An interesting thing on a spiritual path is that one may work for years with dedication and passionate intent towards what one believes are milestones of the path, all the while unknowingly building up an irrevocable attraction of the universe to oneself. Eventually, those events that one considered perhaps still far off and difficult to achieve begin to head in your direction with the locomotion and impact of a speeding train. The dedicated student takes his small steps, day after day, toiling, wondering if there is actually movement at all, encouraged by small achievements and results that come, in order to know that one is not, after all, walking backwards. Discipline acquired along the way is supposed to ambush the pretence of conjecture. Here labors the student, whose sole drink is aspiration; sole means, an inheritance of perseverance; soul hunger and sustenance, the Work.
Within this time, there may be temporal conflicts. However, the concern is not the situation- these conflicts are inherently written in as part of the external balancing act of the path. They are not artifice, but natural occurrences that develop in response to certain developments within.
The real concern for the dedicated student is the tempting trap of mis-alliance− a subtle and formidable snare. There can only be one Master for the Student, and that is the Self.
Let us pause for the definition of a dedicated student. A dedicated student is one who is in the middle of falling from a cliff. One has no choice but to land. There is no question if one should jump when one is already in the middle of the result from doing so. One is dedicated not only to the travel, but to the landing. For the second is the result of the first, and the first has already been set into motion. If A, then B. One is not thinking of other things. If one is thinking at all, it is only to wonder what the impact will be on one's body and brain. The fall itself may be stimulating and occupy the mind. This is a dedicated student.
To return to the subject of alliance: if a student is lucky enough to have the audience of a temporal master, from any spiritual path, he should know that the title refers to the fact that the man is a master of himself (this statement should not be read as restricted to the gross plane.) Master is a word denoting respect for his achievement with himself. It should never be said with the misconception or implication that the man is your master. At the same time, if one is lucky enough to have audience with a master (there are few who truly know themselves), it might be wise to look in the direction he points.
A teacher, a church, an order, a group, cannot be misinterpreted as the Self. This sounds deceptively simple, but there are pitfalls for even a dedicated student. The term student itself implies that active work is part of the course.
First, as is his nature, the dedicated student devotes himself passionately to anything that is involved in the nature of his work. Thus he becomes intensely dedicated to his temporal group/church/order/what-have-you. It is after all, at least in the beginning, his perceived connection to, well, his perceived connection. This is as it should be. A group/church/order/ what-have-you is a fine place to learn service, discipline, duty, or other qualities that are beneficial to achieving an experiential understanding of certain parts of a path.
I shall not go into the various kinds of groups/churches/orders/ what-have-you here, or the numerous denigrations, flagellations, recitations, corruptions, defections, infractions, insurrections, circumspections, assertions and contortions pertaining to one or all. We may leave those bones for the dogs.
The pitfall of a group of any kind is that by its very nature, one is submerged into a whole. "But wait," cries the student on his toes, "isn't that one of the objectives of [many] paths?" Why yes, however, movement and growth result in consistent irony and paradox, and so it is here. Though moving into a whole may be part of some end games, it cannot be reached by merely submerging the self into the first pile of blankets found. At least, not the type of mastery referred here.
To be submerged into a whole group/church/order/what-have-you is not the whole of Self, rather it is the creation of a different "whole" by many selves who have come together. An egregore of sorts. Thus, by participation, one becomes more than one's individual self, has access to a larger pool of resources, and is involved in the dynamics of a larger, more powerful whole.
Not a bad thing. It has its drawbacks along the way, but a group that is truly based on the movement of its members along the path can move one faster through the foundations of self-work. It is the difference between climbing up a tree and climbing down a tree. In the latter, one has a larger force assisting movement in the same direction, so to speak. Of course, if one releases one's own hands during the descent, it is the nature of any larger force to take over, and in no short time one may find unplanned bruises on the gluteus maximus of individual will.
The same can be said of a guide/minister/master/teacher. Though one might conclude that any guide/minister/master/teacher who has the misfortune of harboring a student in the thralls of such impertinent idiocy as denial of own will of self, who does not immediately, thoroughly trounce the student, is no real guide/priest/master/ teacher. But then, there is a shortage.
