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Though a more appropriate title might be Journey toward Enlightenment as the preposition ‘to’ implies once a final destination is reached the trip is over, while ‘toward’ recognizes the eternal elusiveness of the enlightened state. Yet understanding the elusiveness of our goal does not diminish the sanctity of our efforts. For it is a journey we must all one day embark on, either in this life or the next. Eventually we are all brought to the recognition that this life is a mere shadow of our true reality, and the gifts of an infinite and benevolent universe await us.
But. And it is a very large but. The forces of creation do not bestow their gifts on the ignorant and uninitiated. They know the worth of their offerings and are unwilling to cast their “pearls at the feet of swine”. Rather they seek those who appreciate the value of the treasures they are willing to grant them. Wisdom blesses those who faithfully pursue her. Abundance graces those who labor diligently for her rewards. Spiritual enlightenment is no different. Revelation is granted to those who value her. Faith is the reward of those who strive mightily towards him.
So where do we begin? Like all endeavors, the search to escape the imprisonment of ignorance begins with the acknowledgment of our lack, and our sincere desire to remedy it. Unfortunately after this initial admission, how we are to proceed from there is less evident. Perhaps this uncertainty is a test of our worthiness to be granted admittance through the gate to the road we seek. Maybe we are judged by how easily we abandon our search when confronted with roadblocks. Do we give up before we even give ourselves a chance to begin? Do we justify our lack of commitment by telling ourselves only gullible fools believe there is more to life than what we can see and hear and touch? Though we may tell ourselves this is true, and for a time sink back into our old comfort zones, we are not truly convinced by our rationalizations. Our longing to know the truth of who we are rests for a while, preparing in the silence of our spirits for a new attack on our cynicism. Until eventually the craving inside us builds to a point where are compelled to take action, to begin again…to search, to understand, to ultimately become our true selves, and not the mere reflection of self we exist as in this physical world.
So here we stand once again at the birth of a new year. Is this the year we finally push through the resistance of our doubts? Is this the year we finally make a commitment to ourselves…our eternal selves? When we look back over the coming twelve months at the beginning of another January, will we still be haunted by the same questions that disturb our peace now? Or instead will we stand at the dawn of a new year and release a deep sigh of relief in gratitude we didn’t waste the precious time given us. Perhaps we will even glance back over our shoulder and note with pride the starting line where we now stand is a comfortable distance behind us, and recognize we’ve finally gained true momentum in our search.
It is said progress is most easily measured by looking through the rear view mirror of our lives. Let’s make a commitment to look back next January from a place of greater understanding, and smile with contentment at how far we’ve come.