As we explore our development of spirituality in these articles, I have supplied metaphors as memory aids . We are droplets of a “sea of consciousness” that is universal in nature. We have been “asleep in matter” and are in the “process of awakening.” The universe “tickles” the principally unconscious sleepers and stirs them into consciousness. This will take more than one tease.
The “mountain of our spiritual progress” looms ahead of us as we begin our journey. Our religious expansion is equivalent to climbing a “ladder” one rung at a time. As we achieve every new rung, we are treated not only to the answers to our questions but a broader vista. To solve a single question is to raise 100 new questions because of that broader vista. On occasions we “grow” into awareness. At times we have flashes of understanding or what I call the “A-Ha” principle, dynamic and motivating. At times we are alone, at other times we have company as we walk our personal trail.
Each awakened being is on an individual path that often can be shared. Each trail is individual and those that go with us part of the way might need to move away from us for their own rhythm and cycle. At times our expansion seems to be two steps forward and one step back. All of this is all right.
The universe offers us all of the time and experience needed to learn our lessons. We must learn to trust ourselves just by remaining true to our search, which is our own spiritual evolution. All that we do and all that we experience has purpose and meaning to our awareness and our expansion.
In this piece I'm going to add a new metaphor to explain our spiritual progress. At times our learning curve is dynamic, active, exciting, and annoying as our lessons come fast and furious… And in sizeable numbers.
Occasionally we are at the front of the lesson, going with the flow. At other times we are carried away in a raging stream of activity kicking to remain afloat, wondering “why me?” or “what was that all about?” At other times we feel stagnant, that we are treading water not particularly getting anywhere particularly, thinking about what we may have done wrong. We are prepared to move on but the universe does not appear to be cooperating.
Over the years of reading for others I developed a visible reference for how religious expansion occurs and to me it seems like stair steps. If you encountered stairs with multiple steps, they come in lots of shapes, sizes and types. Your special step steps are built to illustrate your growth process. Perhaps they are attached to a structure or free standing. The steps might be enclosed or open for everyone to see. The stairs might be country or modern. The quantity of steps is down to you. This is your personal staircase so it can look any way you predict it. Your rate of climb is dependent on the work you do and the progress you make.
Nobody selects this for you. It is your continuing free will choices that determine your success and your pace. Step steps have two essential ingredients, what I call a riser and a flat. Usually the steps are several inches apart on a vertical measure (the riser) surmounted by a platform (a flat). Take a second to see those two ingredients in your mind’s eye before reading on. See the vertical lift topped by a level surface.
That is how I see spiritual progress. We are going thru a time of intense activity, growing and learning and on occasions are overwhelmed by sheer onslaught of experience. At other times we feel flat, unmoving, frustrated and stagnant. That last sentence is just wrong.
We are growing and becoming, we're not stagnant. Our limited perception is complicating the problem. At times life comes at us fast and angry and we have to fight hard or try hard to keep up with the onslaught of experience. We couldn't do that all the time as we would break. We simply do the best we will to stay alongside of the turmoil and activity, wishing that we are going to have a break directly, a deep breath, a pause in which to find ourselves. When the pause comes, we throw off our sense of overmaster and are ready to go again…or are we? Seekers who are earnestly seeking religious development aren't generally happy with the pauses if they last very long. Those pauses are important to your development and growth.
Why? Let's think about bubbling a pan of coffee as an illustration. You make a bowl of coffee the old skool way. You fill the coffee pot with water, insert the stem and basket holding the coffee grounds, put on the lid and turn up the heat. The water boils and travels up the stem, rebounds off the lid and falls into the coffee basket. At once all the water has boiled its way up the stem and the liquid lives in the coffee grounds, brewing your coffee. It is still not coffee.
You take away the pot from the heat and wait for the liquid to leak through the grounds into the base of the pot. If you taste the coffee too soon, it tastes like dishwater. You need to be patient for it to become drinkable coffee. Got the picture? This is the process of percolation.
You, the human, have intense experience (the universe turned up the heat). That experience involves you and your life (moving up the stem to the basket). Mercifully the force eventually dies down (the heat is removed). Since there is not any universal heat stirring up your life at that moment, you are often relieved the sense of overmaster is finished. However, the process itself is still not finished and the religious “coffee” is not ready for consumption.
You have to have the patience for that lesson to filter through you to discover a home in your consciousness or understanding, to consider what just occurred, to permit it to enter your being. That is the flat or plateau of that two-part experience. This is the point at which you try to seem sensible out of the lessons.
The riser is active, dynamic and easy to spot. The flat represents assimilation, introspection and resolve. Both are necessary to the percolation process, both represent spiritual expansion in its two-part process : activity and understanding.
When all is quiet after a time of intense activity, you're still growing. You have just moved from the external to the internal in your religious development. As I checked out the progressing wheels of clients, scholars, for example. The times of intense activity and those of absorption are awfully clear in the wheel. The universe does not make mess ups (unless you consider the duck-billed platypus a mistake). All is part of your life process, no coincidences allowed.
All is purposeful and contributes to your personal growth and evolution if you allow the universe to teach you on every level of being. The universe is smarter than you are. It's the teacher and the teacher will always be the one to supply the curriculum for your progress.
Your experience and progress is normal and natural, we just get impatient . I have never worked out a way to hurry the universe so we want to practice patience at those moments of plateau because it is a obligatory part of our experience.