Further Conversations with Morya and Mark

Further Conversations with Morya and Mark

This web page contains practical advice inspired by Morya, Mark, and Elizabeth on how to advance our soul’s evolution on earth. Their advice addresses the following topics:

Commitment to Doing Goodwill

Feel, and then Be, Responsible for All Things

Don’t Ask too Many Questions

Fill Empty Spaces with Something

It Is Your Love for God that Will Save You

The Psychology of Soul Integration

We Sin, We Ask for Forgiveness, and We Go On

We Can Know What God Is Only When We Become Spiritual Beings

The Need for Moral Courage

We Need the Heavenly Hosts More Than They Need Us

With a Little Spiritual Effort on Our Part, the Rewards of Heaven Can Flow to Us

If the Messenger Is an Ant, Heed It

Heed the Warnings from Heaven

Being an Instrument of the Holy Spirit

There Is No Need to Pick Up Every Gauntlet

In Patience, Possess Ye Your Soul

Aligning Duty with Personal Behavior

Gain Control of Your Imagination

Do Not Lose Sight of God in Your Wisdom

Know the Identity of Spiritual Beings

Sufficient Unto the Day Is the Evil Thereof

Take What God Has Given You and Do Something Good with It

It Is in the Striving that We Overcome

You Have to Possess Something before You Give It Away

Knowing God’s Will through the Character of One’s Own Inner Quality

First Comes Intentions, then Comes Results

There Are Infinite Ways to Experience God

Work to Reveal the Higher Potential in Everything

Learn to Love to Do Well, and You Shall

Working with the Brotherhood

Heart, Head, and Hand

Freedom and Responsibility in Personal and Social Life

You Can’t Do Everything by Yourself

The Power of Forgiveness

Do Your Duty

Using the Power of the Spoken Word

Excellence and Goodwill as Goals and Standards for Individuals and Society

God’s Reason and God’s Practicality

The Metamorphosis of the Embodied Soul

Let the Holy Spirit Guide You

What Is the “Spirit” of the Great White Brotherhood?

The Spiritual Hierarchy Personifies God to Man

Don’t Be Blinded by Your Lesser Ego

How to Find a Trustworthy Spiritual Teacher

The Relationship Between the Character of the Soul, Inner Quality, and True Self

Dharma, Mission, Karma, and Duty

Commitment to Doing Goodwill

Everyone has heard the admonitions to be good, to follow the character of your soul, to serve the will of God, and to fulfill your duty and mission in life. These suggestions are all true. The difficulty human beings sometimes have in following this sound advice is uncertainty as to what is good, what is the character of one’s soul, what is the will of God, and what are one’s duty and mission life.

Knowledge of these things are accessible to the mind and heart of all mankind; however, to gain that knowledge requires a certain level of spiritual understanding. This spiritual understanding can be taught by word and example, yet to have that understanding become part of one’s world view necessitates an internal maturation of one’s outer consciousness.

The timing and steps in that process of maturation can be different for each person. Some people seem to be born with an innate spiritual understanding and some people seem to lack that understanding completely. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, and as we age in life we hopefully gain in spiritual maturity bit by bit.

One technique that can be used to help bridge the gap between knowing what is good and not always being sure of its meaning is to follow the simple guideline of being committed to act, think, and feel with the intention of doing goodwill. There are a few caveats here.

First, goodwill is an intention not to harm, whereas good is a moral virtue. It is generally easier to act with the intention of goodwill than it is to act with moral certitude as to what good is.

Second, relevancy is important. Most of our activities do not require a moral judgement as to their correctness. Packing the car for a family vacation might require sound judgement but does not require moral judgement.

Third, commitment to doing goodwill is essential over the long-term. Commitment is a free will determination to do something under all circumstances to the best of our ability. Commitment can be weak or strong; however, it is always linked to our free will and determination to act in a certain way. As human beings, we have a natural ability both to control our level of commitment and to identify what we are committed to.

The world is a complex place, and moral certainty is not always present. Following the guideline of always doing one’s best to act with goodwill will not harm the soul’s evolution and will, with a committed effort and over time, greatly advance one’s understanding of what is the higher good in a specific situation.

Feel, and then Be, Responsible for All Things

Being committed to goodwill is part of a shift in consciousness from human self-centeredness to a divine sense of selflessness. It is a long process and one that will evolve naturally as the soul matures in material and spiritual dimensions.

Part of that process is for the individual soul in embodiment to develop a sense of responsibility that gradually expands from self, to family, to friends and neighbors, to tribe and nation, to culture and global awareness. The process of gradually expanding one’s sense of responsibility is not a political agenda. It is an expanded sense of identity — starting with oneself and eventually encompassing all things.

The first phase of this process is to begin to feel a certain responsibility for the well-being of others. This often is reflected initially by a genuine concern over the proper evolution of life and nature, without excessive external interference or avoidable harm. Gradually, this concern evolves into a sense of wanting to do what one can to alleviate world pain on an individual and collective level. You begin to feel a responsibility to help make things right when possible.

The second phase of expanding one’s sense of responsibility is a desire to acquire the skill and knowledge necessary to make a positive difference in the world. This acquisition in turn leads to a motivation to act. The particular skill or contribution one offers is largely subject to individual free will and the character and experience of one’s soul. The impact of one’s actions can vary enormously, depending upon the circumstances. Generally, there is a natural refinement of one’s skills and contributions over time and a gradual expansion of the scope of one’s impact.

It is important to keep in mind that these responsibilities and their associated feelings and actions can be applied to virtually any dimension of human life: material or spiritual, body or soul, mind or emotions. Thus, one person’s sense of responsibility and action may be reflected in prayer and meditation, another’s in professional activity of some sort, another’s in science or teaching, another’s in the environment, culture, or nation building.

From the perspective of the soul’s evolution, it is helpful if this process of feeling and acting responsibly becomes part of daily life.

Don’t Ask too Many Questions

The human mind is a wonderful instrument for the discovery and interpretation of new things. The mind’s reasoning capability is especially valuable for the evolution of mankind’s understanding. However, the rational mind has its limitations and we ought not to allow these limitations to restrict our understanding of realities that may be beyond our past or present experience.

The primary limitation of the rational mind is that it can best order our knowledge and experience within the confines of the observable universe. In other words, our rational mind can devise laws of physics and mathematical systems to describe models of reality within the range of what we have experienced and the paradigms or structure of reality we have accepted as being true or probable. In short, the rational mind works best in the known universe; it has difficulty categorizing and explaining unknown universes or unperceived dimensions of reality.

The human mind is able to use imagination, intuition, and inspiration to “visit” these unexplored horizons of reality. And that is the purpose of these non-rational capabilities of the mind. However, the utility of these non-rational capabilities can be restricted too much by the rational mind, which uses logic and reason to evaluate and judge the validity of the mind’s more subtle perceptions based on imagination, intuition, and inspiration.

This is why, when one is attempting to explore and understand other dimensions of reality, the asking of too many rational questions can get in the way of new insights. The rational mind has a conception of reality which, like concrete, can harden into a paradigm that –within itself — is logical and persuasive. However, the reality as conceived of by the rational mind is only part of the multidimensional layers of reality. To broaden one’s existing paradigm requires the use of non-rational means of perception and comprehension.

The important point here is that the asking of too many rationally based questions, when faced with different paradigms of reality, can severely limit one’s ability to absorb the expanded horizons of reality. Sometimes, it is best to let the rational mind rest and be quiet for awhile. Allow the mind’s other means of perception to function freely in meditation and contemplation, or even when reading or hearing the comments of great thinkers.

This exercise of quieting the rational mind will awaken the conscious mind to all kinds of new and insightful experiences. And this is one way we can grow in spiritual understanding as well.

Fill Empty Spaces with Something

Here we are talking about the empty spaces in your aura and consciousness that occur when you use spiritual exercises to purify the negativity that exists from prior misuse of free will.

As you do these exercises — and there are many types of purification rituals and exercises that can be learned and applied — the negative thought forms and energy used to create this negativity are “repolarized” back to their original state of pure energy. This leaves your aura and consciousness with holes and gaps, something like a sponge.

These vacancies need to be filled, else your aura and consciousness can become empty shells. In essence, you may indeed have gotten rid of your synthetic self, but you have not replaced it with your true self. Your soul’s purpose for being embodied on earth is to learn the proper use of free will so you can express your true self in the dimensions of time and space. If you have not become your true self, then the soul’s purpose on earth is not fulfilled.

What this means in practical terms is that, as you purify your aura and consciousness, you need to fill in those spaces and gaps with actions, thoughts, and feelings of goodwill. This replaces the negative thought forms and energy with positive thought forms and energy. When you do this, you are well on the way of fulfilling your soul’s purpose of correctly using free will in the world of form. You are becoming your true self rather than acting as your synthetic self.

It Is Your Love for God that Will Save You

It can be difficult to become your true self if you do not know your true character. One’s true character is the character of one’s soul, which is an attribute of God’s own character of goodness. Thus, when you think about it, every soul in the universe contains within it an aspect of God’s consciousness. The great opportunity for every soul is to discover that part of God within themselves and then to learn to understand, express, and expand that goodness through their free will to the best of their ability.

The universe is populated by souls created by God, each with a character of God’s goodness and each with opportunity to express it. This shared oneness with God as our Creator is the great bond that ties all sons and daughters of God together into a brotherhood and sisterhood of goodwill. On a spiritual level, this brotherhood and sisterhood is collectively known as the heavenly hosts, spiritual hierarchy, ascended masters, saints, bodhisattvas, and many other names.

