Journey The Path of the Mystics
Many great mystical figures throughout the centuries have taught enlightenment, almost all of them start off with the instruction, ‘know yourself’. Ultimately it is our ‘self’ we are in search of and our ‘self’ that should be our guide. Some cite the soul as a spiritual genius always available to consult.
Indian guru Sai Baba says, “Be your own guru; your own teacher. You have the lamp within you. Light it and march on without fear.”
Once you have found the guide, you can walk the path. Mexican shaman Don Juan said: “Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use.”
We are living in a liberating time when many of the ancient and secret mystical paths and teachings, previously inaccessible (except to a privileged few) are now freely available to all. When embarking on a spiritual journey, nothing needs to change except how we see our lives, says Timothy Freke, author of The Complete Guide to World Mysticism (Piatkus). Done with the right intention, any activity in life can become a spiritual practice, one that allows us to transcend the burdens of everyday life. Having said that, there are certain fundamental principles the mystics recommend for making life easier.
Included in most religions is the command to love. Mystics advise practicing love for no reason and for no reward. The bible says: “Love they neighbour as thyself”. Socrates suggests achieving universal love by first loving one person and entering into the bliss of union. This dissolves the boundaries of the separate self and is a pathway into love itself, which can lead from loving a particular person to love for all.
WHOLENESS AND ONENESS
“All are one”, says Sai Baba, “If someone believes otherwise, they are circumscribing their part in the whole and are imprisoning themselves in the part”. By seeing yourself as a separate being you are alienating yourself from the rest of existence and become a prisoner inside your own sense of self. Being part of a whole brings a sense of belonging.
APPRECIATION AND ACCEPTANCE
Mystics advise cultivating a state of complete acceptance of all things to bring patience, humility and compassion. This is not meant as a state of complacent resignation but rather a place where you can release and let go peacefully. Make yourself available to the mystery of life and see the world with new eyes.
FULFILLMENT AND DESIRE
Concentrate on your internal life, carefully examine how much of your attention is focused on external distractions like wanting a new car, house, spouse etc Instead of worrying about what you don’t have, concentrate on wanting what you do have.
LIVING IN THE MOMENT
Preoccupation with what might become or has been obscures what is actually here now. Freke says: “Desire is the memory of pleasure, which we seek to repeat, and fear is the memory of pain which we seek to avoid. These memories and the states of anticipation which they breed are like a smoke-screen that divide us [from what is now]” He also suggests changing your relationship with your memories to free yourself from the past.