Why Do You Pursue Spiritual Evolution?
By Joyce Shafer
How long have you been on the spiritual evolution path? Do you feel the way you thought you would, could or should, or do you (still) feel disconnected and discontented?
The inner nudge was to get Ernest Holmes’ book, The Science of Mind, from the bookshelf and find the reading for that particular day. The content was meaningful, but it was the last sentence that got my attention: “Spiritual evolution should make the Infinite not more distant, but more intimate.” This is one of those things that may make you go, “Hmm…”
Evolve means to develop gradually by a process of growth and change, to unfold. Spiritual evolution means we do this—grow, change, and unfold—to, for, and with our spiritual (inner) natures. Why do we aim at this evolution? Why do we get the books or products or do the programs? And why after the time we put into this, sometimes years or decades, don’t we feel and do better?
There’s a lot of attention given to tools, techniques, methods—call them what you will, which are created (we hope) to help us to not feel as helpless as we can tend to feel in the experience of our lives. When we use these tools, we deliberately intend to (and can) engage and develop our spiritual abilities and awareness of them, to support our physical efforts and results. We most often travel this path because we want greater influence over our physical experience. Nothing wrong with that at all. Source wants us to participate in and with universal abundance and creativity, which are aspects of who we are.
But, what about our spiritual (inner) experience? Say you get the parking spaces, receive the needed funds, or whatever you use Law of Attraction or any technique on. That’s terrific, empowering, and fun! But do you also perceive how you can or do evolve spiritually because of such experiences? Does this potential evolution enter your mind to consider, or does getting the desired result seem to be enough?
Holmes had something else to say: “…if we merely think of an abstract Principle [God, Source, Universal Mind, etc.], and a mathematical Law of Cause and Effect, we shall lose all warmth and color. We should be very careful in abstracting the Principle not to forget the essence.”
I’m all for using the techniques; that’s what they’re there for. But look at that vital puzzle piece Holmes included: When we focus on using the techniques solely for what we can get and leave out how knowledge and use of them can expand our connection with Source, and cause us to feel and be more of our own infinite natures, in alignment with and as part of Source, we lose all warmth and color. We lose or leave out the full “texture” that can be created and experienced in our inner and outer lives.
Without the bigger picture experience (warmth and color) in mind, we focus on how we can get more, not grow more. Because of this we feel “the hour of our discontent” hour by hour, and we don’t know why. We believe stuff or money and more stuff or money will ease the discontent. Yet, we see many examples all around us of how this simply isn’t true; at least, it seems to rarely be the result. In such examples something is missing. That something can only be found within us, like an ember than can be fanned into an illuminating, warming, energizing flame.
The way to evolve, to expand awareness, is to open to it; to put what we learn into practice; to observe and assess the before, during, and after aspects; and to appreciate what we witness, including and especially at the feeling level, because this holistic or multi-faceted process teaches us about ourselves, Source, and what’s possible for us. How we develop an intimate connection with Source is as individual as we are. This relationship, if nurtured and experienced, can calm any and all discontent or insecurity… because we can absolutely know who we are and can behave, act, and create from there… more often than not, and as we evolve. Keep in mind the “gradually” aspect.
What really happens when you use Law of Attraction or a parallel technique? You may think it develops your own consciousness, but that’s not what happens. You develop your personal USE of the Universal Consciousness, which you are an individualized expression of. There is only ONE creative consciousness, and you are free to use it in your individualized way, as a contributing participant in the bigger picture experience. This is what’s meant by, “You are more than you imagine.”
We are individualized because of and by our conscious perceptions, but have the capability to expand our perceptions so that we embrace and live the truth that we are “part and parcel” of the Universal Consciousness, Abundance, Wisdom, and so forth. “Part and parcel” is an idiom that means a necessary part of an experience which cannot be avoided. Discontent is the result of avoiding this truth, whether done deliberately or not. It is also the result of our spirit nudging us to expand in this way, and we resist it.
Here’s something to keep in mind: if your belief system doesn’t create or allow you to return, when triggered, to desired feelings like serenity or trust or joy, either the system or your understanding of it needs reassessment.
You already have within you and in your power every technique and ability you seek to learn. But you are in the process, through Spiritual Evolution, of re-membering this. The more this awareness grows and strengthens in you—that is, the more you deliberately grow and strengthen it, the more you’ll feel, be, and live what you desire to feel, be, and live.
Is it really possible, or desirable, to develop and expand in this way and NOT deepen your relationship with Source? How do you develop, expand, and deepen any relationship you desire (or find yourself involved with)? You engage in conversations and interactions. Replace some of your solo mind chatter with conversations with Source. Ask questions. Ask for what you want. Ask for guidance. And, listen and pay attention with your ears, eyes, and feelings for responses.
Holmes wrote that all law is Mind in action. Law of Attraction, etc., is Mind in Action. We are discontent primarily because of how we put our minds into action. You can decide right now to put your mind-in-action to better practice.
Practice makes progress.
Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She's author of "I Don't Want to be Your Guru" and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that's offered by Joyce and on her site at State of Appreciation.