I know that those who follow all kinds of ‘new/old age spiritualities’ can at times feel a little alienated and alone, having nothing like the support networks organized religion enjoys. That said I personally believe that is as it should be, as self discovery by its very name is not a group activity. Learning to embrace solitude and silence even within a domestic setting is all a part of the journey to inner truth.
As I have observed what tends to happen at the start of a spiritual awakening is people become totally obsessed with seeking answers for the human dilemma. Overwhelmed by questions, these people soon find a teacher that they resonate with who can feed their needs. Then over the following weeks, months, years they turn into mini me’s of their chosen guru, spouting chapter and verse of their latest books and teachings.
During this time of awakening we can all intellectually learn a great deal. Sadly we often fail to feel or act on what we have discovered. Many times all that happens in a spiritual awakening is a person simply ends up replacing their traditional thought systems with something more exotic and perplexing. While there is nothing wrong with this, it does seem a bit like over looking the ocean in favour of another rock pool.
I believe the only way to truly develop spiritually is to avoid becoming too transfixed with any particular ways of thinking. It is important to keep your mind open, trying to reduce ones need to judge people and situations. Ultimately this is the complete opposite to what we are taught by a society which requires we have an opinion on everything. We have been raised to see the world through a dualistic lens of good and bad, right and wrong. It is thought often too much of it that stunts our expansion into wholeness. It is only when we can empty our brain (not in a zombie like fashion) that we can maybe begin to understand. I’m afraid this is where my ability to explain what I mean in words hits a road block so forgive me if this is unclear.
Let me try an analogy: –
You are sitting at the foot of a huge dam one day. You see water trickling through a hole. This is a little worrying but you manage to plug it. Then you see another one you plug that. Then another and another, you are becoming more and more frantic, not to mention tired. Eventually the realisation dawns that despite all you best efforts this dam is coming down and there is not a damn thing (sorry) you can do about it. Despite what you may intellectually believe reading this at this point and maybe for just a few seconds the fear will subside, you will relinquish your need to try to fix the situation: – you will simply be. You will blend into the fabric of life. You will experience the way life is non-dualistic, not judgementally and without a care. At this point you will become enlightened (free from the weight of life).
What does that have to do with immersing your self in spiritual information?
Well, at first, every bit of information you come by you will try to make sense of: – you will judge it, reject or embrace it. As more and more information comes to you, the less you will be able to comfortably process. Contradictions may appear, concepts that you can’t even understand will frustrate you. How can you judge what you don’t understand? Slowly it will become clear, the more you learn the less you know. You probably believed to ‘win’ at life you had to wrestle the vastness of time, space and everything into a small and manageable concept. It will become apparent sooner or later that this is not possible. Your mind is the dam, life is the water.
As you learn more and more, you puncher your minds concepts until the reality of the situations dawn. You can’t control life, it controls you and as for comprehending everything, trying to ‘fix it’ is just totally pointless. It is at this realisation a deep fear many take hold, even anger. You stand in the field of life waving your fist at the sky tossing profanity after profanity at the universe, despairing at the believed realization that in the vastness of space is nothing.
Finally you may shut up, fall to your knees and have a flash of insight. (For we know all truth lies within) You are not a no-thing, you are apart of everything, life is non-dualistic not judgementally and without a care.
Below is the spiritual soup that I offer up for you. It consists of as many different views of life as I could fit on a page. You could spend hours here so take as much as you like, whenever you like and don’t panic it’s 100% fat free.
Gangaji Spiritual Traps
Gangaji Unraveling the Knot of Suffering
Alan Watts – The Middle Way
Eckhart Tolle The Flowering of Human Consciousness