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The Mystic's Life Lesson #10
The Delightful Search
Now the search begins in earnest. It would be wonderful if finding your higher consciousness were as simple as getting on a freeway and staying on the road until the destination is reached. While "road, path, freeway," are excellent ways of describing the quest for fulfillment, we must now go beyond this analogy. It's fair to compare the quest for consciousness to a freeway but, of course, the matter is not that simple.
When you are moved, for one reason or another, to seek higher consciousness, an exciting part of your life begins. New delights are brought before you, vistas you never dreamed of come into your view. One young man found such excitement at this stage of his life that he read into the wee hours of the night. Early each morning he awakened refreshed and with a sense of wonder. His work life became exciting and enchanting. His enthusiasm was charming to his employers. During lunch hour and after work, he rushed to be with teachers and fellow participants in the realms of higher consciousness. He strived to be in tune with everyone and with nature herself. He reported that, despite living in a rather damp climate, he never got rained on during the first six months of his quest! He said he somehow sensed the activity of nature and was able to so attune with it that the rain always occurred while he was indoors or inside his car. Even during a rainy day when he made a short jaunt from his apartment to the store, he would find that for one reason or another the raindrops seemed to await his convenience. Then, after six months, he was rained on in a regular manner like an ordinary mortal. However, he still enjoys reflecting on the extreme delight and excitement of those beginning days.
When you start to sense the higher consciousness and the vast potentiality available to you furthermore, when you sense you can definitely experience and know the higher consciousness for yourself you get a tremendous rush of enthusiasm and a feeling of gratitude for life. Life becomes more like a dance. Beauty, unseen before, now reaches out to your appreciative eyes most everywhere you go. The heart and mind glow with eagerness. Aspiration comes easily and dwells for long periods. Inspiring experiences abound.
One day, as a beginner on the path, you will see your first aura, the electromagnetic field of energy surrounding some particularly fine person. At other times your dreams may seem extraordinarily fascinating and profoundly symbolic. Your vitality level seems to double. Well being comes easily.
"Now your heart pounds with respect in the presence of those true teachers who seem to know everything! There's always something new to talk about, something engrossing to think about, some new state of love or concern to dwell in your heart. You feel you're coming up out of the grave, coming into life. You sense a rebirth will definitely occur. Who knows when? Perhaps today. You find it ever so tempting to get gushy and romantic, or to laugh too long and happily at an inane joke. At times you feel a strong desire to close your mouth and savor the sweetness which seems to radiate from roses within.
A Two-Fold Effect
The early delight in the quest can have a two-fold effect:
1. People who experience the initial delights sometimes believe the phenomena they've experienced indicate they're enlightened. Yet such "aspirants" will likely be somewhere else, practicing sword fighting or mountain climbing by next year. They often feel they've received in a few months what people generally have to labor years for and, now that they've gained "the illumination" or know what's what, there are other more interesting and exciting fields to move into.
2. The early and usually joyous beginning of the quest prepares one for the greater joys and challenges ahead. Work and effort will be required. An intensity will be necessary in order to transform old habits into refined tendencies and attributes of character necessary to actually experience the higher consciousness and ultimately abide in it. If the beginning of the path is to be more than an adolescent romance or crush, the forward momentum will have to be maintained. Higher consciousness requires those who want more than early thrills to begin in however much delight a very serious undertaking: You must now determine the best path for your fulfillment in higher consciousness.
You must earnestly seek the best means, the best way, to go from where you are this very moment toward realization of your higher consciousness. Just as choosing a career involves a lot of pressure because a bad choice can saddle you with years of misery or frustration, so too the correct selection of your particular path is crucial not only to your success but to your happiness along the way.
Curiously, however, as many ministers have observed, most people take more care investing one hundred dollars than they do investing their lives. People look more deeply into the security and investment of a small sum than in examining the crucial issues of personal security and fulfillment.
"The world is full of long-term seekers who are always beginning over again as they drift from one teacher to another. They drift from guru to master, from mystic center to ashram to pagoda, from one sect which claims it alone knows the truth to another sect which makes similar claims. These drifters never succeed. They're always starting. They never finish. They're called "tramps," and are a sad sight on the path. They're so numerous that you will meet many of them. You may probably wonder why they don't persist, why they don't go forward and succeed. Simply, they're refugees from their own private civil war. They have somehow been inwardly restrained from succeeding or fulfilling their quest.
"Tramp seekers" often know more techniques and are personally familiar with more important people than you know, but tramps are very dangerous to follow. If you give these unfortunate people much of your time and attention, they will likely confuse you. They make it difficult for you to choose your particular way and succeed. These tramps often want to pull you away to another teacher, to another school of thought. They continually create a conflict of choice within your mind. To follow them is to become a tramp at an early stage. You will be doing something else next year, feeling that having higher consciousness is not that important. Perhaps next year you will feel it doesn't even exist. Or worse, you may advocate from within the large tramp chorus that your fantasies are "true reality," and imagination is higher consciousness!
