Imitation SpiritualityThere are a great many spiritual teachers and groups in the world today, some possessing much insight and good intentions. However, when compared to the Path of Holiness it is evident that the vast majority of spiritual groups and so-called enlightened teachers actually demonstrate a very significant compromise on the Highest, on the Truth. They practice, therefore, what to the discerning eye and the pure heart might be termed 'imitation spirituality'.
The culture of imitation spirituality has come about due to a lack of true Knowledge and selfless motivation. This is clearly apparent within the New Age movement, for example, where the general focus is upon gaining and benefiting for the personal self. So many people today have their own individual ideas about how best to bring about light, love, and peace on Earth, yet the majority of these individuals have yet to actually realize such virtues themselves. New spiritual groups and teachers are appearing all the time in these days of The Quickening on Earth; self proclaimed masters, teachers and motley bands of disciples and do-gooders are a very common sight within the spiritual supermarket today. It is often found that such groups - new and old - tend to demonstrate a noble intention to heal themselves and this planet, yet all truly enlightened Masters, Holy Orders and Mystery Schools throughout the ages have taught that the personal self, this world and all that is in it do not represent the goal of life, and on the spiritual path neither should they be the focus. Wrong focus is the result of a lack of true Knowledge and awareness of the purpose of physical incarnation, and without such Knowledge the true spiritual Path cannot be found, let alone trodden.
To improve the quality of life in this world is not the purpose of our existence here. The Buddha spoke of this world as being like a bubble on the ocean, an illusion that would pass away just as surely as it had appeared, and he taught that the spiritual aspirant should not become attached to it in any way. Jesus said in no uncertain terms, "My Kingdom is not of this world" and he urged mankind to seek ye first that Kingdom. For to seek and find true Life (the Kingdom) will alone right all the wrongs, pains, and sufferings of mankind's self-created predicament as well as open up the Way that leads to the Goal of life. Conversely, true healing and redemption from suffering cannot be achieved by way of a personal and worldly focus or awareness, and the separate self will only compound its problems through self-effort. Like a dog chasing its tail, the self can only go round and round in circles, necessitating and perpetuating its bondage to what the Buddha called the wheel of birth, death and suffering.
To attempt to heal this world and mankind from an unenlightened perspective is like a blind man trying to give directions to someone who is lost. The world may only be healed when humanity's focus and motivations are true, when the heart of mankind is open and when its mind is looking in the right direction. The solution to all ignorance-born world problems may only be apprehended by giving up all self-created notions, looking out from the separate self and upwards toward the universal Spirit and the Divine Plan for Earth. The solution to all suffering, darkness and ignorance is necessarily a divine Solution and can never be found within the separate and limited nature of the personal self or its plethora of speculative ideas, projections and delusions. Such personal, ignorant convictions never amount to anything other than more separation, the proof of which is perfectly visible in the world as it exists today, and is also reflected in the many individual and disparate views and ideals held by the countless spiritual groups and teachers.
A correct focus is essential if the seeker of Truth is to rise above the multifarious snares and pitfalls of pseudo spirituality that are to be found everywhere in this world. The pain of the world’s heart and all mankind’s sufferings are resolved and ultimately permanently healed through a focus on what is already True, Whole, and Complete, and not on the individual self or the transitory world of appearances. Only when a man's focus is turned to the Highest, to the Truth itself, will he come into alignment and harmony with universal law, and so realize a true Spirituality, as he naturally becomes inspired to serve the Divine Plan. It is only through such a correct alignment and the subsequent spiritual harmony that it engenders that the world’s ailing condition will begin to be remedied. Human delusion can never be resolved until the seeker has made contact with Reality, and so has aligned himself with its cause and purpose. To seek and practice anything else, anything for one's own benefit without due recognition of the whole, is imitation spirituality, and this serves nothing other than the personal ideas and whims of the separate self, leading to further confusion and suffering. For separation (from God) is synonymous with pain.
