How can I be sure I am on the right path?
All of these questions are enjoyable, but this one is really fun. When you think about it, and I do know that some you of spend some time thinking, there are lots of paths out there. There are a multitude of choices with all of the major religions, minor religions, cults, disciplines, teachers, retreats, centers, ashrams, temples, and monasteries. On top of that is the plethora of books. You would be hard pressed to keep up with reading all of the spiritual texts dealing with the various paths to awakening, enlightenment, or ascension that have been published and continue to appear at an ever increasing rate. As we mentioned in the previous message, some of the authors/teachers claim to be enlightened and are willing to show you the way. If you study more than one of these paths, you will find there isn’t a clear overlay. Who is right? Who is wrong? Who can you trust? What’s a poor seeker on the path supposed to do? It’s too hard to sift through all of this. What if you spend years following a certain path and then find out you’re on the wrong one? Now do you have to go back and start all over? Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Fortunately, I can make this very simple for you, unless you would rather make it difficult for yourself. To begin with, you can’t know anything. No matter how much you study or learn, no matter how hard you work at trying to figure it out, you will never have certainty about being on the right path. You will never have full confidence that all you need to do is to continue down the path you are following, persevere with your practice, pedal a little longer and maybe a little harder, take a few more trips around the sun, and then – BINGO! You are home; you are awake.
The good or bad news is that there is no right or wrong path, or that if such a thing exists you will never know whether or not you are on it. Now comes the answer that you may have been eagerly awaiting, salivating over. When you hear about someone else’s path and have a reasonable expectation that what you’ve been told or what you are reading is a fairly accurate depiction of how they woke up, you can be sure that this is not your path. Does that mean you should study every possible path you can find and then see what is left? You could try that. Let Us know how it works. But, We can make it even easier. Your path is unique to you. Nobody shares this path with you. Nobody else will awaken in precisely the same manner. No one ever has and no one ever will. It is just yours. How, you may be wondering, can you figure out what this path consists of? You discover it inside of you.
You don’t find it by seeking out a teacher to tell you what the path is. You won’t find it in any book. You will only find it within yourself. The only thing holding you separate from realizing the truth of yourself, from fully experiencing your Divinity, your I am-ness, from the awareness that everything else is an enormous practical joke, that you are not this body, that you are not this anything which you could attempt to define, that you simply are – is within you. There is nobody outside of you in the world, in your house, in the neighborhood, in the metropolitan area, in the time zone, or in the universe that is holding a gun to your head telling you that you must stay asleep. This is absolutely an internal choice. The only way you can possibly experience your awakeness is by choosing differently. Everybody has their own unique set of untrue beliefs. If everyone shared the same beliefs there would be no wars or conflicts. All would be in agreement. But there are all these differing views about how everything should be. They are all false. They all cause personal suffering. They are all voluntarily held. All that concerns you are the ones you believe to be true. Nobody else knows just what you are holding in your hand. They can’t see your cards, so this process has to be your own.
When you ask the question or have the fear about whether you are on the right path, the answer is so joyfully simple. There is no right or wrong path. You are simply on your path. It is what it is. Does this mean you should never read another book, follow another teacher, or pay attention to the examples of those who apparently have awakened? Should you shut out all religious teachings? There are no shoulds here. Any should you hear is not coming from the true you, it is a voice from the outside. If your inner guidance draws you to read something, read it. Notice what aspects appeal to you or what games you want to try out. You may also find something from the same book, teacher, or source that pushes you away. Pick and choose. The truth of you will speak to you through others. Trust what is pointed out to you. If you miss something that might support you, you can be sure it will keep coming back around until it gets your attention. Maybe the pointer you follow today is the last piece of the puzzle and you realize the folly of all you have previously held as true, that you have taken so seriously. Maybe the latest piece of guidance seems to lead to an absolute dead end. However, following it may have been the best way to have that realization. We have placed a small bet that that is the case. The most important thing is to listen to your inner guidance and to follow it.
How can you know that you are on the right path? Are you listening to your inner guidance and following it? You can’t do better than that. Remember that your inner guidance is for the present. Nothing is forever except the true you. This now may last a short or long time. It is important to stay connected to that inner voice and see what is there for today. One thing that makes your path unique is that it is custom designed for you by Spirit, by Divinity. Whatever comes to you today is always the perfect thing to nudge you into awakeness. One of my favorite things about duality is that it provides a home for irony. It is so humorous that as long as you want to be special you will stay asleep – because that desire is based on separation, but at the same time your path to awakening is specially unique, different from all others. Your path is special, but so is everyone’s. You are One in your specialness.
If God wanted to create in his likeness a form that is capable of having sensual experiences, three dimensional encounters in this illusion – why didn’t he just make one form? Why not make one human instead of multitudes? We are not trying to speak for God here – that is certainly a fool’s task – but it is fun to play. One could guess that there are so many because each one plays out a unique aspect of the wholeness of God. No one aspect can reflect all of God, but taken all together they make up that Oneness. This is analogous to an orchestra, which depends on each instrument making its unique contribution. But, look at the magnitude of this ensemble! One instrument failing to contribute the sound it has been given keeps the whole from expressing its unity. So, we have a world in seeming chaos, but your only job is to play your note and allow others to find their own.
This brings us to the second, exciting part of this message. If you have the thought that it is all about awakening and that once you are awake nothing else matters, keep reading. Most likely the awakened you will look around and notice that the body is still here. The realization will be present that this body is not you, but it remains to be noticed and “lived” in. The world is still there, too. It is an illusion and is not to be taken seriously, but you are still observing it, sensing it. In that awakened state where you have learned to listen to, trust, and follow your inner guidance, you will continue to do just that. What now is the purpose? That information is also outside of my job description. It is not for me to tell you what your purpose will be in your awakened state. You will have no need for that. You will be guided. I will set the stage though. Is your brother awake? Is your sister awake? Will you look about and notice those that are unconscious of their awakeness? You will be aware of the sleepwalkers and your guidance will suggest what to do about that. I have been telling you that other people’s illusions are none of your business. Your only job is you. Now that you have disappeared, you no longer have a job; you are unemployed. Since there is no you, there are no goals, nothing to be pleased or satisfied. In this uniqueness that is related to the “specialness” that formed your unique path of awakening, you will now have a particular path of expression. You will play your part in this cosmic symphony, and many have been waiting to hear your song. It is all connected. It is all planned. You will touch those other beings that the Oneness, that the Guidance, that the Wholeness, that Spirit, that God, that the Divinity – whatever you wish to call it – wishes you to reach.
That now is your function. That is between you and your creator and is none of my business. My only job is to point the way toward your realization. I am not your guidance. Your guidance might lead you to my voice. It might lead you elsewhere. It doesn’t matter. All roads lead to Rome. It doesn’t matter if you ignore information that could have shortened your trip. Time doesn’t exist. The destination is certain. Your decisions are preordained anyway. No matter how hard you try to be the captain of your ship, you will eventually surrender. Whatever you choose is perfect. Spirit will give you as much line as you need. When you make the decision to surrender to your inner guidance, you will hear it more and more clearly. It will direct your path until you realize that there is no path; there is nowhere to go. There is just the eternal now. No other place to be, no other place existing, and you are there and always have been.