Getting Real

What is Spirituality?

How are we to understand the soul?

What is the purpose of Spirituality?

What do we need to live Spiritually?

What does Spirituality Involve?

Why is it we fail?

What is going on in my life?

What kind of work should I be doing?

What I am supposed to be doing?

Will I ever be happy?

Will I ever meet someone?

Where are we all heading?

 

                  The DK Foundation

                                     Getting Real 3

               What is the Purpose of Spirituality?

 

Although we may not know why, we trust that embracing the process called spirituality will improve our lives. But all too often there is no interest or inclination in looking beyond personal reward in the form of  peace or out of the ordinary experiences. Indeed, there may be no awareness that there are other aspects to spirituality or that it needs to permeate everyday life as water permeates a sponge.

Let us not take religious narowmindedness into the broader arena of spirituality and assume that only those who consciously work with spiritual ideas and concepts can advance. This is arrogance and exclusiveness. The spiritual ideas in currency at any time in any culture will only ever be aspects of the Truth. The present time is no exception. For all of  that of which we are aware there is all of that of which we are not. No matter how committed to spirituality we may be, we have merely a glimpse of the Truth, an aspect with its own internal logic with which to work. Let us not forget that.

It is life in all its variety and the living of life that underwrites the progress of humanity. We create opportunities for each other by virtue of being who and what we are here on this planet. What we give out is returned to us, though maybe not from the being or situation to whom we gave. Those of us who have consciously adopted spiritual ideas gain definition and strength from them; but we are supported in our daily lives by the labour and effort of those who have not. Let us not forget that either.

It is as a family that humnity is going forward: those who have consciously espoused spiritual development and those who have not; those whose religious convictions resemble our own and those whose do not; those who have consciously turned towards God and those who have turned away.

"The world is one world, and its sufferings are one, humanity is in truth a unit ... The sins of humanity are also one, its goal is one, and it is as one great human family that we must emerge into the future." [1].

The process of living sets up situations to which all of us respond, regardless of our spiritual and religious persuasions. It is the inner response which counts, the response we make from where we stand, not the prevailing thinking and ideas which conditioned the response. They are simply the frame around the plant.

A positive, considerate response will always be of benefit the human family and to our planet as well as to the individual who gives it, regardless of whether that individual has consciously adopted spiritual goals. Responsibility shown by a person who has no religious or spiritual belief is every bit as acceptable to God as that shown by person who has religious convictions. Some of the most advanced members of the human family have been men and women of action rather than contemplation whose only allegiance was to life itself. Such people tend to have the First Ray emphasised in their make-up and their lack of interest in concepts makes it difficult for those on the Second and Third Rays to recognise them as spiirtually aware people.

We have fashioned God in our own image and we have limited Him, making him as selective and judgmental as we ourselves are. God in His immanent aspect is the life of the solar system. He encompasses all its variety. He does not need a family of believers wearing His name on their lips and their spiritual colours on their sleeves; he needs a family of people who are engaging fully, consciously and respectfully with the experience of living.

The ideas which belong to spiritual and religious tradition are like yeast in the dough. They create the fermentation process but they are not the bread itself. Yet the greater the numbers of people working consciously and positively, aware of how to avoid negativity and destructiveness, the greater the possibilities for the human family as a whole. In order for there to be progress the positive has to outweigh the negative in individuals and in the human family collectively. Religious and spiritual teachings down the ages have offered ways of thinking and understanding designed to increase the positive response and to create awareness of the interconnectedness of all things.

The goal of spirituality is therefore to raise the consciousness of the individual and thereby increase opportunity for the collectivity. Evolution is a travelator that carries us all along. Not all have to be conscious but conscious people are require to keep it moving. The ideas which have made up the New Age have done much to increase awareness of the idea of individual development. They represent a challenge to fate and open up new possibilities for the individual and for the human family and for the great planetary life of which we form a part.

So many of these ideas, however, contain the seeds of limitation because they lead to exclusiveness, a sense of superiority and delusion, all qualities of the personality which produce negativity. Or they have lost sight of the need for patient, persistent effort. Impractical goals and expectations increase the possibility of a lash back into despair and cynicism. So many of these ideas, particularly those which emphasise facility and immediacy are good only for the good times. They may not be erroneous  - indeed, there is a case for saying that there are no absolute lies - but they lack perspective or have been taken out of context and they will prove inadequate in the face of serious adversity.

If certain of the chapters in this book are critical in their tone, then this is the reason: the greater the number of us with unrealistic expectations, the greater will be the force of the lash back effect into negativity.