In order to allow the spirit of Truth to reveal itself and its Plan, one must seek the Truth uncompromisingly with a selfless focus and motivation. Any lesser activity of mind or emotion, even when born from a noble intention to 'do the right thing', is still a personal desire, an ideal created from the limited perspective of one's separate reality and experience. No amount of such good intentions can ever create a perfect world. To the contrary, such a personally-oriented attitude only precipitates more conflict and separation from Reality, the impersonal Reality that has always been Perfect and which is waiting for humanity to come back into alignment with its gracious Laws by way of its own free will. Delay in such divine alignment only creates more karmic bindings to the wheel of birth, death and suffering. It is an inescapable fact that a personal focus is limiting and degenerative whereas a divine focus is liberating and regenerative. If only the self-seekers of the world would understand that should they lose their self-defeating ulterior motives, then they would begin to enjoy both a greater vitality in life as well as a truer spiritual alignment and dynamic purpose.
There are a great many people in these last days of a major world cycle who are focusing on all kinds of interesting things, from personal healing and self development to the channelled advice and lofty messages of those who have passed over. There exists today a worldwide marketplace for psychic counseling, innumerable methods of self-discovery, journeying, spiritual awakening, soul recovery, magic rituals, past life recall, etc., etc. The list is endless and would take a great number of lifetimes for a person to practice even a small fraction of them. Many of these activities are not wrong or dangerous in themselves, but in the absence of a right focus and right attitude they lead nowhere but round and round within the grasping desire of the personal self. They cultivate and refine the ego-self and so do not lead to That which is already Perfect.
There are a great and growing number of people around the world who are writing spiritual books and giving workshops, again often before they themselves have actually realized anything of a higher order than mere philosophical insight, let alone aligned themselves with Truth and divine Purpose. This generally perpetuates ignorance and pride because the focus is essentially ever the same. No matter how philosophically true may be the words and concepts of a preferred teaching, it will not help a person reach the goal of life - Liberation - as long as the focus is selfish, upon gaining for the ego-self, the 'I', 'me' and 'mine' of self-grasping, as in: "my healing", "my path", "my ascension", "my truth", "my self", "my life", etc. Until one learns in all one's activities of thinking and aspiring to look towards the One Life alone, to that which is True and Divine, and in so doing reawaken the inner spiritual seeking element, all that is created and focused upon will be in vain, and it will yield nothing of any real and lasting value.
Before aspirants embark upon the spiritual path they should - first and foremost - ask themselves earnestly, "Do I love and wish to serve the Truth unconditionally, or do I seek the Truth because I want to take personal advantage of it in some way?" If the answer reveals that there is indeed some ulterior selfish motive, then the aspirant is not yet ready to walk the Path of Purification, the true spiritual Path, and he should beware of trying to understand and apply the higher teachings or of practicing advanced techniques.
No matter what is learned and understood intellectually and no matter from what eminent source it springs, without a right focus and true, spiritual understanding it will generally be used as yet another vehicle in which the ego-self can move in circles and create more illusions. All that is really taking place in imitation spirituality is the motion of the ego from one separate and unillumined sphere of thought and desire to another; in the case of the New Age movement, to a so-called 'spiritual' one. But the path of the ego-self rotates on one plane only, it does not spiral upwards, it does not lead to emancipation from the self-replicating problems and woes of the separate personality. Today a tremendous number of unenlightened teachers seek to propagate imitation spirituality amongst mankind as if it were a most worthy service to the world. 'Being spiritual' has become a fashionable trend in our times. But for the most part such ministrations are actually a disservice due to the focus upon the personal self, rather than the eternal divine Element within the heart of mankind, which is innately selfless and True. Until this divine Element is focused upon and its nature and purpose in incarnation sought out, no lasting Truth or Wisdom can be realized or integrated into one's life, and when living Truth and Wisdom are absent, then no real spiritual Service may be rendered. It is this lack of true and simple Wisdom that perpetuates imitation spirituality all over the world, and which drives people to work on themselves, instead of forgetting the separate self in exchange for seeking and finding the living Truth.
