I didn’t get as much opportunity to hang out contemplating my spiritual path as I’d hoped while in Marin, but I managed to do a bit. A long conversation with a dear friend clarified a few things. At a key point in our talk, we realized that her desire for her spiritual journey is to”not be here”–in the sense of moving to that expanded space where the self disappears—while my desire in spiritual life is to be me with a stronger connection to my divine essence. The way we see it most people lean toward one or the other (with variations on the themes).
Now a long argument could be made that the two places are the same and/or that spiritual practices will lead to the same place regardless of your goal. I don’t completely disagree as I think a lot of arguing over spiritual matters is really a war of words rather than concepts. But I also think a lot of traditions divide along the same lines, some being more about transcending the physical and others being about creating a bigger version of your human self. And I think that generally speaking it helps if you know which of the two goals suits you and then to choose the tradition and/or practices that align with your goal.
Part of the reason my eclectic path has contained some confusion is that I’ve studied traditions on both sides of that line and I find that they don’t mesh that well, at least not for me. It feels so much better just to have seen so clearly what I’m aiming for (we can talk another day about whether aims or goals are OK…). A friend who’s great at right listening is a wonderful gift.
Do you know what your spiritual goal is? Are you following a path that aligns with your goal?