For a human being struggling to identify his or her true self, while still unaware of their soul’s character, the one sure bond they have with the Creator and the Creation is their love for God. Like love for one’s parents or children, love for God is natural and exists without rational thought. Moreover, one’s love for God can be strengthened almost without limit through experience and through deliberate effort on the part of the individual such as by prayer and meditation.

This love for God creates a conduit between one’s consciousness and the rest of God’s Creation. Over this conduit can flow multiple kinds of spiritual blessings, one of which is a glimpse or vision of the true character of one’s soul. Once an individual can identify the character of their soul, he or she can make rapid strides towards becoming externally the true self within, thereby setting aside the synthetic self and realizing one’s full potential as a son or daughter of God.

One’s love for God is the most natural and strongest of lifelines between one’s outer self and one’s spiritual self. It is a lifeline that can be depended upon to rescue you should you become lost at sea in the pain and uncertainty of life on earth. It is a gift from God that ought never to be let go of.

The Psychology of Soul Integration

Very often, psychological barriers stand in the way of the soul’s integration with the outer human consciousness. These psychological obstacles need to be removed before the spiritual and material aspects of human consciousness can successfully merge to enable the true self to become a tangible reality in the world of form.

The psychological challenges people face vary enormously between individuals and within individuals themselves. One of the most serious challenges occurs when the person’s outer consciousness becomes so separated from the moral guidance of the soul (such as known through conscience or internally derived ethical standards) that the person in embodiment makes all decisions on the basis of purely human standards, such as the end justifies the means.

When this condition exists in the human consciousness, the amount of negative karma that is built up due to the incorrect use of free will can be overwhelming. The soul can begin to despair of ever being able to achieve its purpose on earth. Under extreme circumstances, the soul can even become fractured and, like salt and pepper, loose its identity of pure goodness. In this state, there is little hope for the individual in embodiment to discern any longer what is good and what is evil. If this continues long enough, the soul can be lost altogether because the balancing of karma and recovery become nearly impossible.

What is required at this point in the soul’s evolution is for all of the good parts and all of the bad parts of consciousness to be separated and then coalesced into two different and recognizable aspects of one’s consciousness. When the two parts of self can be identified by the person in embodiment, then the process of ridding oneself of negativity and building up one’s character of goodness can proceed. The proper merger of soul and human self again becomes possible, and the purpose of the soul being on earth in the first place can be achieved.

How can this process of healing begin, when the outer consciousness is completely divorced from the soul? I can describe my own experience, even though other processes must certainly exist.

In my case, the process of healing the separation between my soul and my outer consciousness began when I perceived in meditation that the character of my soul was a quality radiating honor and integrity. I instinctively understood that, in order to become integrated in body and soul, I needed to base my free will moral decisions on the goodwill inherent in honor and integrity. I am still working on this; however, the process of healing has begun and I can sense its positive effects on my life.

The exact origin of that insight is something I have thought about many times. It came into my consciousness during deep meditation as a point of light that I followed until it became the flame of honor and integrity. I viewed this insight as something of a spiritual miracle, because my outer consciousness until that time was pretty much amoral, although I did love God for as long as I can remember. Regardless of the origin of the insight, I have found that knowing the character of my soul has made all the difference in terms of my life choices and worldview.

The fact that I feel much more integrated in outer consciousness with my soul and therefore more aware of my true self is sufficient evidence to me that this was the type of psychological healing that I truly needed. I am grateful for this and consider it to be an essential step in the evolution of my soul here on earth.

We Sin, We Ask for Forgiveness, and We Go On

Human beings are, by definition, almost always imperfect. We constantly use our free will, and all too often the decisions we reach, the emotions we feel, the memories we revolve, the actions we take — are misguided and frequently immoral. We are karma-making machines, and it can take a long time before all of our mistakes are paid for.

Under these conditions of continuously falling short of the mark, it is imperative that some motivation keeps us going. One of the simplest yet effective guidance I have heard is to always remember that we are sons and daughters of God, we sin, we ask for God’s forgiveness, and then we go on with our life.

In all probability, we would not be on this planet if we were perfect. We are here to balance our karma and to learn to fulfill our dharma or purpose in life — which is to learn how properly to use free will. We can and do learn from our mistakes, so every effort we make to acknowledge those mistakes, ask God for forgiveness, and then to go on in life with the intention of doing better next time — advances our spiritual evolution on earth. Eventually, we do improve our character. The key point is never to give up the effort to improve ourselves and never to lose sight of the fact that we are all children of the Most High God.

We Can Know What God Is Only When We Become Spiritual Beings

I believe it common that people wonder who or what God is. The defined names of God and gods are many and refer to characteristics that are as varied and numerous as the human mind can imagine. From the research I have read, it is frequently concluded that the totality of God can never be known by man. This is not surprising, given the vastness of the universe and the multidimensional nature of existence (and non-existence).

If we accept that God cannot be fully known by man, that does not mean that God does not exist. Nor does it mean that God cannot be known in part by man. The part of God that can be known by an individual is as close as the character of his own soul, and as expansive as his own consciousness. The other aspects of God seem to be beyond the scope of the individual’s perception, unless he or she be a prophet, seer, or messenger of heaven.

It is said by some teachers that God can be known when we as individuals finally master all of our lessons on earth and we ourselves become spiritual beings. At that point, the veils of materiality are lifted and the expanses of spirituality can be seen.

Assuming this to be true, then the practical side of our life ought to focus on the basic necessities of surviving, prospering, expanding our knowledge and capabilities, improving our character, and merging more completely with our soul. This, and fulfilling our responsibilities as members of society, will pretty much occupy all of our time.

Speculation on what God is will always be in the back of our mind, and that is good because it strengthens our ties with the Creator. However, unless we are destined to become saints, we ought not to lose sight of doing our earthly duties to the best of our ability. Being successful in that aspect of our life is a bridge that eventually will lead to our becoming more spiritually aware of our own true nature.

The Need for Moral Courage

Moral courage is a special kind of courage, one that inspires and requires an individual to take some action that is morally correct but perhaps also threatening to the individual in some way. Just as warriors must strengthen their courage to face the prospects of death in battle, so must spiritual aspirants strengthen their courage to overcome the fears that accompany the challenges found along the path of becoming the true self.

These challenges are many and include such things as the fear of pain in balancing negative karma, the fear of being mocked or prosecuted because of one’s spiritual beliefs, the fear of facing the accumulated negativity of one’s synthetic self, and the fear of giving up one’s material possessions for unknown spiritual blessings that may or may not come. And sometimes there is the fear of speaking up to correct some misunderstanding on the part of powerful leaders upon whom one is dependent in some way. All of these challenges and more can cause the knees to tremble and doubts to emerge, and yet they all must be overcome to do the morally correct thing if one is to progress further along the chosen path of self-realization.

It takes a lot of commitment, training, and self-discipline to acquire moral courage. We can never have enough of it, as it may be needed at any moment and under any circumstance. Moral courage requires the surrender of some part of ourselves. However, the part that needs to be surrendered almost always is a portion of our synthetic or artificial human self which is standing in the way of our true self. Thus, acquiring and applying moral courage is in fact an essential step in becoming our true self.

We Need the Heavenly Hosts More Than They Need Us

This advice may be relevant to those with large egos, who feel that they know better than heaven what is best for mankind. The temptation to hold such a high opinion of oneself is not without logic. Spiritually speaking, the earth is the domain of human beings and we have a responsibility to manage earthly affairs in an appropriate way. Intellectually, some people are very smart and accomplished in their areas of specialization, such that their ideas are practical and workable in a worldly sense. Psychologically, people with large egos do not like to be told what to do and tend to have greater success when making their own decisions rather than being guided by others.

However great a human being is in mortal terms, those accomplishments pale in comparison with the spiritual powers of creativity that can be drawn upon by the heavenly hosts, who get their wisdom, power, and love — not solely from within themselves — but more importantly from their connectivity to God and the spiritual hierarchy responsible for the framing and sustainment of the universe in all of its components and dimensions.

Spiritual beings, for example, have a more complete understanding of karma and thus the cause-and-effect sequences that are likely to be set into motion by some action on the part of mankind. Also, the perspective of spiritual beings is far wider than that of an embodied person, so the interlocking factors that could influence momentous decisions are better understood. The heavenly hierarchy are like step-down transformers, taking the pure and incredibly powerful energy of God and making it applicable to human conditions on earth.

Thus, even the most gifted and well-meaning of human geniuses could benefit from the advice and guidance of the heavenly hosts. The choice of whether to seek and follow that advice always rests with the free will of people; however, if they choose to work with the ascended hosts, their projects and intentions will almost certainly be improved.

Mankind and the heavenly hosts are intended to be partners in the expansion of God’s goodwill in the domains of human existence. Evidence of this is reflected in the material and spiritual sides of individuals and in the multidimensional capabilities of the human mind. The very existence of these capabilities suggest that they are intended to be used. A spiritual partnership between human beings and heavenly beings, when pursued by the free will of individuals, can greatly benefit mankind in all of its activities of goodwill.