Until the self-proclaimed spiritual groups, teachers, and mankind at large learn to see clearly the need to align themselves with the larger Plan and so establish a divine Focus, they cannot apprehend what must soon come to pass in this world and why, and so neither will they be able to avail themselves of the coming spiritual opportunity. They will remain ignorant and unaware of how to properly prepare and assist in the One World Work, which seeks only to manifest on Earth the Divine Plan for this age for the benefit of all. In the absence of true Knowledge and right understanding, and without an innate love-yearning for God, imitation spirituality actually works against the perfect unfoldment of Truth on Earth by way of its unenlightened and spiritless ideas and projects.
Adherents of imitation spirituality work - consciously or subconsciously - to delay that which must come to pass because they operate outside the Law of Oneness, outside of Unity, and not in alignment with the Divine Plan for this age. They most often work from a place where they feel happy and safe, protected within their own personal comfort zones and spheres of 'I know'. With such unrealized affirmations as 'We are all God' they try to bring their own will and agendas, disguised as divine alignment, to bear on others. One of the greatest obstacles - if not the greatest obstacle - that stands in the way of real spiritual unfoldment and realization is an absence of humility, and the honest admission as to how little the separate self really and truly knows of the higher Life, its purpose, goal and ultimate inevitable result for this end of a major world cycle. Most people shopping in the spiritual supermarket today are so focused upon what they know - or more accurately what they think they know - that there is little or no scope for them to discover what is actually True. That which has waited eons to enter the heart and illumine the mind of humanity in order to liberate it from delusion and suffering can find no resonance with those who already know best, and so neither can it enter into their lives. Hence the essential need for humility, an empty cup.
Imitation spirituality comes into being, then, due to the full cup, the cup that is filled with personal 'knowing'. It is born from the assuming attitudes of the self-oriented seeker and all groups and teachers who regard the personal self, however subtly, rather than the Universal Truth of which the individual soul is only a tiny part. The answer to all man-made problems must be sought from the Divine, and if a personal focus is favoured over an impersonal, divine orientation, then the real Solution will never be found, for there is nothing at all in the world of the ego-self that has the redeeming power to lift the imprisoned soul from its dark ignorance, pain and separation. There is but one truly spiritual attitude and one Way that leads to Freedom: it is through an earnest and humble seeking of That which has always been True, and forever will be True, and this Truth has nothing to do with the separate self and so cannot be contained, acquired or possessed by it. Therefore, the world of imitation spirituality is in dire need of a complete reorientation of understanding, focus and consciousness, without which genuine spiritual qualities and virtues will continue to be a rare and infrequent occurrence, and so the goal of life will remain unattainable for the majority.
So many statements and claims made in the New Age movement today are at least partially motivated by fear, pride and spiritual egotism. By way of their substantial knowledge and in-fact-uation, many teachers endeavour to convince themselves and the world that they know all about the spiritual life. Yet knowledge is not required in order to take the very first step onto the spiritual Path. What is needed is an earnest love of and yearning for the living Truth. Such a sincere orientation makes a person a Seeker, and from such a correct spiritual orinetation will arise true understanding, insight and eventually Wisdom, as, by law, the living Truth responds to a genuine and selfless invitation.
All who wish to return to Reality and so partake again of the original Freedom, must first become empty of self, an empty cup, open and so ready to be filled with the living light of Truth. Now, an empty cup does not contain anything, it does not, therefore, proclaim that it knows anything, for all true Knowing is of God. Allowing the light of Reality to enter one's emptied grail is to become aware of God's Will, and it is thus that the Calling to assist in the manifestation of its Plan for these important times on Earth is registered by the Seeker, and consecrated service to that Divine Plan then becomes natural and spontaneous. This is the beginning of Freedom, and the seeker of Truth is then initiated into life's mysteries and is given progressively greater spiritual responsibility, together with its commensurate reward. It is in receiving and then giving away what is received that one becomes the humble servant of all, proceeding forth along the Lighted Way, not by efforts of self-will and not by dint of personally-constructed ideals and theories, but by the living Grace of divine Providence. The surrendered Server then becomes a tiny, glowing point of light in the darkness, one with the Universal Light, in which there is neither any separate self nor speculation.
