Starting the Path to a Spiritual Journey
An Article on Spirituality
By Lynn Claridge
A spiritual path is easy to miss because it is subtle. It is a path to your higher consciousness with fuller awareness. Upon entering the spiritual path, you will begin to change your perceptions and see new interpretations of reality. You will learn to heal yourself from the conditioning of childhood, societal mores and traditional thinking. You move from being unaware to becoming an empowered, conscious, loving, holistic, and fully functioning person. You will start to understand the mysteries of life.
As your awareness expands, you will realize there is only one of you. Who you are expands to include all the parts of your life. Knowing and feeling connected to this full-self unfolds in stages, as there are degrees of truth along the way to full truth. It is a continual process of exploring yourself and others, participating in relationships and groups, and learning from experiences of your inner-self.
How do you start your spiritual journey?
Often it begins with a personal crisis that starts an inner desire to look beneath the surface of what is happening to find richer meaning and purpose.
These questions could include such things as.
Who am I outside of my roles and conditioning?
Why am I here?
What would give my life more meaning and purpose?
Why do these things happen to me?
How can I help myself?
Why do I worry about what my family and friends think?
How can I heal my dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviors?
How can I change my life so that I like my life?”
These questions and many others need answering; this will then cause you to move into a deeper quest for life. Life is always answering your inner questions by bringing you answers and new experiences. These experiences may come to you through books or religious teachings, or by listening and learning as you grow. However, you have to be ready to see, feel and hear the insights.
Sometimes it is not even a conscious thought that begins the journey. It might be that you are having problems or you have a habit that needs changing, or a relationship that is not working. At what point would you want to enter a therapy group, a counseling group, or a family therapy group to help improve your situation. Many of these types of groups can open the doors to a deeper search.
You may respond because you have had too much pain and suffering after a catastrophic event like an illness, divorce, loss of a job or a death of a family member. These experiences force you often to look for answers. This is because you become confused, hurt or angry. When you are in this frame of mind, you can open yourself to new ideas.
Another way you can move on to a spiritual path is if you have a partner who is willing to join you on your journey, especially if they are constantly changing and growing, helping to introduce new ideas and catalyzing the relationship. When you stay in a relationship, you can evolve together.
When you decide to make you journey, some mystical experiences can bring you change that will last forever. This is an expansion of consciousness, greater than everyday life. This is where you can lift the veil of non-understanding. Once you have made the changes you will make an instant change in your life. You will release all your fears and start to understand that love is the underlying principal of the universe. You can change you life forever.
The circle and the spiral of life.
Let us now look at two different people. One is living a normal life and one is starting their spiritual journey. For clarity let us call her Susan and let us say that Susan lives her life in a line that goes from point A to point B, eventually this makes a circle from birth to death. Susan is born into a family that would expect her to follow the family’s example. This includes family values and beliefs that have been handed down from one generation to the next. Therefore, Susan stays within the comfort of her conditioning.
If Susan decides to move out from the family footsteps, it would probably be in reaction to extreme situations. Susan jumps to another point and has the tendency to over-correct and therefore, act out the opposite side of the coin. Susan may look like she is thinking for herself and acting differently; however, she is still dealing with the same coin. Susan will still condition and will still stay within the boundaries of the family circle.
Time will tell if Susan returns to the traditions or truly moves into higher consciousness. I would like to point out at this point that many who find their spiritual path do go back to traditional ways; they just experience it with a newer and deeper understanding.
So now, let us look at person number two, we will call this person Peter. Peter looks at the boundaries in the circle and is not satisfied, wanting more from his life than following the line from point A to point B. This calls forth a deeper process in a number of ways (some that we mentioned earlier) so, Peter moves out of the circle. The circle now becomes a new configuration, a spiral. The circle represents a closed system, repeating what has been modeled and taught. It is very difficult for new information to get into this system. When Peter enters the spiral, he makes a shift upwards and moves into a new dimension, an open system, which is full of information not known within the circle.
Another way to explain this is to use a mountain. Susan lives at the bottom of the mountain and everything is familiar. Is this where you are? If you are, then you may have learned for example, that you are an extension of your parents or family. You need to conform to the roles and rules of these groups. You may respond to them telling you what to do. However, you should remember your body is of physical beauty, strength and youth, and this is what counts in your life.
Alternatively, you may believe that your possessions make you who you are. Others around you may think that it is great that you have a high IQ and you did well at school. You have plenty of money and you seem to have it all. That is all very well except that true happiness and having a connection to your inner self, are missing.
If this makes you think about what your role is, and what is missing in your life, that is a good thing. This is the point that you may actually move away from the bottom of the mountain onto the spiral where you will find your true self. Are you ready to walk up the mountain and find your hidden path to your higher realizations? It may be uncomfortable at first and your rational mind might try to talk you into going back down the mountain for safety and familiarity. As you climb, you will start to find others who want to share ideas with you and who can answer a few of your questions. You may find the life you really want.
You now have some ideas to ponder over.
What journey do you want to take?
We have looked at the difference between Susan who is not willing to walk away from the circle to start her journey; therefore, she will stay this way forever. We have also looked at Peter, who wants to change his circle; therefore, he will have a happier and fuller life.
Many experiences and thinking patterns can initiate your spiritual journey. The decision is up to you.
Do you want a higher awareness or do you want to live a life where you are blind to what you can really become?