For most of us, our purpose on Earth is quite simple: learning and spiritual growth. Of course, the hard part is figuring out exactly what that means, and knowing how to do it day by day. Just what are we here to learn, and how do we achieve "spiritual growth"? A thousand sources may tell us the same thing, and we all know it intellectually, but that's not enough.

For most of us, there's no doubt about the value of love and kindness, meditation and focused spiritual practice, self-healing and self-understanding...

We've probably all heard these things many times before. But knowing it in the mind, and living it in our total body-mind-spirit system, are two different things. As the old saying goes: "easy to know, hard to do".

For many of us good-hearted souls, it's easy to see our shortcomings. It's often said that on the spiritual path, "first we blame others, then we blame ourselves, till at last we blame no one". Likewise, it's often true that "first we seek outwards, then we seek inwards, till at last we realize no seeking is needed". It is the middle stage that is usually the toughest: looking inwards, finding a wealth of inner woes, and getting fixed in the position of "ceaseless spiritual seeker".

In the Buddhist tradition, it's an old maxim that "seeking enlightenment, you'll never find it". When asked by a monk, "What is the Buddha?" (i.e., perfected awareness), one of my favorite ancient Chinese Ch'an (Zen) teachers replied: "A stick for wiping shit!" Oh, how rude! Would the Ashtar Command talk this way? What do the Pleiadians have to say about this? Sometimes, those Buddhists are a lot coarser than our ET teachers!

The point here is not to be coarse -- although being delicate is no mark of enlightenment either. My real point is simply this: by seeking outside ourselves, we miss the perfection of our natural self-awareness, which is always and ever available. "Be here now", means, first and foremost, BE here -- not DO here. Ever seeking, ever finding our faults and feeling regret, ever working upon our obvious (and not to be denied) distortions -- acting this way, the realization of BEING is impossible.

[By the way, as I finished writing this, a little bird landed on my outside window sill, and started pecking intently on the glass. Perhaps he wants to get my attention! After pecking intensely for 30 seconds, he flew away -- only to return a minute later, and resume his pecking. Maybe he thinks I'm his mother, or maybe he has something to tell me. After going away again, he returned a third time. In 11 years of living in this apartment, it has never happened before. If you know why, please e-mail me and let me in on the secret! He must be family!]

Anyway, back to our serious discussion. 

There is a beautiful quote from RA in Session 57 of the Law of One (volume III), that treats this very same issue: the relationship between our need for self-work, and the latent purity of our true nature, which ever is. Don Elkins, the questioner, asked RA how we can free ourselves from time-and-space conditions, and how the spiritual path proceeds through the dimensions. In their answer, RA speaks of what they consider essential for those of us who seek to grow, and why we really shouldn't worry about the mechanics of time and space. 

In the experiences of the mystical search for unity, these [time/space conditions] need never be considered, for they are but part of an illusory system. The seeker seeks the One.

The One is to be sought, as we have said, by the balanced and self-accepting self aware, both of its apparent distortions and its total perfection. 

Resting in this balanced awareness, the entity then opens the self to the universe which it is.

The light energy of all things may then be attracted by this intense seeking, and wherever the inner seeking meets the attracted cosmic prana, realization of the One takes place.

The purpose of clearing each energy center is to allow that meeting place to occur at the indigo ray vibration [6th chakra, at the forehead or third eye], thus making contact with intelligent infinity and dissolving all illusions. 

Service-to-others is automatic at the released energy generated by this state of consciousness.

-- (Session 57, vol. III, p. 51)

As "seekers" working for spiritual growth and development, we are involved in the "mystical search for unity", whether we know it or not! I usually don't think of myself in these terms, and you probably don't too, but if you take a close look at what you really want, I think you'll find that your greatest moments of joy involved an experience of Oneness. Seeking this joy and wholeness is no different from seeking complete and perfect enlightenment: known as perfect love, wisdom, balance, power, knowledge and skill in action. Although these virtues are all familiar to us, the total experience of Union with All transcends the mind -- and is certainly in the realm of the mystic.

But the real gem here is RA's suggestion of praxis: a two-part practice for continued spiritual growth. The first part involves awareness, and the second part involves action -- although it might better be termed non-action action. In the first stage of generating clear awareness, we simply become aware of what is, which is the primal polarity of human nature -- far more essential than merely our yin-yang or male-female polarity. We first recognize the material, physical, 3D pole we're all familiar with: our obvious "apparent distortions".  After this, we become aware of our true nature.