To look to or to seek for anything less than divine Guidance in every new moment is foolishness. It perpetuates spiritual blindness and confusion, which then continues to give rise to an endless array of self-oriented pseudo-spiritual philosophies, groups and teachers, in which great numbers of unsuspecting people invest their time, energy, dedication and money. This is how the culture of imitation spirituality has grown to epidemic proportions in the world today. Those who follow unenlightened teachers, prophets, deceptive teachings and groups contribute toward the reinforcement of the grand illusion of false spirituality as they simultaneously become more deeply bound to and by it themselves. By investing in the pronouncements and prescriptions of teachers of illusion, adherents unwittingly support the same illusions themselves through a compromised focus, and it is thus that they directly help to maintain falsehood in the world, while delaying any true Light from entering, and all under the colourful banner of spirituality and truth.
The result of perpetuated self-conviction and personal investment in imitation spirituality is that one becomes so lost in the darkness of delusion that the Spirit-flame which may have glowed originally within the heart, inspiring one to become a Seeker, all but dies out, having failed to be nourished by the living Truth, and so it is unable to guide one further along the right Path. When this point is reached, the consciousness of the separate self becomes so immersed in appearance-reality and the subconscious fear and attachment that this engenders, that it finds it extremely difficult to admit that it could be mistaken or even entirely lost in darkness. This is how the downward spiral away from the Light develops in the life of the selfish seeker, and imitation spirituality today has mesmerized vast numbers of souls and is pulling them ever deeper into the great illusion of 'I', 'me' and 'mine'.
When one considers that all genuine spiritual Masters of the past have ever pointed to That which lies beyond the shores of this material and transitory realm, beyond the sense of the separate ego-self, one must surely question how anything True and lasting can ever be created or attained by way of the limited perspective, unenlightened beliefs and focus of the 'I'. One should also ask why there exists such a diverse variety of ideals and methods - most often in at least partial disagreement with one another - amidst the great majority of spiritual groups and teachers who are today, apparently, working towards world peace, healing, and love. Without first aligning themselves with the behests of the Divine Plan for world and mankind and so helping to fulfill that Plan for this end of a cycle period, such groups and teachers make efforts to manifest their own personal interpretations of the need of the hour, hence the multifarious discrepancies between them. There are a tremendous number of spiritual groups in the world today, but very little unity of heart and focus amongst them. Yet where the Truth is seen together, hearts are united. This must always be the case.
A right focus - an inner yearning for and love of the Truth itself - would eventually bring to this world every dream and joy ever longed for or imagined, without any work or effort being placed directly upon the self first, as is so often prescribed by misguided teachers. However, lacking such an earnest and humble inner yearning for the Truth, no amount of spiritual education or practice will bring the desired results, for the living Spirit does not regard the personal self and so cannot avail the ego of its Grace; the divine Spirit recognizes only Itself within but beyond the separate ego-self: immanent but transcendent.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and many well-intentioned groups, teachers and leaders in this world today indeed travel that road. Yet none of these good intentions have served to free the heart of mankind thus far, and they never will. It is not until one looks selflessly towards the greater Life and its Plan, neutralising one's own personal will for the sake of the greater divine Will, that freedom in Purpose begins to be experienced again. All self-willed actions necessarily go against the flow of the universal Harmony, which is ever purposeful, intelligent, dynamic and liberating. Seeking anything less than perfect alignment with the universal Intelligence will amount to little or nothing but the creation of more confusion and separation in a world that has already gone insane due to its long-perpetuated unwise use of free will.
