Real World Problems on a Spiritual Path –
Solutions for the Spiritual Seeker

When one matures, the passion for Truth becomes greater than all other passions. Spiritual thirst is stronger than any desire, fear or mental conditioning. If the normal, however strong, human wants and fears, attachments and weaknesses, activities and identifications were stronger than one’s deep spiritual thirst; then no one could begin, let alone stay on, forget about the completion of a spiritual path and becoming enlightened.

Even though one matures and get in touch with ones’ own spiritual thirst, there are a number of problems. One needs to be healthy and be in good mental and physical condition. One needs to have the internal organs, nervous system, and mind in good working order. Even with a healthy body and mind, the problems are vast.

[To exist within a body is a magnificent gift. Keeping fit honors the sacredness of that gift. – Steve Lig]

One needs great intelligence for discrimination, determination and decision making. Even with keen intelligence, the problems are vast.

[You don’t have one mind, you have many minds. They constantly change, your mind changes. One moment you are full of love, another moment so full of anger and hate. If you watch it you will see that there is a kind of rotation system in your head. Love comes and goes. Misery comes, happiness comes, everything comes and goes – Who is watching? Only one thing in you is constant, and that is the watcher. Everything changes, only the watcher abides. Osho]

[Who you’re lookin’  for is who is doin’ the lookin’? – St. Francis of Assisi]

One needs to study spiritual information and to practice spiritual exercises or meditations. Even with sincere studying and meditating, the problems are vast.

[When meditating, it is advantageous to create a meditative space in a harmonious alignment with the rest of your home the location and the proper placement of things or to use a Chinese term–Feng Shui. Feng Shui, pronounced ‘Fung Shway,’ is information and techniques which aids in creating harmony for your meditation space, the rest of your home and for your workplace. Feng means wind, and Shui means water.The wind element represents your life energy or spirit and the water element signifies the basis of all creation. Feng Shui seeks the most harmonious place for everything in your world, from your chair for meditation, your desk, bed, to the placement of your house. Feng Shui reminds us that our inner and outer environments constantly connect and influence each other. This interconnectedness brings either beneficial or disruptive consequences.]

One needs tremendous courage to continue on a spiritual path and to penetrate the dark regions of the mind. Even with fearless courage, the problems are vast.

[Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless an individual has that virtue, he has no confidence for preserving any other. –Samuel Johnson – paraphrased]

[“Without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue. You have to have courage – courage of different kinds: first, intellectual courage, to sort out different values and make up your mind about which is the one which is right for you to follow. You have to have moral courage to stick up to that – no matter what comes in your way, no matter what the obstacle and the opposition is.” –Indira Gandhi]

[“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” –B. C. Forbes]

One needs the ongoing practices of silence and fasting to remain on a spiritual path. Even with following the practices of silence and fasting, the problems are vast.

[Being silent, meditating in silence, that’s a mind-blower. See, talking is what I do,it’s a real need with me, a craving; I’m like a word junkie. I never shut up. I talk to myself, I talk in my sleep. The idea of voluntarily turning off that tap, I can’t imagine it! It’d be like, I don’t know, all the rivers in the world just slammed to a stop. No churning, no flowing, no white water, just stillness, crushing stillness. I don’t think I could stand it, locked up like that in my own psyche. I’d collapse into myself, I’d implode! –Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider]

One has to use all of ones’ passions and energies for perseverance to stay on a spiritual path. One has to tap into ones’ own heart and love for acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion to be on a spiritual path. Even with the devotion of all ones’ heart, with ‘one-pointed devotion,’ the problems are vast.

La vie vaine: Un peu d’amour, Un peu de haine, Et puis’bonjour! La vie est breve: Un peu d’espoir, Un peu de reve, Et puis’bon soir! Life is aimless: a little love, Life is short: a little hope; A little dreaming, and then goodnight!
– Leon Montenaeken, Peu de chose

One must make a total commitment. One must sacrifice everything to be on a spiritual path. Even with a complete commitment and a genuine willingness to sacrifice everything, the problems are vast.

[Most people’s lives – what are they but trails of debris, each day more debris, more debris, long, long trails of debris with nothing to clean it all up but, finally, death. – Tennessee Williams]

One needs a Spiritual Mentor. One needs to thoroughly follow the mentor’s directions. Even with a Spiritual Mentor, the problems are vast.

[Man desires to be free and he desires to feel important. This places him in a dilemma, for the more he frees himself from necessity the less important he feels. – W.H. Auden, “Postscript: The Frivolous and the Earnest,” The Dyer’s Hand (1962).]

[“Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing, turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.” — Octavio Paz]

All rights reserved Copyright (c) Nirup Barnum 2005