– A Prelude to the Path –
The journey toward enlightenment is a long and arduous trek. For countless incarnations the goal of evolution is to develop the personality, the ego, so that it becomes a useful outer garment through which the soul can eventually work. During this seemingly endless period, the higher-self (soul) is present, but largely residing behind the scenes. Yet there comes a day (incarnation) when the soul’s hidden stance is exposed—its veil lifted. On that crucial day the personality is roused by the discovery that there is something sacred dwelling within. This is the Awakening and once this has occurred life will never be the same.
Prior to the awakening, the soul watches as the personality slowly learns to integrate itself. Here, it is important to remember that the constitution of the personality is threefold, in that it is composed of mental, emotional and physical substance. Personality is simply the term used to describe the dimension of the self that is identified with these three sheaths of substance. From an evolutionary perspective, the purpose of the personality is to become a threefold instrument through which the soul can express its creative intention. For this, the soul patiently waits.
An integrated outer garment is what the soul awaits and, until such is the case, its creative gaze (toward the personality) remains vague and tenuous. You may ask, what is an integrated personality? It is a stage of development when the three aspects of the personality have been integrated into an effective working whole. It indicates that the mental, emotional and physical bodies can now seamlessly function as one. The well-organized thought life of the personality stands shoulder-to-shoulder with emotions resulting in physical actions proficiently expressed. No longer are the three sheaths perpetually at odds with each other. In short, the outer garment is no longer a divided house.
Though the awakening is a pivotal experience in one’s incarnational history, it is brief and fleeting. The light of the soul blazes forth deep within the recesses of consciousness, only to disappear without apparent cause. What was blissfully experienced as a divine touch seemingly fades from view as the veil of darkness is lowered once again. Contrary to what one may believe, this is no indication of a gift withdrawn. Instead it is more appropriate to think of it as an invitation containing a deeply embedded promise. The soul has deliberately made contact with the personality for the first time. Thus does its lighted touch invite the personality to reenter the inner realms to search for the light it was shown. Without the use of words, the soul intuitively says to the personality, “I’m here within you and have divine light to share. Reach deep into the inner realms and I will meet you halfway.”
Though the awakening episode is short-lived, a seed is nonetheless planted within the mind of the aspirant. It is a seed that holds a wordless promise from the soul. As this seed germinates, it foretells of a further way of being in the world. It is a promise that the Christ-like energies that were briefly touched shall be fully embodied someday. Indeed, it is the promise of enlightenment itself. Henceforth, the knowledge of this (consciously or unconsciously realized) becomes the driving force behind the aspirant’s continued urge to grow and develop.
In the early stages this promise is often misconstrued as something attainable within the present incarnation. Yet later it is realized that the journey to enlightenment is slow and incremental, and that the awakening experience was simply the first step. A needed sense of humility then begins to take root, and a multi-incarnational understanding of the journey supervenes….and with this, the Path of Discipleship comes into view.