With a Little Spiritual Effort on Our Part, the Rewards of Heaven Can Flow to Us

Sometimes, our efforts to do something worthwhile on earth are so consuming of our attention and energy that we subconsciously choose to ignore our spiritual disciplines and instead take upon our shoulders the sole responsibility and credit for our achievements. This attitude is not so bad if one is indeed doing something of goodwill that benefits others. But there are costs to this self-reliance.

The first cost is that being overly self-reliant tends to diminish the partnership between an individual and those of the heavenly hierarchy who may be working with the individual on a spiritual level to achieve the goals for which the individual is striving. Such a partnership for goodwill is the natural bond between a person and members of the brotherhood and sisterhood of light who share a common interest and sense of duty in some area of human activity. The stronger that bond is in the consciousness of the embodied person, the more assistance heaven can give the individual in his or her efforts to improve the human condition.

The second cost has to do with the flow of karmic rewards for activities that further God’s plan for life on this planet. When we do something good, we reap a certain karmic reward. When we do something bad, we reap a certain karmic punishment. The spiritual masters who want to work with us in our earthly endeavors often have a dispensation to help the person when he or she is doing something good and a dispensation to moderate somewhat the karmic punishment can may be our due for some past mistake. The stronger our ties with the spiritual masters working with us, the more supportive they can be in adjusting our karma to make our task easier and more successful.

If a person is too self-reliant, he or she can deprive themselves of the full spiritual assistance possible for the good work they are doing on earth. This assistance can come in many forms, including intuitive insights into strategy and tactics to achieve the good goal, the removal or reduction of psychic or other energies opposing the accomplishment of the good one is trying to do, and the direction of the return of karma (good and bad) in ways that best assist the person to achieve his goodwill objectives.

It is better, therefore, for even an accomplished and successful individual to not be too self-reliant in his or her activities of goodwill. Working with the ascended hosts in a spiritual partnership can greatly increase the good one is trying to do on earth. For a self-reliant person to maintain that spiritual partnership requires some effort on his part, because that is the responsibility of human beings having free will.

Those efforts do not have to be burdensome. A simple prayer offered each day; an effort to live a more moral life; meditation on something of spiritual significance to the individual; asking for assistance along the way; taking time to thank God for giving you the opportunity of life — these and other sincere expressions of one’s recognition of the oneness of life will strengthen the connections between one’s human self and the spiritual beings of heaven. The efforts one makes on earth to further goodwill will remain the same; however, those human efforts will be reinforced by the spiritual efforts of heaven intended to assist one in accomplishing the good he or she would do.

The most important point to remember is that we ought always to do at least a little each day to improve our outer personality to better align with God’s will in order to receive the assistance of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Light to help us advance the good we are trying to bring to this world.

If the Messenger Is an Ant, Heed It

This is one of the common expressions heard in spiritual communities. Its meaning is simple: God can use any instrument for His communications to people on earth. Sometimes, the chosen messenger will be a great prophet or teacher; sometimes, the messenger may be the most unlikely instrument imaginable. Regardless of the appearance of the messenger, carefully regard what is being conveyed because it is coming to you for a purpose.

A somewhat similar lesson can be learned by closely observing nature at any level of its appearance: microcosm, macrocosm, ordinary environment. The truths God wishes to convey to people are everywhere to be found, because God’s will and purpose are embedded in the very principles, forces, and material comprising the physical and other dimensions of the universe. We just have to observe and sensitize our consciousness to see the significance of what we are observing.

This is one meaning of the Buddha describing himself as being awake. And being awake is something everyone can achieve with practice and determination to understand reality.

Heed the Warnings from Heaven

Some activities are far more consequential than others. When one is moving along the path of discovering and becoming one’s true self, there are occasions when the activity one is about to engage in carry serious karmic repercussions. Very often, just before the act is done, a clear impression of the need to avoid doing that activity comes into one’s consciousness. In those occasions, it is strongly suggested that one heeds the warning and immediately stops the activity.

Why such a strong warning comes to mind is not always understood at the moment. However, it has been my experience that if one proceeds with the activity then the negative repercussions that occur can last many years and adversely effect one’s life.

Being an Instrument of the Holy Spirit

Just as there are occasions when a spiritual warning is given to the individual to stop some activity, so there are occasions when the Holy Spirit works through the individual to do some great good. Sometimes, the individual can ask the assistance of the Holy Spirit in some activity; oftentimes, the Holy Spirit moves through the person without being asked. Usually, however, the individual is receptive to the Holy Spirit in sort of an instrumental way — that is, the person accepts the existence of the Holy Spirit and is willing to be an instrument of that flow of God’s energy whenever it occurs.

Often, the coming of the Holy Spirit is accompanied by a tingling sensation and one’s perceptions sharpen and become more focused on the activity at hand. Also, and on almost all occasions, the individual being used as an instrument of the Holy Spirit is engaged in some activity that is good. Exactly why that goodness is expanded at that particular moment by the Holy Spirit is not always known. But it is a special moment of inspiration for both the instrument as well as for those witnessing the event.

The coming of the Holy Spirit is not controlled by the individual. However, when it does come, it ought to be accepted and be allowed to flow through the words and activities of the person being so visited. It is a blessed moment during which the close connection and integration between the human and the divine become tangible and memorable.

There Is No Need to Pick Up Every Gauntlet

As an individual tries to improve and become more of his true self by openly reflecting the goodness and goodwill God intends him to be, the more it seems that other people and circumstances challenge the determination and commitment of the individual to proceed along that path. Some of the challenges can be quite personal, like a gauntlet thrown down in the Middle Ages to invite someone to a fight.

There are occasions when that personal challenge ought to be met. However, not all such challenges need to be responded to in order to proceed on the path of becoming one’s true self and fulfilling one’s duty on earth. How do you know when to respond and when it is not necessary?

This appears to be a matter of judgement, in which the individual decides whether or not to pick up the gauntlet. The basis of that judgement may not be set in stone, even within the person himself. Some of the factors which may be considered include whether the individual feels intuitively or inspired to act in one way or another, the seriousness of the challenge in terms of its potential threat to one’s chosen path, the circumstances of the challenge and the alternative approaches to meeting or ignoring it, and the character and capabilities of the person being challenged.

Like all free will choices, one can only make the best choice he can and then move on with what really matters: working towards becoming one’s true self. We need to trust in karma and the lessons we gradually learn in life. Our principle duty is never to give up on our soul’s journey on earth.

In Patience, Possess Ye Your Soul

A constant but often unstated theme as one strives to become the true self is the need for patience. The human reference for time is characterized by a dual nature. First, there is a desire to wish something to be done and to be done quickly. Second, there is the relatively slow pace of change on earth, so that it takes considerable time to mature from infant to adult or to accomplish some important task. And it takes many lifetimes for the soul of man to finally learn the proper use of free will and to graduate into the spiritual realms of heaven.

Sudden change does occur on earth, but usually this is the culmination of a lengthy period of gestation of various sorts: tectonic shifts proceeding an earthquake, millions of years of travel before an asteroid impact, years of study before college graduation, and so on.

When we become aware of our spiritual as well as material existence, we usually want to quickly become masterful of our spiritual side. We often find ourselves impatient with the progress we are making. From the perspective of our soul’s maturity, however, it takes time for the outer consciousness to become sufficiently sensitive for it to adjust to the merger of spiritual with material realities. Like the unfolding of a lotus flower, there is a sequence in the emergence of the soul’s integration with the human form.

It is best for the person to cultivate patience in his or her search for spiritual understanding. The process of self-discovery is a natural one, but also a sequential one in which the next stage is not always known or foreseen. Too much scheduling or planning does not always work in spiritual development. Thus, focusing on the present and absorbing the lessons of life it brings can usually result in a more harmonious path than one of constantly trying to rush forward — although one ought not to become complacent in the search for truth and understanding. Continuous effort is required to move forward but not necessarily hasty movement.

Aligning Duty with Personal Behavior

Once an individual becomes aware of his inner quality, or character of the soul, the next great task is to perform one’s dharma or duty, and to discipline one’s personal behavior. The performance of one’s duty and the expression of one’s personal actions, thoughts, feelings, imaginings, and memory all need to be aligned around the character of one’s soul.

This alignment of duty and personal behavior is necessary, because if one’s duty is ignored or one’s personal behavior is consistently immoral, then the person cannot progress very far on the path of becoming the true self. Some people may find accomplishing a great task is easier than controlling their thoughts and passions. Others may find self-discipline is relatively easy but somehow lack the energy, vision, and skills necessary fulfill their duty on earth.

To be the true self requires the integration of one’s spiritual and material sides, and that integration requires the alignment of doing one’s dharma and behaving properly. The key to the integration and alignment is centering one’s consciousness on the character of the soul, such that the performance of one’s duty and one’s personal behavior are both guided by the ethical standards inherent in the soul’s character.

For example, if my soul’s character is honor and integrity, then I need to perform my duty or dharma with honor and integrity. At the same time, I need to act in my personal life in a way that is compatible with honor and integrity. In other words, I need to be aligned professionally and personally as a complete person — that is, I need to live in this world as my true self, not as a divided self or as a completely synthetic self.

The integration of professional and personal life around the character of one’s soul can be challenging at first. However, over time, the habits of mind, actions, and feelings can be changed so that one naturally approaches the performance of one’s duty with the characteristics of one’s soul. That is why the discovery of one’s inner quality is fundamental to the spiritual maturation of the person in embodiment. Much progress on the path depends upon that discovery and learning how to express the inner quality in every aspect of one’s life.

