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((Important note regarding the mind set from which this series is written and from how it is intended to be read)

 

Part 6

The Beauty of Simplicity in Spiritual Journey

In the previous part of this series we examined how the mass consciousness is dominated by a paradigm of closed consciousness, and suggested that too many awakened souls, through their meekness and passivity, actually play a part in the stubborn fixity of the mass consciousness. Far more unhelpful than that, they continue to allow themselves to be ruled by ego (the dynamic force behind closed consciousness), though admittedly at a lower level intensity than the unaware.

The issue here is that the mass consciousness is so dominating, because in effect, it has the weight not only of the unawakened in its favor, but of the passively awakened as well. The mass consciousness cannot be shifted upwardly without the involvement of awakened souls, first in not continuing to contribute to the mass ego consciousness, and then by becoming active promoters of love and openness. Actually, the two are pretty much one and the same, for just doing the latter, automatically takes care of the former.

The passivity that we refer to is sustained by a much larger problem, one that also impacts individuals' spiritual lives and their journey. To put it succinctly, it is a problem of confusion, diffusion and complexity. Let me explain. In my experience, awakening people become exposed to so many complicated avenues to enlightenment that they seem to lose sight of the goal. They begin directionless exploration and adopt a practice from there and a ritual from that, a methodology from there, a technique from that, follow a teacher from there and a guru from someplace else, attend this set of classes and become a member of that New Thought Church. The result of all this is confusion and dilution of focus and energy. But most importantly of all is distraction from what I have come to realize as the utmost objective of spirituality.

The objective I refer to is very simple; in fact that particular attribute, simplicity, is its most essential feature. So on the way to stating it, I need to introduce it with a short discussion of the importance and significance of simplicity.

 

Beauty in Simplicity

Years ago I became aware of the idea of beauty in simplicity, the dignity of minimalism, purity in truth. The idea is that the beauty of all great art and philosophical ideas (all ideas for that matter) is discovered when they have been honed to their most essential form. And that is especially so of Truth. The idea of beauty in simplicity resonated with me then and always remained in the background of my mind at some level as I proceeded on my journey of awareness.

I should make a clear distinction here to prevent possible confusion. Due to the infinite variety and diversity that exists, the universe is wonderfully and lusciously complex. We should be aware of and appreciate that fact. What I speak of here in terms of simplicity, is at the higher plane of Truth. Truth is pristine, clear and beautiful. I don't want us to be confused by a quite different connotation of simplicity. That has to do with a truly slimy sort of cynicism that prevails in the world, the intent of which is to deliberately simplify as a means of distorting truth rather than as a way to Truth. That sort of simplifying emanates from closed consciousness; it is an expression of ego fixated consciousness. We should also be aware that while there is that cynical aspect of ego consciousness that simplifies, there is also another cynical aspect of it that creates complexity as a way of keeping us distracted from Higher Truth. Both of these are the highly essential tools employed by the demagogues of the world. I would Just like you to know that when one chooses the path of open consciousness, the recognition of Truth from cynicism becomes as clear as night and day.

Having made that distinction, I return to my personal account of how the notion of the beauty of simplicity in Truth influenced my spiritual insight as I progressed on my journey. Like many others who awakened and began to pursue a non-religious spiritual path, I read and studied voraciously a great range of material; though I must add that I pretty much heeded my inner guidance, pursuing what resonated with me and passing over what didn't. It is my personal view that this is the wisest way to approach spiritual study. The benefit of this approach is that it does not close off the possibility that at some further point down the line, one may find himself gravitating to something that at an earlier time did not resonate. At any rate, I read and listened to the tapes of various teachers and on occasion (though rarely) attended a seminar. And like many others, I too ended up rather confused in the earlier part of my journey. But due to that idea of simplicity that was always in the back of my mind, I knew that a world of confusion and complexity definitely was not the goal. So I wasn’t particularly disturbed by it, because I simply saw confusion as a way station on my journey to clarity. To me, it was just part of the information gathering stage, and I had no doubt that assimilation would follow.

My trust that assimilation would come, combined with my personal need for cognitive order and my penchant for simplicity in Truth, did bring that stage. And when it did, it brought insights that sort of melded the various concepts into simpler ideas. From that point on, as I continued studying and reading, I came to see the expressions of other teachers (whether contemporary or ancient) as just different unique expressions of the same principles that were already coming into focus within me. Finally I reached my current point of assimilation, whereby as I continue to read the expressions of others, my insights only deepen further. By deepening, I mean several things – that complexity dissipates, that the concepts condense into fewer Principles, and that they become more clear. It is like an upward spiral. The more the insights, the more melding that occurs. The more melding, the more clear and simple the essential principles appear. To my mind, such dissipation of complexity and onset of deep understanding should be the purpose of spiritual journey.

I might mention by the way, that while a seeker may feel this sense of clarity within, that does not mean he or she could verbalize it very simply to an unawakened person. This is a paradox, because while the understanding is clear, the Principles are so entwined and interrelated that it can become an extremely complex endeavor to try to explain it to someone with no understanding whatever of metaphysical spiritual concepts. And in any event, it should also be noted that it is likely that the human mind can never fully understand (in the scientific sense of understanding) the behind the scenes reality that we sometimes call Higher Reality or, even more appropriately, Transcendent Reality. But this gets us ahead of ourselves, because the subject at hand is seekers not attaining clarity.

And so here, I begin to work my way back to the opening of this article regarding the problem of confusion. If the awakened seeker continues to wander about confused, then he is not receiving the effect of peace that he seeks. Further, his spiritual practice will be just as confused and scattered. In such a state, the individual, though awakened, is not only not attaining the peace she seeks but she is also unable to take on any active role in the shifting of planetary consciousness. The solution to this dilemma is to first realize that the answer lies in this principle that TRUTH IS SIMPLE, and then to pursue that Truth with a passion. That latter part will be easy, because once the principle is realized, it is invigorating. It brings new life and passion to one's journey.

Now, as promised, let me state what it all boils down to. Here it is in the fewest words: It's all about identity! Now of course, since many, if not most readers, have not yet come to a full understanding of the principle, I should explain a bit what that means. It means that we are to transition from identity with our limited ego self to identity with our True Self. Our True Self is infinite and eternal. And that’s who we really are. We are simply unique expressions of the One Mind. As such we have all of the power and wisdom of that. Once you realize that that’s all it’s about – rediscovery of your infinite, eternal nature -- and, that when you re-identify with that instead of your false self – then the rest is just the simple practice of awareness to live as your True Self. As always of course, there is that distinction between understanding of the Principles and the practice of them. But here too, the practice cannot be complex, because it would contradict the Principle.



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