“The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning one’s self and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening. The finding of God is a coming to one’s self.” — Aldous Huxley
I like this. Spiritual growth is the growing awareness of who I am, at my core. My essence is wildly Divine. My ego? Not so much. My pain-body (as Eckart Tolle would call that thing that has a life of it’s own) is a disaster. But there is a difference between those things and my essence.
In the evangelical Christianity of my childhood and young adult years, I was taught that my essence, my spirit, was dead. I learned that the whole of humanity was like walking zombies. You were born with a dead spirit. I was born with a dead spirit. Until the day that I asked Jesus to live in my heart, they explained, and then that was the day that my spirit came alive.
And so then it wasn’t so much a matter of coming to myself but a matter of trying to learn more about who Christ was. Because it wasn’t about me—it was never supposed to be about me. It was all supposed to be about Him. And my spirit was now alive and all the work was done (since we can’t earn salvation) and that was that, so the business Huxley is talking about, the business of growing in awareness and understanding of my own essence, wasn’t on the table. It wasn’t even under the table. It wasn’t even in the room.
But for some of us, it somehow accidentally got in there. Or we accidentally got out there, however it happened. We started asking questions that our books, our theologians, our pastors, our Bible study group couldn’t answer. We started noticing how those questions were hushed, shamed, or just ignored. Sometimes we were even told that a good Christian would never ask such questions. And sometimes, working to be good Christians ourselves, we told other question askers that very same thing…
There is a lot of energy that goes into making sure that people do not become aware that they are very powerful beings. My suspicion is that this is because powerful beings will not be dependents. And while I happened to experience this primarily within Evangelical Christianity, this interesting expenditure of energy focused on keeping people from their power is certainly not solely found there. It’s found all through history in a variety of contexts, settings, governmental structures, religious paradigms, relationships…
I am walking in the awareness that coming into my own power (coming into my own God/dess-likeness) and learning to walk in that power (learning to live and move in love and compassion and truth and mercy, etc) is the spiritual journey I have been on for my whole life. I just got really mixed up on the way.