Gain Control of Your Imagination

It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the soul’s embodiment on earth is to learn the proper use of free will in physical dimensions. This stage of the soul’s evolution is vital, because the soul is essentially a spiritual being. In spiritual dimensions, the creation of things — good and bad — is much faster (sometimes instantaneous) than the creation of things in matter. Therefore, for the soul to progress along the path of goodness and goodwill requires that it be able to use its mind and imagination in a positive, constructive way rather than in a negative, destructive way.

In the case of human beings, this level of self-mastery over mind and imagination is gained while the soul is embodied on earth. Because the creative process in the planes of matter is slower than in spiritual planes of existence, there is time and opportunity for people to learn from their mistakes and to correct one’s behavior. That is why earth is often called a schoolroom for the soul.

While we are in embodiment, we ought to take the opportunity to learn how to control our mind and imagination. This helps to ensure that, when we enter higher spiritual dimensions in our soul’s evolution, we will do maximum good with our creative power.

Do Not Lose Sight of God in Your Wisdom

One of the phenomena that occurs while expanding our understanding of the world is to set God aside as a factor as we try to rationalize our new awareness of reality. To avoid this mistake, we need to reexamine our assumptions as to what God is. Unless we do so, we may allow our material wisdom to blind our spiritual wisdom. We need both types of wisdom to properly balance our lives.

Interestingly, the setting aside of God as a factor can also occur as we gain in spiritual understanding. This somewhat contradictory event occurs when we greatly expand our spiritual insight and grow rapidly adept in spiritual powers. During these times, it is sometimes easy to see ourselves as god and master of our own universe. In this condition, we may consciously or subconsciously break our spiritual ties with God and move away from the partnership we are intended to have with heaven.

The surest way to maintain the presence of God in our consciousness is to continuously reaffirm our love for God and to be humble before Him, even while seeking to strengthen our spiritual relationship.

Know the Identity of Spiritual Beings

There is a hierarchy of spiritual beings occupying heaven and working closely with souls on earth embodied as humanity. Millions of people pray to these angels, saints, and masters everyday.

In prayer, it helps to keep in mind that each of these spiritual beings has certain characteristics of God’s goodness, a portion of which we can ask for as a blessing to help us along life’s way. While not absolutely necessary, it can be beneficial to us to know as many masters as possible and to be able to associate them with their unique attribute of goodness.

Try to be as specific as possible when asking for a particular spiritual blessing. This strengthens one’s ties with individual masters and makes more personal the partnership we have as human beings with our elder brothers and sisters in heaven.

Sufficient Unto the Day Is the Evil Thereof

This biblical statement from the Sermon on the Mount is an important lesson to keep in mind as one advances on the spiritual path. After having faced for several years the realization of the negative deeds one has done in this lifetime, a person becomes increasingly aware of misdeeds from previous embodiments. It is common at that moment for a person to feel an almost overwhelming sense that it will be impossible to repay all of the harm he or she has inflicted upon life over the centuries.

The need to balance one’s karma before the soul can be permanently perfected is imprinted on the consciousness of the soul as one of its principal obligations while on earth. Unfortunately, over the many lifetimes we have lived, our actions, thoughts, feelings, imaginings, and even misguided attempts at spirituality have often fallen short of what they ought to be. Even though we all have probably had magnificent lifetimes of earthly accomplishment, the mastery of making proper free will moral choices in our personal and social life may have in part eluded us. In those cases, the amount of good karma earned has not compensated for the karmic debt we carry.

Heaven is merciful to our souls. God has allowed us to face our negative karma bit by bit, day by day over the course of our lives. Like repairing a castle stone by stone, this process enables us to do our duty in a proper way while we balance portions of our negative karma. Rather than being overwhelmed by our past mistakes, we ought to focus on what lessons of life we can learn from our negative experiences and how we can incorporate those lessons learned to improve the quality of our character.

Take What God Has Given You and Do Something Good with It

I woke up one morning with this statement clearly in my mind and immediately decided to adopt it as my family motto. It encapsulates the teachings of the inner quality and serves as a categorical imperative for proper moral decisions and behavior in almost all situations.

Essentially, the statement acknowledges that God has given us the character of our soul, certain special talents, and the opportunity of life as a human being to maximize our potential in infinitely creative ways. If we keep this statement constantly in mind, we can harmonize our free will with the will of God for our individual lifestream and never lose sight of our true purpose in life: to learn to make proper free will decisions.

It Is in the Striving that We Overcome

For most of us, the weaknesses in our personality and behavior can be overwhelming at times. If we try to overcome these weaknesses, we can find many challenges because letting go of some negative trait such as jealousy or resentment can be very difficult. And often, when we finally are able to set that trait aside, we find that it reemerges when we get agitated, angry, or feel stressed.

At times, we wish that God would just remove that burden from us once and for all. And, that act of mercy and forgiveness can occur, although more frequently it does not. As a person who has struggled over all kinds of negative traits in my personality, I finally concluded that God and heaven want us to overcome our own weaknesses, as difficult as it sometimes may be.

The reason this is so is because the soul’s purpose on earth is to learn how properly to use free will. And the only way to learn that lesson of life is to sometimes make mistakes and then pay for that misuse of free will through the return of karma. Think of an old record, where the disk is carved in order to guide the needle which plays the music. Our negative habits are like those carved grooves in the record. When our consciousness glides over a certain groove, our negative trait comes to the surface and we feel the anger or anxiety or fear recorded thereon.

Our consciousness is filled with these records of negative energy, and — if we are to make much progress on the spiritual path — we must re-polarize that negative energy either by transmuting it into its original neutral state of pure energy or by replacing the negative energy with positive energy. Both techniques work. However, both techniques require effort on our part, and sometimes repeated efforts.

In is in the striving to re-polarize those negative energies that we overcome the negative traits and thereby become more free in our consciousness to move onward on the spiritual path we have chosen. Therefore, the best approach when these negative personality traits emerge in our conscious awareness is to face them straight on and to make some effort to overcome them. That constant striving will eventually bear fruit in the complete overcoming. And that is how we obtain self-mastery and learn how properly to use free will.

There is one further point to made here, and it can be a matter of life or death. Sometimes the burdens we face overwhelm our hope of every overcoming them. We wonder if it is all worthwhile and, in some cases, we consider the possibility of ending our live and — if we believe in reincarnation — to take it all up fresh next time around. I have found that, in the moment of abject despair, the key to survival is find something or someone worth giving your life to. Maybe it is a child or a parent, a friend or a lover.

The thing that I found worth living for was the spark of goodness I felt somewhere in my consciousness. That goodness made living worthwhile, so I concentrated on finding the source of that goodness. And that search, made mostly in meditation, led me to the discovery of my inner quality, which was a spark of light radiating the qualities of honor and integrity. I found that, if i used that quality as justification for my continued existence on earth, then I had abundant strength and determination to continue on, to strive everyday to overcome those negative traits that sometimes emerge. The lesson here: if all else fails to give you purpose in life, search out the goodness in yourself and do something positive with it.

You Have to Possess Something before You Give It Away

One of the strong impulses that come to a person seeking greater spiritual attainment is a desire to surrender more and more of oneself to God. This is a natural phenomena, and one that seems linked to the dual need of letting go of things human and inconsequential, while at the same time becoming more and more filled with the light and blessings of God.

As strong as this impulse is, we need to keep in mind that we are on earth as embodied souls to learn the lessons of how properly to use free will. The earth is a material place, and it is our karma and dharma to function here in these planes of matter until such time that our earthly existence is no longer necessary. At that point of passing from the material to the spiritual world, we must leave all things physical behind.

While on earth, we accumulate things, a reflection of our task here to gain self-mastery in the dimensions of time and space. Just as we cannot give away treasure we do not have, so we cannot surrender something to God if we do not first have it in our possession.

If we have earned or gained something on earth, such as wealth or personal accomplishment, we can surrender these things to God if we wish, as a symbol of our love of God and acknowledgement of the Heavenly Father as the source of our very existence as a soul. This is a natural and good thing to do in spiritual development. But, we need to possess these things before we can give them away.

The lesson here is a simple one: while on earth we should gain self-mastery in as many areas as we can. The greater our accomplishments, the more we have to offer God of ourselves when the time of surrender come to us. We are like seeds in God’s garden. We want to bear as much fruit as possible in order to fulfill God’s purposes in giving us life and opportunity here on earth.

Knowing God’s Will through the Character of One’s Own Inner Quality

A very common prayer among those spiritually inclined is to be shown the will of God. We often ask: “What am I supposed to do on earth?” “How can I best serve the will of God?” The answer frequently given by spiritual teachers is somewhat paradoxical: “What you are supposed to do is the thing most close to you.” Sometimes puzzled, we then ask ourselves: “What does this actually mean?”

The answer is everywhere around us as shown in the simplest flower. Each flowering plant produces a different type of flower, and each flower — while different — is in itself quite remarkable in its beauty. A flowering plant follows its own nature by producing its own unique kind of flower. A rose does not try to be sunflower; a daisy is quite content to be its own self and not produce a camellia flower.

In nature, plants and animals have no difficulty in being themselves; they follow their instincts to be who and what they are. With their vastly expanded powers of free will, people often have difficulty in being themselves because they neglect to be their true selves. And, if you don’t know or follow your own true nature as an embodied soul on earth, then it is difficult to understand what you should do.

