How to Start Your Spiritual Journey

 How to Start Your Spiritual Journey

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Welcome aboard on a spiritual journey! You may be wondering what a spiritual journey is. Well, it is the most exciting of all journeys and it is better than all other journeys combined. I hope to tell you here how you can start your spiritual journey. But first let us know what a spiritual journey is.

A spiritual journey can be known by comparing it with other kinds of journeys. Let us compare it with physical and mental journeys.

In a physical journey we have a physical destination. It does not matter how near or how far that destination is. There is a place, a physical destination where a journey will end. It may be the next town, or the next country, a city halfway around the globe, or the next planet, or even a far away star. No matter what it is, there is a physical destination.

In a mental journey there is also a destination. Our mind will come to dwell on something. It might be the ideas of wise men who lived centuries before us, like Socrates or Aristotle. Our mind will travel to the time when they had these ideas. It is a destination in time, back to the time of the men and women who produced the ideas that we want to dwell on.

In a physical journey we need to have a physical means to get to our destination. It may be our feet, a bicycle, a car, a train, a boat or an airplane, or a rocket plane or a combination of any of these. We include also the food while we are in this or that kind of transportation.

In a mental journey we need also to have mental means to get to our mental destination. This usually consists of our brain, our mind, our imagination, our emotions, the books around us, the men and women who knew the men whose ideas we want our mind to come to.

Furthermore in a physical and mental journey we need to have a purpose why we want to get there, even if it is just to satisfy our curiosity, just to see the place or feel the feelings of those men involved in a story or drama.

And when we embark upon a journey for the first time we need to have a guide, either a person from whom we can ask ideas about our destination and the means to get there, or one who will go with us like a tourist guide, or at least a map or written direction where to start, what transportation to take, the sign or signs that tell us we shall have reached our destination.

If you want to start your spiritual journey you need to know these: your destination, the means to get there, the purpose why you want to get there, a guide to help you get there. These are the elements of a journey and they are all present in a physical, mental, or spiritual journey.

The destination in a spiritual journey is the world of the spirits, and ultimately the Original Spirit himself. If the destination of a physical journey is a place, that of a mental journey ideas in time, the destination of a spiritual journey is a spiritual one, the world of the spirits and ultimately the Original Spirit from whom all came from.

The means to get to the world of the spirits and the Original Spirit consists of spiritual means. These are basically faith, hope and love that work in solitary prayer.

The purpose of a spiritual journey can also be curiosity, but more than this, it is to enjoy life to the fullest possible that we can attain.

The guide on a spiritual journey may be a spiritual person who himself has undertaken this journey or the written guides left by spiritual persons, like the Bible for Christians, the Qur'an for Muslims, the Trepitaka of Buddhism, or the Bhagavad Gita of the Hindus.

After learning something about the elements of this journey you need to ascertain whether you are ready to undertake this journey on your own. Children do not usually undertake a physical journey on their own. They need adults to accompany them. A certain level of maturity is needed to undertake even just a physical journey on one's own.

So also you need to have a certain spiritual maturity in order to undertake the spiritual journey on your own. How do you know you have this maturity? In a physical journey usually the age and the educational background of a person are considered. In a spiritual journey, your spiritual age and knowledge of spiritual things are also to be considered. How do you know you have reached this spiritual age since it is not measured by years, unlike in physical age? You will know if you have reached this spiritual age if you have fallen in love with your God, just as in normal life falling in love with someone is an indication that you have reached a certain physical degree of maturity.

And why do I say that you are undergoing the greatest of all journeys when you start on a spiritual journey? It is because in a spiritual journey you are going to a place which is no place at all but a presence in all the places in the universe and you are going to a time which is not a time but an eternity which includes all time, from past to present to future. For the spirit is not bound by space and time, and you are going to that place of the spirit who transcends space and time. Briefly put, in a spiritual journey you are going to all places and to all times. This cannot be done in a physical journey because you only have one body. As a body you can be present only at one place in one time. But with the spirit you can be present to all places at the same time. An analogy may help clarify this if you have ridden a plane.

When you ride in a plane you begin by being present in the airport. When your plane goes up the air you leave the airport but you begin to look at the place surrounding the airport. Now you begin to see more places at once, not just the airport, a single place. By your vision you are present to all these places below you at the same time. So also by spirit you can be present to all of creation when you go beyond them.

And how do you start this journey? Assuming that you have fallen in love with the Original Spirit in whatever manifestation he has revealed himself to you, you take his personal guide or the written guides left by spiritual men and women of all ages. Each person will take a different kind according to his preference.

In my case my guides were the Christian Bible and the written works of John of the Cross, a spiritual man who lived in the 16th century.

May I share with you the prescription of this man as you begin this journey. He said that if you want to reach your spiritual destination in a very short time you need to take these steps: 1. Desire to have pleasure in nothing; 2. Desire to possess nothing; 3. Desire to be nothing, and 4. Desire to know nothing.

If you have an acquaintance with Buddhism these prescriptions of John of the Cross are like those in Buddhism, where we are urged not to desire anything because desire is the cause of suffering.

The most practical advice I can give you as you start your spiritual journey is to desire above all to reach and be united with the Original Spirit and to desire nothing that may hinder you in reaching this goal. Do not desire material goods, physical pleasure, mental enjoyment or any kind of pleasure if this will hinder you in reaching your goal, union with the Original Spirit.

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