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Response to #6240
Level 1 Lesson 2A Reading assignment Pages 21-22
Dua for sharing. This was helpful to get more insight into your background in this lifetime.
In addition to S. Maa’s response, I wanted to add a few comments.
re: How would you describe your knowledge of religion and philosophy?
Exploratory and ongoing inquiry. I have never felt comfortable with exclusive concepts that made other beliefs inferior or wrong as I always felt there was a connecting thread. As I have been introduced to Shetaut Neter I have seen where all of these religions and philosophies originated, and it makes sense now to see the origin of the ideas and practices.
I think it is important to continuously explore and contemplate the knowledge as this helps to deepen the understanding and imbue the mind with these thoughts. This then impacts on the feeling nature and helps with inner transformation, which expresses in outward life so it does not just remain just at the level of knowledge
Seba Dja’s response:You have a varied background in other spiritual traditions, and as you have indicated, you have also noticed some common threads. However, what to me appeared to be lacking is a solid foundation in what I would term an authentic Mystical Spiritual path with the specific goal of attaining Spiritual Enlightenment…in this life time.
You mentioned seeing the Neterian tradition as a common base or origin for other traditions…which gives insight into the common thread… and now having an understanding of viewing religion, what we would term as authentic religion = authentic mysticism or mystical spirituality, as encompassing myth, ritual and religion.
While we do not hold that Neterian Religion as we teach it is the only authentic mystical spiritual path, if you do feel it to be an authentic path, then I would suggest you use it as your foundation to build on…and set your goal of attaining Nehast in this lifetime.
Otherwise it will just be one more spiritual experience for you…ongoing inquiry and exploration, and you will not attain the goal of what these spiritual experiences are meant to lead to…Enlightenment, in this lifetime.
You don’t have to let go of the common threads, but also you don’t have to allow them to keep you at a superficial and ongoing “seeker” level spiritual practitioner.
If you don’t feel Shetatut Neter as we teach it, with Sebai Maa as the spiritual preceptor, as your foundation path, then continue to seek towards that.
But at some point…if you wish to attain the goal of life…Enlightenment…there must be a settling down to one main path or focus. This does not mean that you cannot continue to participate in other traditions as it relates to your husband or other family members and as it intersects with your foundation tradition. You can…the common threads you have observed are points of commonality that allow for harmony.
And also, you can at the same time note limitations of other traditions, or limitations in the practice with in those traditions, and even guide practitioners of those traditions towards an authentic practice.
You have to be able to make judgments about other religions and spiritual traditions without feeling that you are judging them inferior or wrong. One way to look at them is from the perspective of Grade levels, similar to school. Just as one could say a student in the 3rd grade is practicing math at a lower level compared to a high school student, and there is no implication that the 3rd grade student is inferior or wrong, and also at the same time the high school student would not be expected to attend the 3rd grade math class in order to prove he does not think the 3rd grade student is inferior or wrong, different religions and different traditions within the different religions appeal to aspirants at particular levels of spiritual maturity. Some represent kindergarten religion, and others pre-K and others junior high, etc. Just as the goal of school is to move through the lower grades to get to the higher grades and then graduate high school, so too the goal of spiritual evolution is to move through the experiences the lower religions offer ultimately to an authentic mystical tradition…and there, to attain Enlightenment.
Part of life is appreciating the lower, noting how it helped you be where you are today, but then also not staying at those lower levels, but growing up and moving on. Children give up playing with dolls and toy cars as they mature…but as parents they are okay with their own children playing with those things because they know that is what children do, and it’s not demeaning the children that the parents don’t get fulfillment from those toys, even as they play with the children and the toys.
Does this make sense? Judging the spiritual maturity of different spiritual traditions as not being for you is okay. This is why the Divine has given you the capacity to reason.
It is important to “settle” on one thing, otherwise it’s like trying to dig a well to find water…if you start to dig one well, then stop and start another, then stop and start another…you will not achieve your goal of finding water with only superficial digging at each site. To do so, you must dig at one spot in an ongoing manner…to get deep enough to hit water. Same with attaining Nehast.
It requires the same…concentration on one area…for a long enough time…to make progress, and ultimately to attain Nehast.
My mother was open minded, an athlete (hockey player) and coach and she had a strong intuition. Growing up we would always refer to her ‘hunches’ as being correct….This coincided with my mother recently beginning to attend Unity and encouraging me to come with her as she saw me drawing spider webs and intuited that I was feeling trapped.
Seba Dja: Usually in mysticism we reserve the use of the world intuitional for Intuitional realization of the Self which leads to attaining Nehast. What western society refers to as intuition we refer to as “insight”. So we would refer to these experiences you mom had as insights (inner sight).
In the midst of all this wonderful experience however, I have to say I went through a challenge. I felt I had stopped thinking for myself. There was so much wisdom around, there was a lot of regimentation, we knew exactly what to do and when. I realized the difference when at Christmas, we as students were asked to organize a concert and I felt my mind reach back into creative thinking. I was not the only person to experience this, but I remember sharing with a Swami and she told me the challenge was to work with my mind to overcome this. So I who had thought it was the ideal to live in a spiritualized space, found it difficult in this way, and it took me a little while even when I returned to Jamaica, to make decisions, even simple decisions about what I would buy going to the supermarket.
Seba Dja: Ny…this can happen when aspirants only focus on one aspect of the personality – Self less service-Karma Yoga (our Maat Ari) in your case. It’s like you have 4 major muscle groups, and you only focus on 1 for an extended time. The others will not only not grow, but also shrink a little/atrophy from lack of use. Hence why we advocate and integral approach, head, heart, will and hand (Wisdom-Rekh; Devotion-Uashu; Meditation-Uaa; Selfless service -Maat Ari), so there is an integral development of the personality.
Re: I think Sandra observed that if we look at it from and ‘Eternal’ perspective, and fill our soul with the practice and the disciplines, that will go forward with us.
So, the question is then, to go forward to what goal? destination? Just as you don’t get into your car and just drive forward…endlessly, so too you need to have a fixed goal and destination in mystical spirituality. Then find the roadmap to reach there (the disciplines and practice you mentioned)..then follow that map…to that destination!
Goal of all mystical traditions – attain Enlightenment in THIS lifetime!