However, with this precaution "beware of tramps" clearly in your mind, the time has come for you to actively search for the best means of realizing your higher consciousness. Hardly ever can you achieve it by sitting in your room reading books or meditating in an untutored way. Even these lessons can at best be only a guide, only a friendly help, along the stages of your quest. Hopefully, this website will enable you to find the means the right teacher, the right form of study, the right form of discipline such that you can make rapid progress and fulfill your earnest desire to know your higher consciousness.
"When You Are Ready, Your Master Will Appear"
A friend of the author's from India related that as a young man he searched throughout his country in the hope he would find a true Guru who would initiate him and help him realize higher consciousness. Unfortunately, all he found were fakes interested only in his money and, after a few years, he abandoned the search. Later, when he was doing engineering work and other activities in the San Francisco area, he found his Guru, who quickly helped him realize higher consciousness. His Guru was from India and had been living only fifty miles from my friend's home in Bombay!
You will often hear the phrase that "When you are ready, the master will appear." If, as you begin your quest, you do not find a capable and worthy teacher who lives what he teaches and practices what he preaches, then look to your readiness. You are probably not ready. It is a law: When you are ready, your master will appear.
Whats My Path?
If you 1) prepare yourself and 2) are wary of tramps, you are now ready to ask the basic question: "What is the best way or path for my discovery of higher consciousness?"
At this stage in your life a lavish banquet is spread before you. Numerous ways to higher consciousness look delightfully appealing. But you must sample the various offerings with a view to selecting one soon. If you go about the early days of your sublime banqueting with an attitude that you are truly seeking to find the best means for your discovery of the higher consciousness, you will be guided safely through an amazing array of possibilities. You will find some possibilities are genuine and profound but they don't suit your nature; you will also find other possibilities are definitely wacky and not worth much of your time.
Also keep in mind that you are daily seeking to become more conscious. You will find it a safe rule of thumb that during this sampling and tasting phase of your exciting new life you can easily determine whether a particular path or school of thought or teacher is good for you if you truly become a more conscious, better person as a consequence of your contact.
"You will likely find a number of fake teachers who want to convince you to follow them. Usually they treat you in a manner that satisfies or exalts your ego your desire to be important. Fake teachers often feel that if they convince you how great you are, you will then feeling great and important be willing to do whatever they say or imply. Flattery on this path, as in any other area, is poison. There is a distinct difference between flattery and praise. Flattery will tend to puff up your ego; praise will make you humble and appreciative. Beware of flatterers especially on the quest of higher consciousness which has so much latitude for fluffy nothings.
A great deal of emperor's clothing is being sold by the yard in little booths alongside the various paths today. But don't be discouraged be forewarned. Be aware of your joy; resonate with the thrill of your aspirations. Just don't be a naive, unconscious person. Don't be childish at a time like this. You are seeking the greater values of life. The places you look, the people you meet, should reflect your higher values.
Be A Humble Seeker
Begin the pilgrimage.
Go out to various truth centers. Explore the main different paths of the world. Find out what they have to share. Compare. Contrast. Ask. Think. Be a humble seeker.
As you seek higher awareness, you will meet a number of the finest people in the world. Those who have experienced higher consciousness in no way wish to limit or delay you in your quest. They consider themselves your brothers and sisters and will do whatever they can to help you find and stay on your path. They will encourage you. At night they will be praying for you. They will delight in your further growth and in your steadfastness toward your goal. Then, too, when you succeed, they will simply look at you and they will know that you have found the pearl of great price, the treasure of treasures.
As you progress, you will form deeply satisfying relationships. Friendships with people of kindred spirit are most precious. You will very likely begin to form a number of lifelong friendships. You will never forget those who helped you begin your quest. You will never forget their love and good will, their cheerfulness and genuine wisdom. Your new friends will share their experiences with you, inspiring you through troubled times and fair.
Go to bookstores. Buy dozens of books. Read widely. Feel free to disagree with what you read. Feel free to agree also. Notice which books feed your mind and heart most but, above all, maintain your joy and your focus on higher consciousness. It's important to be a discriminating reader, not a foolish one. You have to be alert for substance and inspiration, avoiding sheer fantasy. However, in avoiding fantasy you can also become too skeptical. Strive to experience what you read as a whole person spiritually and emotionally, as well as mentally. Just remember, nothing can satisfy the unenlightened mind when it's on a doubting spree.
Remember not to spend all your spare time reading. Your body needs exercise. Your emotions need attention. Your spirit needs prayer and meditation. Don't overdevelop your mind while ignoring the rest of you as many people who become strange do. In maintaining wholeness and inner harmony, you will enable your higher consciousness to help you sift through and evaluate whatever you read.
