Begin the pilgrimage. Go out to various truth centers. Explore the main different paths of the world. Find out what they have to share. Compare. Contrast. Ask. Think. Be a humble seeker.
As you seek higher awareness, you will meet a number of the finest people in the world. Those who have experienced higher consciousness in no way wish to limit or delay you in your quest. They consider themselves your brothers and sisters and will do whatever they can to help you find and stay on your path. They will encourage you. At night they will be praying for you. They will delight in your further growth and in your steadfastness toward your goal. Then, too, when you succeed, they will simply look at you and they will know that you have found the pearl of great price, the treasure of treasures.
As you progress, you will form deeply satisfying relationships. Friendships with people of kindred spirit are most precious. You will very likely begin to form a number of lifelong friendships. You will never forget those who helped you begin your quest. You will never forget their love and good will, their cheerfulness and genuine wisdom. Your new friends will share their experiences with you, inspiring you through troubled times and fair.
Go to bookstores. Buy dozens of books. Read widely. Feel free to disagree with what you read. Feel free to agree also. Notice which books feed your mind and heart most but, above all, maintain your joy and your focus on higher consciousness. It’s important to be a discriminating reader, not a foolish one. You have to be alert for substance and inspiration, avoiding sheer fantasy. However, in avoiding fantasy you can also become too skeptical. Strive to experience what you read as a whole person — spiritually and emotionally, as well as mentally. Just remember, nothing can satisfy the unenlightened mind when it’s on a doubting spree.
Remember not to spend all your spare time reading. Your body needs exercise. Your emotions need attention. Your spirit needs prayer and meditation. Don’t overdevelop your mind while ignoring the rest of you — as many people who become strange do. In maintaining wholeness and inner harmony, you will enable your higher consciousness to help you sift through and evaluate whatever you read.
Travel. Visit. Attend services. Go to temples, mosques, synagogues. Look into New Thought churches and the marvelous mainstream churches which are often ignored and which have so much to contribute to one who has a humble and genuine yearning. Never visit these places only to take. A taking attitude forestalls any progress whatever on the path. Your path will involve giving in one way or another. When you visit these different places, give of yourself. Be generous in your contribution. Be generous in sharing your voice and your attention. To sit as a skeptic in judgment upon others reflects extraordinary immaturity and most likely presages failure on the path; you are not strong enough yet to make it.
“Go forward. Have fun. Keep up your momentum. It’s possible that years will be spent readying yourself for your true teacher. But these years are so precious and must be wisely used. Your enthusiasm and joy will tend to wane when the possibilities of higher consciousness are no longer blazingly new to your mind and heart. Pressures of mundane life will tend to take you away from your intensity and your enthusiasm. Keep alive. Stay alive. Sample happily and well. Enjoy to the full the beginning you are making, for a good beginning is perhaps as much as twenty-five percent of the entire quest. A good beginning gives you momentum. With proper study and mature consideration of the views of others you will gain the balance and the insight necessary to be ready to grow most rapidly when your Teacher appears.
We’ve already mentioned the many fakes in the world. They are encamped alongside the numerous spiritual paths, especially. In a world where millions of young people will adore and acclaim rock musicians as sovereigns of their hearts and minds, it isn’t surprising that many “spiritual fakes” captivate large audiences too.
Just as musicians, movie actors, and great public personalities strive to find out what people want and then become well-paid experts in fulfilling that great public need (however adolescent it may be), spiritual fakes find the U.S.A. and other technologically developed, but spiritually naive countries, lands of great opportunity. You must keep your eyes open as you search for true fulfillment.
One young lady wished to know the art of spiritual belly dancing and if belly dancing would improve the flows of energy in her spine, thus enabling her to experience higher consciousness. Her instructor, after teaching the basic moves, required that she dance around the room and then he detoured her into his bedroom. Similarly, another young lady sought initiation from a famous guru — at least that is what he was called. He advised her to come that evening for her initiation. When she arrived he seduced her — as she perplexedly cooperated. She has been undergoing extensive psychoanalysis for years.
Fakes are a part of the way of the world today — in so many fields — so you have the added challenge of maintaining your joy and good will as you sift through occasional fakes to find a true teacher or genuine devotees. When someone seeks to take advantage of you, move on quickly.
It’s pretty much up to you whether you will respond to fakes and challenges in a loving, strong, mature way. If you have what it takes, you will not throw your life away because of the delusions of another person.
A Marvelous Time
This is a marvelous time in your life. The beginning of your quest will demonstrate to you how much goodness abides in the world, and how many millions of kind and dedicated people there are. You will begin to find that you feel at home in the presence of devotees of different paths. You’ll have more optimism for the future of the world because these fine people are forces for good, are excellent examples of what human life can be. You’ll admire them and how they maintain their values and goals while performing their various callings in the world. Carpenters, housewives, executives, students — they occupy most every profession with love and a sweet, kindly distinction. They are generally very good in their particular professions, too, because they’re able to bring so much of their higher consciousness into their daily work. Also, their family lives reflect profound idealism.
You will also meet people who are on the spiritual path by default. They’re not endeavoring to grow or contribute anything to their paths, nor are they planning to put aside their fantasies and actually experience the higher consciousness. They’re on the path to higher consciousness because they find tolerance and acceptance. They find forgiveness and a sense of worth. They often find financial and other help as well. They have temporarily escaped from their responsibilities and from their problems. Love them. Your love is powerful and helps people change.
Choosing Your Path
Do you want to go forward? Keep the aforementioned points in mind. Maintain your joy and your enthusiasm. They’re of tremendous benefit. Further, the path you’re seeking must suit your nature. It must fit and harmonize with your attributes. You should consider whether you are dominantly a thinking person, an emotional person, or a person who is most comfortable in the development of the will nature. The path you seek must enable you a greater realization of your true nature and show you how to express that nature in your daily life as higher consciousness unfolds.
Also, the path you choose must meet your needs. It must enable you to become more conscious, and to give of yourself in a way that transforms you. You must also be able to receive from your path the inspiration, encouragement, knowledge, and the help you need in order to go forward. Your path must help you to clarify and improve your sense of values. You must be enabled, through your path, to grow regularly. It must help you to go forward and unfold into new dimensions of awareness, love, and well being. It must be this dynamic. If you’re not growing, you’re going in the opposite direction. In fact, you’re actually dying.
“Your path must also encourage your moral sense to become more clarified and mature. It must strengthen your moral nature and not tear it down. Your path must help you overcome character flaws and enable you to become a better person.
Whatever path you choose, it must have the characteristics listed above. If you cannot find these characteristics in your path at present, look more deeply. If you look deeply and still do not find the necessary factors for fulfillment, continue your search — travel on.
As you walk your path, or run along it, never let your precious joy slip away. If (shudder) you happen to check yourself for joy some morning and find it missing, spend each day realigning your life with your early joy. The exuberance of your beginning will prevail.
We ask you to commit two hours a week to selfless service. This service can be anything you choose ranging from helping a family member or neighbor to volunteering at a nonprofit organization.
This commitment is solely between you and your inner self.
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