Spiritual University: Finding a Path

by stewart

Each person’s journey is individual and on an inner level collective. Meaning that the sequence of learning experience varies according to the person, the time and their higher not emotional needs. This sequence is established by the Teaching, the teacher and the path.  It is a sequence that originates from another dimension; has Baraka or grace attached to it and operates within its own rules.

In our time many are searching for a path that will bring them fulfillment.  In this respect the search is similar to other cultures and times. However because of the present societal emphasis upon the role of the individual and the importance of individual assertion; many believe they can pick and choose a path like they are shopping for a new car. Having specific requirements and are looking for the right deal or fit.

Many seek a path that will be fulfilling in a manner as defined by them.  They want learning experiences to “make them whole, peaceful, happy and connected to the larger universe.”  People are free to want these things and establish their own learning criteria. However authentic paths do not necessarily adhere to this structure. The path has its own criteria that the student must meet. The path exists to fulfill a function and is secondarily concerned about the student’s emotional fulfillment.

In this understanding the traveler is usually lacking. Often insisting upon emotional stimuli; a true path cannot meet and unaware there may be other criteria necessary for learning. For example, the path exists to teach the student how to quiet emotional stimuli and bring forward inner latent capacity.  This capacity will not operate under conditions where the student is overly concerned about feeling happy or peaceful. The student must be able to push aside for a time this need for specific stimuli.  Usually beginning students do not realize they have defined their search mostly in emotional terms.

Because this need may not be conscious or the student may be unable to minimize their need for emotional excitement without further work; what is generally provided by authentic paths is education about the matter. For some beginners, there have been instances where this criterion was not used, however, statements like the following may be offered instead of instruction. “You are not ready for what we have to offer. You cannot control your need for emotional fulfillment, excitement and must learn to minimize this need before we can work with you.”

Instead of fully examining this diagnosis, what happens is an emotional response at being ‘rejected.’  Yet this learning statement simply points out a requirement necessary for entrance into study.

In all complex learning systems, the entrance criteria are subtle and refined.  Ultimately being set by the Teacher and dependent upon what is being taught.  Consider the skills necessary for the surgeon before performing ‘brain surgery’ and what educational preparation is required before working on a human brain. Here the requirements are similarly complex.

When the student is ready, the teacher will call to the student. At this point, the student will feel a need to present them self for admittance.  All prospective students are observed for the necessary qualities. This evaluation is ongoing and occurs on many levels.  Usually the prospective student is unaware it is occurring.

Because we are dealing with the ‘original classroom without walls,’ students can be observed and evaluated at a great distance.  Most often, it is not as mysterious as this and the evaluation occurs while the potential student is in close proximity.

A question arises concerning what prospective students can do or how they should prepare themselves while waiting to begin formal study.

  • Examine assumptions about readiness for this type of learning.
  • Develop sincerity concerning motives and why one is interested in higher consciousness.
  • Lead a balanced life. Fulfilling minimum requirements necessary for the social structure in which you live.
  • Consider that much of your responses to this endeavor are emotionally/excitement laden and may be the door that is in your own way.
  • Familiarize yourself with the body of work by Idries Shah.
  • Associate with people who have something to offer about the inner journey.  These people will present themselves as ordinary and not strange. Being the type of people you could bring home for dinner without concern- they are not ‘strange.’
  • Pray morning and evening to fulfill your higher destiny and the higher destiny of the universe.  Talk to your Higher self and talk to God about your life and journey.
  • Remember in this matter it is a question of love. The lovers who wish to serve are accepted.  Love is never an easy path.

Finally after reviewing this list of requirements, the traveler may become discouraged and wonder is it worth all this trouble?  Surely there must be an easier way. These requirements are just to get started.

In this journey it is a matter of burning love. Those who reach journey’s end are those who have to travel.  For them there is no other choice.  They must reach the object of their love or perish.

*          *

In some respect, part of our lives is spent waiting like passengers in a train station.  Some pass the time by studying the people around them.  Others engage in conversation, working on their computers, reading or sleeping.  Some busy themselves with their work schedule, while others consider the mechanics of engine and cars.

Rare is the individual who can grasp the workings of an entire transportation system and how it was created by the collective energy of thousands of people over hundreds of years.  Rare is the individual who can describe how the system serves as a source of social, political and economic activity for a region or nation.

Rarer still is the individual who can foresee a disaster and intervene by altering factors and harmonizing their effect.  This view of the function of things and the capacity to modify factors is called by some the higher consciousness.  It is the birthright of humanity and is available if you search and are taught to use it.

*          *

Over the years, many realize school and learning is not the same thing.  While some grow to love learning, often school is dull and repetitious.

School is a preparation for life: while learning is what life is about.

*          *

No one believes unless they have proof.

This proof must be in the form of personal experience.

May your seeking be rewarded

With the caress of Higher Knowledge.


Check-out my two books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream.  Both books are also in Kindle format and available on Amazon.com or local bookstore.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject, universal mysticism and Sufism contact: drbitkoff@yahoo.com.

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