By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
One of the many things the western spiritual seeker has to face is that within the context of our culture there is limited discussion and awareness concerning the outcome of spiritual learning. Also, western spiritual travelers may have romantic ideas about what they will look like after they have reached ‘spiritual completion,’ i.e., added a measure of spiritual capacity. Often, these expectations in part prevent the development that is actually possible.
Yet, in other (eastern) cultures more familiar examples of the exemplar or ‘wise one’ exist; one who has balanced self and added a degree of spiritual learning/capacity to their own daily consciousness; thereby helping self and others by tuning into something higher.
In our culture, we have just begun serious discussion and exploration of the question: individually, what is the outcome of spiritual learning?
Often in the past, familiar examples of spiritually advanced travelers fell into the category of popular ‘Hollywood characterizations.” For example, I remember my friends when we began our spiritual journey wondering, after we had suffered and purified self, ‘will God talk to us and tell us how to part the Red Sea?’ Or after we perform 3 miracles, will we be ready for sainthood?’ Being unfamiliar with actual outcomes, often we made-up jokes about all of this.
In our culture, the skills and capacities of ‘wise one’ have been transferred to a whole host of ‘professionals.’ We have guidance counselors, fortune tellers, therapists, life coaches, clergy, physicians, scientists and self-help books to tackle questions like: How do we reach human excellence? At what point do science, religion and medicine meet? Or how is spiritual development helpful in our highly complex daily life?
Fortunately, for all of us, the answer to these questions and methods to reach human excellence, through spiritual development, were perfected millennia ago. Authentic traditions exist, and slowly their hidden effect upon individuals is percolating its way into our main stream culture and every day consciousness.
Plan for Humanity
These traditions assert: humanity, as a whole, has a cosmic mission/plan and over the ages is reaching higher. Within this Plan, it is each person’s destiny to reach toward human excellence and become a more completed person. This development is accomplished one person at a time and includes the balancing of many skills and capacities. One of these skills being- spiritual development; and in order for this development to mature, a period of spiritual learning must occur.
The outcome of this multi-faceted development- is a person who is equally concerned for their neighbor as they are for themselves and their family. Daily, the completed person
uses all of their abilities to make the world a better place, because they are attuned through spiritual development to the higher impulse. They go to work every
day, raise their family, and commute to work on over crowded highways. They are part of the world, but have kept a part of them self detached and sacred. This aspect surrenders to the higher impulse, is part of their soul, and helps integrate all of their capacities into our modern, hectic life.
In the 1950’s, these traditions began purposefully exerting their guiding influence upon our western culture. In order for these influences to mature and take hold, many things occurred and will need to occur. One of these being selected individual’s awakening, understanding the outcome and potential of a more spiritual life, and exerting their newly awakened influence upon their individual sphere of activity. In this way, the world will become a better place, one person at a time.
Today, this is a potential waiting to bud; both in our society and within the individual.
That which is permanent is seldom known to the senses. It must be perceived by another capacity. Until this capacity or organ of perception is awakened, we are like children playing with fire. Sooner or later our actions will create problems for us.
The completed individual, or enlightened one, is able to temper their expectation with reality. Often it is our reaction to daily events and not the events themselves which pose the lasting problem.
We must learn to view and accept what is present; not what we want or expect to be present. By clouding reality with expectation and desire we shift off center. This lack of balance, in turn, prevents us from perceiving what is actually before us.
This capacity or necessary ‘attitude’ to view is actually present may be learned. It is the birthright of humanity and is taught to those who are capable of using it in the proper way. This spiritual sight is a matter of function; it becomes available so it may be used to benefit others. By learning to view what is actually present, we are then able to perceive higher or spiritual realities which manifest in this realm.
Also by Dr. Bitkoff, A Commuter’s Guide to Enlightenment (Llewellyn, 2008) and Journey of Light: Trilogy (Authorhouse, 2004); these books are available on Amazon.com or from publisher. To contact author go to www.stewartbitkoff.com/