Just as in the common, selfish life of the mass of mankind, the misuse of free will in imitation spirituality is also rife as people shift from one ideal to another, from one form of self-will and desire to an alternative, perhaps more exciting form, which may seem in the beginning to offer something more, something better. But no matter where one shifts one's personal focus, the 'I' still remains in its separate and very limited condition, and it is this self that gives up on one idea only to grasp at another in the hope that it may gain greater happiness and perhaps ultimately eternal freedom. However, there is nothing lasting and so truly satisfying that can ever be procured by the separate self, and the one who realizes this will understand the sane choices made by all wise men of the past who successfully regained their spiritual heritage through a selfless attitude and a humble yearning for Reality, in which there is no separation. To open one's heart to the One Life in all and so to forget all ideas of 'my will' is to become aware of 'Thy Will', the Universal Will, and it is in such a prudent focus that one begins the process of being initiated into true Spirituality, and so becomes a recipient and servant of the liberating Truth.
Due to the prevalence of imitation, self-orientated spirituality in the world today, the true servants of Life - those who are aligned with the divine Spirit and so also with the greater Plan for these times - are mostly forced to wait and prepare in the shadows, while so many self-appointed teachers are busy in the limelight propagating their information and methods from an unenlightened perspective, teaching the multitudes how to achieve what they themselves have yet to realize. The genuine awakened servants of the human race and the Divine Plan prefer to eschew the loud claims and commercial activities of those who spend much of their time doing and saying the greatest things in public so as to be seen as spiritual and wise, and they seek not to teach those who are as yet unready for Revelation.
In the past, candidates for the inner teachings of the Divine Mysteries had to seek out and to prepare themselves to work with the Initiates and Masters, and unless an aspirant possessed the key that opened the door to the inner sanctum, he could not gain access to Life. Today the requirements for true spiritual work have not changed, and the kind of potencies wielded and teachings offered by holy groups are dangerous for the unprepared.
Yet we may observe everywhere today the public advertisements in magazines and on the Internet for teachings about ascension, together with an expanding abundance of teachers offering to show the way to enlightenment. In fact there are so many self-styled masters and spiritual teachers in the world presently, offering a diverse array of methods and philosophies, that one cannot help but wonder why humanity has not ascended to at least the seventh dimension already! This is the great tragedy of sham spirituality, that so many people in these times have bought into the imitation version of the real thing and so are being led astray, deceived by the rising number of false teachers who instruct upon matters which they themselves do not yet truly understand, practice or embody. Part of the reason for this is due to the fact that advanced spiritual teachings have found their way into the general public and can today be purchased by anyone in the local book shops. Yet using sacred teachings for personal agendas always leads to disaster, for without a pure and yearning heart that is motivated earnestly by a truly selfless and intelligent focus, such teachings will always be used by the ego to cover its own fear and ignorance in an attempt to create a safe and comfortable semblance of truth for personal happiness, self aggrandizement and power. In doing this with conviction, in widely advertising the benefits for self of even the greatest and truest teachings, the delusion of imitation spirituality spreads all over the Earth, and so what in past has been a most sacred and carefully guarded treasure becomes degraded into a commonplace vogue in the marketplace: ascension, free for all!
With the greatest alacrity the Truth is repeatedly utilized in error by the ego, rehashed into an imitation spiritual philosophy to suit the needs of the separate self, where, for example, people loudly proclaim 'I AM', yet without the heart realization to back it up, and simply because they have read it somewhere and have taken the impersonal Truth personally. That which is True is not of the world of time and space, where everything is in a perpetual state of change, decay, death and rebirth. The Eternal is evidently absent from the world of rising, glimmering, fading and dying. Just as that which is True is not of the temporal world, similarly the Truth itself cannot be revealed in the temporal world. Nothing True can ever be written or spoken in words alone. The Truth that is written and spoken is at best only a reflection of the Unborn, the unmanifest Truth of Life, which can only be experienced. But without a pure heart and motivation, which may only be reached through a loving, selfless and intelligent search, the all important and vital Energy of the living, vibrating Truth that may accompany only realized words and concepts, is lost. Thus so the living energy of Truth cannot be received or passed onto another. In this way many people may read and even understand philosophically the most profound truths on Earth, yet still not receive one modicum of the living, experiential Reality. This is how the most exalted words and teachings of our saints and spiritual masters have been stolen and killed by way of self-grasping, and the foundation of all imitation spirituality is rotten due to the selfish motivations of those who practice it.
