A simple confession: It took me a long time to own my path, to trust my own path because I got in my own way. Like a child in an illusory candy shop, I was distracted by one shiny piece of spiritual fool’s gold after another. Every fake gem caused me to leave the path I was walking and chase after the false promise of something that was easier and faster and sure to bring enlightenment.
Except, they were all lies and vapor behind their glittering and glamorous appearances.
My continual and neurotic cat-chasing-tail distractions didn’t answer my questions and never moved me a foot down the path. My spiritual efforts were on hold for far, far too long. Karmically too long — across lifetimes. I only thought I as moving.
I Was the Cause of My Own Defeat
Sometimes I even thought I caught those phantom mice, but with every chase, I was back at the beginning. This is the Minotaur’s labyrinth made personal. With every chase I was convinced that this latest bauble would be my deliverance. You can no doubt guess that didn’t happen. I am still not enlightened, still not the magickal ruler of my domain after chasing after so many spiritual cat toys.
This is all spiritual materialism and led me around in circles. This game never ends, until we decide to end it. This is chase I was always bound to lose and I have nobody but myself to blame for it.
As a result, I have changed religions, spiritual paths, and philosophical approaches so many times that I must have destroyed any momentum I have ever gained from any single practice 18,000 times over.
Don’t Confuse the Destination for the Path
Beyond my spiritual materialism, my other critical mistake was this: I thought my foundation was my destination.
Building foundations, especially spiritual foundations takes a lot of work and a lot of focus. We need to have desire for the path we walk and be committed to that desire, let alone the path. Since I was scared of my desire, it was easy to let myself question every step. Since information is so easy to come by and I am fairly eclectic in my reading, it was too easy to chase after every random idea that crossed my path.
I continued the make the mistake of thinking that I had to arrive at a spiritual destination to make progress. I mistook regular mediation for a destination. I mistook reading certain books as a destination. I mistook having specific magickal tools or objects as a destination. But, they are all steps along the path towards realization. And realization itself is a step on the path towards greater realization.
Is it not magick to create the path out of life and life out of the path?
My Path is the Path
What is different now? That’s an excellent question. In part, I have learned to trust my path as my path. Not the path, but my path though I hope there is at least some crossover between the two! I meditate, I do yoga, I strive to be compassionate and kind. I try to live in the moment. I try to manifest myself into that moment and act creatively. I do magick to put a polish on what I discover and understand through meditation. Meditation gives me the courage and inspiration to practice magick. Magick brings the change I see in myself into the world. That’s enough. The path is the path and when I mediate we step into that path, when I act kindly I step into that path. The path carries me. The path carries us. When I am on the path I am shown Gods and Goddesses and meanings and symbols and even our own desires. We integrate them and add them to the path, but the path remains the path. My path remains my path.
For me, now, the search for the path leads straight back to the path which fuels the search which leads back to the path again. Like a mantra we have to let that happen and let the path do the work for us. When I do that, the search becomes letting to into the seated, inward facing moment.
The Search Splinters, The Search Unites
Countless persons wiser than I have said that sometimes you have to break apart before you become whole. What we do with those parts depends on our karma and our desire and our will. One of the shiny spiritual materialist toys I’ve manufactured for myself is the illusion that there can’t be different parts of me that learn from different paths and that and that what is external to me is the unifying factor. A multifaceted path does not mean a lesser path. It means a brightly colored path built on all the flavors the spiritual world has to offer. And these bright paths shine so much brighter than the materialist baubles of distraction ever did. And so often they are found where we weren’t looking for them.
Part one of a three part series. Next: The Path will find you.