Monday, 7 October 2013

The Inner Path

The writings on this blog do not derive from any particular form of spirituality which some might consider a weakness but I believe it has a positive side. It could be thought a disadvantage because forms have a structure which enables us to approach the essentially transcendent (i.e. formless) world of spirit in a way that gives the mind something to grasp. A formulation of truth brings it down to a level that can be mentally comprehended. However when Christ was asked by Pilate “What is truth?” he remained silent because truth, in its essential purity, cannot be expressed. Pilate was none the wiser and many of us would be similarly perplexed if given such a response. We need to have spiritual truth in a container that gives it some kind of shape and colour, and we usually like a container which has the backing of a recognised authority hence the organised religions. These also provide us with a way to approach the sacred, which might otherwise be beyond our reach entirely, in that they offer a method and practice. A ladder by which to start the climb from earth to heaven.

All that is good and I am not, as some do, condemning it. However the trouble with any form is that, while it may start out as liberating as it opens up new vistas to us and gives us a means to approach them we might otherwise never have had, it can finish by being constricting. We may become limited to the form, unable to go beyond it, and sometimes the form becomes more important to us than that which it only exists to express. We must slough off that skin in order to go further which may mean adopting a new and more sophisticated form but ultimately means going beyond forms of any sort. A spiritual form is a bit like scaffolding. We need it to erect the building but eventually it must be demolished in order for us to go into the building and for it to be useable. The scaffolding has a purpose but that purpose is not its own, and for that purpose to be fulfilled it has to go. 

 To an extent this approach reflects my personal inclination but it also comes from the way I have been taught. The Masters who instructed me were not Christians or Buddhists or aligned to any spiritual traditions of this world, and they did not approach spiritual teaching from any particular angle as we might judge it in earthly terms. They lived in and spoke from the plane of direct spiritual awareness and their teaching reflected that. It was, in the highest degree, pure; without admixture or personal input of any kind, and I think that if you read their words as recorded in the book you will see that to be the case.

For some this might make their teaching seem less accessible. It could even be regarded as a little austere. It certainly lacks window dressing. But for those who wish to grasp the essential, and who do not require props which will eventually have to be thrown away, it is invigorating to have a teaching which contains only unvarnished truth, and which dispenses with all outer paths to focus solely on the inner one.

Outer paths have their place and should certainly not be rejected before time. Nevertheless they must eventually be transcended or you will stay on them forever. They have the potential to take you to that point known in esoteric parlance as the 1st initiation which is where the Christ child is born in your heart and you become a properly spiritually attuned person as opposed to one who aspires to such, but thereafter you must walk alone, depending more and more on your own light. Or rather not your own light but the light from within which is the light of God that shines in the darkness of your own mind but can only be perceived when you start to become sensitive to what is beyond your own mind.

I do not say that you cannot follow the inner path whilst also being aligned to an outer path but the further you proceed, the less importance the outer will have and the more the inner until the outer ceases to have very much importance at all. I believe that this is particularly the case nowadays when all outer paths have become much diminished in spiritual power and competent authorities working in them harder to find, but it was always true to an extent. The Masters told me that outward forms of religion were good for souls on a certain level but that there was a higher understanding of life they expected us to follow.  This was the inner path.

The purpose of spirituality is for each individual to build a personal relationship with God. This can only really happen when you approach God directly, without intermediary, and that can only happen when you dispense with ideas, interpretations (other people’s or your own) and expectations. You must be emptied of everything, and, in fact, much of the spiritual life consists of this emptying. It is an uprooting and a stripping away, and it requires letting go more than acquiring. Indeed, in many ways the inner path is the path of abandonment. But it is also the path of at-one-ment. If you follow an outer path, whatever it may be, there is always something between you and what you seek. Thus it is basically a dualistic process and that can never bring you to God who you must find for yourself and by yourself. Of course, this does not mean that you should refuse guidance or instruction. No-one ever found God without help from those more advanced along the way. But it does mean that everyone must make their own path. You cannot follow that of another. To begin with maybe but not forever if you wish to complete the journey.

The inner path leads, naturally enough, within. It leads out of this world and it can be a lonely way to travel. But any perceived loneliness is really only an illusion, albeit a powerful one to the traveller. The reality is that we are surrounded at all times by love. The Masters frequently told me this and I experienced it through their presence. Since they have withdrawn from me outwardly (as they must from all their disciples if those disciples are to progress) I have many times felt alone. However it is only through this spiritual isolation that we can eventually achieve oneness because each soul must forge its own private link with God and it can only do that when it renounces all that is not God and stands utterly by itself. And that is the way of the inner path.

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