A Spiritual Seeker: By Robert Ryder
To be a spiritual seeker is to be concerned with moving beyond the limits of the ordinary mind. The main obstacle we encounter in attempting to do this is our own psyche and no tinkering with outer circumstances or systems will help advance us. We must go to that center within to bring about a change in ourselves. It does no good to travel from one place to another to find spiritual enlightenment. If you cannot find God in your own backyard, it is not likely you will find God along the Jordan, the Ganges or the Nile; nor will you find Her in the flower or a smile.
We must be living expressions of truth, not fossilizing custodians of ancient theosophy. The spiritual seeker knows that life is being moved by powerful unseen forces. At times traditional beliefs and dogma are insufficient. Recasting old ideas and collecting knowledge is not synonymous with spiritual experience. It may serve to activate our interest but it does not provide an inner awareness. There is no set course of instruction which, after completing, we receive an S.D. (“Saint’s Degree”) or an M.D. (“Mystic’s Degree”). Each of us has a unique past to draw from and each is drawn to and responds to certain practices in our own unique and individual way. Individual differences are neither better nor worse, just different. To compare one’s self with others is to forget the uniqueness of your own journey.
There is invariably a dichotomy or polarization when a different system is introduced within or alongside of an existing system. Each tends to view the other with suspicion. This is not as unfortunate as it first may seem. The established system is forced to review itself, its objectives, means and results. The new system will be compared to the old system and judged on its effectiveness. Caution must be exercised in evaluating or criticizing the new system just because it does not fit into the existing model. After all, Christianity was once a new system.
God has given us intellect to use, emotions to feel, intuition to guide us. God has also given us free will with which to freely make choices. To challenge authority is not the same as defy authority. I encourage the challenge of opinions… including my own. It would be most unusual to never contradict myself. In our humanness we portray changing, not “being;” not simply day to day change but moment to moment change. My words are only adapted to the moment.
Love and God
Love for God and the God within everyone is the eternal summons that has been delivered by all the spiritual masters. As spiritual seekers our purpose is to function in the highest expression we can manifest. The Bhagavad Gita declares: “All the paths are mine… no matter by which path you approach me, all will find me.” This includes the path of the agnostic and the atheist. Paul, in Romans 12:2 urges us: “Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We seek our retreats for spiritual enlightenment by the sea side, on mountains, in deserts, away from the ordinary activities, but these are of little benefit if you cannot, at a moment’s notice, retire unto your own inner self no matter where you are.
We all have times of soul darkness. There, dark times may be of biological origin such as illness, or of psychological origin such as grief. The Greek word “thrassein,” which means “to trouble” is translated as “dark” in the New Testament. During those times most of us turn our attention to God. It is equally important to remember God in those placid, uneventful days of our life. Some days may seem dull and boring, but they are not really; they are filled with God if we just open our eye of awareness. Spiritual seeking does not guarantee that we will have perfect health or that we will have no personal problems. What it does guarantee is that we will find the Light even in the darkness. We will rise above our problems… our challenges.