How Far Along are You on Your Spiritual Path?
One often hears people speak about “old souls” and “advanced souls”. For myself, I have always wondered about this. Surely any idea of comparison or any sense of a race to see who gets to the finish line first must all just be an ego construct? Each soul’s journey must surely be as unique as that soul is? So how can we then compare two different beings and make any kind of an assessment of who is “older” or “more advanced” than another?
Until now I had regarded the whole business of attempting to compare spiritual progression as a counterproductive ego trap. Very recently it dawned upon me, however, that there is value in understanding where we are with regard to the reality through which we are moving. What I’m suggesting is that we can each find our place on our journey by comparing ourselves to the journey itself rather than to one another. It’s a bit like finding where you are on a map and then assessing how far you have come and how far you have yet to go. Quite a different proposition from trying to compare yourself on your journey to someone else, who is travelling an entirely different journey!
This becomes especially useful when one considers that there are some common features to all of our journeys. I’d like to tell you about this, and then leave you to decide for yourself where you are on your own personal journey.*
Everything begins with Oneness, because Oneness is the ultimate truth. All parts of consciousness begin from a place where Oneness expresses some kind of imbalance. Out of this primary distortion arises variability. Out of variability arises possibility.
Somewhere in all this, in some variation in the eternal field of the consciousness of The One, some of those variations became aware of self-hood. Still absolutely connected and indivisible from the All… but also self-aware.
And so things proceed, with parts of The One co-creating to bring forth many and varied new realities, creations and expressions. Realities beyond number and beyond imagination spring forth in this way – always with all parts of The One knowing that they are truly one.
And so things continue until some part of The One postulates a new question that could be explored in the quest for ever-unfolding creation. And the question is, “What if I were not one? What if I were MANY?”
With that question posed, the only possible way forward is to begin to create the answer. And so a new reality was formed where The One might experience itself as many. As separate, individual, disconnected beings.
Entering into this reality, called “Separation”, is painful and confusing. The only way to enter is to come to hold beliefs that are, at best, paradoxical, at worst, deeply destructive and at every point in between, absurd. Parts of The One that are not invested in this reality cannot believe what goes on here. It is too strange to contemplate. But yet, here it is. Here, inseparable and indivisible parts of The One fragment themselves into manyness. Here, parts of the same great Oneness, treat other selves as enemies. Here, we do to other selves things that we would never want done to ourselves. Here, we create more and more and more division and separation. But division and separation cause us pain. So we cry out from the pain and we call to other selves to come and rescue us from our pain, but in the calling we deepen our belief in separation.
And so it is that a consciousness that wishes to enter separation must agree to permit parts of itself to experience some ridiculously painful things. And those parts that DO experience the worst pains, respond to their pain by recoiling, by rejecting others, by fearing and hating others. In this way, parts of the greater consciousness sink ever deeper into this separation reality.
Look around you at the world. Look at those you see portrayed in the media. From the criminals, to the leaders, to those you meet as you go about your day. What percentage of this world’s people, do you think, are engaged with this process right now?
What percentage is responding to their fear, pain and anger by trying to lash out at others? By trying to instil fear in others so that they themselves can feel a little safer? Or by trying to recoil into a safe cocoon and keep all others out? What percentage is motivated primarily by fear, pain and anger?
I don’t know the answer to this question but I do know that things such as war, crime, abuse of animals, the planet, other beings and the self would not be possible if there were not beings here who are at this level of consciousness.
It’s sobering to realise that our top politicians seem to be some of the least evolved amongst us, is it not?
But wherever you and I are in our journey, it is useful to know that we have been here too. We have spent time (perhaps many lifetimes) at this level of awareness. And so it is useful too to realise that, no matter where someone is on their journey, this is not “who they are”; it is just “where they are, right now”. You and I made our way through this difficult stage… they will too! In due course, absolutely everyone will get through this. It is a guaranteed fact.
And the reason this fact is guaranteed is precisely because separation and manyness is an illusion! The only thing that is really true is Oneness. One of the many implications of Oneness is that you cannot do something to another without doing it to yourself also. So, every angry, fearful, hateful, vengeful, abusive, despoiling, polluting, uncaring thing we do to another, we are actually just doing to ourselves!
