"We are not Human Beings having a Spiritual experience; but Spiritual Beings having a human experience."
Pierre Teilard de Chardin
The Spiritual Path is where one seeks an understanding about, and union with, the Universe and God. This path is also known as The Great Work, or Opening of the Dragon, for it is one’s endeavor to find Enlightenment. It is to evolve one's consciousness through various practices and or teachings. The path is scattered with lessons and experiences that teach the individual about life, their place in it and how to find their true self.
The start of the journey is easy enough: visiting websites like this and others is an indication you are searching. The Universe listens to every word, thought and emotion we have. When you ask the Universe (God) for help, the Universe will respond by showing you signs (some people call these coincidences) that the Universe heard you and is answering the call. Situations, events and occurrences seemingly unrelated, will start to happen which, in fact are pointing in a specific direction to help you on your path. This is also known as synchronicity.
Sometimes the signs can be very subtle and sometimes obvious. The Universe will show you signs in a language that you understand. You will see, hear, smell or feel certain things when you ask a question either in your mind or out loud. Try to be open-minded and attentive and look out for patterns of things that are emerging in your life. These will be the Universe's attempts to communicate with you.
The Spiritual Path is not a trend, popular game or current musings of the day and is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Once you have declared that you wish to travel the Spiritual Path the Universe will guide your life through experiences, both good and bad, and you will experience a vast range of emotions before you're through, these may well include some of your worst fears. Be determined and strong willed as the Universe is trying to help you to sever emotional and mental attachments to this realm of existence thereby releasing and liberating you. The Path will be inspiring, humbling and exciting and you will definitely be amazed at the wonder of it all
While the real goal of the spiritual path is the same for all, there are many different roads that one can travel. Many spiritual travellers will not expect to reach their goal in this present lifetime, while others may realize that they do not really need to travel anywhere.
Some of the well known roads are the different forms of Yoga, the Tao, meditation, the Gnostic teachings, the Ageless Wisdom and various ancient and modern day Mystery Schools. While the Mystics are generally regarded as a distinct group, they really travelled each on his or her own individual path. At present, Ascension teachings, through books and channelled guidance attract many followers. These teachings are largely individualised outgrowths from the writings of the Theosophical Society that have been around since the end of the nineteenth century.
Looked at from a different perspective, we may say that there are two different approaches that often intermingle in each individual spiritual path. One is the path of the Doer or the Magus, while the other is the path of the Knower or the Mystic. The Doer mainly works in the world as a healer, alchemist or white magician, trying to master the non-physical energies and forces. The Mystic, on the other hand, follows mainly the inner path, seeking Union with the Divine Self and in the process becomes a Knower and a teacher. However, ultimately Knower and Doer both become one. One can also relate this to religious philosophies, Eastern Philosophy tends to concentrate on an inner path to find enlightenment and the Western Philosophy tends to concentrate on an outer path which would encompass religious doctrines and practices.
When choosing your path always use your heart and intuition to guide you. There are many who will distract you or attempt to lead you down another path. No one else can do your work for you, others can only guide you and give you advice and words of wisdom so that you can make your own choices. Ego has many ways of misleading you into believing something that is not so. True spiritual teachers of the path, gurus, mystics and sages that you encounter will always come from a place of understanding, compassion and love. I have provided a favorite spiritual links page of some individuals that I personally can attest to, though you may find many others of similar stature.
Below are the Four Noble Truths and Eight-Fold Path from ancient Buddhist teachings.The early teaching and traditional understanding is that these are an advanced teaching for those who are ready for them.The Eight-Fold path is the way leading to the cessation of suffering and self awakening.I present them here for your thought provoking consideration.
Four Noble Truths
There is suffering
There is a cause of suffering
There is a cessation of suffering
There is the Eight-Fold path leading to the cessation of suffering
1. Right understanding (Right View)
2. Right thinking (Right Intent)
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration