Master’s Mondays: Spiritual Growth
As you keep yourself in the Light and you commit yourself to your own spiritual growth, you will find that you become more ethical in your relationship with yourself and others. You’ll find that you become a good husband, a good wife, a good child, a good student, a good employer, a good employee, etc. You will become ethical in your relationships regardless of what anyone does. If you allow your patterns of negativity (anger, jealousy, greed, etc) to block you, or to block your loving relationship with others, then you are not being ethical. If you allow their patterns of negativity to block you and your relationship with them, you are not being ethical. When you are working with someone, find out what your work is and what your level of involvement and responsibility is. Then deal with the people you are with from that level and do your job. If you find that people around you are gossiping or busy back-biting someone else, you may find that is not your level of concern and you can just go about your business and not allow their negativity to block you in relation to yourself. You don’t have to always be concerned about what other people are doing; you can let them care of themselves and live in the way that is comfortable for them – and you can take care of yourself and live in a way that is comfortable with you. Those ways may not be the same and you can still be in a loving and neutral relationship with others.
If you don’t take care of yourself, you may find that you are allowing the negativity of other peoples’ consciousness to come in and decide what you have going inwardly for yourself. If your relationship with yourself is ethical, then you will allow other people the freedom to be who they are when they are around you, without attempting to control their behavior.
Ultimately it is your experience that is your teacher. Any experience that you have can be your teacher, whether it’s an illusionary or an enlightened experience. There is value in each and every experience. And the growth and the learning comes from your integrity of experiencing whatever it is, interpreting the experience and moving through it. If you ask another person to explain or interpret your experience, you may be going into spiritual dependency. You are not strengthening yourself in your own awareness.
You do not become spiritually aware by running to anyone for explanations. If you want to move into greater awareness of Spirit and how it works with you in your life, keep a spiritual diary or a notebook. When you are going through an experience that seems to be of significance to you, write down your experience. Keep notes. Then, as you move on through the experience, continue to write down the thoughts that come to you, your reflections, your interpretations of what is happening, the lessons you perceive within the experience, etc. As you become more and more aware of the patterns within your own life, you will see how Spirit works for you, and you will be gain spiritual strength to know and to depend on the inner guidance, rather than some outside source that is always shifting and changing. This reliance on the inner spiritual awareness is integrity. This is ethical behavior.
On the levels of the physical-material world, you know how you are doing and do not need to ask anyone outside of yourself. You know if you are feeling well physically. You know if you are experiencing confusion mentally. You know if you are able to pay your bills. You know these things; you don’t need to ask anyone. And if you are studying with a spiritual teacher, you have entered into a relationship of trust with that teacher that includes the trust that spiritually you are being guided and taught. So to ask if you are achieving spiritual growth may be entering into distrust. When my students ask how they are doing spiritually, I often don’t answer, but if I did, the answer would always be, “fine.” That’s the area that I work in, and if I am working with you spiritually, then you are doing fine spiritually.
You achieve spiritual growth by being tested. The tests are not tribulations. They are processes to reveal to you the weaknesses in your consciousness, the chinks in your “armor,” so that you can correct and reinforce those areas. Look forward to the tests, because they reveal to you where you are, and in that revelation you can see, and in that Light, you are enlightened. Then you can move forward on your spiritual path.
Sometimes you will have a question in your mind, and it seems that an answer is really important. So you go within and you ask and you hear nothing in response. So you go within and you ask … and you hear nothing in response. So you come to one or to another spiritual teacher, and you ask that question. And you still don’t get an answer, or you get one that creates more questions, without really answering the original one. Often, when this type of thing happens, it’s because there is no answer. There are questions for which, in the timing that they are asked, there is no answer. When that happens, just hold. Do nothing, make no decision and hold. When the answer comes in, in its own perfect timing, you will know that; and you’ll probably find yourself just moving into it, without a lot of thought. When the answers are clear, our intuitive knowing of that is usually phenomenal.
Sometimes, when you feel you’re really “in the pits” and you feel like you’re at the bottom of the barrel and nothing’s clear and you don’t know the answer to anything and you’re just yelling for help, you’ll hear a little voice inside that says, “While you’re there, just scrape out some of the muck.” You say, “No, I don’t want to. I want to grow and get out of here.” And that voice says, “Just scrape out that muck that you’re so tied into.” So you do, because you have very little choice, and as you do you find things really getting clearer for you. There are lessons within that.
Don’t be too anxious to get past your experience. Sometimes there is great value in staying with something until you have experienced every facet of it, every level of it. Then when you move beyond that experience, you really know it, and you will never have to go back into that. That’s being responsible to your own experience, to your own Self and to the Spirit within. And the result is freedom.
Move forward in your spiritual growth continually. Don’t stop for anything or anyone. Keep going. Keep moving. As you awaken more and more to the spiritual life, to the ethical life, to the integrity within yourself, you will find yourself becoming more and more aware of Spirit and the way it moves through your life. You find fulfillment within yourself, where you used to look outside of yourself for that fulfillment. You find joy bubbling up from within you, without necessarily having any physical reference points. You find yourself loving everyone you are with, without expectations or controls. You find yourself knowing what decisions to make in your life, what choices are right for you. You find that you become the promised one unto yourself. You find that you are the Beloved, the Christ within the essence of the most high God. And you truly dwell in the heart of God and know the kingdom of heaven while you live here on this earth.
BIO: John-Roger is the contributor of the Karma and Destiny chapter in The Light. He is also the founder of the Movement of Inner Spiritual Awareness (MSIA) and an author of more than 50 books on spirituality.