Spiritual Practicality

The title of my upcoming book is “Spiritual Practicality.” I’d like to take a moment to explain to you what I mean by that, and then in my next post I will begin to address the Seven Keys I have discovered underlying these teachings that, if kept in mind, will bring clarity to you as you read. This is regardless of what particular book or religious system you draw upon in order to interpret the world around you and guide you on your way.

One of the issues that is discussed with regard to spiritual living is that is it considered by most to be impractical and ill-suited to living in the modern world. If we are talking about trying to live your life according to a literal or “dead letter” reading of The Old Testament for instance, I can see the point as at least partially valid. Those of you who have read some of my work will probably know that I don’t believe that is the way to read any scripture. They are written symbolically so they can bring truth to a wide variety of readers along a continuum of conscious awareness. To a child the Gospels tell the story of a preacher roaming the holy land teaching love and compassion. To a biblical scholar they give insight into a period in human development and history as well. To me and many others, they tell the story of the awakening human consciousness. The path to that awakening is presented in the story through the events in the life of Jesus, who never claimed to be the only begotten son of God, but did refer to himself as the light and the path and the way. How can those words be interpreted in any way other than symbolic?

So how can any of this be of practical use? There has been an attempt by some to qualify practical spirituality as the application of some of their system of belief to the practical world around them. Embracing principles which do apply to daily life, and there are many that do. “Thow shalt not kill” is a great example of a pronouncement that makes as much sense in the modern world as it did when Moses first spoke it to the Israelites. As a matter of fact, it was true and practical before that as well. These ideas are in many cases moral in their nature, and adopted (appropriately) by the various systems of faith and belief, and used to guide the congregation in just and right behavior. It’s a start, but I believe this is an incomplete way of living your faith because it really involves cherry picking tenets you think still work and applying them in your daily living.

I turned the phrase on its side for a reason. I refer to “Spiritual Practicality” because I believe that when you understand what is being taught, you can live a spiritual life that is completely practical and applicable in the modern world. Now there are things which are included in many of the scriptures of the world that need to be, and have been abandoned as we have grown in our conscious awareness. Many others still need to be dropped by the segments of the populace who still adhere to them. Just because an idea is old doesn’t make it true. The second tier status of women as human beings is one that cannot go too soon. Even though Leviticus tells us it’s OK to sell our daughters into slavery, that has more to do with the structure of a society created thousands of years ago than it does with the teachings at the core of the Judaic traditions. Many of the old texts have those kinds of “don’t eat stuff off the sidewalk” instructions that are really not necessary in modern society.

The spiritual living that is at the center of the various religious teachings of the world is still very practical today. Instead of trying to figure out which parts of our spirituality are practical and applicable to modern life, I propose that the only practical way to approach modern life is the spiritual path. How many of you have done what was asked of you throughout your lives from a practical angle and still feel empty? You went to college or work, raised your children to the best of your ability, worked hard at your job, bought tons of stuff with the money you made, and yet your life does not feel full. You have concentrated on the results, and gotten them, but something is missing. The materialistic approach to living in the West is an empty and illusory lifestyle. I met a woman who represents a product line we use in my work. She travels 4-5 days a week 3-4 weeks a month and so does her husband. It’s commendable to work that hard under the right circumstances, but she has an infant at home. He mother is raising the child so that they can accumulate stuff. Can you see the possibility of an “aha moment” later in her life when she feels she has missed out on living?

When you live spiritually you will find that every aspect of that approach to life has a practical application in the modern world. Spiritual Practicality means applying your spiritual life, your inner being, to the practical world. Instead of taking a few seemingly practical aspects of the teachings you hold dear to your current circumstances, you live spiritually through every experience, because your awareness is changed. Meditation may seem like an impractical waste of time to someone who does not practice it, but the results in your consciousness from its practice will make you a more effective human being in any walk of life. Kindness and compassion can be practiced in any circumstance. Harmlessness is a way of life. You cannot have happiness or bliss if there are incongruities in your life and actions. Being a cut-throat business man, because that is the only way to survive in a hostile world does not square with what one claims to believe in church on Sunday. Integrity is the continuity between your inner life and your actions in the physical, emotional, and mental worlds. Physical acts have physical repercussions that can be seen and tested. What many don’t realize is that not only do emotional and mental acts have effects on their own planes but those effects precipitate down into the physical as well. Do you think that understanding these things has any practical application in everyday life? Obviously I do.

Stay tuned. We will be going through the Seven Keys one by one.

The Journey – An Act of Will

I have my iPod running a compilation of writings from Alice A. Bailey called “Ponder on This” in my car. It is a phrase used in the books quite often. If you are not familiar, Ms. Bailey wrote 24 books between 1919 and 1949 with a Tibetan Master named Djwahl Kuhl. She only claims authosrship of four of the books and just as Madam Blavatsky said about the Secret Doctrine, she just recorded what she was told in the case of the other 20. I have been studying with the Arcane School she started for about nine years now, and the teachings contained in that enourmous body of work (I have read them all) has become my life. When I am experienceing something like the upheaval in my life I have been discussing with all of you, it is always a reflection or even an embodyment of what I am being taight.

In this last year or so the teaching has been to move from aspiration and Soul infusion, which is supposed to be in process and at least partially accomplished by this stage, to the expression of Spiritual Will. Yesterday as I was driving and listening to “Ponder on This,” there was a line that reminded the reader (listener) that the first act of the Will is always one of destruction. The sculptor destroys the stone and only when he has been working for some time is the beauty of his vision and creation apparrant to anyone but himself. Even his physical apparatus cannot detect the indwelling image in the stone. Only in his mind does it exist. Luckily, energy follows thought.

