People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Often without wanting to, we are cast onto the path of soul expansion. Like you, I have wandered these paths and have at times wound up lost and confused.
For this reason, I find it useful to map out the spiritual journey in a way that helps the human mind know where it is, and where it will go next. In many traditions and mythologies, these three worlds correspond to the different realms of Self. The Upper World is the home of Spirit, the Underworld the home of Souls, and the Middle World is the home of the physical body and human ego.
Different practices and techniques are used in each of the three realms to help us spiritually mature and rediscover joy, peace and wholeness. In our everyday lives, we function within the middle world. The middle world is responsible for our ego development, and yet many people on the spiritual path ignore this vital element of inner growth. Without developing a healthy personality, our spiritual growth reaches a dead end.
The Three Worlds of the Spiritual Journey
In life, we all begin within the middle world, or physical realm. As children and teenagers we go through various years of personality change and growth. Finally, as adults, we all have developed unique personalities. Yet many of us fail to continue our self-development, getting lost in corporate jobs and the pursuit of money, status and fame. The goal of the middle world path is to develop a healthy personality, or ego. Tasks involved in this process involve the exploration of core emotional wounds, self-love , and the cultivation of authenticity.
A healthy adult ego will be able to love freely, be vulnerable, express creativity, and display empathy towards others. We cannot develop a healthy personality by using techniques from the Upper or Under World such as meditation or shadow work. Instead, we must use techniques that pertain to ego development and healing such as assertiveness training, non-violent communication techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP, and other psychological avenues of self-development. Our Soul is the vital, mysterious and wild core of our individual selves.
It is a unique essence in each of us that goes deeper than our personalities.
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Think of the Soul as one of many streams that runs back to the ocean of Spirit, or one of many unique clouds in the endless sky of Spirit. Our Souls contain our heartfelt purposes, unique meanings, gifts, and the ultimate significance of our individual lives. To access these deep layers and qualities we must descend into the Under World of our unconscious minds.
This has been done through the establishment of comfortable, predictable and clockwork lives that revolve around material pleasures and shallow values. Only Shamanic cultures and a few Western mystical schools like Hermeticism and Alchemy have dedicated themselves to exploring the Under World. The descent into the Under World has been so feared and avoided because it is a perilous journey. Yet despite the fact that the Under World journey can be such a harrowing and haunting experience, it is ultimately a powerful odyssey.
Only by descending into our personal Under Worlds can we truly come to terms with our true life callings, talents, gifts, and deepest values. Under World, or soulwork techniques, include practices that allow us to access altered states of consciousness.
We enter the path of ascent into the Upper World when we learn to surrender our ego identification known as ego death and soul identification. Ultimately, we not only intellectually understand that everything is One, but we experience it at a core level.
Spiritual Journey: 3 Sacred Paths to Reclaiming Your Divinity ⋆ LonerWolf
At this point, we are free from the illusion of having a separate self. This has also been commonly referred to as the state of Enlightenment. This permanent shift of consciousness is about merging with the Infinite, Divine, Eternal and Absolute. When the darker and more down-to-earth elements of self-growth are ignored, the result is imbalanced and unhealthy individuals.
As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs. What is a spiritual journey? William Stillman. Health Education. Deepak Chopra. A spiritual journey can be understood by using an airplane as an example. Imagine a passenger on an airplane who doesn't know that flight exists. As the plane takes off he panics, thinking such thoughts as "What's holding us up? What if this plane is too heavy? Air weighs nothing, and this whole plane is made of steel! In the cockpit the pilot feels more in control because he's been trained to fly.
If you're new to the idea of the ego which is essentially a bunch of ideas and issues blended together to create your idea of who you are , please check out a few of my ego blog posts too:. Beware the Spiritual Ego. If there's anything that any spiritual beginner absolutely should know, it's this. Take it one breath at a time. And then keep coming back to your breath. The breathe keeps you in the here and now. Your breath is always in the present moment.
It can never be anywhere else, and you cannot wait to breathe. If you do, then you die. The more deeply and evenly you can breathe, the more your body stays relaxed.
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The more relaxed you are, the more you can figure out how to handle any situation--easy or difficult. You are also less likely to hold onto pain or difficult moments that trigger you. Through your breathing, you can also learn to better understand how you get triggered and what that trigger is really all about. Because an argument with your girlfriend may seem like the cause of your upset, it is rarely the root cause of the upset feelings inside of you. Core issues are powerful. They're usually combinations of heart, body, mind, and spirit with multiple facets in your life.
A core issue may be something like the belief of: "I am unlovable. In this way, learning to delve into core issues is a lesson in patience.
Spiritual Journey: 3 Sacred Paths to Reclaiming Your Divinity
It's this paradoxical spiritual truth that we are already perfect as we are, and when we allow ourselves to simply be, we naturally move deeper into any pain or issue that we're holding onto. This last part is where patience is needed to allow ourselves to grow. Our spiritual growth moves in its own time once we make space for it, and spiritual growth arises most powerfully when we accept ourselves as we are.
That's really the most important part. Because if you don't accept yourself and are trying to fix yourself through "spirituality," then you are actually acting out the belief of "I am unlovable. They are looking for a perfect soulmate to complete them. They are looking for a purpose to life or a meaning to make themselves feel better. But the only real way to be at peace is to go towards the core issue--not to act them out and try to appease them.
These nasty little dictators will never be appeased. Uncovering Core Issues. Obviously, I'm a spiritual teacher, but I don't teach everyone. I am also not the right teacher for everyone. It also may not be time for you to work with a spiritual teacher such as myself.