There are some spiritual teachers, particularly contemporary ones, who suggest that seeking to find one’s true nature, to find who one really is, is counter-productive. In their view, our true self is already and always present; and already fully awakened, so there is no need to seek. Some of these teachers seem to believe that spiritual practice is a waste of time and effort.

The problem with this approach is that while our true nature is already present, we are not awakened until our true nature awakens to itself as us. As long as our true nature is identified with the ego-body-mind, we cannot see the truth of who we are or live the awakened reality. When mired in identification with the ego, we simply cannot see the truth of who we are.

If this idea that humans are already awake were true, then there would be no spiritual seekers, nor spiritual teachers either.

And the idea that spiritual practice is a waste of time and effort, means what? That we do nothing to grow spiritually?

There is value in educating spiritual seekers that when we awaken, who we are, our truly divine nature, is found have been present all along. But to do nothing to align with the Divine means nothing is likely to happen, perhaps except for a few rare people who seem to awaken without any spiritual practice. If you are not one of those rare few people, what will you do? If you feel moved to grow spiritually, to align with the Divine, to prepare to receive Divine Grace, and to awaken, will you do nothing?

Looking at the long history of spiritual teaching in many traditions, spiritual practice has been an important part. Should we believe that they were all wrong? Were all the great teachers, masters, and religious figures awakened by just sitting back and doing nothing? I think most of them followed a teaching with spiritual practices. So do you conclude that they wasted their time? Or, do you conclude that they sought awakening through study and practice, and got results?

From my point of view, spiritual practice has great value.

I know some people will say that spiritual practice does not bring about awakening because awakening is uncaused, and I would agree with them in part. Spiritual practice in and of itself does not cause awakening, but it prepares us for awakening, prepares us to receive Divine Grace, which carries us from ignorance into awakening and then further to awakening upon awakening.

 

Joel

 

 

Spiritual Seeking
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