“This actually has been going on for millennium; that when one steps out of the paradigm of normal spiritual development and they step into something that is beyond their adulthood, it’s a childhood’s end.”
The spiritual path has developmental stages. It’s very comparable to what we go through as human beings when we start as a child, we go around and we put things in our mouth and it’s sweet and we keep those things. And we put things in our mouth that are bitter and we spit those out. We grope around and we get into trouble unless there’s some parent around to keep us from getting into trouble. So people enter the spiritual path in a childhood stage. They’re just going for the goodies. They just want to feel good. They want to a tasty little morsel of spiritual experience, insight or knowledge and there’s no preoccupation with anything other than to more of those experiences. A child is very self-involved in this way.
As a child matures it moves into adolescence. Now in adolescence, the child becomes rebellious. It becomes willful. It wants to do it itself. It doesn’t want anybody to tell it what to do. It becomes resistant and angry and critical and it seeks to find it’s own way. It can walk off cliffs and drive motorcycles into walls and hurt itself and so on so forth and that’s just part of the stage. It’s does this rebellion and then enters into adulthood.
And the adulthood is when one recognizes that they are the source of their problem. They’re the one responsible for the way their life is showing up. And it’s not about this teacher or that teacher. It’s something that they have to address. And in that case the teacher doesn’t become like a parent or a child; it becomes an ally in your effort to come to your own maturity. And this spiritual adulthood’s first focus is on it’s own development. It’s what it needs to develop to get better; to get more connected, to get more knowledge, to get more wisdom, to get more feeling of the devotion, to get more truth. Whatever that may be.
There are three paths. The path of Devotion or Love, the path of Action or Sacrifice or Self-Giving or the Path of Knowledge. Knowingness, awareness. So these become the means then that we start undertaking with a sense of responsibility and self determination when we get into adulthood. And as we progress in this, we start serving others automatically. We become interested in our transformation, not just for ourselves, but for others. To be useful, to serve others. To contribute to the world in some way in our understanding and our wisdom. And it actually comes very naturally. Spirituality is an unfolding. It’s not really a willful action as much as an unfolding. When we willfully align with it, the unfolding moves more smoothly, more rapidly. When we resist it, it goes slower and it’s more difficult and it’s more painful.
So there’s this unfolding. And when we come to the recognition that this isn’t about ourselves; that something else is coming forward, this is where we move out of our early adulthood and we become parents. We start mentoring other emerging souls in their own movement towards what it is….that you’re also progressing on. So you begin to mentor and there’s a natural, spontaneous pull to the sweetness and the innocence of the child seeker, of the new seeker. A wanting to go to them; wanting to help them. Sharing with them what it feels like. Trying to assist them to come out from under. Protecting them from the things you don’t want them to experience or to suffer unnecessarily. And as you move into adulthood, then you start getting a few adolescents and then you start having second thoughts about teaching others. They start kicking and screaming and saying, “you’re not the one and you don’t know anything and I know everything and you’re an idiot and I don’t have to listen to you and I know just as much as you know”. And there’s nothing you can do. They’re children and they’re going through adolescence. If you endure that stage calmly, then you move into another whole relationship. And this comes as I said…it’s a natural enfolding. It’s a maturation that just occurs in the process. Where we are spontaneously…something starts coming through us and we start at first, becoming capable of caring for the innocent children. And then we gather the strength and the intelligence to manage the more difficult adolescents. And as we mature we can actually help those who are merging into their adulthood, taking responsibility, laying claim to the problems that exist within themselves, empowering the teacher to be an aid for them, an ally for them in their own maturing process.
There are stages. Most of what we teach about spirituality in the west is about childhood. Childhood religion, childhood spirituality. God is good, God is great. You should obey. If you’re good, good things will happen; if you’re bad, bad things will happen. And it’s a very childlike orientation. Most early spirituality comes from religion. Then there’s a moving into adolescence. Usually this is the problem in the west, that when souls are developing into their spiritual adolescence, there isn’t a strong structure to assist them to be able to move forward and gain in their autonomy and in their own thinking. So there’s usually a rebellious stage against the old structures of religion but also a rebellious stage with other adults. They tend to hang out with one another, to form communities of spiritual seekers and console themselves, within themselves and become satisfied with being part of a spiritual group. This is the new-age movement. It is the feeling of belonging of something; a sense of higher purpose, people have spiritual experiences and some wisdom and understanding but there’s not a recognition of a single authority. There’s no longer an authority God principle, like in religion. But there’s not yet a recognition of something that they can submit to or obey. It is the communal, it is the group. So all human teenagers….what is it? It’s your friends. Who do you hang with? Your team, your playmates, your fraternity. Well in spirituality, this is a stage.
