More on The Two Spiritual Goals
My last article about the two spiritual goals (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-two-spiritual-goals.html) led to my receiving a few questions. So I will attempt to clarify here.
“Spiritualizing the self” means using one’s awareness of Truth to better the self’s life in the world. One who does this continues to identify with a self and does not seek to transcend the self. They bring their Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) with them into their work, relationships, etc. to help guide them to a more harmonious life. This is the most common choice for people on a spiritual path. It is always the way for those who are religious rather than spiritual. (Some are both).
I wrote that those who are called to go past the self to Truth are willing to wholly let go of the belief in guilt. This implies that, yes, those who do not transcend the self still believe in guilt. You would not continue to identify with the self unless you valued it. And if it is valuable to you then it is real to you so there is still an unconscious belief in your mind that the Truth has been undone and that you are guilty.
Moreover, spiritualizing the self always involves a sense that form (the self) and Formlessness (Truth) are equally real and interrelated. What one does or does not do as a self affects Truth, so there is an absolute “right” and “wrong” way to be a self. This is the way of religions. This belief, again, unconscious, is how guilt is perpetuated. Those who do not feel called to transcend the self usually have a hard time seeing this guilt. And since they are not motivated to transcend the self they are not motivated to find and undo the belief in guilt.
Those who seek to transcend the self must undo their belief in guilt because guilt is what ties one to the self. It takes a long while for them to be ready to see their belief in guilt because, believing guilt is real, they feel that they would be destroyed if they did see it. However, there comes a time when they are aware enough of Truth as truth to be ready to see that there is no justification for guilt. (My digital book, “Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace” goes into all of this in depth. You can find it at www.amazon.com or www.lulu.com.)
Spiritualizing the self is a little different from a “spiritualized ego”. An ego (personal thought system) is spiritualized when one uses spirituality to glorify the self, as in “I’m a good person because I’m spiritual” or “I’m better than others because I am aware of Truth”, etc. Those who set themselves up as leaders or teachers with special spiritual knowledge not available to others are a clear example of those who spiritualize the ego. New religions are often based on a spiritualized ego. However, spiritualizing the self does not have to result in spiritualizing the ego. You can spiritualize the self without listening to the ego’s pumping up of the self.
As I mentioned in the last week’s article, even those who are called to transcend the self will go through a phase of spiritualizing the self. For them their relationship with the Holy Spirit is not so much about getting answers for a more harmonious life for the self. Yes, that happens, but that’s a nice side-effect, not the goal. Being aware of the Holy Spirit is the goal. In short:
For one whose goal is to spiritualize life for the self the Holy Spirit is the means to a more harmonious life. For one whose goal is to transcend the self, the self’s life in the world is the means to be aware of the Holy Spirit.
Whether one spiritualizes the self or is called to transcend the self is an unconscious choice based on what one truly values. Some simply do not feel called to Truth. The awareness they have that makes life better for the self satisfies them. Therefore, they have no motivation to transcend the self. Once one is aware of Truth the process is going to evolve as far as one is willing. You are always in charge. The Holy Spirit cannot take you further than you are willing to go.
As I said in last week’s article neither way is superior to the other. Both are temporary, or time-bound, and fall away. Nothing one does or does not do in the universe of form has any effect on Truth at all. Truth goes on wholly untouched by it. Another way to say this is Eternity (Timelessness) is wholly unaffected by time. So one’s choice only affects their own experience in time. No part of what is in time “goes on” to Eternity. The Part of your mind that is Part of Eternity is already There. The part of your mind in time falls away, no matter what it has done in time. So there can be no right or wrong choice about the self. There is just what you want to experience in time. And I’ve found that some just don’t want to bother transcending the self. The pain of life in the world does not offset their enjoyment of it. Finding and undoing their belief in guilt involves more fear than they want to confront in themselves. But there are those of us who, having touched Truth, are called to It because we know It is the truth. So how could we be satisfied with what we’ve seen is an illusion? Growing our awareness of Truth to the furthest extent that we can is the only meaningful way that we can think of spending time.
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