Even though opportunity for development in the human family as a whole has never been greater now that the concept of individuality has entered consciousness and has become a catalyst, on the physical plane conditions will become increasingly difficult in the new century. We will need a more adequate understanding of what is involved in the process we call spirituality .We need to get real about ourselves, about what we are doing and about what we stand to achieve in reality. Progress will always involve suffering and require effort not wishful thinking; spiritual progress will always involve the transformation of energy, the transmutation of the lower into the higher.

Our spirituality has to encompass the everyday. It needs to start with ourselves, within our homes and within our everyday environment, with those with whom we have regular contact. It is - as it ever was - the willingness to listen to our consciences and to act upon what they are telling us. It is the willingness to honestly appraise a situation, no matter what the cost to personal comfort. It is the self-discipline which makes us do  a thing, whether it be making a life changing situation or performing a routine, because we know that it should be done. The teacher, Gurdjieff, was moved to comment in his characteristically blunt way on the hopelessness of the situation of people aspiring to handle the secrets of the universe when they cannot discipline themselves to post a letter[2]. Or clean their houses. People living or working in dirty, disorderly homes and premises have to sort out their relationship to the physical plane before they can become a potent channel for wisdom or healing energy, no matter how great the desire to help their fellow men. It is as unaccpetable as a doctor with dirty hands, examining a patient. Negativity flourishes in dirt and disorder. Putting our minds in a certain kind of order enables us to suppress the lower and attract a  higher energy. This is the basis of meditation.

Making certain sounds i.e., creating patterns on the etheric plane has the same effect. This is logic behind mantras, chanting and also yoga which involves putting our bodies into certain positions in order to open ourselves to certain energies. We draw certain symbols on either the physical or astral plane, for example the pentagram, to attract certain kinds of energies. Why then should the patterns created by the contents of our homes and places of work places not have the same attractive capacity? They have and they do. This is the basis of Feng Shui.

Yet there is a tendency to overlook the importance of personal and domestic order and cleanliness when focusing on more ‘significant’ goals. They are all too frequently dismissed as mundane and trivial matters but we make a huge mistake when we think that such routine matters which are productive or order in everyday life are without spiritual significance. To ignore the physical is to construct a edifice without foundations.

Any spiritual organisation which has premises which are dirty and disordered has lost the plot. This statement admits of no exceptions. The same is true of a spiritual teacher whose physical person is dirty or disordered - and, one might add, whose emotional self is disordered although this may not be so easily detected early in the association.

For as long as it prevails, the divorce between the material and the spiritual it is limiting us. There is only energy, vibrating at different rates to give us the variety of manifestation. In the century that has just closed, Einstein proved to the modern, scientific mind what esotericism has always known and that is that matter is energy.

The patterns which we have in our minds and  which we make with our bodies and which we make with the objects with which we surround ourselves, determine what we attract. We cannot afford to turn away from the everyday, no matter how unappealing it appears to us or how far removed from our ideals. Our spirituality is worth nothing if it does not help us cope with life as it presents itself to us and enable us to gain mastery of ourselves and our environments. The circumstances of everyday life are our portal to a higher world. Yet to keep the faith with our ideals and to visualise a future in which we as individuals and humanity as a whole are more conscious, more compassionate and more in line with the will of God, has an incomparable value, provided we do not forget that this is the future not the present reality and that the ideal needs to be fed by focused thought.

Energy follows thought because thought, too, creates patterns. There is only energy and thought is energy. This is the essence of creative visualisation and the reason why, to use  Djwhal Khul’s words, ‘Whatever humanity has desired, ever it has had.’

We live, all of us, with the fruits and consequences of what we have desired, individually and collectively. We live with them in order to come to understand ourselves and the value of those things to the true self which eventually emerges. Then we can learn to desire more wisely and more discriminately. Eventually, we can replace desire with will.

This process has given us the story  which humanity has written down the ages, with its agonies and its ecstasies, saints and sinners; heroes and villains; diamonds and rust. They are all related, interacting parts of the one story. We cannot change the rules of the game or change the way this process outworks but we can learn that it is governed by rules and take the trouble to discover those rules and learn how best to work with them. This is what Djwhal Khul writing for an earlier generation called ‘living scientifically’ and what, at the outset of the twenty-first century, we can call getting real.

[1] The Destiny of Nations’; Alice Bailey; published by The Lucis Trust

[2] In Search of the Miraculous’; P.Ouspensky; published by Routledge and Kegan Paul

 
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