The 7 Pointers
To Cultivating Spirituality
There is a golden thread that runs through every religion in the world. There is a golden thread that runs through the lives and the teachings of all the prophets, seers, sages, and saviours in the world’s history, through the lives of all men and women of truly great and lasting power. All that they have ever done or attained to has been done in full accordance with law. What one has done, all may do.
This same golden thread must enter into the lives of all who today, in this busy work-a-day world of ours, would exchange impotence for power, weakness and suffering for abounding health and strength, pain and unrest for perfect peace, poverty of whatever nature for fullness and plenty.
~Ralph Waldo Trine
In Tune with the Infinite
Click on a pointer to expand
We are Divine Beings. Our true nature is LOVE. It is literally the only reason we exist.
In our material lives, most of us seem to be asleep to this truth. Waking up from that sleep is everything.
But such awakening is generally not a singular moment; it is a process. For most of us, it is like gradually coming to ourselves and finding we are in a Divine Garden – one that is blooming with peace, love and beauty at every turn. And as the garden grows all around us, so, too, do we grow with it.
And in all this endless growing, we ask ourselves the universal question, “Who am I?”
There is one all-powerful Consciousness in the universe, AS the universe. It is pure Awareness, pure Love. It is all that exists, and, despite any illusionary appearances to the contrary, it is only good. We can call it “God”, but in truth it is beyond naming. Let’s just call it “Spirit” or a “Higher Power, or “the Divine”. Each of us can call it whatever works best for us, but we would do well to avoid any names which may invoke in us any sense of guilt, shame, or obligation, especially from past religious experiences. None of that is who we are.
We are actually only awareness itself. Now, at first this may be a difficult truth to grasp, but it’s well worth the effort.
Since who we really are – the true Self within us – is awareness itself, that true Self cannot be harmed, damaged or corrupted. As material persons, spiritual beings having a physical existence, we may temporarily lose our way, or be misled. But how long we remain lost is entirely up to our desire to awaken to our true nature.
All apparent incompatibilities between science and spirituality are unnecessary distractions. Personal beliefs in external impressions from the past are self-created mirages of the mind. There is no heaven or hell except that which we ALLOW our thoughts to create for ourselves, usually because we just don’t know otherwise. All sufferings are just mental traps we have set for ourselves. But, since we ourselves have set those traps, we ourselves can free us.
Awareness of our true nature is the master key that unlocks all these traps.
Just as with the laws of physics, everything in the universe is subject to automatic, impersonal spiritual laws of pure Love, also referred to as karma. Ignorance or denial of our true nature allows these spiritual laws to become the root cause of suffering, including hostility and violence, which are pointless and unnecessary. Alternatively, following sacred pointers to greater and greater awareness will liberate us from suffering, and let us enjoy happier, more loving, more fulfilled lives.
Love is our true nature.
The Divine is personal to us, forever. Since it is “Omnipresent” (everywhere, all the time), it is always wherever we are. In fact, it IS us. It is not a distant being, up in the sky somewhere, capriciously judging, condemning, or punishing us, and no person, priest, guru or savior is necessary for us to “connect” with it (although enlightened spiritual teachers may help us realize the connection that already exists within us).
We do not really “seek” the Divine, because we cannot find what we have never lost. We can never be separated from the Divine, no matter how things may seem, even if we are physically or emotionally suffering. Not even physical death can separate us from the Divine Selves we already are.
One of the hardest spiritual truths for us humans to accept, is that our true essence is not the material, temporary being we only mistakenly believe ourselves to be. We are now, and have always been, beyond the physical and even beyond the mental. We are Divine Awareness expressing itself. We were never born and so can never die. Put another way, you only live once but it lasts forever. We are always and eternally wherever God is, which is everywhere, even within us.
Acceptance is observing life without judgment.
Omnipresent grace, our Higher Power, constantly provides us with everything we need – spiritually and physically. Accepting, trusting, and embracing whatever is, is true prayer. When we accept and embrace the conditions already present in our lives, things automatically continue to improve – seemingly on their own.
