The School of Hard Knocks
Anywhere we are, anywhere our journey through life takes us, is ‘our path’.
In that sense, everyone is on their path. But not everyone is on what we might call a ‘spiritual path’. A spiritual path is when the direction of our path is one that can finally lead us in the direction of Spirit, rather than materiality, lead us to Unselfish Love, rather than selfishness, lead us to Universal Consciousness, rather than separate consciousness.
“So only when people are on their spiritual path, are they learning?”
They are always being given the opportunity to learn, regardless of the type of path. Karma is constantly being created, and life keeps trying to teach us something by providing us with our own self-created lessons – that explode in our faces.
Getting taught in that way, has been called ‘the school of hard knocks’. But while everyone suffers the slings and arrows of life experiences, most people ignore these lessons which are being constantly presented to us. This is unfortunate when it is ignored, because suffering can cause us to be introspective, and really take a hard look, a deep look, at the ‘whys’ of our life experiences.
After we’ve had enough suffering to open our eyes, we realize we need to change. Therein lies the value of the pain. As you’ve already learned, transcending our separate self, and renouncing selfishness is painful too – it’s like ‘crucifying’ yourself. Most people won’t choose the spiritual path until they realize that the pain caused as a result of living selfishly, outweighs the pain of the spiritual path. But as I said, from time to time, people get hit with an unpleasant life experience, suffer, and get introspective. That’s when they can more easily realize that it is worth it to choose the spiritual path.
During the introspective times brought by suffering, people are more aware of that constant painful gnawing that exists from the lack of inner peace. It reminds them, at least internally or subconsciously, about the great fact, that the suffering caused by remaining separate and selfish, will never end unless you return to Oneness with the Universal Spirit. And that they can never really be happy as a selfish separate self. Never. You may have temporary ‘high points and get offs’, but that’s it. On the other hand, the pain of ‘crucifying’ the selfish separate self is just temporary. And when you’re done, you have inner peace, and that’s the only true happiness, and the only happiness that never leaves you. When people suffer enough self-pain, they will eventually realize this. When one finally realizes this, and thus decides to take the “return trip”, is when the real spiritual journey begins. This is the point when we each begin our real ‘spiritual path’.