Until one seeks out the living Truth and its Wisdom with an honest and humble heart and with a mind that earnestly acknowledges that it knows nothing of that Truth, no true Light can ever be received, no matter how many books one reads, no matter what teaching is followed or believed in and no matter how many lifetimes one practices spiritual techniques. Until a man rediscovers the hidden mystery of the living Truth in his own heart, he remains essentially ignorant, a fool, and if he proceeds with conviction to think that he may lead others to Enlightenment when he himself has yet to attain the Goal, then he becomes a foolish teacher of fools who will follow him; the blind leading the blind. Until a man actually reaches the Goal of divine Remembrance he should keep in mind always that he is still a seeker of Truth, and not yet a teacher of it. If the great majority of spiritual teachers in the world today would remember the enduring fact that they may only assist others along the Way to a very limited degree until they themselves have actually attained the Goal, then there would be far more humility on Earth within the spiritual supermarket and consequently much more true Light, rather than the false, deceptive glamour-light of imitation spirituality.
Being with a true and therefore divinely-aligned Teacher will always give us Light, and not just in the head! The awakening of the divine spark in the heart as a result of coming into contact with a true Teacher may be accompanied by a sense of wonderment, awe and perhaps great 'jubilant sorrow' as the realization dawns how we and most of humanity have prevented the Light from entering our lives in the past by way of our own ignorant habits. If a teacher does not give us Light, particularly in our early encounters, then either the aspirant is not yet ready to receive it or the teacher has not come into divine alignment and so is not qualified to awaken others. However, if the teacher has attained some significant level of divine contact, then his personal radiatory field will prove to have an effect, and this may be experienced by the insincere, impure of heart or spiritually immature aspirant as a surfacing of unresolved fears, hatreds and resistances, a rising of inner darkness. Therefore, one way or another, the true Teacher will generally have a significant effect upon the consciousness of almost everyone who opens to him.
It is astonishing when we consider just how many thousands of self-proclaimed masters there are today all over the world and accessible to the general public, more than in any other time in history. Yet the human race is more profoundly deluded than it ever has been in any other time in history, and consequently our planet is ailing more than ever before, for we have today reached the nadir of human expression on Earth. Hundreds of thousands of souls are presently being led astray, as was long ago prophesied would happen in these times, and as more groups and self-proclaimed spiritual teachers rise up around the planet, infecting the minds and hearts of their growing followers with unrealized philosophical systems and personal ideas, very ordinary people with little spiritual or even psychic experience are becoming self-appointed teachers. Today we stand at the end of a major world cycle and the imminent dawn of a New World, and still the focus for the majority is on the spiritual feel-good factor, and even those who do have some innate wisdom are being drawn into the great deception.
“False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect.” - Matthew 24:24
Imitation spirituality has reached such a record high today that those who have actually established true divine contact and who possess real Knowledge of the need of the hour and the Plan for Earth, are forced to stand aside and look on at the confusion as it plays itself out before they are able to commence the greater holy work for humanity for which they have incarnated. These souls are not here to scatter abroad yet more unrealized words or pass on philosophical teachings that never really change anything. These advanced souls are here today on Earth, mostly on humanity's behalf, to comprise the critical mass required to satisfy the Law, and to sound the final Call in the world, which is a cry in the wilderness of mankind's ignorance and selfishness, a last plea to humanity to face in the right direction in good time. For most human beings, however, it is already too late with regard to this cycle's spiritual opportunity for Deliverance, and all that remains for the relatively few realized hearts who have become aware of the truth of these end times, is to wait in the background of life until the Redeemer of this world finally commissions them to transmit the divine vibration of Truth worldwide, to wield the Sword, and so shatter all that has not aligned itself with the Plan.
