The Pilgrimís Companion: A Handbook for the Spiritual Path
EXCERPT FROM THE INTRODUCTION
The Pilgrimís Companion sums up some of the key insights I have gained from my own transformational journey. It sets out the objective principles that have contributed to my spiritual understanding and have oriented me in my search for a more meaningful life. Although I have liberally interspersed my discussions of principles with examples of my experiences, I regard the reporting of such experiences as a secondary aspect of this work. I share them solely for illustrative purposes, and as evidence to fellow seekers that sincere and determined seeking will bear fruit, not in terms of specific experiences, but in terms of a better understanding and appreciation of Life and its meaning.
Navigating The Path Of Process
The path to a transformed consciousness is not linear. Traveling this path is not a simple matter of setting up a target and going after it. A linear approach breaks down because it presupposes that what completes the journey is what starts it. But this is certainly not so. Usually it is the ego that starts out on the transformational journey, but for the journey to end in spiritual realization, the ego must be subordinated to something else. Because the transformational path is nonlinear, we must view it as a path of process.
The only way for us to participate successfully in our own transformation is to simultaneously engage in and oversee the process that brings about a metamorphosis of the ego-centered self. We achieve this when we feed the transformational impulse by taking the time and effort to satisfy the inner need to find meaning in life. Such an activity is similar to that of feeding fuel to a fire. In this case, we are both the fire that is fed and the feeder. The fire is fueled by those aspects of ourselves that we outgrow as we achieve clarity on how to seek greater meaning in life, and as we grasp a more stable vision of our collective New-Consciousness-Reality.
The parts of ourselves that we sacrifice into the transformational fire fall into familiar categories: the egotistical designs we have upon Life, petty ambitions, fears, disappointments, shortsighted ideas of success, our sense of alienation, and our separative tendencies. The glow that emanates from this fire reveals our growing sense of meaning and belonging, the wholeness of creation, the oneness of the Creator and the created, the unity of the seeker and that which is sought, and the common identity of the One and the many. Progressively we bring new aspects of our future into manifestation and anchor them in our daily life. This is the key to our transformation, and this is how we change our experience of Life!
We navigate the path of process by placing our attention and sympathy on the process at work within us that propels us toward greater meaning. Our emphasis is not on acquiring anything, but on doing what is necessary to allow right relationships to emerge between the various facets of ourselves and the external universe. We make progress by always being open and receptive to the Highest Good that can be perceived in any situation or relationship. Concurrently, we must behave in a manner that is compatible with the Highest Good as we intuit it on an ongoing basis.
Each time we defer to the Highest Good that we can perceive in our encounters and relationships, we achieve a new understanding of our relationship to everything else. Each time such a new understanding occurs, we succeed in transforming ourselves a bit more. In this sense, being consciously on the path of process allows us to reconcile the outer with the inner life. It is also the method which unites effort and Grace and resolves the many dilemmas of the transformational journey.