It isn’t difficult to see why the average person on the spiritual path assumes that there is distance between where they are today (in understanding) and where they will be in the future. There are many examples of spiritually enlightened souls that seem as if they are much further along the path. Knowing our own feelings of spiritual inadequacy and our tendency to so easily succumb to negative mental and emotional reactions to people and to the world at large, we compare ourselves to these seemingly advanced souls we assume would glide peacefully through the things that set us back.
Let’s take our attention off other enlightened souls for a moment and turn our focus on what is really going on. First of all, a staple concept embraced by the New Thought community is that the now moment is the only time there is. The future and the past are illusions. It is only in our mind that can contemplate a future or think about the past. While we can emotionally react to our perceptions of the future and the past, we can only inhabit this now moment.
Our reaction to the past or future is a present mind action. The idea that we will be more in the future than we are today is a false assumption that totally contradicts our belief in the importance of this now moment. We’re saying that we can only live in the now, but someday in the future we will be something more than we currently are.
We try to resolve this contradiction by saying, Yes, at the spiritual level I am complete, but my consciousness is evolving. This is true, but is it required? Are we so designed as to be unable to grasp the truth of our spiritual identity until we have traveled sufficiently through human trial and error and earned our stripes as a spiritually enlightened being? We do not see this requirement anywhere in the natural world. We can only imagine that it exists in the human experience.
Every aspect of nature is fully evolved now. You think not? You think the natural world is evolving toward some unrealized ideal? Evolution is all about adapting to the present environment. The natural world is not laboring to adapt to a future environment. Every aspect of nature is living the truth that the now moment is the only time there is. Evolution does not apply to the being, the essence of plants and animals. It applies only to their physical interface with their environment. The behavior of today’s shark, for example, is likely identical to the behavior of the shark that lived millions of years ago. The fossil record may show differences in body, but it’s safe to assume that the essence of the animal remains unchanged.
The human being is designed to know and to live from the awareness of our infinite spiritual source. Our lack of understanding this is not a design flaw that we must spend lifetimes overcoming and perfecting. We are literally hardwired to know this truth which, as we know it, sets us free to actually awaken to our changeless essence. It is as if we are standing on ground just above the water table, but because we see no water we must travel to another place to find it. No one has told us that if we dig into the soil right where we stand, we will find an endless supply of water. If someone does tell us this, we scoff. “I’ve walked this earth for fifty years and I can tell you there is no water here. It’s somewhere over that hill.” So we keep walking, and walking, and walking.
Neither time nor space stand between ourselves and God, our spiritual source. Any person who takes it upon themselves can go within and experience God. God is not available only to some special class or differently designed human. You may experience God today or it may take you some time. But it’s not because time is required. It’s because you do not believe you are capable of experiencing God, that you must be more evolved, like one of the great spiritual masters. The only difference between you and a spiritual master is that they have used their shovel to dig beyond the dry crust of earth that has convinced you there is no water. The needed evolution of consciousness that must occur is fairly simple: You are designed to know and experience God, and you can do it right now.