Spiritual Reality (of Life) expounds a concise working overview of the world - inner and outer - giving a true and intelligent basis for deep and stable contact with the divine. Based on thirty years experience under the direction of competent teachers, it is written in response to the search for inner understanding by open-minded seekers. It includes a selection of spiritual exercises drawn from the Daoist and Sufi traditions.
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Hundreds of thousands of yogis, monks, nuns and priests, meditating, chanting, praying and preaching with so few seeming to achieve their goal. So many books, so many teachers, with the only result being so much confusion. These were my earliest observations when beginning my spiritual search. Though this understanding was spiritually immature, still the truth it contained stimulated deep inside my being, the 'burning desire' to find someone who really understood the nature of reality - body, mind and spirit - their gender, race, cultural background or esoteric method being of no consequence. True internal development, it was clear, must take a person beyond these external factors. The search began in my home country but quickly expanded through Asia, India, Europe and America, revealing teachers of body who talked of mind, teachers of mind who talked of spirit, along with preachers of spiritual ideals. Mostly it failed to satisfy. Knowledge gained from a sage or book dies as it leaves their mouth or pen. Hope lies in its regeneration within the life and experience of each recipient. Sadly, the truth was many teachers were only preachers, using unregenerate knowledge and their own untested 'bright ideas' to boldly direct the lives of others. Though there was truth in it, no doubt, and people were often passionate and sincere in their knowledge, something different was needed.
Drawing on my life experience of the universal methods of learning, and determined not to be led astray, I looked for a teacher with a step by step method - based on their personal experience gained while studying long and closely with a similar teacher before them. One who was now fully recognised and supported in their teaching role, by that previous teacher. The time and energy of this search was not lost and contact was made around the world with a few genuine teachers. After passing their unexpected initial tests, I chose 3 to learn from, then began - remaining close to them until their deaths many years later. Now they help in another way.
From years of contact with these people it gradually became obvious that the inner spiritual realms are more organised than people presume. Real teachers know, recognise and communicate with other real teachers around the world, forming a global network on inner levels. Beyond the body, beings and intelligent forces contribute to this living, global, energy field. Sincere seekers are recognised, guided and supported without their being consciously aware of it. The concept of one person developing (all by their own effort) is far from spiritual reality. I found that even some preachers and inexperienced teachers are partially connected to this inner field of reality and support, as long as their motives remain genuine. I also found that only a few real teachers are fully connected, most only being partially conscious of it. Unexpectedly, perhaps, many of the 'famous teachers' - sometimes with 1,000's of followers, mostly claiming enlightenment while being unrecognised and unsupported by their own teachers - were found to be unconsciously disconnected from the network of real teachers and the internal world of spiritual support.
With time came the full understanding, that without luck I was guided to the teachers that I had to find. The concentrated effort to search, combined with inner support and direction, revealed those who could clearly satisfy the 'burning desire' to understand the nature of spiritual reality - spirit, mind and body. Every genuine seeker will have the same experience. Then why is it, with this divine network of support and teaching available to all, that the hundreds of thousands of seekers repeatedly fail to achieve their inner potential? As a result of the experience gained - partially through my own learning process, partially through the observation of my many spiritually aspiring acquaintances and partially through the understanding arising from my teaching of more than a thousand students - the answer to this enigma has gradually revealed itself.
As each child grows, their deeper consciousness is gradually merged with, obscured and dominated by their developing brain and the resulting superficial consciousness. Then, as their direct connection with reality fades, each person gradually constructs a model of reality which allows them to survive in the world. Their model is based on what they see, hear, touch, smell and taste of the people, animals and objects around them. They perform actions or see others acting, then experience or see the results of those actions. Inevitably, their developing mental constructs are heavily influenced by the models already formed within the superficial consciousness of their family members, school teachers, religious teachers and friends. Due to the human dependence on sense data and the materialistic conditions of life on Earth, the formation of the growing child's model is dominated by the false concept that they are the body while their consequent superficial self-conscious penetrates only the surface layers of this mental construction (their ego).
Later, when the grown person encounters a spiritual teaching or attempts any spiritual exercise, both the truth offered from without and the light that shines from within are inevitably filtered through their - mostly unconscious - model of the reality of life. Due to the tendency of people to overestimate their own abilities and to the ego's inbuilt self-perpetuating mechanism this fact is barely understood by most and completely denied by many who approach the spiritual path. When sitting quietly in meditation, the superficial layers of their ego become passive - that is, their circling mind becomes quiet, their disturbing emotions become calm and the body ceases its restless movement. People feel, and some even teach, that this is a deep and spiritual state. Then they observe external and internal life from this state and feel that what they see is pure and simple reality, when in fact every perception, feeling or thought they experience has already been filtered and modified by their own subconscious mental constructions (the hidden aspects of the ego) before their superficial consciousness is even aware of it. The model of reality (or ego) necessarily arises and continues to exist for each person as a requirement for functioning in the world. Only at the stage of enlightenment (4th Initiation) when the deep consciousness becomes directly accessible, can the ego be completely dispensed with.
Having seen so many people optimistically struggle to penetrate the inner worlds directly then fail, my conclusion was that when beginning the spiritual path it is absolutely necessary for each person to deeply examine their own ego - which includes not only their beliefs about their own inner world but also their beliefs about the outer world in which they live and move and have their being - then refine this model of the reality of life as their own inner growth allows.
Now, after thirty years travelling the world, studying especially within the Sufi, Daoist and Yogic traditions, I feel both an inner and an outer obligation to write down my experience for the benefit of those who travel a similar road. Then, free of this link to the past, I move on. My intention in writing is to choose, condense, organise and clearly explain, only that part of the great body of true esoteric information, which is necessary and sufficient, when combined with your lifetime of personal experience, for you to achieve enlightenment or spiritual immortality in this life. Though the understanding behind my words is lost as the words appear, still these pages carry the energy of my sincere attempt to help those who seek the spiritual reality of life.