The Path of Spiritual Development
The Fundamental Things
The path does not consist in collecting knowledge, but in applying it gradually: “Make haste slowly.”
Spiritual exercises are not possible, when we do not respect the fundamentals of diet and lifestyle. Continuous working on these fundamentals leads to inner alignment and the related realisation. When we take to advanced spiritual concepts and ideas, we tend to forget the basics of the path.
Diet and Consciousness
The entire spiritual training serves towards transformation, in order to make the structure of the body more subtle. For this the food we take is important. We can improve the quality of our thoughts by improving the quality of the food, and vice versa. We should select food that suits us, that energises us. We can make it tasty and cook thoughts of goodwill into the food. We should know what to eat, when to eat, how much, and how to eat. We should learn to put this knowledge into practice. It is recommended that we eat in a clean and serene place, in quietude, and with a pleasant attitude. It is better not to eat meat or fermented, smelling food.
Spiritual Development and Service
A spiritual law says: “As we receive, so shall we give.”
We cannot inhale without exhaling. If we do not want to serve, we also cannot receive. It is dangerous to meditate without an attitude of serving. We should give more than we receive, thus we will get liberated from our debts. Therefore, we should serve the surrounding life in one way or the other and acquire the needed skills.
The Path of Spiritual Development
The path is a way out of the limitations of the localised, individual consciousness to ever more comprehensive planes of awareness. It is a path from a segmented mind to a perception of the underlying wholeness of existence, the unity of being. In the East, unity means “Yoga“, union.
The Path of Yoga
The age-old path of Yoga teaches us to neutralise the reactions of the mind and the senses towards objectivity, in order to gain balance and equilibrium. Yoga means awareness of the synthesis of all planes of consciousness. The different kinds of Yoga are branches, subdivisions of the one whole. The practice of Yoga serves to gain the awareness of synthesis. The practice of Yoga is a daily purification process.
The Master Key
We have to go through the doors of emotions and thoughts in order to reach the Light. Emotions and thoughts condition us and impede us on the way to the Light. The master key to eliminate the obstacles is to help others without reservation, without looking to one‘s own welfare: “Do all your activities for the well-being of others.”
The Subtle Bodies of Man
The human body consists of layers of different stages of density:
- The physico-etheric body or vital body
- The emotional body
- The mental body
Beyond these bodies there are several formless planes.
The Physico-etheric Body
The physical body is vitalised and kept in a form by the etheric body. At death, the etheric body leaves the physical body and the latter dissolves. By means of a spiritual life, the etheric body is kept vital, the form is magnetic. If we live against the spiritual laws, the etheric form decays faster.
The Emotional Body
Desires and wishes, sympathies, antipathies, pride, ambition, hatred, and fear are qualities of the emotional body. The individual who lets himself guide by his emotions is called animal man. It is only when we purify our emotions and align them to higher ideals that the fire of emotion gets transformed into fiery aspiration and we are uplifted.
The Mental Body
The mental body is full of thought forms, which receive their energy from the higher self like a lamp receives electricity. The thoughts keep on coming incessantly, one after the other. Our alignment decides the kind of thoughts we receive. Constructs of ideas/ideologies can get us get stuck for a long time. When we align to the higher planes, we receive inspiration from the soul.
The Call of the Soul
Without soul contact, we are imprisoned in the personality. We feel like being locked up. A deep-rooted unrest makes us search for something which at first we do not know – the search for the soul. Some people want to suppress the call of the soul – through activism and an intense life towards the outside. But the call of the soul never ends.
Between soul and personality there is a gap, over which a bridge has to be constructed. This bridge is built between the lower, concrete mind and the higher, intuitive mind. It leads us from the plane of thought to the plane of soul consciousness called Buddhi. For the construction of this bridge of light, knowledge and discrimination are needed. Once the bridge is built, the soul can express through the personality. We then live in accordance with our higher self.
Higher and Lower Self
The lower self, the personality, is a mirror which reflects the soul, the I AM. The reflection of the light is not the light. The reflection can get distorted, but the light itself is not distorted. In its nature, the soul is Will, Love and Light. In the personality, the Will becomes personal desire, the Love becomes emotion and understanding gets coloured by emotions, the Light becomes self-centred intellectual activity.
The human etheric body is pervaded by currents of power, with vital centres as energy points. Energies rotate in circles: chakras, lotuses in the 6 major centres in the body and the head centre. In us, they have been condensed physically to the endocrine glands with the hormones. With most people, the etheric centres do not work correctly and the vital force is blocked. The activation happens through meditation, through simple breathing exercises: slow, soft, deep, and uniform breathing. By contemplating on the lotuses, we fill our system with the energy of the soul.
Centres and Kundalini
Typically, the vital force called Kundalini in the East is locked up at the base of the spine for long times. When it awakens, it rises along the vertebral column. Chakras (wheels) become lotuses by a slow, natural development.
Attention: Do not concentrate on the centres, do not try to activate them directly, by force.
Centres and Planes
|Spirit, Will||Head centre|
|Soul, Consciousness||Ajna centre|
|Intelligent activity||Throat centre|
|Buddhic plane||Heart centre|
|Concrete mental plane||Solar plexus|
|Emotional plane||Sacral centre|
|Physical plane||Base centre|