Our dreams, however, are not as a rule primarily concerned with our adaptation to outer life. In our civilized world, most dreams have to do with the development (by the ego) of the “right” inner attitude toward the Self. Carl G. Jung
There is a thread of consciousness bringing all world religions together into a unified whole. This is what I realized about 26 years ago, while I attended college at age 19 and participated in a weekly meditation group in Chico, CA, for which I still have fond memories.
The foundation for our group was the Ageless Wisdom; a set of books written by Alice A. Bailey, designed to bridge east/west religious thinking. It includes the religions of Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and Judaism, and others. And, as I continued to develop my spiritual practice over the years, I realized our spiritual nature includes everything, everyone, and every walk of life. As the Bible reminds us, ‘every hair on our head is accounted for’ (Luke 12:7). So too is every written word accounted for.
With millions of books written on many different topics, telling us more than we ever wanted to know about ourselves, how do we know what books or reference materials to pick up and incorporate into our spiritual practice? I like to interpret Tarot cards with clients, but Tarot is one small aspect of my spirituality, as I refer to an extensive metaphysical library at home.
The dilemma of what to read is analogous to what many of us experience in our everyday lives. How do we sift through the overwhelming materials of life? Often, bombarded with information, decisions to make, circumstances, family crisis, we end up living with unpleasant feelings and thoughts.
While some adopt a “just say no” or a “just do it” attitude, I’ve discovered so far, it’s much more effective to get to know who you are so that life’s decisions are clear.
It may seem like there are many uncertainties in life. How do we know which path to follow that is fulfilling, uplifting, joyful, and abundant? While, at the same time, allows us to take care of our responsibilities. Responsibilities we all have such as paying the bills, taking care of our health, providing for our loved ones, and going to work. Many of us have creative endeavors we want to be doing, but there’s almost always something getting in the way. If we could find one thing to focus on what would it be?
In my one-pointed meditation practice (which I’ll go into more detail about in another post) I discovered the one creative endeavor always worth focusing on is the Self. Who am I? What is my purpose in life? How do I know? From this point of knowing, everything else in life follows along beautifully, as if carefully orchestrated by a higher power in the universe. How does this happen? It’s our free-will. While it may sound selfish, it’s just the opposite. When we get to know ourselves, we learn to include everyone around us. Even the Bible reminds us to ‘love our neighbor as our self’ (Mark 12).
What we focus on grows (Energy follows thought.). When we want to put our focus and attention on improving our lives by getting to know ourselves and, by analogy, the nature of God, life becomes amazing!
All of us have the ability to do this work. Spiritual reading, whether it’s with the Tarot, a religious text, or your favorite book on a genre you’re passionate about, can speed this process. This process reveals our spiritual nature, so we may grow and develop from that point of view. This is our life path or destiny; the point of focused attention we were meant to be living. It’s individualized and completely amazing!
The amazing journey I’ve experienced over the past 26 years of practice, is why I wanted to share my spiritual practice with you. As I said, I often use the Tarot as a basis for reading with clients (and use them quite often for myself) because of the rich illustrations and symbolic meanings, deeply revealing of our inner nature. Carl Jung, a famous psychologist, said the following about symbols:
Whenever a man’s logical mind is incapable of discerning facts that are hidden in his unconscious, the anima helps him to dig them out. Even more vital is the role anime plays in putting his mind in tune with the right inner values and thereby opening the way into more profound inner depths (Carl G. Jung, Man and His Symbols pg. 193).
To give an example, The King of Cups reminds us of the cup of life. Here, having everything in life is symbolized as riches, fame, and (to throw in a curve ball) aggrandizement. Esoterically understood, these symbols read as knowledge of the self, developing a deep understanding of life, and our spiritual unfoldment leading to the point of achievement. All of which may be ours when we put forth the effort. In other words, it takes discipline.
The cup also symbolizes our path of unfoldment and what it takes to achieve poise. We want to remain grounded, well balanced and have our priorities in order, for this work to be effective. Otherwise, we end up repeating the same old lessons over and over again. Furthermore, when balance is achieved, we’re able to focus and take each step with clarity, making life a whole lot easier!