After my discomfort with lesson four in The Way of Mastery, I was hoping that lesson five would be easier to digest. I dove in and read that I was going to be given instruction on how to see my own spiritual path clearly.
The encouragement to commit to this book as my path becomes more blatant as it is compared to choosing classes to obtain a degree in college. The promise is given that if I select The Way of Mastery, I will see a new and glorious world. This fresh world remains hidden until I accept the teachings in this book. I do not like exclusionary teachings because that is what I learned while growing up, and it did not satisfy. I read on that I should move from action to action until I realize that I do not live my life, but instead there is an unseen presence living through me. That is a tough pill to swallow, and I cautiously continue reading in the section on how and why I can make the commitment to make this book my chosen path: The first key is desire.
Without desire, nothing can arise and take a form, which means I should continue to let all desires parade forth in my mind without judgment. The only desires I should hold onto are wishes, which feel inspired and make me feel great. I like that idea so the next imaging in the text did not alarm me. I can see myself as a thread in a grand tapestry of healing in the world. The next step in commitment in the section: The second key is intention.
When I know what I want my outcome to be, then I know what my intention is. I am warned by the text that I have used time to distract myself rather than to be focused on goals. I might have the desire to graduate from college, but if my friend invites me to go to the beach, and I decide to skip class, then I am not clear about my intention to finish a degree. Intention is explained as destination, which will draw me past any obstacle, which would attempt to distract me. I am given a series of questions to narrow my focus:
"What is it that I most desire?"
"What am I doing on this planet? "
"What am I committed to?"
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I am promised that if I discover my purpose in life, everything will fall into place for it to happen. This leads to the next step in the commitment process: The third key is allowance.
When I am in the state of allowance, I know what I want, and I have the outcome solidified in my mind. The in-between part of how is apparently none of my business. I am to allow the content of what I want to move me and ignore the form. I am to be leery of the goals that the world honors, unless I feel the same desire welling up in my heart. The book alludes that my goal should be to awake to enlightenment, but there is no harm in enjoying the trip to that destination. If I am to be successful, I must cultivate trust in myself, inspiration, and my fellow humans. The final step in commitment is given in the next unit: The fourth key is surrender.
Before I started reading I had to take a couple of breaths because I am not fond of the word surrender. It means to release control, and you guessed it, I am a control freak. I begin reading, and I am met with a different definition of surrender:
“Surrender is a stage in which perfect peace is the foundation, not for passivity or inactivity, but for even more activity.”
That is awesome, in my opinion, because I am a fairly active person physically and mentally. The thought of more activity towards a goal I want to achieve is very attractive to me. I am promised as I cultivate desire, intention, allowance, and surrender, I will find it easy to take responsibility for everything in my life, and that I will enjoy an inner peace which defies description. The final section gives me the last tip to fully committing to The Way of Mastery: The importance of humility.
Humility and faith are the two of my least favorite words. In the past, they meant I should not question authority and that a real answer cannot be expressed, but that I should just have faith until the answer after death. With trepidation, I continued to read so I could find out what new meaning I might find for those unlucky words. I was disappointed to read that I would never in the body wrap my mind around God. Typical response but I liked the next concept that I should never feel like I am done learning, like a master artist. That light was quickly eclipsed by the warning that I should not accept accolades for my accomplishments because God is living through me, and my body happens to be the puppet for his plan. This is to prepare me to make sure I do not take advantage of those who are attracted to my light. If I do not follow the humility rule, then I will not attract anyone. It seems kind of mean, but I read further that humility means to stop and say, thank you to the unseen presence. I am then given an exercise if I feel myself getting too big for my britches:
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“Did I create myself?
You know well that the answer is: No, I don’t even know when I was created.
Something birthed me. What is it?”
This is to induce insta-humility, and I am then saved from myself. The end of the chapter feels like a parent lecturing me by asking questions like do you want to be enlightened? It was strikingly like the qualifications I needed to have in order to borrow the car when I was a teenager. It is rather demeaning and ends with the sentiment that if I follow these rules, then I will be happy.
I am curious about what the next lesson will entail. It will take far more convincing for me to accept this as a path of happiness. It smacks of recycled Christianity, but it is still an interesting ride.