Travel. Visit. Attend services. Go to temples, mosques, synagogues. Look into New Thought churches and the marvelous mainstream churches which are often ignored and which have so much to contribute to one who has a humble and genuine yearning. Never visit these places only to take. A taking attitude forestalls any progress whatever on the path. Your path will involve giving in one way or another. When you visit these different places, give of yourself. Be generous in your contribution. Be generous in sharing your voice and your attention. To sit as a skeptic in judgment upon others reflects extraordinary immaturity and most likely presages failure on the path; you are not strong enough yet to make it.
"Go forward. Have fun. Keep up your momentum. It's possible that years will be spent readying yourself for your true teacher. But these years are so precious and must be wisely used. Your enthusiasm and joy will tend to wane when the possibilities of higher consciousness are no longer blazingly new to your mind and heart. Pressures of mundane life will tend to take you away from your intensity and your enthusiasm. Keep alive. Stay alive. Sample happily and well. Enjoy to the full the beginning you are making, for a good beginning is perhaps as much as twenty-five percent of the entire quest. A good beginning gives you momentum. With proper study and mature consideration of the views of others you will gain the balance and the insight necessary to be ready to grow most rapidly when your Teacher appears.
We've already mentioned the many fakes in the world. They are encamped alongside the numerous spiritual paths, especially. In a world where millions of young people will adore and acclaim rock musicians as sovereigns of their hearts and minds, it isn't surprising that many "spiritual fakes" captivate large audiences too.
Just as musicians, movie actors, and great public personalities strive to find out what people want and then become well-paid experts in fulfilling that great public need (however adolescent it may be), spiritual fakes find the U.S.A. and other technologically developed, but spiritually naive countries, lands of great opportunity. You must keep your eyes open as you search for true fulfillment.
One young lady wished to know the art of spiritual belly dancing and if belly dancing would improve the flows of energy in her spine, thus enabling her to experience higher consciousness. Her instructor, after teaching the basic moves, required that she dance around the room and then he detoured her into his bedroom. Similarly, another young lady sought initiation from a famous guru at least that is what he was called. He advised her to come that evening for her initiation. When she arrived he seduced her as she perplexedly cooperated. She has been undergoing extensive psychoanalysis for years.
Fakes are a part of the way of the world today in so many fields so you have the added challenge of maintaining your joy and good will as you sift through occasional fakes to find a true teacher or genuine devotees. When someone seeks to take advantage of you, move on quickly.
It's pretty much up to you whether you will respond to fakes and challenges in a loving, strong, mature way. If you have what it takes, you will not throw your life away because of the delusions of another person.
A Marvelous Time
This is a marvelous time in your life. The beginning of your quest will demonstrate to you how much goodness abides in the world, and how many millions of kind and dedicated people there are. You will begin to find that you feel at home in the presence of devotees of different paths. You'll have more optimism for the future of the world because these fine people are forces for good, are excellent examples of what human life can be. You'll admire them and how they maintain their values and goals while performing their various callings in the world. Carpenters, housewives, executives, students they occupy most every profession with love and a sweet, kindly distinction. They are generally very good in their particular professions, too, because they're able to bring so much of their higher consciousness into their daily work. Also, their family lives reflect profound idealism.
You will also meet people who are on the spiritual path by default. They're not endeavoring to grow or contribute anything to their paths, nor are they planning to put aside their fantasies and actually experience the higher consciousness. They're on the path to higher consciousness because they find tolerance and acceptance. They find forgiveness and a sense of worth. They often find financial and other help as well. They have temporarily escaped from their responsibilities and from their problems. Love them. Your love is powerful and helps people change.
Choosing Your Path
Do you want to go forward? Keep the aforementioned points in mind. Maintain your joy and your enthusiasm. They're of tremendous benefit. Further, the path you're seeking must suit your nature. It must fit and harmonize with your attributes. You should consider whether you are dominantly a thinking person, an emotional person, or a person who is most comfortable in the development of the will nature. The path you seek must enable you a greater realization of your true nature and show you how to express that nature in your daily life as higher consciousness unfolds.
Also, the path you choose must meet your needs. It must enable you to become more conscious, and to give of yourself in a way that transforms you. You must also be able to receive from your path the inspiration, encouragement, knowledge, and the help you need in order to go forward. Your path must help you to clarify and improve your sense of values. You must be enabled, through your path, to grow regularly. It must help you to go forward and unfold into new dimensions of awareness, love, and well being. It must be this dynamic. If you're not growing, you're going in the opposite direction. In fact, you're actually dying.
"Your path must also encourage your moral sense to become more clarified and mature. It must strengthen your moral nature and not tear it down. Your path must help you overcome character flaws and enable you to become a better person.
Whatever path you choose, it must have the characteristics listed above. If you cannot find these characteristics in your path at present, look more deeply. If you look deeply and still do not find the necessary factors for fulfillment, continue your search travel on.
Keep Your Joy
As you walk your path, or run along it, never let your precious joy slip away.
If (shudder) you happen to check yourself for joy some morning and find it missing, spend each day realigning your life with your early joy.
The exuberance of your beginning will prevail.