God has created all human souls with a unique character of an attribute of His goodness. Being souls embodied on earth, it is our true nature to express the God-given character of our souls in our daily activities. We do not need to ask God what we should do: we simply have to be our true self by following the character of our soul.

First Comes Intentions, then Comes Results

One of the great philosophical debates centers around the question of whether intentions or results are most important in an ethical and moral sense. In some respects, this debate is part of the ancient dilemma among philosophers over whether idealism or realism should guide one’s life.

As in most complex issues, there are multiple ways in which the intentions vs results question can be approached. The question can be analyzed from the perspective of each of its parts — i.e., the pros and cons of either intentions or results — or from a holistic perspective — i.e., how can these two alternatives best work in an integrated whole. From an inner quality perspective, an integrative approach like the yin and yang is probably best.

From the point of view of the soul embodied temporarily on earth to learn the proper use of free will, the person’s intentions ought to be morally good and the results of the person’s activities ought to be morally good, as well. This is the spiritual ideal. In earthly domains, however, a more realistic observation would be that the individual’s intentions ought to be morally good but the results of his or her activities may not necessarily be good because human beings cannot perceive the chain of future events.

Thus, what is most important is for us to have good intentions; this is something we can control. It is not reasonable for us to be sure of the outcome of our actions; this is something we cannot control. Eventually, through experience, our soul in embodiment will learn how to make decisions that result in outcomes more closely reflecting our good intentions. Achieving that level of mastery of free will is the purpose of the soul being embodied on earth in the first place.

There Are Infinite Ways to Experience God

It is impossible for mankind to understand the totality of God. We do not even fully understand our physical universe. What is possible, however, is for us to experience God and to know Him in part. And there are infinite ways to do this.

One of the easiest ways to experience and know God is through the character of our soul, or inner quality. The character of our soul is an aspect of God’s goodness; and if we trace the source of that goodness within ourselves, we will experience and know God through the lens of our inner quality. Depending upon the nature of our inner quality, we can experience God as love, wisdom, power, truth, service, healing, care, courage, mercy, kindness, and in infinite other ways.

All of the attributes of goodness found naturally within human beings can lead to an experience with God. These experiences are deeply personal in the sense of communion, because our goodness directly resonates with a portion of God’s own consciousness. When we are in that state of communion with our Creator, we experience a completeness and fullness that is all-encompassing. We feel ourselves as being part of God, as indeed we are at the highest level of our existence and self-awareness.

Work to Reveal the Higher Potential in Everything

One of the many spiritual paths is karma yoga. That path is described in great detail in spiritual teachings found around the world. The essence of the path of karma yoga, however, is developing one’s own spirituality through positive action, such as serving all things by helping them to realize and express their highest potential.

Learning to do this can be a trial and error process over a considerable period of time. By its very nature, when we act we generate karma, some good, some bad, some major, some minor. Every action sets into motion a chain of events that begins with us and ends with us, although the chain of events often impacts others like ripples caused by a pebble tossed into a pond.

Over time, the constant return of our karma teaches us that it is better to make correct decisions than incorrect decisions. We thus begin to accumulate lessons that serve as guides in our lives. Inevitably, however, we encounter the dilemma of having conflicting intentions; we find that we cannot at the same time serve both sets of good intent.

At this point, we learn the necessity of sometimes doing one’s duty without regard to the results of our actions. Learning this lesson is necessary, because our human ability to know the outcome of our actions is very limited. We learn that we ought simply to do our duty as we understand it and to leave the adjudication of the results of our actions to heaven.

Another lesson is that the morality of heaven is sometimes different from our own. This is because heaven has a broader vision than ourselves. We learn, sometimes painfully, that we should follow the guidance of heaven instead of our own moral code — although it often makes no rational sense and runs counter to what we personally believe is the right thing to do.

Somewhere along the path of learning the lessons of karma yoga, we realize that our actions can be guided by the simple motivation of always acting to bring out the higher potential in all things. This is similar to a craftsman, who looks at a piece of wood or a stone and begins to work with it — not so much to create something new but to reveal the beauty that lies hidden beneath the rough exterior of the wood or stone itself.

The more one does this, a remarkable transition begins to occur in one’s sense of self. When the individual continuously tries to serve others by helping them to realize and express their own potential, one’s sense of personal self begins to change into a sense of selflessness. In this state of consciousness, the person easily becomes an instrument of the Holy Spirit.

Learn to Love to Do Well, and You Shall

Consciousness is one of those human characteristics that is under the control of oneself. We can, to a degree, control our consciousness in order to focus on something that is important. Usually, gaining mastery over some skill requires practice over a sustained period of time. This continued practice is creating a habit in one’s consciousness that runs automatically given your conscious or subconscious or superconscious permission or request to do so.

Doing something well, focusing on goodwill, or almost any other orientation of the mind, heart, and hand can become a habit through practice. If you want to do things well, then you can deliberately program your consciousness to act that way automatically by repeating the steps necessary to achieve that result.

It is important to note, however, that learning a habit to do well requires a degree of commitment to learn that habit — as in anything else. You can learn chess much easier if you want to learn the game. You can learn to do better at chess the more you practice and the greater your desire to improve your ability.

It is this combination of desiring to do well and then practicing to do so that eventually enables you to do well — or at least attempt to do well — in most things that you want to accomplish. We are talking about an orientation of the mind and consciousness here. Learning to do well means that you do your best, that you put forth your best effort, that you have high expectations of success, that you take satisfaction in doing things correctly.

By developing the habit to try to do well in all things, your character and personality will improve, and the quality of your life’s work will improve as well.

Working with the Brotherhood

In their search for greater spirituality, many seekers become aware of the existence of a spiritual brotherhood and sisterhood of light comprised of souls in heaven and on earth dedicated to furthering the plan of God’s goodwill in whatever station of life they may find themselves. The common bond of this spiritual and earthly community is love of God and a sense of unity between all of God’s children.

Within this community are all kinds of beings, ranging from the most exalted to the most simple, each loved and respected because of their spiritual kinship and common origin in God’s creation. Whereas, technically, all lifeforms are part of this brotherhood and sisterhood, the term usually refers to human beings and those within the spiritual hierarchy who deal specifically with evolutions on earth. In these few paragraphs, we will focus on people who are seeking closer communion with the heavenly hosts for the purpose of furthering their own spirituality and contributing what they can to the positive evolution of life on the planet.

Efforts taken to achieve these goals are sometimes called “walking the path,” because the goals are not obtained overnight — they require time and energy expended over many lifetimes. Some of the ways to progress along this path are discussed below.

Walking the path most effectively requires an orientation towards goodness and goodwill within the consciousness of the individual. Human consciousness is very complex, so orienting the various levels of consciousness is an incremental process. While an orientation towards goodness and goodwill exists naturally at the soul level of consciousness, progress on the path becomes much more rapid when that orientation becomes locked in the awareness level of consciousness — that is, the person deliberately uses his or her free will to commit themselves to furthering goodness and goodwill in their daily activities. The degree of that commitment through one’s free will helps anchor the motivation of goodness and goodwill in the sub-consciousness of the individual.

Once this alignment of the various levels of human consciousness occurs, then pathways of inspiration from the spiritual brotherhood to the individual become more open, and the person gains in confidence and ability to use his or her creative free will to advance goodness and goodwill in their various activities and responsibilities. Over time, the sensitivity of the individual to the promptings of the brotherhood becomes stronger, and the sense of communion and community is made more permanent and tangible. At that point, working with the brotherhood becomes a reality in one’s daily life.

Although the type and scope of responsibilities and duties may vary, the one constant contribution all seekers can make to the cause of the brotherhood is to use the God-given character of their soul as a matrix or standard upon which to build their personal and professional lives. The soul’s character is the individual’s highest virtue and its expression is nearly always supportive of the brotherhood’s best intentions for mankind and his planetary home.

Heart, Head, and Hand

One early lesson on the path is to use your heart, head, and hand to serve the will of God on Earth. Using one’s heart, head, and hand effectively is a reflection of the spiritual qualities of love, wisdom, and power that are said to be attributes of God bestowed as the Threefold Flame in the heart chakra of every son and daughter of God and child of the light. In other words, our heart, hand, and hand are the practical instruments we can use daily to fulfill our spiritual and worldly duties in a way that is aligned with God’s intentions.

The heart symbolizes the love we feel for God and for other parts of the Creation. The love of the heart is the binding force that links the Creator with all of us. It is the source of the inspiration we feel with the passage of the Holy Spirit, and it is the wellspring of goodness and goodwill that motivates us to try to improve the spiritual and material quality of life for humanity and nature.

The head symbolizes the wisdom and understanding of God and His Plan that we need in order to conceptualize what is our contribution to life and our specific duty or mission while in embodiment. The more we comprehend the majesty of God’s Plan, the greater our dedication to see it fulfilled in our personal spheres of responsibility. In the cycles of precipitation, the head represents the mental planning necessary to properly align our creations with the will of God.

The hand symbolizes the actual work we do to carry out of the plans of God in a tangible way. For most of us, the work we do is in the material world of time and space; however, there are other dimensions as well which can be influenced by the creative power of mankind when we function at certain levels of consciousness. The universe is an incredibly large place, so there is no limit on what we can do to increase goodness and goodwill. It is our use of the power of the hand that enables us to shape reality in a positive way for the benefit of life individually and as a whole.

