There are 3 stages of life:
2. Personal Development
3. Student of Spiritual Truth
Stage 1: Survival
You begin Stage One and you’re experiencing life anew as a child. Because of the impact of certain things and events, you draw a map of reality. You decide who you are; you decide what the world is; and you decide what you need to do, or be, or stop doing, in order to survive, to be loved, et cetera. Now you have a world concept, a self-concept, and a belief of what it’s going to take to become the version of you that’s necessary to survive or even to thrive, within that world concept.
Most people spend many lifetimes in stage 1. At a certain point, however, it stops working as well, and then eventually it stops working at all.
Eventually the dam bursts. Eventually, you get divorced, or your child ends up sick – something bad happens, you get fired, you get really sick, or something happens and you are finally brought to your knees. Unless you are one of the lucky few and one day you have a revelation and you look around and think, “What the heck am I doing? Something is really off here”.
Stage 2: Personal Development
Usually in the first stage, we don’t seek help. It’s only when what we decided was the map of reality and how to survive stops working and creates tremendous pain, and our life doesn’t make sense anymore, then we seek help.
Hopefully you have some kind of initiation and you begin some kind of journey of inquiry; of self-reflection; of introspection. Hopefully you come along the shadow work or something like that because you now have to embrace this whole other side of you that you’ve been rejecting.
The second stage of your life is about discovering, embracing, engaging, and integrating this whole other part of you: activating new talents, gifts, and abilities; unleashing stored up or locked up or trapped energy and power. Usually this will lead to great success. Sooner or later, however, this will stop working too.
Stage 3: Student of Spiritual Truth
Then you move into stage 3, where you realize even all this human improvement stuff, as great as it is, it’s not enough. There’s still some sense of emptiness or there’s still a great degree of insecurity in this world. You’re still in a lot of need to control and manage and protect – especially in one or more core areas. Now at Stage Three, instead of a core wound, you’re looking for the core initiation. What’s the real idea that’s been trying to emerge all along? You may have thought you were on a spiritual journey in Stage 2 with personal development and all that, but at best it’s usually a metaphysical journey, not a mystical or a true spiritual journey.
In stage 3 you look at what the spiritual truth is that has been trying to emerge; you look at what is the opposite of the map you drew in stage 1. Now you learn that the Universe has always been conspiring for your highest good. You’re one with all life, all creation, all being. In Stage 3, you’re using everything in the world to get closer to God/Source/whatever you want to call it; to get closer to your true self; to get closer to the truth.
Why is this so important to realize? Because otherwise, the best you can do is become a better human – maybe a more balanced one. That’s certainly better than only being half of you, or the destructive version of you. But that’s not the goal you came here to achieve. It’s not yet your deepest purpose and destiny, and your deepest life’s work. We didn’t come here merely to be better humans. We didn’t come here merely to learn how to survive and withstand the blows of life. Think about how ridiculous that would be. We come here to learn how to survive all these specific human issues and then we leave this place and go somewhere else where we don’t deal with these human issues anymore. Well that was a waste of time. No, you didn’t come here for that. You didn’t come here to get a good job, you didn’t come here to get a good relationship, and you didn’t come here to get a good body or to get a good sale at Nordstrom’s. You came here to use this experience to activate a deeper realization of truth.
If you are reading this you have probably already started stage 2. When you put all of that together you see that the whole journey is the map of human development in your unique niche. It’s the map of what gets us stuck, what gets us out, of these key lessons, blessings, practices, and strategies. It’s the map to freedom, and it’s a map or a diagram or a blueprint of the journey of a specific kind of soul, with a specific kind of Soul Goal and unique initiation.
Eventually though, it’s like building one side of your body’s muscles and not the other, that can start really pulling your body and causing way more problems. Or you just build your chest but not your back. Eventually, it’s going start to create destructive problems in your life and that’s usually what leads you on the beginning of your spiritual quest. Because things just aren’t working anymore. That’s the beginning of your journey to wholeness, stage 3.
For a while you were able to handle it all, but it began to backfire. Or maybe it led to not being able to have intimate relationships that lasted because you couldn’t let them in enough. You open up. You let more in. You ask for more help. That’s great.
Now you can discover your real Soul Goal is not merely embracing and integrating these different parts of your mental, emotional, psychological being. The real Soul Goal is that you came here to realize the opposite of your initial map. You came here to realize that you are actually lovable, just as you are. You are never alone. You are always loved, held, and supported by life. Period. The Universe has been conspiring for you your entire life. All of life is for you. It’s been developing you, strengthening you, and growing you.