Where does spirituality lead us?

— Akber Ayub


Look at the world today and one thing stands out clear as daylight: A yearning for change is sweeping the world. At a secular level, authoritative and oppressive regimes everywhere are being challenged – just look at the uprisings spreading to various parts of the world. People are waking up from chronic lethargy in questioning corrupt governments lacking in ethics and integrity.

While that is truly path breaking, the pertinent question is what is behind this global phenomenon? What is driving it? If we go beyond the obvious, if we go beyond the chaos and anarchies and take a higher, transcendental look, then we’ll see that along with the present upheavals, a spiritual wave is sweeping the globe too – that began sporadically first in certain parts of the globe but now spreading with a seeming urgency. It doesn’t take too much to conclude that it is indeed the driving force! Swept by the spiritual wave, the old, dysfunctional paradigms have begun to dissolve.

But then yet another question looms: Is there some way of turning this crisis into opportunity for all-round growth? Does spiritualty offer an alchemy by which we could turn the present challenges into the creation of a new system of living and working?

The answer is an emphatic “yes!” The primal wisdom contained within spirituality is telling us that we need to go beyond our old habits, beliefs, and conditioning. It is also telling us that the tragedy of the present day world has a hidden potential within it – a potential to transform, with almost limitless possibilities for change. It is telling us that we can indeed create a higher, a peaceful, harmonious, and a more fulfilling way of living on this planet by utilising our collective energies to transform individuals first, then our societies and then the world…instead of expending it on spreading hatred and terror all around, in the uncontrolled, mindless fury of mass uprisings, in revenge and retaliation, all driven by the separations that we have created within our own minds.

Divisions are clearly manmade – neither created nor intended by nature. Instead, it is now slowly dawning upon us that humanity constitutes one interlinked, interdependent and a cohesive whole…and our ultimate, common good lies in utilising the collective energies of that whole to transform and uplift us all.

As a matter of fact this realization itself endows us with the means to uncover – through a spiritual process – the true power of our own being. Furthermore, it then lets the universe work through our beingness to create new, amazing changes in this world. In that sense we are truly harbingers of a sacred movement that is slowly gaining momentum.

So is this our ultimate purpose – to partner with the planet in the magnificent mission of transmuting life on earth into its next level of existence? Indeed take creation itself into its next level of manifestation? The answer once again is an emphatic “yes” and that is truly where spirituality is leading us!

Today, those of us who are on a spiritual path are able to perceive the answers to those questions. Because we are beginning to feel that human beings have now evolved sufficiently to be able to consciously guide and direct our further evolution towards a saner, a more authentic way of living; that we are ready to do it by ourselves, in a great leap of progression and evolution as it were. That said, let us look at exactly where we’re headed and what we can really expect to find at the end of that leap. Perhaps that’ll make it easy for us to use our creativity, intelligence, and wisdom to take us there.

As a consequence of the new evolutionary thrust that we just spoke of, even while we are engaged in the practical aspects of daily living, more and more people are now beginning to open up to the possibility of living with a higher awareness – sporadically at first, then with increasing determination – as we seek more meaning, peace, knowledge, understanding and spiritual wisdom. And now it is even more clear what is driving this evolutionary thrust. “Man is a transitional being,” says Sri Aurobindo. “He is not final. The step from ordinary man to an evolved man is the next approaching achievement in the earth’s evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of our inner spirit and the logic of nature’s process.” That indeed forms the thrust to this new unfolding, this new awareness. And that thrust – fuelled by our own inherent higher potentials – has the power to liberate us from the host of fears and conditioning that currently hold us hostage.

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But to achieve that liberation however, we must first realize that every one of us has the capacity to be a co-creator with the evolving universe, that we are part of a grand alliance of creatorship as it were, involving a combined effort of all life, so that individually and collectively, we direct ourselves and the universe into new, higher states of evolution, in truly magical ways. Magical ways? Yes, because evolution isn’t a slow process taking eons any more. The new evolutionary process, – that some call quantum evolution – is a conscious process to collectively create our spiritual progress over a brief period of time using the skills that we have been acquiring over time on our spiritual journey.

Our past has been a massive storehouse of collective wisdom, experience, understanding and learning – achieved over eons by the insights and wisdom of past spiritual masters and enlightened men all through human history and, of course, from our own life lessons that we’ve learned…every time we woke up from an old pattern of behaviour; every time we got a glimpse of our soul; every time we drew our mind to the present moment, fully present to the events of our life; every time we consciously plugged into nature and saw its beauty and so on. And now we can incorporate this collective wisdom into our present process with skill and vigour to help us progress into the next level. And in this process, one of the very first steps we will have to take is to move from our current restrictive reality to a new consciousness of vast possibilities. We live in a world of duality alright, but if we strive to balance the material and the spiritual we will gain a new perception about the current realities of mankind that is limited to our customary, inherited ideas – the old paradigm if you will. But we will necessarily have to see the big picture if we want to heal and to grow – a picture that offers us a truly higher perspective.

But how do we employ all this to transform ourselves into better, more evolved human beings? Hearteningly, among spiritually evolving people today, we are now seeing a diminishing of the power of the old conditioned consciousness. Instead we sense within us an awareness of the invisible source of all things, though unmanifest in the material world. It is present in the deep silence of our heart in the absence of all thoughts; it is present as the boundless invisible space all around us and within us; it is present as the timeless depth of the present moment…and such other subtle aspects of ourselves that so far we had been unaware of! Indeed as we become part of the new spirituality now unfolding we begin noticing the subtleties of our inner sense, then expand to a new awareness of our soul. And this new consciousness enables us to perceive for the first time the subtler aspects of ourselves even while surrounded by the physicality of the material world. Indeed, perception of this new reality and employing the potential of this new consciousness offers us the power to transform our lives, and create a new paradigm.

But why should we do all this? Because life seeks that we play our part in this grand alliance, so that we can collectively progress to the next level of living. Quite simply, our purpose for being here is to allow the universe – and ourselves – to evolve. And for that, we need to first accept and acknowledge the essential divinity that is inherent in each one of us – rather than keep chasing divinity in the external world. Then we must understand that we are meant to be here to fulfil a unique purpose. Because each one of us has had experiences in life that are unique, relationships that are equally distinct and different, life lessons we’ve learned that are so diverse…each one of us therefore has something unique to share with the world. Each one of us has a singular purpose. We are thus an essential link in the unfolding plan of the universe. And as individuals when we perceive how our soul is specifically present within us and as we express that soul through our personality, we begin living an inspired life, we play our part in the magnificent plan of the universe. When we embody our spiritual essence – when our soul experiences itself as our physical body – we have fulfilled the purpose of our life. Indeed when we reveal our internal essence, we feel happy, inspired, and connected to that power we call God.

But we cannot just stand by and hope that these changes will take place in any case without our conscious participation. Instead we must wake up to these higher possibilities, this new awareness, this promise of a higher consciousness and step forward to play our part.

About the Author
AKBER AYUB is a former entrepreneur, ex-marine engineer, book author, and a travel & feature writer for dailies and travel magazines.

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