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.
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.
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.
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 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.