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Signposts for the Journey

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In the article titled "It's Down to Us" I wrote that no amount of anyone telling you that you are Spirit in a human body will really cause you to truly believe it unless you discover it for yourself. But how you do it? That’s for you to find out because I have no idea in what direction you will go and where you will start from. There is no one right way, only the way that feels right to you (more of that later).

I offer you a few observations that I wish I had worked out sooner based on what has evolved from my journey which, like everyone else’s, is far from complete. Your experience may be entirely different.

This journey is the shortest and yet can feel like one of the hardest trips to make. The hardest, because there can be a lot of fear and human nature to overcome but wherever you start from it is one that can always be undertaken. It’s also the shortest because the key difference between this journey or any other route to knowledge is that you look inside yourself not out to other people. It’s not about starting from scratch; it’s about remembering what you already know.

When we begin to explore the possibility of who we really are, we usually seek out teachers and sources of information for the truth. We do this because we are conditioned to get the facts from books, scholars and places of education (in other words we believe that truth comes from without not within).

I was an engineer/control freak when I first immersed myself in this “mumbo jumbo” and so I felt deeply uncomfortable about believing any of it. Like a lot of people I searched for the undeniable, absolute and non-negotiable truth about life, the universe and everything.  However, I realised that when we explore who we really are, many of the usual ways of gaining “knowledge” go out of the window because they simply don’t work. It’s a bit like applying the rules for living on land to fish.

The kinds of things we begin to examine include the truth of the life we have led and the choices we have made. The truth of our relationships and our need to know who was right or wrong in our past. We want to know whether we really are spiritual beings on a human path or whether we are deluding ourselves in order to feel better about life. We have to get over the need for undeniable proof because spirituality is an exercise of the heart not the head. There are people in your life that you love with total certainty but try proving it to someone else. Any evidence you provide could be seen as easily faked and circumstantial. In many ways, getting one’s mind out of the way is the key to the way forward.

I see this need for “truth” constantly and it can really hold us back until our expectations are reframed in the context of spirituality. Some of the “truths” that do exist don’t feel like certainty at all and all the while you hang on to conventional thinking it can leave you pulling your hair out sometimes. For instance, we get to decide what the truth is. What you choose to learn from your life experiences can be very different from another who has, broadly speaking, been through the same things. You get to choose whether you see the gift or the curse in the experience.
Truth is an ever changing viewpoint and depends on where we are in our growth process. It’s like everyone looking out of their bedroom window, describing what they see and then saying that is how the world is.

My view is that you will never find the answers that will truly satisfy you in a book. You will never be at peace with who you are by listening to a teacher or going to workshops. Don’t get me wrong, all of them can be useful if not essential, especially at the beginning, because they can challenge the way you’ve always thought and acted and get things moving.

But in order to really “get it” it has to come from inside you. You have to feel it. If you were in a line of people and I told you to love the person on your left, you could pretend to do it and who knows you may even have some genuine feelings in time but it won’t feel right because it didn’t come from you. I will have told you to do it rather than it coming from a heartfelt desire.

You can only absorb what you are ready to at the time. Read the books and listen to people but accept and take on only what feels right to you now and don’t be afraid to discard what you can’t accept in that moment. That goes for any or all of what I have written here too. As your vibration rises, your truth will evolve and change too. In time you will move to another “house” and have a different bedroom window to look out of. Your truth will change; get used to it.

You cannot know all there is to know and some things are probably unknowable because of the need to exist in this time frame while we are human and other limitations that come from living in a physical world.

You can travel all around the world and meet many great and wise people in the world but any teacher worth his or her salt should be teaching you one thing and that is to find your own answers from within. Maddening I know, but the only real way. The closest source of truth is inside you: your Spirit. Don’t idolise teachers. Be thankful for them but realise that you are exactly the same as them.

I found that making time in my life to be quiet and for contemplation was essential. Just sitting quietly and being still and noticing what comes into my mind and letting it go again without judgement or dwelling on it. Meditate if you can but don’t make it a big deal and give up because you didn’t reach perfection in the first two minutes. Some prefer the discipline of a group and someone to guide them through the meditation while others, like me, prefer it to be a solitary experience. They are different experiences so find which you prefer. The more you get used to being still, the easier it gets in time. It is something that I'm still adapting to. Do it for no reason other than just doing it. If you do it with the intention of getting something or feeling something, you will miss the experience entirely.

It’s important because you need to develop the ability to follow your inner guidance (your intuition). It is constantly and subtly communicating with you but we tend to drown it out and act on logic alone. In time you will notice what feels right for you and what doesn’t, without really knowing why or having any way of explaining it to someone else. You don’t have to justify it to anyone either. Part of the journey is having the courage to act on the feeling. Learn to do things that attract you rather than because you feel you “should” do them. Logic has its place but it often needs to take a back seat in this area. This is why someone who isn't consciously on their journey can't make sense of it or will even ridicule it (expect that too and get over it)

The same goes with looking for books, teachers and healers and many other things. You more you do this, you more you will notice that things seem to happen for you when they should and what you need comes to you just at the right time. Accept it and take advantage of what is presented to you.

I also wish I’d known that what I need isn’t the same as what I want and that negative experiences are positive experiences in the end if I look for the gift they bring.

However, I also found that it’s easy to confuse our intuition with our emotional issues. What looks like guidance to steer clear from something can be our fear of getting involved coming up. No matter how in tune or, conversely, lacking awareness you are, you live in a human body with all the limitations and opportunities that brings. Inevitably, your spiritual reality will be viewed through a human lens. This lens will be clouded or clarified by many things especially at the beginning. These include your emotional make up, your belief systems created by your life experiences and your current understanding of reality. In other words, the human in you will be in the way of the spiritual you. All your accumulated unresolved fears, unforgiven hurts and angers will seriously get in the way of your spiritual growth. Deal with them (quick plug for EFT here!). It is no coincidence that, almost without exception, those that work on their emotions grow spiritually as a natural by-product of reducing fear in their lives.

The journey to your truth can be as simple or as complicated as you like. We can give technical names or labels to our issues and rationalise them with complex analysis if we want.
However, essentially, the journey is all about moving away from fear and going through our blocks to loving ourselves and each other. It’s about taking responsibility for our lives and letting go of others so they can do the same for themselves. It’s about finding out how powerful we are without wielding power over others. It’s about connecting to our infinite capacity to love and forgive, both ourselves and others and letting it into our lives.

Enjoy the ride, there’s really nothing quite like it.


© Phil Grant unless otherwise attributed