The hardest part of the journey along the upward path is the gradual realization that our work to awaken to real life is, at best, imperfect. Along the ascending path, each footfall serves to echo an unwanted reminder of our imperfect actions, imperfect thoughts and feelings, imperfect devotion, and so forth and so on. However, seeing these image-shattering truths about ourselves is but half the trial and, in some ways, the lesser of the challenges to be faced along the way.

The greater part of this difficulty—and perhaps the most slippery part of the upper path—is the temptation to judge ourselves—to loath ourselves for whatever that “weakness” is that now sits exposed. The act of judging ourselves in times like these seems natural and even necessary if we hope to ever “outgrow” our own limitations as revealed. But this kind of self-laceration is a Trojan horse within whose dark recesses lies hidden a certain fact that, once perceived, frees us from the torment of self-judgment:

The pain in any unwanted revelation about our present level of self is created in that moment by the same low level of self that doesn’t want to be revealed.

The interior work to realize the immortal Self is a never-ending journey; and, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t begin with our wish to awaken but rather with God working within us to awaken us to the otherworldly nature of celestial love. If we agree to go through what is asked of us in this way, then it is through our union with the Divine—and the interior labor this calls for—that we gradually realize a conscious relationship with a love that is the same as life unending.

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