This ‘Spiritual Quest’ is a complex journey. I shared this personal observation with a number of groups of fellow seekers of truth and for all of us who engaged in this discussion, it often seemed to be a confusing maze of pathways that each led to a dead-end. We started the arduous task of finding that missing piece of ourselves with such enthusiasm and hope, and we expected that with real dedication, we would find ourselves ‘enlightened’ in no time at all. Instead, after what seemed like endless years of searching, we at one point or another found ourselves in a spiritual quandary of doubt and suspicion that all was not well in the spiritual world.
For myself, and for those I discussed this with, looking for truth in a world full of deception felt at times to be a soulless task. Along the way, we all engaged in many different activities that we believed would give us what we were looking for. Some of us became healers, indulged other people’s philosophies, performed physical activities that we believed would make us holier and ‘more of who we are’. Some among us gave our hearts and minds over to gurus whom we believed would transmute all that is human in us and make us into something far more profound. When we found that none of these roads gave us the enlightenment we were looking for, we lamented at the journey we’d taken, and became angry and bitter and, sadly, frightened that there was no place left to go. For many of us and for many of those spiritually dedicated people documented throughout history, this bitter anger and fear of the future led to a dark depression, a period of time some have dubbed ‘the dark night of the soul’.
But I have since discovered that for myself, at least, the journey doesn’t end there. After a period of spiritual floundering, I found that it actually began in earnest at this point. And what went before was not pointless at all. In fact, following this period of spiritual darkness when everything appeared lost, I realised that it was crucial that I acknowledge the value of the places I had travelled. It was critical that I understood fully that none of those roads I took were dead ends at all, but necessary lessons that have served me well. I discovered that the sense of disappointment of what went before, came with the expectation that those roads should have ended in ‘enlightenment’ and so I found that I would serve myself well to look back and acknowledge that ‘enlightenment’ is only an idea in the mind, some concept that doesn’t have any real meaning. In addition, if I was to move forward, I had to accept that spiritual growth was a slow process and each place that I found myself along the way did not hold all the answers, but only small fragments of an overall picture too vast for the human mind to imagine. Any guru was as foolish as I was, if they were to believe that their way was the ‘right’ way.
In my own journey, I engaged in many healing modalities that had profound value in stretching my own vision of human capability. I indulged in Reiki, Reflexology, Soul Retrieval, Crystal Healing…name any modality and you’ll find I’ve dabbled in it. While I loved every minute of my time in this field and I marvelled at our own human ability to heal and mentally probe other dimensions besides this one, I was still left feeling empty and with many questions as to who I truly was. I had discovered through this healing phase that I was more than this human body, but that what I had gained from it was only a small piece of a huge puzzle that was my life’s challenge to solve. Like the next person, I was expecting enlightenment, and when it failed to arrive, I moved on to the next thing.
In my wanderings I pondered many different philosophies that I thought would lead me to the truth. I engaged in different yoga techniques to ‘bring union in mind and body’ and ate food I believed would ‘refine my vibrations’. I even attempted to place my mind in the hands of a guru whose followers proclaimed his direct link to the divine, and who believed he could ‘transmute my karma’ without me having to do a thing about my own negative mindset. I became a teacher and believed I could help people resolve their issues even when I hadn’t got to the bottom of my own. I consumed teacher-plants to give me wisdom and I chased spaceships in the hope that those from other dimensions would somehow elevate me to a more enlightened place. By the time I realised that everything I had done hadn’t gotten the result I was expecting, I was in an dark abyss of despair.
But to cut a long story very short, I found myself in place where I spent much time berating myself for the journey I had taken and the beliefs I had subscribed to along the way. Like everyone else, I became angry and embittered and most of all terrified that all I’d been chasing was shadows. By the time I was ready to start anew, I found I couldn’t move on to the next phase of my journey until I had acknowledged the past and my own transformation. I began to look at everything I’d done with new eyes and realised just who I’d become.
In my healing work, I’d travelled into other dimensions and participated in strange rituals that actually resulted in healing and transformation for some people. I learned the hard way that despite my sheer will-power, I couldn’t heal everybody, and that the ultimate power of healing belonged to something far greater than me. This revelation humbled me and made me keenly aware that instead of being a special star at the centre of the events that surrounded me, I have my place among many others in the grand scheme of things. Healing is happening all around us and each one of us are merely pawns in an elaborate cosmic game. This knowledge brought a keen respect for the interconnectedness of everything and my sense of self-grandeur began to diminish slowly.
In consuming teacher-plants, I discovered a new dimension to the plant world that was previously inconceivable to me. I learned of plant life’s awareness of the human predicament and their role in the healing of our hearts and minds. I discovered that there are people who are bridges between this world and the plant world, bringing us the message of the plant-healers and administering them to us for healing. I found that I could communicate with plants and any other form of life if I applied myself, and that this ability was inherent in every human being.
Through chasing spaceships I’d learned to communicate effectively with people from other worlds; I know now that the universe is vast and magical and that if I expand my awareness I have more access to the life that exists outside of this world. I learned to discern who I spoke to because not everybody out ‘there’ in the universe is working for the collective good. In the same process I also discovered that nobody actually needed me to save the world. I learned that I had a ‘save-the-world’ complex because I craved my mother’s love and that the world would benefit more if I stopped meddling with it and dealt with the issue of abandonment instead.
My short episode with the guru made me aware that there are some people in this world who are of the essence of God. It also showed me my neediness and over-reliance on others. It taught me that I am responsible for my own destiny and that no-one could do this journey for me. I found my own strength and discovered that my own inner voice had as much credence, if not more, than the guru’s.
My teaching experiences opened me up to the complexity of human fear and I saw in those I taught, my own resistance and fear of the healing process. I learned to be more patient, and aware that each person’s predicament has its own way of resolving itself. I soon realised, that when I am called upon to counsel people, I do not hold the ultimate answer to their predicament. I am only a link in the chain of that person’s healing. This knowledge released me from self-importance and more importantly released them from the tyranny of my ideas.
I could go on and on, but the message is already clear. All my strange encounters in the spiritual journey were meaningful and while I never achieved thunder-bolt enlightenment, they played a vital role in my process of becoming.
All of my experiences expanded me and helped me to confront the lies in my own life. The world that I was born into is not the world I see or experience now. The person I was upon my birth, is all but gone, and in her place is someone with greater vision and understanding. All of my experiences prepared me for the next phase of my journey, which involved the awesome task of dismantling my beliefs. Little did I know how much more my world would open up, and that as each belief dropped away, God’s presence in my soul would grow that much stronger.
Where have you been on your journey, and how crazy and pointless do those experiences feel at times? Take a moment out of your life and reflect on what they have given you, so you can gain a clearer view of how you have grown. I’ve learned that I cannot navigate new territory, until I understand where I have been and where I stand in the present moment. Is it possible that you might need to appreciate who you have become so that you can accept the gifts of new lessons coming your way?