body is our reason for choosing this particular adventure.