Freedom and Responsibility in Personal and Social Life

Freedom and responsibility are in many ways similar to yin and yang — you can’t have one without the other. There is no such thing as freedom without responsibility for one’s actions, and responsibility cannot be fulfilled without the freedom necessary to accomplish one’s duty. Freedom without responsibility leads to chaos and anarchy, while responsibility without freedom leads to ineffectiveness and frustration.

The proper use and blending of freedom and responsibility often differ in one’s personal and social life, even though almost everyone functions within these two spheres of human activity on a daily basis. In our personal lives, freedom ought to be linked with responsibility to follow certain codes of behavior in how we act, think, and feel in the privacy of our personal space.

The moral boundaries within which we properly use our free will is most clearly defined by the character of our soul, or inner quality, as this may be understood by us at a given time and place and circumstance. For example, if my inner quality is honor and integrity, then I am properly using free will when honor and integrity guide my personal behavior. The expression of honor and integrity, therefore, becomes a major part of my responsibility in private life. The expression of one’s inner quality also serves as the core moral standard guiding one’s social duties, which can range from engaging with family to handling affairs of state.

The types of things we do personally and socially can be quite different; however, the judgments we use in deciding what to do involve the same process: applying the standards of the inner quality to specific circumstances. In my case, for example, I would measure the appropriateness of my personal and social decisions by honor and integrity. In this way, my freedom of choice would be balanced by my responsibility to act as appropriately as possible.

You Can’t Do Everything by Yourself

Everyone enters the search for greater spirituality with individual strengths and weaknesses. These comprise the personality and it is with the human personality that most challenges on the path are encountered. One of these challenges is how to balance God’s will and man’s will in pursuit of individual duty. There is one large group of students who attempt to follow God’s will absolutely in every detail of their life, from choice of career to where to park their car when going shopping. There is another group of students who want to assume personal responsibility for all of their choices, believing that they are showing their love of God by learning how to make better decisions through trial and error, and thereby eventually perfecting themselves.

Both groups sincerely love God and want to serve God’s will; however, their personalities strongly influence how they go about demonstrating this. The challenge for those who seek God’s guidance in every instance is to learn how to make proper decisions for themselves. The challenge for those who seek to serve God through their own self-mastery is to avoid becoming too egocentric. We could say that the first group is too idealistic in their spiritual pursuits, whereas the second group is too pragmatic in their pursuit of greater spirituality.

God’s consciousness is broad enough to encompass both idealism and pragmatism, and to keep these two approaches in proper balance. For human beings, the finding of a proper balance in individual personalities may be difficult, because life for people on Earth often involves too much identification with one side of dualities: yin and yang, male and female, positive and negative, etc. Leaning too strongly in one direction or another can become a weaknesses that needs to be overcome. How can this be done in the case of the two groups described above?

Of course, the greatest teacher of all is karma. Over the years and even lifetimes, individuals in each of the two groups will encounter the karma earned from being too dependent on God’ guidance or too independent of that guidance. The first group learns over time that humans are intended to learn how to use their free will to make proper decisions, and the second group will learn the limitations of trying to do everything by themselves independent from God.

The proper balance for both groups can be found through a desire for partnership between God and man. This partnership entails an effort to follow God’s direction, whenever it is available, and a sincere intention to make decisions aligned with one’s understanding of God’s will when choices must be freely made. God provides the mechanism by which to achieve this balance through the character given to the soul. If a person, whatever the orientation of his or her personality may be, focuses on expressing the God-given character of their soul, the individual will not stray too far from God’s will and still have the opportunity to explore and develop the gifts and guidance God has shared with the individual.

Such an approach will help the individual overcome the weaknesses in his or her outer personality and thus lead to greater balance in their spiritual and material lives.

The Power of Forgiveness

One of the most sought after spiritual blessings is the freedom to become one’s true self. This is accomplished through a combination of many things: good works, self-discipline, assistance from God and His representatives, karmic opportunity, mercy, and forgiveness. The role of forgiveness in freeing the individual to become his or her true self is crucial for human beings on Earth.

All of us, in nearly all of our embodiments, have sinned and been sinned against in the course of our lives. Some of these sins have been deliberate and some inadvertent, but the result has been largely the same: the infliction of pain and harm to others and to ourselves. The karmic accumulation of pain and suffering we carry around with us, lifetime after lifetime, can be overwhelming to our souls.

God’s great blessing of mercy helps our souls in and out of embodiment to carry and eventually work through the karma we bear. God is also forgiving of our sins, dissolving in the fires of His consciousness the misqualified energy used by His children in their misdeeds.

We can ask for God’s forgiveness of our sins; however, to gain self-mastery and improve our use of free will, we ourselves must be able to forgive others who have sinned against us and also to be able to forgive ourselves for the harm we may have caused other parts of life. At times, forgiveness is easier said than done, however, because the records of pain and suffering caused by some mistakes or deliberate acts penetrate deeply into our memories and consciousness.

Simply saying, “I forgive you,” does not always erase the memory and pain we feel at deeper levels of our subconsciousness. The cause, effect, record, and memory of certain misdeeds need to be rooted out, else they will reappear in our conscious mind when least expected. When this occurs, we are not free to be our true self but rather are held captive by old wounds yet to be healed.

How, then, are we to be free by truly forgiving ourselves and others for these painful experiences? In this, we are likely to need not only great efforts on our part but also the assistance and intercession of the heavenly hosts.

One way to receive that assistance is to perform a simple ritual to Kwan Yin, Goddess of Mercy as this lady master or saint is know in Asia. First, you must sincerely desire forgiveness for something that has occurred in your life. Second, you need to hand write a letter to Kwan Yin describing the incident, your feelings about it, and asking the Goddess to help you be free from this burden by her intercession of mercy and forgiveness. Lastly, you ought to find a quiet place to burn the letter, while you say a prayer asking that the karma involved in the situation be dissolved or set aside until you are able to balance the karma through your own efforts.

In truth, there are many rituals to Kwan Yin for mercy and forgiveness. And no doubt, a simple and earnest prayer may suffice for her blessings, as is the case with prayers to Mother Mary, Jesus, and other spiritual beings. When you are unable to completely forgive yourself or others, yet sincerely desire to do so, God’s compassion becomes aware of your situation. Because of the universality of God’s consciousness, His spiritual representatives stand ready to help lift your burden, if you ask them to do so.

Forgiving others and ourselves is key to the freeing of our souls to continue on the spiritual path towards the fulfillment of our destiny.

Do Your Duty

In one of the classic stories of the interaction between Lord Krishna and his warrior disciple Arjuna as found in the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna was paralyzed with uncertainty as to whether he should fight against his brethren. Krishna revealed to Arjuna the many manifestations of life beyond the human and told his disciple to simply do his duty in the forthcoming battle without being overly concerned about the ultimate results of his actions.

The lesson being taught by Krishna was that man’s understanding of the cause and effect sequences rippling across cosmos is very limited and that an individual should concentrate on doing his duty in life with little or no emotional attachment to the ultimate fruits of the action. Man’s duty is to act in the world of form in a way consistent with his responsibilities. Heaven’s duty in the spiritual world is to adjudicate the results of that action in a fair and just way.

Knowing what one’s duty is in a given situation is critical in human decision making, especially in those circumstances of great moral consequence. One of the best ways to determine one’s duty is to consider several factors: (1) Know the character of one’s soul, that is, the core seed of unique goodness given to each soul by our common Creator; (2) Understand the nature and extent of one’s personal and social responsibilities; (3) Determine if and how one’s responsibilities play a role in the circumstances being considered for possible involvement; (4) If several options are available, select the action one believes most likely to make a positive impact on the outcome of the situation; (5) Act with a clear conscience and positive attitude to try to successfully accomplish your goals; and (6) Once the action is completed, avoid too much self-judgement (praise and blame) and allow heaven to apply the karmic scales of justice to the situation.

The advice given to Arjuna by Krishna is not intended to blind Arjuna’s sense of moral responsibility. It is to enlighten Arjuna to the larger scope of cosmic events occurring in the multidimensional realms of reality within which his earthly existence and the forthcoming battle were but a small part. What is most important for Arjuna is to avoid inaction because of uncertainty and fear born from a lack of understanding of the greater whole. Under the circumstances of the moment and in the context of his responsibilities, Arjuna must act decisively to carry out his duty as he best understands it to be. And so it is with each of us in the drama of our own lives.

Using the Power of the Spoken Word

At some point in our spiritual journey, we begin to hear about the sacred power of the spoken word and the role it plays not only in our spiritual evolution but also in the processes involved in the creation, sustainment, and transcendence of all of God’s creation.

Learning how to properly use the spoken word is an important step towards self-mastery and the fulfillment of our personal duties here on earth. There are many secret teachings involving the spoken word, most of which I do not know; however, the power of the spoken word is demonstrated daily around the world in the form of mantras, shakti, bhajans, invocations, intonations, chants, prayer, clearances, exorcism, and decrees.

All of these and more are related to God’s act of creation, when He said, “Let there be light!” This is the Word of God, or logos, and it is key to the reason and rationalities underlying the order of things in the universe. I do not wish to go further into this subject, other than to encourage all those on the path of light to explore this aspect of the teachings whenever they feel ready to do so.