One of the most powerful tools of the illusion of separation is the separation of cause from effect. This delay between cause and effect is called “time”. And what a powerful force for confusion time is! Thanks to time, beings are able to enact all manner of negative and destructive urges without noticing that they are doing these things to themselves. And when the pain does come back to them, thanks to time, they are able to fool themselves that this pain is unrelated to the pain they have been dishing out. So they continue to sink deeper and deeper into separation. And the pain just multiplies and multiplies until they can take it no more.
First they will try to heal the pain. With this comes a protracted period of attempting to find ways to make the pain go away. If such a being is incarnated at the time, you might see evidence of this in addictive behaviours. Workaholics, alcoholics, drug-addicts, food-addicts, sex-addicts, ego-maniacs, religious fanatics… these are just a few of the possible manifestations of a soul attempting to find a way to stop its pain.
The reason these things present as addictions is because they SEEM to, momentarily, take the pain away. But the underlying condition is in no way improved. So the pain comes right back and they find themselves having to re-dose on their pain-reliever of choice. The cycle of pain-painkiller-pain then gets shorter and shorter and leads, inevitably, to an implosion.
And then, finally, when we are totally and completely exhausted with our attempts to avoid the pain… at some point… we come to the realisation that our choices and beliefs are not working for us. That the path we are walking has come to a dead end.
In this moment there is usually some kind of a melt-down… a collapse of some kind. For this is the moment of rock bottom. And in this moment the soul calls for help and begins to seek for an entirely new path.
The soul might remain in this state of deepest despair for any length of time. All will remain here until one thing changes: until they come to decide to be willing to heal themselves of their self-destructive beliefs. When they make the leap to choose for their own healing in a meaningful way, the next phase begins.
Healing and Dissonance
Healing proceeds with the being finding love for the self and love for the other selves around him or her (for this is actually the same thing). With love there is a reversal of the painful “sinking in” process. But the climb is long, slow and arduous until each being begins to live by what has often been called the Golden Rule. This Golden Rule is present, in some form or another, in every single religion and system of philosophy. You would have to try very hard to go a lifetime without encountering it. But when you begin to LIVE it, you take your journey out of deepest pain into high gear.
The Golden Rule is some variation of: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”
Such a simple precept. And yet so powerful. And the reason it is powerful is that it allows the being to align with the greatest truth of all: that All is One. When you treat others as you wish to be treated, then that will come back to you and you will be treated as you wish to be treated. And, in this way, you slowly overcome your self-destructive behaviour. You begin to become constructive instead. You begin to seek to do good, to help, to give your gift. You begin, in short, to shine your light.
There are still hurdles. Perhaps the greatest hurdle for those beginning to shine their light is that they look around themselves at all the many, many others who are still involved in self-destruction and they find themselves in anger and judgement. It’s an easy trap! And that very anger and judgement pulls them back towards separation. As we claw ourselves out of separation we certainly can find ourselves forming rarified groups of back-patters. We get together and agree that we are better than everyone else for the fact of our special choices: being vegan, recycling our trash, not driving a gas-guzzler, ethical shopping, whole-food eating, growing our own organic food... I'm sure you know the schtick. Now I am not saying these kinds of choices are not good choices! Moving towards more ethical choices is a beautiful thing. But it is exactly pointless if we are using these choices to find ourselves "better than" others and to reside in a place of judgement.
So it is useful, at this point, to note that ALL others are exactly where they are meant to be. If they are not permitted their journey (including their abusive, destructive choices) then how will they realise that this is not helpful to them? How will they come to change and grow? And, equally, it is certainly not my place to know what is actually right and good for another soul. I cannot know how things balance out for them or where they actually are on their path. It is only my place to know for myself and to make choices that are right for me.
But this whole issue of judgement and discernement is not a simple matter to master. It is a complex topic and will not be dealt with in a paragraph in this blog post. What I will say is that it is only resolved with true acceptance.