Now this stage really is a process whereby the only way we move beyond it is when we become dissatisfied with the group. Where the group is no longer sufficient. We then turn more profoundly inward (even though on the spiritual path, it’s always an inward relationship). In the group, there’s an inwardness and an outwardness, something shared that helps in that human transition, a letting go of the human and having relationships with fellow seekers. But it doesn’t take us beyond that until we start coming to a recognition and this maturing process turns us more inward and creates a dissatisfaction with the status quo. It’s no longer enough. We start feeling like we’re suffocating. We start feeling like our thirst is not being quenched and that there’s something more. And then that dissatisfaction causes us to seek out one who is an adult on the spiritual path relative to where you are. Or, by accident…usually this is the time we find the guru or we find the teacher. If you’re devotional, you’ll feel immediately a heartfelt connection to them. If you’re a jnana, you’ll recognize the force that’s coming through them and their wisdom and their clarity and there will be a sense of presence and purposefulness when you’re with them. And if your path is action, you will begin to understand those actions you need to take; the Sadna, the practices, the disciplines you need to take to progress towards the goal.
So when we make that transition, we then to varying degrees leave behind our orientation. The first orientation that gets us into the spiritual path, for most people, is either knowledge or love, devotion. The knowledge pulls us to know more; to be more aware, to live more in that state of beingness, of awareness, of presence. And the path of devotion, it just wants to feel more of the divine love, it wants more heart and the other is more mind. And in the heart relationship, it starts to want to feel this connection, this love it’s feeling, this oneness it’s feeling with something greater than itself…it may be the teacher, it may be a god, like a Vishnu or a Shiva or a Christ or it may be a principle like the Brahman or That Which Is, or the Is-ness or the Am-ness. But the devotion is a knowing feeling experience. So all you want is to feel that and to feel it more and more and more. Both the path of knowledge and the path of devotion lead to the same goal.
And what is the goal? The goal is Truth. The path of knowledge, the path of action and the path of devotion have been well described in the Indian tradition, the Hindu tradition. There’s the Bhagavad Gita and there’s the Upanishads and there are many of the teachers who come from that tradition who have been teaching in the West. And really this is our entry point into the adulthood. An entry point into a path that takes us out of the adolescence and childhood spirituality or religion and into a more adulthood relationship with what is is that our inner being is striving for or seeking. But then these paths also will prove not themselves to be sufficient until they reach the last stage. And in this last stage, when the knowledge and the devotion come together, there’s a recognition of something that is indescribable that exists beyond normal knowingness, beyond normal devotion. The devotee starts disappearing into that which it’s devoted to. The knowledge, the knowing of which the knower starts disappearing into that which is seeking to know. And in the Hindu tradition, they call these samadhis. Profound, deep states of connection and experience and awareness. And these samadhis start taking us into what I call the area of the SAT or Truth. This last threshold, this last zone, cannot be taught except for one who is a mature adult, who have themselves crossed the threshold.
This path, or I would say yoga…yoga is a means to union. This yoga is the ultimate yoga. And I’m calling this the Satya yoga. The yoga of Truth. The path to truth. The final liberation. It’s a path of truly one who is an adult on the spiritual path that takes them to their maturity.
So my work is evolving from teaching traditions that support the movement of the adult spiritual seeker towards this ultimate Truth which may lead to merger or to great wisdom or enlightenment, to a relationship to the SAT, the ultimate Reality. This does happen. There is a means or a Yoga by which we can move into this relationship with the ultimate That-ness or Is-ness or Presence which we can hold with us in our waking consciousness. And that this capacity to hold the force of this Presence is the most powerful transformative state of consciousness that exists. Period. That from this, dirt can become dirt. Man can become God. Gods can become the Reality. This is the Source. This is the source of the impulse that this entire existence arose from. It is the source of the original intent from which all will to be arose and from which everything living, growing, developing and evolving has emerged; where each of us are an expression of that same evolution in our own lives, heading towards some inexplicable, indescribable, unknowing condition that has not yet been available to us but which we have some varying degrees or capacity to sense.
The spiritual path begins when we begin to sense this inevitable possibility. We begin to sense it in some way. It’s what draws us to the spiritual path. Either by the despair of its seemingly lack of existence in this world or by it’s attraction when you see it in another, or feel it in another.
This actually has been going on for millennium; that when one steps out of the paradigm of normal spiritual development and they step into something that is beyond their adulthood, it’s a childhood’s end. I’m feeling like a child on the verge of an unimaginable possibility that is actually from which this universe came into existence. It’s as if the original position of creation…that anything is possible and it’s only from here that this Sat Yoga can be manifested in this dimension.