Because these teachings are ancient and are found around the world, there are dozens of mystery schools using the spoken word in their rituals, ceremonies, and service to the light. One current school that has been especially prolific in explaining how to apply the power of the spoken word in daily life is The Summit Lighthouse, founded by Mark and Elizabeth Prophet, whose teachings on this and other spiritual subjects can be found on the Internet at summitlighthouse.org. In addition to their own insights, the Prophets identified and expanded upon global traditions of the spoken world as these have been recorded throughout history.

Excellence and Goodwill as Goals and Standards for Individuals and Society

Those seeking to bring out the best in humanity might want to consider excellence and goodwill as goals and standards for individuals and society. Both qualities need to be used together and kept in balance, like yin and yang, because excellence in human behavior by itself can lead to intellectual arrogance and impersonality, while goodwill used unilaterally can result in unrealistic expectations and impracticality. The goal is to improve individuals and society by encouraging excellence in all things, while having goodness and goodwill being the purpose of the activity.

Excellence and goodwill are found naturally in human consciousness. At the spiritual level, excellence and goodwill are traits found in the character of the soul; materially speaking, excellence and goodwill help to serve the survival and transcendence of the species. When used together and kept in proper balance, excellence and goodwill are powerful goals, motivations, and tools for the advancement of all mankind.

The pursuit of excellence and goodwill helps a person to become his or her true self and thereby fulfills the desire of most people to find and express their full potential. The pursuit of excellence and goodwill also contributes to social harmony by encouraging communities and cultures to cooperate to help their society excel in its accomplishments.

God’s Reason and God’s Practicality

When we think about God, we usually consider the Supreme Deity in spiritual terms, even though the Creator is the Initiator of all dimensions of the universe, including both the spiritual and material domains of existence.

By their nature, human beings have the ability to reason and the skills of practicality necessary to survive on earth. However, God, too, incorporates reason and practicality in His consciousness. Just as human beings can enhance their sense of spirituality by contemplating and integrating their consciousness with God’s spirituality, so too can human beings enhance their reason and practicality by contemplating and incorporating those aspects of themselves with the reason and practicality of the Creator.

God’s reason is reflected in the concept of the Divine Logos, that is, the underlying logic of the universe and all of its myriad components. Within the body of man, there are few — if any — components, large or small, which are completely independent. The components of the human body comprise a system of integrated parts, which (for the most part) function in ways that define who and what we are. Similarly, the components of the universe comprise a system of integrated parts that together define what the universe is.

Logos, or God’s reason, is the unifying design and framework around which matter and energy coalesce to form the human body and the universe. God’s reason is the primordial force behind it all. God’s reason, therefore, can be understood as the will of God, reflected in the evolution of all things in cosmos.

One of the special gifts of mankind is being able to comprehend, at least in part, what God’s will is in certain circumstances. Knowing that will and acting upon it is to align the free will of man with the will of God and thereby contribute in a positive way to the fulfillment of God’s plan for the individual soul, humanity as a species, and life’s destiny on the planet and beyond.

If God’s reason is the design of cosmos and its components, God’s practicality is the process of bringing that design into tangible reality in the various dimensions of the universe, including those occupied by man. God did not, in the blink of an eye, create all things complete and whole. God put into motion processes of evolution appropriate to all things material and spiritual, from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy.

There are multiple evolutions occurring at all times — that is why things are constantly changing, fast or slow. In addition to gradually knowing what God’s will is and integrating one’s free will with the will of the Creator, mankind can learn how to use the processes of evolution to bring about the fruition of God’s plans for that part of the universe which is the domain of mankind.

Having this knowledge and the discipline necessary to create within the parameters of God’s design and within the time frame for its evolutionary cycles gives man a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the unfoldment of God’s plan on this planetary home. To fully play this role, human beings need to strive to better align their consciousness with that of God and His Representatives in heaven. This alignment will give the individual the power, wisdom, and love necessary to become the true self and to fulfill one’s duty in ever greater expressions of the individual’s potential as a son or daughter of God here on earth. In essence, what we become is an extension of God in the dimensions of our existence.

The Metamorphosis of the Embodied Soul

The human soul in its embodiments on earth undergoes many metamorphic stages in its transformation from an inexperienced and simple person to someone deeply attuned to his or her relationship to God, the heavenly hierarchy, others among humanity, and the many levels of self-mastery necessary in the planes of matter before the soul is ready to graduate to other dimensions in God’s great house of many mansions.

One such metamorphic change occurs when the embodied soul becomes aware of and begins to express the true character of the soul in his or her decisions here on earth. This metamorphic change requires that the embodied soul surrender one bad habit after another as the person strives to reflect ever more perfectly the beautiful character God gave the soul at the moment of its creation.

This can be a painful period in one’s life, because it often entails letting go of many things that give the lesser self pleasure and relief from the considerable stress one feels living as a son or daughter of God amidst the turmoil of earthly existence. Once that level of self-mastery is attained, the embodied soul often feels great harmony and self-fulfillment — and all seems well and good.

However, an opportunity for an even higher level metamorphic change can appear at that time of joy: the person may come face to face with the necessity of making a painful choice of either following a clearly understood request from God or following the guidance of his own soul’s character as the person believes it to be. The choice is often stark with little or no rational alternative. Obey God’s wishes, or do what the person is convinced is the right thing to do. The Bible presents this classic dilemma in the story of Abraham and Isaac, but descriptions of similar conundrums abound in history.

It is fairly easy to say: follow God’s will and you can’t go wrong. And that probably is true. Yet, these kinds of choices many times involve the feelings and even well-being of others beside yourself. The necessity of these kinds of choices also seem to be karmic, because they recur over several lifetimes. These choices can tear at the heart and soul and cause fear, trembling, and many tears.

I am not sure there is any one way to resolve these dilemmas. One way certainly is to go ahead and unquestioningly do God’s will — if you are indeed convinced that choice is God’s intention. Another way is to meditate deeply on one’s inner quality, which is some virtue of God’s own goodness. That meditation can lead to a place of reconciliation where God’s will and the soul’s character de-conflict in some way.

Regardless of how the choice is made, if it is correctly made, then a higher level of metamorphosis occurs, whereby the lesser self of the soul in embodiment becomes a much higher self, and the soul and its earthly embodiment become almost as one.

Let the Holy Spirit Guide You

At a certain point in the process of replacing the lesser ego with the true self, a greater sensitivity occurs to the subtle movement of the Holy Spirit within one’s sphere of consciousness. Free will and personal responsibility in decision making continue; however, there is a clearer awareness of one’s connectivity to the whole of life and the specific circumstances of which we are part. Gradually, in this transformative process, one’s trust in the Holy Spirit increases, and a new level of material-spiritual coordination becomes possible — and, in fact, occurs naturally.

What this means in a practical sense is that one becomes more aware of what one ought to do in daily life. This is not like a captain giving up his ship’s command to another person. It is more like prescience, in which one feels prompted to move in one direction rather than another. It is very similar to the old adage of trusting in one’s intuition and instincts.

This is a shift in personal paradigm or worldview, and it takes a little getting used to — especially if the shift occurs suddenly rather than gradually. Remember, the Holy Spirit is always with us. We just tend to ignore it because of our overwhelming feeling of busyness.

The Holy Spirit ought always to be welcomed in our minds and hearts, because it is a pathway of communication and energy between our earthly existence and our spiritual existence. The action of the Holy Spirit is both personal and impersonal. It is personal in the sense that its promptings and energy are relevant to us individually. It is impersonal in the sense that anyone can be visited by the Holy Spirit at any time.

To me, the Holy Spirit is how God in His vastness is always in contact with His creation. As human beings, we try to understand the workings of the universe with our minds and imagination. However, the material universe is interconnected in some way with a network that is in part comprised of God’s consciousness. When you meditate upon this, it is easy to feel directly connected to God at the moment of the Holy Spirit’s visitation.

What Is the “Spirit” of the Great White Brotherhood?

The term “Spirit of the Great White Brotherhood” is frequently heard in discussions of certain kinds of spiritual teachings. I am sure there are many layers of meaning being referenced here, depending upon those involved in the discussion. From my limited understanding, this is what I believe “spirit” refers to in the context of the Great White Brotherhood.

First, there needs to be clarification of what “Great White Brotherhood” means. All of the heavenly hosts and embodied souls and spirits who love God and seek to do His will are members of the Great White Brotherhood, whether known or not in the outer consciousness. A narrower definition includes the fellowship of the most spiritually advanced beings in cosmos, who consciously work together to bring God’s great plan for the universe into fruition in whatever dimensions they exist and may have responsibilities in. Within this universal brotherhood there are branches whose primary responsibilities include planets such as Earth and its inhabitants such as humanity.

It is the love of God and the desire to work towards the fulfillment of His plan that comprise the common “spirit” of cooperation that binds together all members of the Great White Brotherhood. The term “White” refers to the brilliantly pure light of God that is found throughout cosmos and which can be experienced by individuals when they meditate.

The spirit of the Great White Brotherhood, then, is the connection between all light-bearers wherever they may be found in the universe. We can use this spiritual connection to reach out to the heavenly hosts at any time. It is the common love of God that establishes these spiritual connections. When we feel that love, we automatically are connected to the Brotherhood at a higher level of consciousness, which can be sustained for as long as we hold on to and feel that love of God.

What is important to keep in mind is that, as human beings, we are not alone or isolated in the universe. It is the love of God that ties us together. Conversely, it is the feeling of not loving God or seeking to harm good in the world that break those ties of light. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions — even our memories, imaginings, and subconscious patterns — are very critical to our soul’s evolution. These are things that are under our control and hence are instrumental in aligning our consciousness with the universal love of God.