Why is there a shortage? What could be more fun than to tame a pack of wild coyotes, ready to lunge at your throat with one aversion of your eyes, while licking your hands? Beware of guides/priests/ masters/teachers who are excessively willing. They are most likely not able, although they may teach one a good lesson in discernment (as do all sincere charlatans). Those who are able are typically one of two things: grouchy, having little patience for the stupidity of students claiming to desire freedom who then clutch chains to themselves like an overcoat in winter; or in a constant state of amusement while watching the same state of affairs. You will know the latter by the twinkle in their eye. You will recognize the former less often because they have no use for you.
Ah yes, I see. We thought we could read our way into enlightenment. We thought we could listen to sermons, pray, do rituals, gematria-tize our Self into shape. Or perhaps we thought we could sleep our way to the top?
Well, that last one may work after all, but only when performed in a peculiar manner and pre-approved by a tri-level committee vote.
I don't think you've noticed there, sir, that the orange on your tongue is actually a lemon. Too late to spit it out, you've taken an oath!
The student studies. The practitioner practices. The dedicated student practitioner practices falling from the cliff while studying himself. It is not enough to absorb concepts intellectually. Understanding of the sort that permeates all levels results only when a concept has been put into application. It is in application that difficulties arise which then allow a student the opportunity to truly work with themselves.
Of course, when a concept is in application, it becomes very personal. And very personal things are very important to us; so important that we will cling to our very personal things much more often than we will use the opportunity to apply a concept. A test is never given by another person. They are natural occurrences that are indicators of reaching certain plateaus. Do not let the wolves convince you otherwise.
You must grow yourself. You must be self-led. But pay attention to pointers!
One last point. If you have learned that life is play, if you are able to maintain a world where that is so, you have graduated beyond this small essay. If you are aware of your work within multiple levels of science, you are beyond this book.
About Heavy Bags of Soul
Heavy Bags of Soul articulates the inner journey of initiation told via poetry, dialogues, short stories and essays. Not for everyone- this is an edgy book for forward and original thinkers. Look deeper through the lens of self evolution via a journey of the interior.
The quest for Truth has just been taken into the 21st century and your initiation begins by just reading the words. Are You Ready?Heavy Bags of Soul is edgy, hits you in the gut and gives you the education you never knew you needed. Written with irony, truth, and a spiked pen, Heavy Bags of Soul takes the reader past the self into self-evolution.
For seekers of alternative spirituality or simply those who value independent thinking, Heavy Bags of Soul is sure to leave the reader with a new perspective on reality.
About the Author
K.D. Rose, a futurist and lover of both critical and original thinking, is the author of Heavy Bags of Soul, a daring and insightful depiction of the inner journey of initiation via poetry, dialogue, short story and essay. Her lengthy, esoteric history provides modern day insight with humor and a pen that reveals the central threads common to multiple paths and experiences. As an avid study and practitioner, K.D. can speak from a place of knowledge and understanding about metaphysics, kundalini, meditation, dream work, mysticism and magick.
K.D. had her first precognitive dream at the age of six and began keeping a journal of dream work by the time she was eighteen. She has experienced the degrees and levels of initiation that affect both the inner and outer worlds, and can discuss esoteric concepts in real life and down-to-earth terms as well as articulate through words that affect the core. K.D. has first-hand knowledge of the trials of meditation, the experiences inherent in mysticism, and the specific stages of kundalini from years of personal work. The author also has expert knowledge of the ancient foundations of magick and mysticism and a well-rounded understanding of the truths and commonalities among different systems of study, initiation, and spiritual work.
K.D.'s focus on dream work for the last two decades has given her unprecedented access to stages of consciousness, dreaming, lucid dreaming, and out of body experiences. This personal experience allows K.D. to separate the crap from the credible in the area of dream work and to reveal the difference between book knowledge and hard worn wisdom in spiritual work. Additionally, the author's educational foundation and adherence to critical thinking provides an objective and grounded structure to some of the most "out there" concepts and exploration, allowing her to offer more than one explanation for experiences so readers may ponder and decide ultimate meaning for themselves.
Most importantly, K.D. brings humor to an area where too often we go overboard taking ourselves seriously. Spiritual work is, after all, an endeavor in which to be "light at heart".