My True Self
could only be discovered with a finer quality of energy
than was found in my usual fragmented state of being.
I found resonance
with a teaching,
a work of art
that corresponded to something finer in myself
that I wished to know better
and to develop.
However, the danger of my search being usurped
by my ego was not only ever-present
but at times seemed prevalent.
I could not seek Truth, Wisdom, the Divine, True Self
simply to become a better,
more effective person.
This type of spiritual seeking is the ego in drag.
The desire for mere self-improvement,
the hypnotic seduction
found in religious rituals,
and the belief that compliance with doctrine and dogma
assured me of paradise,
and that with simple obedience,
I could not possibly be out of step with the divine plan
are all common manifestations of a religious spirituality.
This type of search,
a religious spirituality,
seeking reward in the next life
through obedience and compliance
in this life,
is a shallow, religion-based spirituality.
Genuine search placed me in the eye of the tiger.
It was raw and anathema to the religious teaching of my youth.
It demanded rigor and discipline
and the striving towards impartial self-observation
which brought a certain kind of suffering and discomfort.
Genuine spiritual growth is fundamentally transformative,
not merely a rearrangement of my personality
or an increased ability to meet some sort of religious requirements.
It entailed learning to serve a different master,
a search for higher consciousness
and the awakening of my conscience,
placing my ego and my conditioned personality
in a secondary,
not primary, role.
Awakening exacted a price,
and I paid in different ways at different times,
at different stages along my path.
The first payment was to leave behind the religious dictates of my youth
to follow the dictates of my genuine search,
to accept the inevitable struggle and discomfort
of turning away from my religious upbringing
towards my inner life.
I was asked to place my ego and conditioned personality in question,
not to blithely follow the insistent voices from the past,
but to open myself to the deeper impulses
that led me towards the influences that I needed
whether in the form of books, people, or a wisdom teaching.
A certain leap of faith was required,
one that I could only resolve by looking deep within.
The seeker in me is authentic;
I knew by the taste of certain influences what it needed,
and that I had to be open to those influences
and begin to allow them to act on me,
like a young plant seeking water and air.
And I had to stay in touch with the inner taste
of the influences that I allowed into my being.
Impressions are food
and to some degree, I am what I eat.
Rigor and discipline were required
to maintain a discriminating faculty that knew from within
what my nascent True Self needed for growth
I am deeply indebted
to all the living and no-longer-living teachers
who have helped show me the way.
Their presence and their words
reverberate long beyond their lifetimes.
They have provided the help that I need
to my True Self,
Being in Love,
one with my Creator,