The implication of this is that we ought to be concerned both about doing our duty and being as pure in consciousness as possible in order to advance the evolution of our soul.

The Spiritual Hierarchy Personifies God to Man

The infinite faces of God make it virtually impossible for a human being to know God in entirety. It is like looking at pictures of every person who has lived on earth and then being asked to define mankind.

There are souls who do seek to know the totality of God and I believe these would be of a deeply meditative nature who isolate themselves from the rest of the world in order to concentrate on the immensity of the Creator. How successful they are in their endeavors, I do not know.

For most of us who live normal lives and go about our daily business, one of the easiest ways to know God is through a harmonious contact between the character of our soul and one or more spiritual beings who serve God as members of the spiritual hierarchy of heaven. In almost all religions and spiritual traditions of which I am aware, these representatives of God each have a specific spiritual attribute which helps to define their individuality in the human mind. In other words, we see a specific character of God through the personification of individual spiritual beings.

This is a good thing. The identification of that spiritual character and its deep resonance within ourselves opens our consciousness to the magnificence of the Creator. It is our personal window into heaven.

Knowing God through one of his characteristics of goodness, as exemplified in a particular spiritual being and sensed within ourselves, puts us into a state of oneness with the Creator. Our awareness of that oneness expands and expands over time as we revisit in our consciousness that personal tie between ourselves, the heavenly hosts, and the Father-Mother God of us all.

This is a natural, beautiful, and peaceful way to further the evolution of our soul on earth.

Don’t Be Blinded by Your Lesser Ego

The consciousness of human beings often resides in levels of a lesser and a higher ego. The higher ego is the abode of the true self, the point in consciousness where the material and spiritual sides of man merge into one reality. The lesser ego exists primarily in the material world, where it goes about the business of daily life with little interaction with the higher and more spiritual sides of mankind’s existence. 

Often, when individuals who are quite accomplished in a worldly sense begin to turn to an exploration of their spiritual nature, they tend to view and judge spiritual matters from the logical and material perspective with which they are comfortable and familiar. This can create in the individual’s mind a conflict of interests, so to speak, because the spiritual and material worlds in which men live are in different dimensions. Both dimensions are part of the whole of reality, but it takes experience and practice for most people to function in the two dimensions consciously and efficiently. 

It takes time to gain this new mastery, and during the early stages of training the lesser ego of the person frequently sets itself up as the judge and jury of what is correct and what is incorrect in the instructions being received on spiritual matters. While understandable in terms of human psychology, this tendency of trying to place spiritual teachings into the context of material reality can lead to a certain blindness on the part of the new student. What occurs is that the material perspective filters out certain kinds of spiritual truths, so that gaining the mastery required to work simultaneously in material and spiritual dimensions can be a slow and arduous process. 

This particular impediment to gaining self-mastery can be overcome if the individual develops complete trust in a spiritual teacher who hopefully deserves that trust. However, if the individual does not fully trust the spiritual teacher or is unwilling or unable to let the lesser ego go, then the training may not be as successful as it might otherwise be. This condition can lead to a separation between student and teacher, which may or may not be permanent. Over time, the student may gain greater understanding in the schoolroom of life and see the previously discarded spiritual instructions as worthy of consideration. In these cases, the self-mastery being sought can be gained and the close ties (sometimes only through consciousness) can be reestablished between teacher and student.

The main point here is that individuals who wish to gain spiritual understanding need to be aware of the possible impediments of the rational, material mind during the early stages of spiritual instruction. On the other hand, the rational mind of man is a product of eons of development for the purpose of survival on this planet. So, it does have a role in the selection of a trustworthy spiritual instructor. The finding of that instructor, therefore, is highly important to the evolution of the person’s soul and the integration of the material and spiritual sides of the individual. That selection process is the subject of the next section.

How to Find a Trustworthy Spiritual Teacher

It is often said in spiritual communities that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Sometimes, the appearance of the teacher comes when the student directly approaches the teacher as through, for example, a conference or lecture being held by the teacher and attended by the student. Sometimes, the teacher reaches out to the prospective student through various coincidences that somehow draw the student into the orbit of the teacher.

In both instances of initial contact, there is an activity of the Holy Spirit at work, because the new student’s senses are quickened to the point where he or she knows that the teacher is waiting for them. How this occurs, I am uncertain; however, there is a recognition between student and teacher that is tangibly felt — somewhat similar to encountering that special person whom we eventually marry. 

Like most intuitions, this mutual attraction between student and teacher does not mean a perfect match has been found. A reasoned assessment of the situation, plus experience in the aura of the teacher, ought to be used by the student to better judge the probability of the teacher being the right one for the student at that particular time. Unfortunately, the student’s higher senses are usually not too developed initially, so mistakes can be made. Sometimes, the initial student-teacher relationship is a temporary one, in which the teacher conveys a certain understanding to the student which enables the student to eventually find a more suitable teacher.

The whole process takes place mostly at spiritual levels, often because of karmic factors, so that the student-teacher relationship can be complicated or simple, depending upon the circumstances. It is a natural process, nonetheless, and one that is usually necessary because the veils of maya can cloud the perceptions of those of us in the material world. The old adage of seek and ye shall find seems to hold true here. 

The Relationship Between the Character of the Soul, Inner Quality, and True Self

It is important to understand the close relationship between the character of one’s soul, one’s inner quality, and one’s true self. Understanding this relationship will help aspiring students of the light better comprehend some of the higher levels of consciousness one encounters along the way.

The character of the soul is an aspect of God’s goodness given to the soul at the moment of its creation. This character is what makes each soul unique and what gives us as human beings our individuality. This character is almost limitless in its potential as it carries within itself a portion of God himself. It represents the highest ideal that the soul can demonstrate during the eons of its existence.

The inner quality is our human understanding of the character of our soul. Because the character of our soul is infinite and our human understanding is finite, our understanding of our soul’s character is both limited and constantly evolving as we go through life here on earth. Our evolving understanding of our uniqueness in the universe strongly influences our perception of our inner quality. 

The true self refers to our evolving sense of who and what we are in reality. The true self is the highest conception we have of our self at any given time, although the term usually has meaning only after we have reached a basic level of understanding that we are both material and spiritual in nature. In general, the true self can be seen as an ideal self: an aspirational concept of who and what we truly are.

That ideal self becomes more tangible as we identify with and express our inner quality, and begin to recognize the character of God’s goodness within the soul as the essence of our individuality. This recognition and the free will determination that our purpose in life is to express our soul’s character wherever we are to the best of our ability provide the vision and the motivation for us to move ever onward on the path of life.

From a human perspective, we might not know where this path is leading us; however, from the perspective of the soul, being on the path is precisely where we ought to be at this stage of our evolution. 

Dharma, Mission, Karma, and Duty

These terms are frequently encountered in spiritual teachings and, while they have distinct meanings, they also have a close relationship with each other. Here, we will briefly explore their relationship and role in the development of the soul in its earthly evolution. 

Dharma is the soul’s alignment with cosmic law, or the rules governing the proper behavior of the soul in the context of God’s creation. The dharma of each soul has both common features with the dharma of other souls, as well as a uniqueness reflecting the specific character of the soul as bequeathed by God. An example of a common dharma is for each soul to contribute to the expansion of goodness in the universe. An example of a specific dharma is for an individual soul to contribute to the freedom necessary for all souls to learn the proper use of free will in the dimensions of spirit and matter.

Mission might best be seen in the context of an individual human being on earth. The soul’s specific dharma may be the expansion of freedom among all people. This dharma would be made tangible for the individual in embodiment by having a sense of mission to defend and protect freedom wherever it might be threatened during his or her lifetime. The relationship between dharma and mission in this example might be the deep love of freedom felt by the person his entire life and the determination as an adult to support individual freedom through his or her profession.

Karma is moral cause and effect. Good karma results from good deeds; whereas bad karma comes from bad deeds. This sounds straightforward; however, human beings are generally a mixture of good and bad. Sorting the good karma from the bad karma in the person’s consciousness can require many lifetimes of experience. However, making spiritual progress on earth requires one to accomplish this separation of good and bad within oneself, as well as the eventual transmutation of the bad energies through various spiritual and material efforts.

Duty plays a key role in sorting one’s karma, because there is duty that is a reward for previous good deeds and there is duty that is in repayment of debts we owe due to negative karma. One example of good duty is the opportunity to advance political freedom in oppressive, totalitarian states. An example of debt repayment through duty is to be denied that opportunity due to overwhelming responsibilities to care for a family member whom one harmed in a previous lifetime.

There is, of course, nothing wrong in helping a needy family member — that good deed will balance the old debt and provide important lessons on patience and respect for the fragility of life — nonetheless, there will be a longing in the caregiver that cannot be fulfilled in this lifetime. However, this longing teaches an important lesson to the person: if you wish to work on a higher calling, control your baser passions and do not unnecessarily harm others. It is these incremental lessons based on karma and duty that gradually teaches the soul how to act properly while in embodiment.

We all need to learn to use the opportunities given us by dharma, mission, karma, and duty to advance our soul’s progress on earth and in heaven. Misuse of these opportunities can cause us regret, as well as unnecessarily delay our spiritual evolution.

A simple and effective motto to follow during this process is:  Take what God has given you, and do something good with it.