There is no Divine entity outside of us to pray TO. The Divine is already within us. Devotional prayers that accept, embrace and express gratitude are always welcome expressions of our love for the Divine already present AS us.
All our good is gifted to us through Divine Grace. We don’t have to earn it, we don’t even have to ask for it; it is freely given because that’s just what Love does.
Even when appearances are disturbing, there is always a larger story at play, and we are a part of it.
Trust, and rest as the unfolding.
We are not our thoughts. We are not our feelings, either. Our thoughts and feelings are temporary apparitions, little vapors of our human minds. They arise and subside, completely at random, but have absolutely no power or influence over who we really are, unless we believe they do.
Understanding that we are not our thoughts or feelings is an incredibly important spiritual step.
When we mistakenly believe our true Self and our human thoughts or feelings are the same thing, we are automatically granting them undue power over us. However, it is possible to OBSERVE these thoughts and feelings without identifying with them, without giving them any unnecessary attention. We can reclaim our true nature as an unaffected observer of our thoughts and feelings.
Do not misunderstand; thoughts and feelings can be very useful. But we can choose to use them, or to let them go. We don’t have to resist them, fight them, or heal them. But if we give them unnecessary attention because we don’t know we have any other choice, they will remain active, and even develop more unwanted influence over us. If we simply withdraw our attention from them, they remain the fleeting wisps of vapor they always were. All we need to do is learn how to dispassionately witness them as they arise and subside in our minds, without reacting to them. We relieve them of the power we have granted them when we cease giving them attention.
WE – our true Selves – are the choosers of which thoughts and feelings we will give our attention and which we ones we will simply allow to evaporate into unimportance. It’s one of the most powerful truths in spiritual awareness, one that will completely free us from unnecessary suffering and replace it with unimpeded happiness.
“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Nothing in the universe is separate from anything else.
Albert Einstein put it this way:
“A human being is a part of the whole called the universe, a limited part in time and space. We experiences ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
EVERYTHING is interconnected through Spiritual Consciousness.
Because there is no separation between anything, there is no separation between us conscious beings; no “us” and “them”. All material perceptions, including time and space, have no place in Spiritual Reality. This may be hard to accept, or even grasp, because it requires a subtle (but powerful) shift in awareness. However, it is easier than it first appears. And once we realize it, we can never “un-realize” it.
When we judge others, we are engaging in behavior that is both pointless and counterproductive, because we are not separate from the target of our judgment. Judgment gives rise to the most consequential of karmic repercussions, and when we ignore that, whether through ignorance or denial, a boomerang of suffering is the inevitable result.
Because of this Divine Interconnectedness, there can be no special “right way” to live a spiritual life. Any path, practice, belief, or behavior that a person embraces with a sincere heart, that does not harm them or anyone else, is valid and deserving of respect. There is only One Truth, and we are all One in it.
All roads lead to Love.
Mark Twain famously wrote, “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”
In the wisdom of 12 Step recovery teaching, is the passage, “self-knowledge avails us nothing.”
These wise words are not about knowledge. They are about experience. They apply to anyone with the ability, and even the best of intention, to do a thing, without the experience of it. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. After all, we can read the very best book about swimming, but if we never actually go near the water, we will continue to live with the very real danger of drowning.
Again, it is not enough simply to acquire spiritual knowledge.
In this matter, knowledge without application and experience is so ineffective as to be pretty much useless. But even that is not enough. We would do well to also apply DILIGENCE and PERSISTENCE.
We only thrive spiritually when we ABIDE in a spiritual way of being; nurture the process of living spiritual consciousness and behavior. When we do this, spirituality becomes ingrained as a way of life. Like breathing. Otherwise we run the risk of spiritual forgetfulness. It’s not enough to exercise anything once. The real power comes from allowing repetition to give birth to habit.
The good news is, just like a tree in a garden, we can always grow from wherever we’re planted. We are always ready to grow.
Even right now.
But the tree must be regularly watered.