Traveling a Spiritual Path: A Guide to the Journey

This section is a work in process. The goal is to produce a series of short videos exploring what we can learn from both ancient wisdom traditions (aka perennial philosophy) and modern science on the “why” and “how” of traveling a spiritual path.

By “spiritual path” we mean a process supportive of our conscious evolution, leading to the fullest expression of our highest potential: to be free of fear, and totally loving. To quote Gerald Heard in Training for the life of the Spirit:

“In a phrase, the Life of the Spirit is no more and no less than the continuation of our evolution; it is our continued growth in awareness, understanding, and grasp of Reality.”

The series is offered as a guide or resource for those interested or already engaged in a spiritual process. Its goals are to inspire personal exploration as well as dialogue with fellow travellers. Toward that end, suggested questions and supporting resources are provided in each section.

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION

A very quick overview of the purpose and of this series.

Starter Questions for Exploration

  1. The video begins with a quote from Aristotle: “The true nature of anything is the highest it can become.” What are your thoughts/responses to that quote?
  2. If you agree with Aristotle’s premise, what do you think is “the highest we can become”?
  3. Where do you think that capacity comes from? Why would we have it?

PART TWO: WHY A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY?

This video articulates the personal benefits, and global imperative, of undertaking a spiritual journey, and in the process explicates some the underlying assumptions guiding the series. (This video was actually the first one created for the series, so it has a little different look and feel. It’s also likely to be the only one that has a voice over.)

 

PART THREE: OUR POINT OF DEPARTURE

Every journey has a starting point—a particular place, orientation or perspective that sets our initial course, and that provides the first, often distant view of where we’re headed. In the case of a spiritual journey, many wisdom traditions start here:

Starter Questions for Exploration

  1. Why do you think acknowledging our “oneness” is a recommended starting point for a spiritual journey?
  2. If we accept the premise—that reality is a unified whole—do you think humankind has the ability to perceive that reality? Through what capacity or capacities?
  3. If we did perceive it, would we be different? Would the world be different? How?
  4. What might be some personal implications of our inseperable relationship with all that is?

Supporting Resources

Books

For those who would like to learn more about what science is discovering about the nature of reality, here are a few books I’ve enjoyed. I like these because, once having summarized the science, they go further to explore the implications for us as individuals and as a human family. There are of course many more great resources on this topic. Feel free to offer additional suggestions through the Comment form.

Finally, for a mind-bending read that goes deep into the science—while trying valiantly to keep it at layperson level—check out Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli.

Quotes

“The separation of the world into an ‘objective outside reality’ and ‘us,’ the self-conscious onlookers, can no longer be maintained. Object and subject have become inseparable from each other.”
Walter Heitler, Physicist

“When the Ten Thousand things are viewed in their oneness, we return to the Origin and remain where we have always been.” Sen T’sen

“The mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion…the ultimate reality without, is identical to… the reality within.” Fritjof Capra, Physicist & Author

“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self…” Gautama Buddha

“Ultimately, the entire universe…has to be understood as a single undivided whole.”
David Bohm, Physicist

“Behold but One in all things; it is the second that leads you astray.” Kabir

“Everything is Energy and that is all there is to it.” Albert Einstein, Physicist

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”  Rumi

“…there is no here and there…here is identical to there.” John Briggs and David Peat, Physicists

“One Nature, perfect and pervading, circulates
in all natures.
One Reality, all-comprehensive, contains
within itself all realities,
The one Moon reflects itself wherever there
is a sheet of water,
And all the moons in the waters are
embraced within the one Moon.”
Yung-chia Ta-shih

 

PART FOUR: WHO ARE WE?

In production.