Why does RA qualify our distortions with the term, "apparent"? Simply because they are not real: they are merely apparent! Yes, they do exist to our normal personality-based consciousness, but that consciousness itself is not eternal: it is a phenomenal display, a trick of the senses, a chimera born of limited perception. More precisely, we are involved in so-called distortion because we are unaware of our total self, in totality. As awareness grows, we see beyond the appearance, and at last realize that what appeared to be real and solid is truly transparent. It is not enough to say that our distortions have a limited lifespan. More precisely, we must say that our assessment of self-distortion is itself a distortion, a radical misunderstanding of the nature of moment-to-moment experience. 

This awareness of apparent deviation is only the first stage, but it isn't necessarily so easy, in and of itself. To truly admit our distortions, albeit illusory, involves honest exposing and acknowledging our so-called faults, blockages, imbalances, indulgences, and confusions, as well as the famous Buddhist triad of greed, aggression, and dullness. Just admitting all that may already wipe us out, but we need not stop there!

After that, we need to see the big picture, which RA deems, our "total perfection". This is not an apparent total perfection; it is not a supposed or hoped-for perfection, and certainly not a fanciful hope or expectation that at some point in the future (when all our distortions have been 'purified', if ever such could be done!), we will be perfect. No, it is honest acknowledgment of our total perfection right here and now, with no further effort needed, no further seeking or striving or discipline or practice needed. This is also a radical step: knowing to the core that we are the human face of Infinity, no less.

After that comes the action part: opening up to the Universe that we are. Again, RA doesn't mince words, and doesn't give us some heaven-to-be guidance. We are the Universe, we are boundless, we are the One, and we simply need to open to it fully. Of course, that probably requires many years of meditation (at least, that's how it seems to me, after 20 years of meditation!), and to be sure, if we could do it easily, then we'd all be fully enlightened right away. Since we're not, it's a good bet we haven't yet opened to the universe which we are. But at least we should know who we really are!

Anyway, the final part of their statement is a simple description of what happens next, and the value of concerted spiritual practice, which opens the 6th chakra at the forehead. As we open to the cosmos, the universal light power (called prana in Sanskrit, chi in Chinese, ki in Japanese and élan vital to the French) enters us more fully, and proceeds along the chakras until it stops. This is no different from the flow of kundalini energy up the etheric centers along the spine.

As an aside, but not to be overlooked, RA deems this practice of dual awareness of our human nature (knowing both the apparent and the essential), followed by wholehearted self-opening, to be a form of "intense seeking" -- although it doesn't seem particularly intense at all! I guess, to their perspective, the self-awareness and balance needed to realize both our time-bound confusion, and our timeless perfection, and hold this knowing in calm, is no small feat. This is itself a lovely statement that drives to the heart of what spiritual seeking is all about: total and thorough self-appreciation!

Anyway, to RA, the value of 6th chakra activation is simply that only when the universal light energy can reach this point (indicating significant chakra clearance and non-blockage in centers 1-5, from the base of the spine up to the head), can we really render true and complete service. In  their own precise way, they tell us that perfected service-to-others is automatic at this point, in consonance with "the released energy generated by this state of consciousness". Awareness of perfection, both the perfection of Self and that of the Whole, generates a tangible energy radiance that serves the Whole of Creation. How lovely!

In my opinion, this seems to be the only form of service what is wholly non-distorted, since there is no longer any notion of self, service, better or worse, or need-to-do-anything. The awareness of Oneness is the greatest offering we can make. It is no less than the offering of Creator to Creator.

So, in offering this update to you, yet another face of Infinity, I hope you understand what I am talking about! But in any case, it would do us well to consider that what we think to be real is simply the product of our awareness, and as our awareness grows, we see ourselves in a whole new light. And as we do, what used to be judged distortion is seen to be something quite different, and along the way, we find that we're not really so distorted after all! It is my hope that you can know yourself to be the true total perfection that you are, and take a break from the self-improvement project. I think you'll find yourself a whole lot happier in doing so! 

P.S. My little bird friend returned the next morning to my window sill, and began his intent pecking on the same window pane. Perhaps this time, he simply wanted to wake me up. But I am glad to have friends in high places, and maybe it's a message from the Universe: wake up, Scott! That's a message I can certainly use!