Already the Sword is beginning to show itself in the world today, and the prophesied 'Great Separation' is now taking place on many levels all around the planet. There are relatively few who boldly acknowledge what must come to pass: the Victory of ages of Truth over falsehood, yet mankind has been warned repeatedly over the millennia about the inevitable, stark reality of these times and the inescapable fate of everything and everyone that is not True. Even at this late stage of the period leading up to the Day of Reckoning and the Great Shift, only those with eyes to see and ears to hear have responded in any vital way to the Call. Throughout the ages humanity has been cautioned about the false leaders, teachers and groups that would rise up in these last days of an age, but so very few have taken heed of those warnings. In these accelerating times it is most inexpedient to continue building more dreams and romantic ideals pertaining to planetary healing and peace, or for improving upon the world's illusions of preservation of what is old, familiar and now redundant, based on unenlightened imagination of right and wrong. All such self-constructed projections of the human mind are about to be utterly dispelled by the insuperable and living light of Truth itself. These are the 'end times', and there is only one way to safely and wisely navigate through the darkness and multitudinous distractions of this period in order to attain Liberation from falsehood in the valley of the shadow of death, and that is by humbly seeking the Truth and surrendering to and serving God's Will, free of all personal sentimentalities and philosophical ideas.
If we truly Seek, then we shall Find, but if we think that we already know and so fail to perpetually and humbly Seek until we are Free, then we are going to discover nothing liberating or True. Part of true Knowing is knowing that we do not know. But until the heart awakens to Truth, we do not really know how little we really know. There are two kinds of fools in this world: the ignorant fool and the wise fool. The ignorant fool is he who cannot find the humility to admit that he is a fool who knows nothing. The wise fool is he who knows that without the divine Spirit he knows and is nothing. It is this latter kind of fool - the wise fool - who is guaranteed of spiritual success.
If we are engaged in selfish activity, however subtle or 'spiritual', then we will not see past our own selfish reflection in the mirror of Truth that is approaching our world today. If we try to build further knowledge upon our own existing ignorance and ideas, then nothing True will be constructed, and neither will our ivory towers survive what is to come. There are relatively very few true, uncompromising spiritual Seekers in this world who have cultivated the art of spiritual Listening. Fear and pride has long found a home in the hearts of the majority of souls on Earth, and consequently a great number of foolish fools have adorned themselves with their own ideas and methods of attaining Liberation. But the Way to find the Truth and to be liberated by it is to completely and unconditionally give up the self in deference to that Truth: "Not my will but Thy Will be done." This requires the virtue of a selfless consecration, which has nothing to do with the beliefs and plans of the ignorant self, however long-established, noble or cherished.
If the ego feels good and proud in its knowledge, psychic power, spiritual attainment or influence over others, then imitation spirituality is being practiced, and the true Path is still yet to be found. Most people turn to spirituality in order to attain greater happiness, healing or some meaningful achievement for themselves. However, it is a fact that the separate nature of the ego-self will always struggle and fight to maintain itself when faced with the Truth, the nature of which dissolves all separation and ultimately annihilates the illusion of the separate self altogether. The further along the true Path one progresses, the greater the suffering. Therefore to walk the spiritual path in order to find personal happiness is as absurd as it is impossible, and always results in imitation spirituality. The true pilgrims of the Way are 'men of sorrows': "Suffer little children that come unto Me." - Christ. Nonetheless they are also candidates for Glory and they seek the Truth simply because they are in love with it, not in order to make their separate selves happier, more powerful or to shine in any way. "I wish to reduce myself to zero." - Gandhi. Going the Way of Sanctification entails a unique form of suffering, but this does not mean that if we seek the Truth we will know only misery and suffering. It means that regardless of what arises in our lives as a result of our courting greater Light, we shall remain true, selfless and empty, even if at times what is revealed to us may be hard to bear. As we move closer to the Truth and the Goal of life, our vision will expand and we will see this world for the travesty that it really is, yet still our focus will become ever more impersonally loving, in a way that cannot be fully understood by those who have yet to be initiated into the Divine Mysteries.
