For lasting spiritual change, we need to see and understand ourselves. What sees is consciousness, it is what perceives, and is essentially what we are. To understand ourselves we need to look within and study how we think and feel and that is called self-observation.
Consciousness is what’s actually spiritual within and it has an innate drive to awaken, but there are also subconscious parts of the psyche that work against its awakening and are contrary to spirituality.
Most people are unaware of them and yet they exert a grip and control over the psyche that is mostly unseen. These subconscious states are opposed to spiritual transformation. If you want to awaken, you will have to see, understand and remove them.
If you don’t see them, they will have control over you beyond your comprehension. If you don’t understand them, they will likewise ensnare you regardless of what you think about them.
Although you may be aware and relatively quiet in the present moment for a short time, the various psychological states, such as fear, pride, greed, lust, anger, depression, worries, stress, tension, and so on, which are referred to as egos, will arise to rob you of your awareness and quietude.
Some of these are disabling and unpleasant. If you want to make inner spiritual progress and change, you need to be able to observe and get rid of them, which is a slow and gradual process, but as you do, you are fundamentally changing within.
Everyone has different kinds of circumstances within their life, with many psychological challenges. To see how you respond to the events and challenges of your life, observe within and see what’s going on. Get to a point where you are just aware, clear, and have no high or low states. Unpleasant or excited thoughts, feelings, and emotions are obstacles to love and inner peace.
Changing ideas is not enough and positive thinking is of very little value if inside, one is fundamentally full of evil. Likewise no matter how many times a person can astral project, it is of little value if they are egocentric within.
The Alternatives – Inner Silence, Peace and Enlightenment
Negative states are completely out of place if we want to be silent and perceive the beauty of the world around us. If you have an aware moment of silence and clarity which the ego states have no part in, you can find a sense of peace, even if it’s momentarily.
It’s also possible to have inner silence during the activities of daily life, but that takes a lot of inner study for it to happen consistently. In the process of enlightenment the sense of inner peace irradiates ever greater from the consciousness and it permeates the psyche with its emanations.
But enlightenment requires sacrifices, on a day to day basis that often involves sacrificing lower states for higher ones, and sacrificing some time to help another. Something lower is always sacrificed for something higher to take place.
What we acquire on the journey to enlightenment is hidden from view to everybody else, it is non-physical and cannot be seen from the physical, it is only known in its own root and kind. Thus it is not valued by society, which places its values amongst the material and the persuasive, such as good jobs, fame, prestige, celebrity, comfort, entertainment, pleasure, and so on.
Many people often don’t even appreciate the respect, goodness, and love that is given to them because their inner state is too low to register these qualities in others, and many live in what’s probably most accurately described as an animal state. People like this regard those higher qualities as weakness and even look down on them, when in fact those qualities belong to higher principles and spiritual realms. It a pity that as a society, genuine spiritual things are seldom valued.
To lead a spiritual life requires action, thinking about it is just a first step, but if you only think and do very little you will accomplish very little. To be awakened can mean an awakening in ideas, but the awakening of consciousness is a spiritual process that is the result of spiritual practices and exercises.
The most fundamental exercise is self-observation, which is the catalyst for inner change, it will give self-knowledge and a clear mind and perception. Without it, the attempt to reach enlightenment and awaken consciousness is destined to fail.
Feel the value in a moment of silence, how it’s better than feeling negative states. The hedonistic pursuit of pleasure brings pain, but inner silence brings nothing negative. The silence you find can become a spark of light that may one day guide you toward the all-encompassing light of enlightenment.
It’s not possible to be in awareness and inner peace all the time while there are ego states within, as we need opposition and struggle to be able to see them, and we have to experience their inner darkness to gain self-knowledge and learn from the school of life; that’s why the subconscious and the egos exist.
Living a spiritual life and awakening consciousness is difficult and when you go to advance spiritually you take a step in the dark where you can’t see what’s ahead, but if you take the step, that light of inner silence and peace can guide you.
When you are immersed in beauty and love, when you feel life permeating every cell of your body, when you feel that you are resting in peace and you feel this peace wherever you are and in whatever you are doing, you know that this is worth fighting for.
At the Bunya Mountains retreat. Australia, 2007