Acceptance and Love
And when the path of acceptance is opened, then it is so that you are in the home-stretch of your soul's journey. Truly, acceptance is the way Home to wholeness, completeness and Oneness.
Acceptance is what allows the journeying soul to see all the multifariousness of this world and this reality, to see that there is much that is painful and destructive, and to cease to be trapped by it. It is as it is, when we are as we are.
We do not leave incarnation and this world by rejecting it and rising above it. What you resist persists. What you reject, you focus on, in the negative. No. Indeed the only way “out” of this world and this reality is through the total acceptance of it as it is.
And then, at last, as the soul begins to master acceptance, there is a truly beautiful and blissful phase that opens up to him or her. In this state of total acceptance the soul is able to immerse itself in this reality and soak up all that is here that is beautiful and joyful. And there is much that is so! In this final stage the soul is able to enjoy everything that is on offer without guilt, judgement or reproach. Each soul knows what is “right for me” and what is not. And through simple discernment there is the possibility of a period of delightful revelling in all that this reality has to offer – without any of the negative connotations. A period of bliss ensues.
The soul is then very nearly ready to leave separation and return to completion and wholeness. The doorway “out of here” is the Great Gift. It is not possible, you see, to carry anything with you out of this reality. You leave as you came in: a pure consciousness. The only thing you can take is your own memories and learnings from your own experiences. And so, in order to balance things so that you can leave, you need to “give back” to this system of reality all that you have “picked up”. And the most efficient, effective, beautiful, loving, joyous way to do this is to give it back to this reality your Great Gift.
And so your final task is set: what have you learned and discovered (picked up) in your journeys through separation that would be of use to those who remain here? What do you have that you can give to those who remain behind that you would have like to have received when you were mired in the difficulties of this place? In short, how can you do to this whole reality as you would have done to your self?
If you have one shot at giving back before you go… what is it that you will give?
And when the Great Gift is given… then you find yourself in stillness. True peace such as none inside separation can ever know. And you have it because you are in balance. In stillness. And outside of separation.
Then you are me, and I am you. Yes… there is a modicum of individuation. There is variation and local imbalance.
And what shall we create with that next, divine other self?
My Great Gift
So it is that I find myself at THAT point on my own journey where I am contemplating and re-contemplating my Great Gift. When I was writing The Ascension Papers I thought that might be it. But long before the book was even completed, I realised there was much more that needed to be said. So I thought perhaps The Ascension Papers series (when all volumes had been produced) would be “it”. But then I began offering Soul Re-Integration, and I found such a sense of rightness in giving that gift that I thought that might be “it”. And so it has been with each new thing that I begin to give: I find myself saying “THIS is my Great Gift”.
It begins to dawn on me now, however, that my Great Gift does not lie encapsulated between the covers of this or that book. It does not lie in a modality of healing. It does not lie in information, wisdom, teaching or healing. Though I have tried each of these things on and enjoyed them, this is not “it”.
My Great Gift is actually the simple energy of my beingness. I have a particular Light to shine. I bear, in my very beingness, a particular essential energy. It is what I am when I am in separation. And it is “the delightful outcome”. And, actually, THIS is my Great Gift. When I apply my gift to the issues I see before me, to the clients I work with, to the pain of this world and this reality… then certain books flow forth and certain healing sessions happen. But every step of the way this is really just me trying to give my gift as purely as I can with the minimum of confusion or distortion.
And so, right now, it is my great pleasure to announce the next progression in my quest to offer the greatest version of my Great Gift. I have spent years iteratively refining a process that you can use to move your consciousness as powerfully and directly as possible from any point after “Rock Bottom” right to the point of the discovery of your own Great Gift. This journey is called “Dreamer Awake!” and I am beyond delighted with it.
I’d love it if you would receive this Great Gift of mine. I’d love it if you would come on this journey with me. For, without a doubt, this is the very thing I would most have wanted when I was just a few steps back. Find out more about Dreamer Awake! on this webpage.
*If you have questions or if you require clarification of any part of this story, then you will enjoy The Ascension Papers where this topic is (amongst many others) dealt with in detail.