A man who has attained a true, spiritual vision will be deeply moved at seeing his brothers and sisters suffering in their own blindness and ignorance, yet he will be unable to help them because they are not yet seeking the true Solution and due to his obedience of the law of non-interference. However, he is able to carry the vision for others until they learn to see it for themselves. His heart will weep for them and be moved to great sadness as he watches his family get lost in the darkness of self, knowing there is nothing he can do for them and that they must learn by way of their own choices, even though he may recognize that those choices must lead to further pain and suffering. It is not until the earnest Seeker finds the true Path himself that he sees how few actually tread it, and so often he finds himself quite alone on his journey as a physical being. Yet imitation spirituality assures us that it is all about 'love and light and joy and happiness', and that if a spiritual path does not make us happy then we are on a false path! Yet this kind of path is for the selfish self; it is trodden with the self in mind in order to gain for the self, and as such is a lie, just one of the many facets of self-seeking fake spirituality. Those who tread this path are often unable to see the world objectively, to see the dire truth of this world and what must come to pass, because it does not please them or support their fear and delusions to do so. And so the blinkers remain on. It is easy to create a self-made bubble of distortion and glamour around ourselves and choose to see what we want to see, to believe only what is most pleasant for us personally, but such a subjective focus only leads to greater error and attachment, and the deeper and the longer this investment is made in self by self, the more difficult it becomes to surrender one's comfortable and familiar illusions. The plain Truth must be seen in its own light, not in a light that pleases us most; things must be seen just as they are before we may begin to truly progress spiritually.
Imitation spirituality, then, most often includes the feel-good factor and is born and maintained for and by the separate self; it usually contains impressive intellectual knowledge, philosophies and ideals, which are unrealized in the heart and so are lacking in any true Spirit-life. Imitation spirituality is marketed and sold to the masses in attractive packaging that appeals to the personal self: "heal your life", "find greater happiness", "empower yourself", "create your own reality", etc., etc. Yet crystals, tinctures, ointments and head knowledge never led a single soul to the Truth, and neither will any unrealized teaching or practice made for self-gain. What is so often overlooked by the hopeful and self-grasping aspirant is that true spirituality has little to do with and is often not pleasant for the ego-self at all, because that self must necessarily surrender to the higher Life and Purpose, so that the inevitable process of self-abnegation and ego-demolition may begin. "I must decrease so that He may increase in me."
One cannot live in two worlds or serve two masters; neither can one be attached to the things of this life while trying to reach the next. In fact, everything must be given up to the Truth if we would walk the Lighted Way that leads to Liberation, and so also be of real spiritual service to others. No one can enter a new spiritual world while still clinging to the old, it is impossible. However, imitation spirituality seeks to do just this very thing, for the separate self. Yet it is the perpetuation and aggrandizement of the separate nature, along with its personal desires and ideas, that preserves and augments the pain and illusions of the very life that imitation spirituality claims to serve. In order to walk the true spiritual Path all that need be sought is how best to give one's separate and illusionary nature in sacrifice to the greater Good for the benefit of all; this is right use - divinely aligned use - of free will. No matter how good one feels and no matter how the self attires itself, it will at some point have to give up all its ideas, opinions, desires and fears in order to allow the One Life to do its work of self-redemption within. Therefore a lover of Truth seeks to stand aside, to remove self from Reality, and to unite with other hearts for the same divine Purpose. For such a true Seeker knows that it is not he personally who may possess or benefit from the Truth, but rather the Universal Spirit itself does, and in his pure love of and devotion to God, that Reality is all he cares about as he seeks uncompromisingly to again become one with it and so dissolve his separate and painful sense of self forever.
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