Question: Should we try to help someone with their spiritual development, or must they be “receptive”? What mistake can there be in presenting a few truths to others with the hope that the ideas strike a right chord within them?
Answer: There are laws that govern all things, including our own development as well as that of others. Sometimes the most difficult, yet most true, thing we can do in the moment is to let others learn what is true for themselves. Sometimes we attempt to “help others” because we are unconsciously trying to change them according to our own ideas of what they should be like. When we do this, it not only creates resistance in the person we address, but it keeps us asleep to our own interior and misguided ambitions. We must all learn to be awake around others so that we can learn to feel whether or not what that person asks is arising from a genuine wish to know.
Many, many people today believe there is nothing for them to do other than to just think about themselves through the higher truths they’ve been taught and are now able to parrot; in this dream it seems their passport to heaven is assured.
But… this unseen state of imagination is their undoing, as it is also the secret slayer of their authentic (but still sleeping) need to awaken to real life.
We must struggle to remember the truth of ourselves; otherwise, we will face the consequences of having forgotten what happens to those who drift.
The mind that wants to know the truth of something, and that’s willing to do the work required for such a discovery, will inevitably find that for which it is searching; our highest aspirations are reflections of unrealized possibilities. All scripture, from the East to the West, confirms this timeless truth: We need only ask, and it shall be given.
But the real question before us isn’t how these individuals came to make their discoveries. We already know that the birth of all things great and true requires discipline, patience, and sacrifice. Rather, what we wish to know is where did they find this elevated understanding? In what place are we to seek and search for the timeless laws that alone reveal, and then release us from, our former limitations? The answer is surprising at first glance, but ultimately the most freeing discovery one can make: all that we need to know to grow beyond who we currently are is already a part of our true nature. English poet and playwright, T.S. Eliot, summarizes this idea for us:
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our
exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place
for the first time.
The truth of our oneness with life only starts to become real for us as we awaken to see that in hurting others, we have also hurt ourselves, and — that whenever we hurt ourselves — others suffer.
There can be no greater sense of safety and security than when we are truly alone, for only in this order of oneness within ourselves lives that Wholeness into which nothing unwelcome can come.