Nick Roach facing the camera with a lake behind
Nick Roach facing the camera with a lake behind
Nick Roach - Awake in the Dream
Nick Roach - Awake in the Dream

Chasing Shadows

I would like to say a few words about comparing teachings and teachers in an attempt to progress along the (so-called) Spiritual Path:

It can be interesting to read and hear about different people's journeys into the Truth, how they got there and what they saw along the way. It is when we believe that their path is the exact path we too should follow and their life the one we must live that it can become a problem.

 

I am going to liken joining the Spiritual Path to a race. There is really no need to rush, but one's eagerness to get to the end and to experience more can make it feel like there is. However, in this race, everybody starts in a different place, the course they must take is specific to them, and while the end point is the same for everybody, the nature and experience of it is interpreted according to the experiences they had along the way. 

 

So, as you can see from the above, trying to recreate what another has been through in an attempt to further one's own development is likely not going to help. In fact, it is like chasing shadows.

 

A few examples to make the point:

My own teacher, Barry Long, described his driving force as being his love for Woman. He describes having a vision of the woman he was with at the time, who he loved very much, and in this vision she said she would reveal the truth to him of his love for her, Woman. He was shown that Woman (the pure essence inside every woman) is love and God itself personified. He later adopted the description 'The Master of Love', as he was devoted to sharing his love for Woman in his teachings, giving advice on how to live and love rightly. 

My path, though involving following Barry Long's teaching to the letter (as much as I was able, which is all anyone can do with any path), was driven by a need to find a reason, and an end, to the emotional pain and struggling I had experienced all my life. The discomfort was caused by a stammer as well as other general difficulties (much later identified as being due to Dyslexia). A major aspect of Barry's teaching is to remain conscious and face and dissolve emotions, and living 'rightly'. While I had some of the insights Barry described, I did not have the vision described above as that was not my path.

 

Bernadette Roberts is a lady whose works I found only very recently (start of 2011) as I entered (what she called) No-self. Her journey involved several years living the life of a Catholic Nun, and it was her love of God that was her driving force. However, it was shown to her early on in a vision that her path lay through 'Christ' specifically. Not understanding what this meant, a life of Christian contemplation began as she studied the works of the saints. Her Enlightenment was her union with God. Her No-self was her 'self' stepping aside and her body being personified by the true essence of Christ. 

 

Then I have a good friend, Dr Nitin Trasi. Nitin spent his life (until very recently) in India, where there are many spiritual teachers. He describes how he was curious and spent time asking questions of the teachers around. Over time he found he was able to answer his own questions, and at some point in time noticed he was 'Enlightened'. As time past, he describes a gradual unveiling of Liberation.

 

Jumping generations as well as cultures here, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is a world renowned Guru, accepted by seekers from different philosophies and backgrounds all over the world as an authority on the Truth; he has even been known as 'The Absolute'. Ramana's path and teaching was to focus and hold onto the sense of 'I am' within; and furthermore, he taught the following: "There is no difference between the dream and the waking state except that the dream is short and the waking long. Both are the result of the mind.".

 

(Amazingly, these two points describe my own path, despite us being literally worlds apart (and my not knowing anything about him until after I had 'arrived'), and yet are also quite different from the other teachers described above.)    

__________________________

 

I hope you can see from the above that the paths are very different, and the experiences they went through would have been poles apart if they were ever to compare. So please do not think that having different experiences from another in itself means they are any more or less advanced than you.

Comparing and making judgments of where you are, or where someone else is, whether based on your own experience or on other stuff you have heard or read, is part of the mind games and will only distract you from your own path. (Of course, in truth, there is no straying from the path really, and there is no rush - so what's wrong with 'straying' anyway - but the point is there.)

   

Thank you

The end of all experiences is simply to be...

Nick Roach

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