Many people find themselves on the Spiritual Path, often unwillingly, as life’s vicissitudes and pains force them to look at themselves and what they REALLY want from life. Initially they may want to reduce the pain and difficulty, later moving toward personal fulfilment and wholeness. Other people begin with an inner compulsion, or a “call of the soul” – everyone is different ! At some point, they may realise this is a journey or path.
Life often forces us to rely on our own inner resources and wisdom, and we can go a long way purely using these. At major turning points, that is all we truly have. However, the rest of the time, we may want to keep moving, but it seems silly to always have to re-invent the wheel, so we begin to investigate the pre-existing teachings and movements, such as the theosophy or the New Age.
Many of the people setting off on the path immediately find that they have a lot of pre-existing problems, and that they need to sort these out. These problems may arise from childhood, or from mistakes they have made. These are the conditioning or programming that we need to break out of so that we can fully be ourselves. The conditioning can come from many different sources– work, partners, school, assumptions, duties, ignorance, dis-abilities, self-images (“conditioning” is the word the theosophists use for this – it’s slightly preferable and more inclusive than the more modern “programming”)
Once upon a time I “set off on my life’s journey”, as what I needed wasn't available where I was living (in Cardiff, South Wales), so I went to live at Findhorn, where it was available. Things have changed now – many more books and workshops are available, and there’s the internet and sites like this where some sort of group experience is possible. Nowadays, perhaps I could have stayed where I was. However, there is now almost the opposite problem, there is SO much available, and choices need to be made. I will make some recommendations of what has worked for me, and hope others will join in on the forum.
Many of the techniques are to try and clear the problems, the blockages and conditioning, thus uncovering our own wisdom (rather that the “old” method of taking in “spiritual knowledge” and transforming that into wisdom).
I’ve also written a “spiritual reading list”
An investment of £/$/€ 1000 in the books and workshops I have mentioned here might be money well spent, if you have it. And, you would meet new friends, and get new stimulus for your path, and, even if none of this happens, you would at least be more experienced !
There is a proposed Spiritual Curriculum in another section, which might also be useful.