Do We Feel We’re Not Making Spiritual Progress?
This is a psychological dilemma rather than a spiritual one. Spirit is nothing more than pure consciousness; it’s what we are, right now. It is that which sees these words without comment or judgement. Our spiritual essence isn’t something ‘airy fairy’ that drifts around, a soul in the ether: that concept of an ethereal soul is a psychological idea that has led us astray and separated us from our reality (wandering around in the ether is what we are said to do after death!).
Spiritual progress is to do with levels of confidence in clarity without bias, having compassion for all. This doesn’t mean that slanted views go unnoticed.
Anecdotes of others’ spiritual lives may skew our insight – that was theirlife, and our life is ours. Some have paths of bliss and wonder, and some have paths of sticks and stones to climb over. We are not here to conform to a type: this conformity is seen all too often in ‘spiritual’ centres. The way we manifest is down to our pattern of karma, which is the raw material that shows us our path. We’re not here to put on an act, but to deal with raw experience.
Spiritual progress is being content with our ‘shit’, warts and all. Only then can we empathise and understand how others may feel, having compassion and listening. Maybe spiritual progress is just about being able to listen, hear and drop judgements.
Actually, this is precisely the direct pointing out instruction on the nature of mind of Dzogchen – look, see, drop – which is illustrated by a gesture from the teacher: hands up, palms facing out (look), palms turned in to face us (see), hands dropped onto the lap (drop all judgement).
So, spiritual progress is the ability to just drop whatever we are holding onto.