Written by Wes Annac, The Culture of Awareness
Staying true to the decision I outlined in a recent article, I’d like to start examining some of what’s been said by the prominent spiritual teachers of our past and present about the path of enlightenment. I’m starting to realize the relevance of enlightenment to our spiritual evolution, and as such, I’d like to present as much material about it as I can.
Expect plenty of future reports about enlightenment, life after death, and various other interesting and important subjects, because the mission of the conscious seeker is to spread as much awareness and enlightenment as possible. If I can do this by writing directly about enlightenment and all of the other relevant spiritual subjects, then I’m happy.
Humanity has a lot to learn about the spiritual nature of our existence, and likewise, the conscious public has a lot to learn about the enlightenment path and the best ways to liberate ourselves from the oppressive shackles of this material reality.
We’ve been given a lot of assistance with finding a higher state of consciousness, and we’re going to examine some of that assistance here, but ultimately, the best guidance will be found within. The spiritual teachers whose material we’ll examine here have done and said a lot to help us find enlightenment, but ultimately, we’re our best teachers.
Seeking the truth within is the greatest way to understand it, and hopefully, the material we’ll examine here will help all of you in your respective quests to unlock and understand the sacred truths of our existence. Feel free to meditatively reflect on this material, because personally, I think it has a lot of offer us.
I think it’s very valuable, but of course, it’s only as valuable as we make it.
First, we’re going to focus on the importance of unconditional acceptance to the enlightenment path. As Lao Tzu tells us, acceptance and embracement of all things is essential if we want to enlighten ourselves.
“Those who wish to embody the Tao should embrace all things.
“To embrace all things means first that one holds no anger or resistance toward any idea or thing, living or dead, formed or formless. Acceptance is the very essence of the Tao.
“To embrace all things means also that one rids oneself of any concept of separation: male and female, self and other, life and death. Division is contrary to the nature of the Tao.” (1)
Learning to accept everyone and everything as an essential aspect of our existence will be one of the most difficult things we do, but ultimately, we’ll find that it was worth it.
The mind and ego maintain control by creating inner resistance, but of course, they have to have our approval to do so. If we employ resistance for any reason, that resistance will be returned to us in the form of a blocked spiritual connection.
To find enlightenment, then, it’s paramount that we release any and all resistance that’d keep us on the lower-vibrational path. However difficult it could be, it’s a necessary aspect of finding a higher state of consciousness.
Lao Tzu also tells us that harmony can be found by seeing through the idea that we’re separate from one another.
“Foregoing antagonism and separation, one enters into the harmonious oneness of all things.” (2)
This is one of the more advanced teachings that, again, could be difficult to act on, but once we release all of our tension and resistance, the world opens up for us like never before.
Resistance can only exist in the mind, and by releasing all of our resistance, we actually move out of the mind and into the heart. By releasing our mental tension and letting the divine fill our perception, we open ourselves to the influence of spirit in the greatest way possible.
Not to mention that humanity would benefit immensely if we all released our tension and started loving one another. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone lived together in peace and harmony, instead of resisting this natural peace and fighting endless wars?
Our society would be much different and more sustainable, and with our efforts, this new way of life will be adopted. We have to release our own tension and resistance before we can help the rest of the planet, and the obvious first step to healing the world is healing ourselves.
Thaddeus Golas tells us that unless we accept and love the condition we’re already in, we won’t rise above it.
“You will not be able to rise above your present vibration level to stay until you love the way you are now.” (3)
It’s important to accept the circumstances we currently exist under if we want to move beyond them, and refusing to accept them will only slow our rate of progress and keep us at the level we’re already on. I’m sure most of us don’t want to remain on this level, and yet, we have to accept where we’re at if we want to move beyond it.
Some seekers don’t quite appreciate the reality around them, and they feel like they’d be much more comfortable in a higher state of consciousness. We’d panic if our vibration rose too high for us to handle, however, so we’ll have to accept the stage we’re at along our growth and, in time, excel from it.
Thaddeus also tells us about the importance of accepting everything around us – whether we dualistically perceive it as ‘lower’ or ‘higher’.
“That is all we need to do: Give full, permissive, loving attention to absolutely anything that we see in our minds, in our bodies, in our environment, in other people.” (4)
Everything we perceive is around us for a reason, and everything can teach us an important lesson if we let it. As easy and preferable as it’d be to avoid things we classify ‘lower’, we’ll hold ourselves and the rest of the planet back from our true perceptual potential if we do.
One of the best ways to raise the planetary vibration is to raise our own vibration, and an aspect of doing so is learning to accept and perhaps embrace the ‘lower’ circumstances around us. By practicing unconditional acceptance, we not only raise our own vibration, but that of the rest of the planet. Isn’t that interesting?
Before we move on, I’d like to quickly turn our attention to the apparent spiritual relevance of alcohol. There isn’t a lot of information about its spiritual relevance out there, but the quote we’ll examine stuck out to me and I think it’s worth discussing.
I should point out that I don’t drink, because personally, I see alcohol as something that can inhibit our spiritual development instead of supporting it. Almost anything can be used for a positive purpose, however, and with that in mind, we’ll read this quote from Paramahansa Ramakrishna about the ideal way for a spiritual seeker to consume wine.
“Why should you drink wine as wine? Offer it to Kali, and then take it as Her prasad, as consecrated drink. But see that you don’t become intoxicated; you must not reel and your thoughts must not wander. At first you will feel ordinary excitement, but soon you will experience spiritual exaltation.” (5)
I think this quote’s very interesting, because it displays that even alcohol can have a positive effect on our spiritual development if we use it the right way. I still don’t plan to drink, but those of you who do can perhaps practice Ramakrishna’s recommendation.
Perhaps this is similar to the subject of releasing resistance and learning to accept every aspect of the lower dimensions. Everything’s a facet of the creator, even alcohol, and as strange as it sounds, a lot of things have the potential to help us find a greater state of consciousness.
We just have to know how to use certain things and, in some cases, abstain altogether if we don’t think they’ll be helpful to our growth and development. I’m sure alcohol is both helpful and hurtful to spiritual growth, but like a lot of other things, most people only use it as a crutch that takes the edge off and helps them feel lively in an otherwise dull reality.
- Lao Tzu, Hua Hu Ching. The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu. trans. Brian Walker. San Francisco: Harper, 1992, 5.
- Loc. cit.
- Thaddeus Golas, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment. Palo Alto: 1975; c1971, 18-9.
- Loc. cit.
- Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 49.
Continued in Part 2 tomorrow.