The act of conscious creation requires a vivid thought form, and the desire of the creator to see it manifest. The desire is what transforms into the Will to act and then the creation is manifested on the physical plane. The problem you might see is that I was very reluctant to have any of this happening… on a personality level. The me that is driving is not the guy who you all know as Rev. Doug. It is the Soul that is at the very center of the life of Rev. Doug. It is my Soul who is sculpting my life, and I only get glimpses of what is to come in moments of intuition.

The Soul assumes more and more control of the happenings in the life of someone who aspires and takes his evolution consciously into his own hands. I’m not being arrogant, although saying that might seem disingenuous. I have been working on myself very consciously in a disciplined manner for over a decade now. It too is an act of Will. What the teachings tell you is that this will bring about tests and change because the personality has opened the door to Soul intent through aspiration. What I can tell you is that it is doubtful that the personality just happened to be cruising along toward exactly what the Soul intends. A course correction is necessary, and the personality (Rev. Doug in this case) is swept up in the tide of change.

It is interesting to me that an act of Will on the part of the personality to aspire to something higher will destroy all that it has built with that same developing Will. Its like you knowingly pull the plug out and the water starts to drain out of the tub. In a panic you do everything you can to stop the water until you realize how free you are and how much there is outside of the tub that you couldn’t experience until you get out of the warm comfy water.

If you don’t want your life to change, don’t read my upcoming book. It has changed mine and its not even published yet.

The Journey to re-create the self

So here it is. I feel like a cliche but that is perhaps why this will resonate with many of you. I’m 53 years old and have worked in the same industry for my entire career with one exception. 32 years in Electronic Security, from installation and service as a young man to managing those men in my 30’s. I made the jump to Engineering after 15 years in the business. I did that for 15 more with some really big projects and lots and lots of smaller ones. 2 years ago I made another career move. I went to an independent manufacturer’s rep firm and essentially a sales job. I loved it and I was getting good at it when we lost an important account, and I lost my job. Less than two years in Marketing seems to have worked against me and the fact that I was making 30-40% more than I did at dealers means they cant pay me and don’t want to hire me because they think I’ll leave when something better comes along. Translation.. Its been three months and I have not gotten a single offer after working 32 years in the same field.How many of you have had an experience like this? Too many I think.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, My marriage has been on the rocks. I had been teaching metaphysics, but stopped doing that for a variety of reasons, including that my marriage was on the rocks. I was still working on my first book on the subject and that is where this gets very interesting. There has been a convergence of forces in my life. I knew the job was in jeopardy in February. I was also close to finishing the book. I had given my marriage its last chances and knew that was ending as well but these things all came to a head in a single week. I considered the book done when I printed the manuscript on the 11th of March. My last day on my job was the 15th. The last straw in my marriage came in the form of the fight that moved me from the basement, where I had been living for 10 months, to the home of a friend, was on the 17th. Boom goes the dynamite. Its all gone.

I will not be giving and really personal information about my wife or the break-up because frankly, that is private. It is also not only my privacy in question, which if you know me is not much of an issue. Its my wife’s life that is changing too and she is very private. I will be talking about the effects it is having on me as I go through this journey but it is not as important as what lies ahead. There is loss to be contended with as well as the disappointment with my inability to secure a job. This country has become a really jacked up mess and I am going to be giving you my take on that too. What is really important here is that a measure of freedom comes with this explosion of force that I have never experienced before. My kids are grown, I am alone, and though I am really frustrated with the security industry which has collectively spit me out after chewing me up for 32 years, the fact is I don’t need to make the near 6 figure salary that no one wants to pay me any more. I am free. I can re-create my self and my life and do whatever it is I want to do… right now. That is freedom.

I have looked at the people on the news who have lost homes in every kind of disaster and had the same thought. You can cry about the loss, and you will. It is very difficult to let go of anything you care about. Doing it with everything personal in a home at the same time is a shattering experience I am sure. In many of those cases the places where those people worked may have been blown away or floated away as well. There comes a moment when you realize that as hard as it is to deal with you are now a clean slate. Freedom. Everything I have known in the last 20 years or so is basically gone. Its not quite over, but for all practical purposes this is a done deal. I am going to have to start my life over, and if you are interested, you can follow this process. 

My son’s graduation from Metro State University is tomorrow morning and then I am going on a walkabout. No one is looking for me and I only really have a single job prospect that has not closed in front of me. That is a meeting I have next Thursday. I have my backpack in my truck and I am leaving Denver for a short trip. Some meditation in the solitude of the mountains is in order. There is some secret stuff going on out there I can’t talk about right at this moment but you will find out about it soon enough. I am a writer and that is what I want to do. I love to teach and I am now in a position to do what I love because I have gotten to the point where I am having a hard time figuring out why I should care if no one is offering me a job I don’t even want. The universe is a big place and I have a place in it. It obviously is not Electronic Security any more. Lets find out what it is.

Throughout this journey we will be contending with the launch of my book “Spiritual Practicality – The Seven Keys to the Mysteries of the Ageless Wisdom.” I also need to figure out a place to live and how I can best serve all of you and the universe at large. Sounds like a big task but I’m sorry to telly you that each of you needs to figure that one out too. I am dreaming a new dream and you will watch as I realize that dream. Note those words. When we realize something we make it real. At first this is only within our own consciousness. Then the art of white magic continues as we externalize that into a physical reality through action prompted by the magician’s desire to see it come to fruition. I will either prove these things to you through my success or fall on my face in front of you. Those who know me know the odds are that I will both fall on my face and succeed.

Stay tuned.