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Clarifying the Spiritual Path
2022, December, Issue 23
With my Near Death Experience, the Spiritual Path became obvious. I had been fully integrated into that amazing light that everyone talks about, pure radiant awareness. I was no more. This idea of self was utterly ridiculous, ludicrous for such an idea to ever have existed. I became the essence of all and beyond for an eternity.
So, what is this Spiritual Path? What became clear? It certainly wasn’t that I had discovered some belief or idea, or a philosophy to live by. It was much more than that. It was even much more than the meaning of life. It was beyond and all, aware of the essence of all phenomena, of all that amazing condition that most beings are fully unaware, that condition that cannot be reified or fathomed from any limited point of view, such as science, religion, philosophy or logical discourse.
Now, all Spiritual Paths, from the point of view of each of us, are completely different. None of us perceive things the same way. All of our experiences are unique. Thoughts come and go for each of us in ways that cannot ever be identical. So, how can there even be a Spiritual Path if everything is completely unique? What would that be?
Religions work very hard to unify beliefs. How can that even happen when no two people understand anything in exactly the same way? Belief becomes an unobtainable goal, one shadowed in delusion. We only think that we share beliefs. In reality, there is no way of knowing whether one belief is the same as another. We can’t get inside someone else’s head. We can’t see the way that they see something. It’s also nearly impossible to know what exactly a person needs to help them with their Spiritual Path.
So, again, what is that? Just what are we talking about when someone embarks and continues upon a Spiritual Path? We talk about that, and we seem to know what that means, but what is that?
The Spiritual Path, all Spiritual Paths in all their infinite diversity, are nothing other than the discovery of reality. When I was in the death bardo, coming back into this life, I could see very clearly how I had always struggled to understand just what is going on here. What is this life I live? Where was I before this life began, and the one before that, and the one before that?
This is very confusing because life continually changes. A person can decide upon a belief, then spend the rest of their days defending that belief from all the contradictory and confusing evidence to the contrary, or a person can simply open their mind, in which case every single belief must be dropped when it becomes obvious that it is simply not so. Which is the more correct way of doing things? Which is less trouble?
The answer is very clear, or it was so when I was in the death bardo. It is far less trouble to simply let everything be, as it is. If we learn to be comfortable with a path that continually changes, it will lead to a condition that will never change. This is moving from relative reality to Ultimate Reality. Relative reality is, in essence, anything that we think. Ultimate Reality includes that, but is more easily thought of as that which is beyond thought.
Our Spiritual Path is precious. It is unique. It is not to be limited in any way.
If it is a Spiritual Path, it leads to awakening. If we limit ourselves by clinging to belief, then we are not really on a Spiritual Path—we are stuck. Awakening means opening our hearts and mind to all and beyond. This means opening our heart and mind to all possibilities, and to never be caught in any trap we might create for ourselves. It means that we allow the light to completely envelop us until we can no longer claim that we are a self. We see that we are all one, beyond one, infinite, indestructible. This nightmare of life itself no longer traps us. We become fully enlightened. All Spiritual Paths lead to enlightenment.
So, when we find ourselves among spiritual people, see with great compassion that they are doing their best to discover for themselves an ultimate condition that is really the only thing that we can call reality. We are all seeking a way home. This light, this amazing bright light is our home. We cannot stay there until we awaken. This is why the Spiritual Path is so important.
The Spiritual Path is meant to bring us home. It is meant to uncover reality, not to discover just another belief. When we look inwardly, when we meditate or sit in deep contemplation, we discover all that we need. Nothing outside of us is necessary. We could even say that, if it is outside of us, it is an obstacle.
Look inwardly, discover reality, let go of all that obstructs or inhibits our potentiality. We will all awaken, if we pay attention to our own Spiritual Path, knowing just what that is.