Spiritual Crossroads

The stages of spiritual growth and development.

It’s not necessarily sensible, from a structured point of view, but it’s not at all arbitrary.

A lot of people in self-discovery have this sense that they’re involved in some process that they don’t understand, that one can’t understand. They feel that they’re climbing a mountain that never ends,

They don’t know quite what to do.

This is not a helpful way to think or see, because really, quite the contrary is true.

Self-discovery to a certain point

Beyond that point

And beyond that point

In the beginning, in the early incarnations of spiritual development, a person is usually drawn to a very codified spiritual structure.

They need instruction in how to live, basic commandments and rules.

As a person evolves through countless lifetimes of self-discovery, they begin to get a sense of spiritual refinement. It’s not necessary to be told what to do anymore; one does it naturally.

Yet even among those innocent souls who have put aside hate and anger and jealousy, even those souls when they reincarnate in a given lifetime—even though in a previous lifetime they may have made a great deal of spiritual progress—when they come into a new lifetime, they get tainted by the world.

Their outer being is something that’s directed by others.

Now, there are stages in the progression.

My talk tonight is not so much regarding the structure of reincarnation and one’s evolution through the incarnations—that’s another topic for another time, perhaps—but

tonight my interest specifically is

There is nothing else but the roadway, the path.

Until a person has reached that point, they’ll go through many trials, tribulations, good times, bad times, experiences, in life after life.

But one reaches a certain point, after many incarnations of self-discovery, where there’s a great purity in one’s being.

While the aspirant still may lack a certain volition and awareness of who and what they are, the right tools are there, the right quantities are there in the right proportion.

It is then the task of the spiritual teacher to ignite the fire, you might say—that will burn up the final composites of self.

This is a very complex process, the most beautiful process that I know of, in which two beings become aware that they’re one.

Now as I’ve suggested, there are different types of spiritual seekers.

Traditionally there are thought to be three types—

The pathway to enlightenment works for all of them. Life embraces and accepts all of us.

When we’re wonderful, when we’re horrible, life embraces and accepts all of us, because life isn’t so picky, because life gave us birth, life sustains us, life transforms us—because we are life itself.

But at the same time, life discriminates.

While life will accept all and even the worst of human beings is still God, still, at the same time, life selects.

This is what we call

So then, it’s necessary to understand which type of spiritual seeker you are. It will help you tremendously in your journey.

The most evolved type of spiritual seeker

Their life speaks of nothing but gentleness and purity.

While certainly, in their initial stages of evolution in a given lifetime, once they’ve reached this point, they will have a number of qualities that they’ll pick up along the way and some baggage that’s kind of tattered in that lifetime,

The teacher is there

Their response is humility.

Needless to say, there are not too many of these seekers in the world. When they graduate, they leave this world. They move on—to other places, other planes of being, or to dissolution itself.

These are not necessarily powerful and strong individuals.

Very often we make a mistake. We mistake charisma for spiritual development.

Simply because a person can command attention—a following, because they speak well, because they have power—does not necessarily suggest that they are spiritually advanced. They’re advanced in the ways of power, perhaps.

But when Jesus said that

what he was saying was that

But yet, no one is denied—no one—because that seeker has passed through the other stages.

Because that seeker—not long before then—

Prior to that, they were in another stage

So all of us, all of us and myself, of course, have passed through these different stages or are passing through them. One stage is not better than another. We find ourselves in different worlds.

What is important, though,

A person in first grade is in no way inferior to a person who’s in 12th grade, and they should never think so, but they should be occupying themselves with different subjects.

So a person who’s very slow in their spiritual seeking, who’s very earthbound still,

Persons in the second stage will be very mentally acute.

In the very early stages, people tend to be rather devotional. When I say that they’re heavy, I don’t want you to misunderstand. I don’t mean that they lack a certain purity.

But in the second stage—in another succession of incarnations of spiritual seeking—the mind develops and the intellect develops.

In other words, in the early stages of spiritual seeking, an early seeker is much more instinctual in their beliefs.

The second stage is the most problematic because here the ego develops. Many people who teach in the world—who are not enlightened—are in the second stage.

We’re all on a large wheel, the wheel of dharma, and the wheel of dharma spins. We spin from lifetime to lifetime, from birth to death.

The third stage, of course, is one of spiritual refinement.

Our particular center is for persons who are in the third stage. You might say that Lakshmi, and other places like Lakshmi, are spiritual finishing schools.

What we do is show a person how to overcome the final rough edges.

Now, there are those spiritually advanced souls who are in that third stage of their evolution.

In that third stage of their evolution—in this lifetime—they’ve become stuck in the illusory nature of existence and they have no conception of who or what they are.

So initially they go through a great, great struggle. They usually feel very, very uncomfortable in this world. The world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to them—I’ve talked to you about it before.

But yet there’s a distinctive purity, a childlike simplicity to their nature. They can “see,” even when they’re children, they can “see.”

Sometimes they tend to be pushed aside by the world because they don’t force themselves on others in the world.

Now, let’s drop back from this perspective that I’ve given you. This is one frame of reference. There are many that we spin through.

Let’s think of a journey. Let’s think of a long, long road that stretches nowhere. It doesn’t go anyplace.

The reason we walk along the road is because we find ourselves doing it,

But let’s say as we walk along the road, let’s call it the road to truth—it doesn’t go anywhere, in my opinion—but let’s call it the road to truth.

People like to have a sense that they’re going someplace, but actually the whole road was truth.

The place that they’ve come from was truth, although if you look behind you when you’re on the road, there’s nothing there. In the distance you can see some hills, usually no houses, just hills.

Well, eventually you go back to the road. This is the road to truth.

What fun is that?

But the road to truth is marvelous because it just doesn’t go anyplace.

It’s infinite.

But the road to truth just goes. There’s no sense of frustration. It’s not that it doesn’t go anyplace in the sense that you’re on a treadmill.

But yet, along the road to truth, there are these other roads—which I suppose go to truth also, since all roads lead to truth.

These are crossroads.

We’re walking down the road, another road cuts across the road we’re on. And at that point we can decide to turn left or right or keep going straight.

You can’t go back on the road to truth.

It’s a one-way. If you try and go back, they’ll arrest you, give you a ticket, you have to go to court—Superior Court. You might say the Supreme Court.

So you can’t go back. It doesn’t work.

You can only go forward, which is in your favor. That’s the way that the river flows.

The first crossroads that you will come to, as a seeker—which you have already passed through, all of you who are here … (“Phew! I made it through one at least! Thank heavens!”)

The first one that you’re going to go through is the recognition that light is worth at least looking at occasionally.

Now there are many people who don’t have that recognition, at all. Oh, some people look at darkness and they say it’s light. Maybe it is, I don’t know. I don’t think it is in the sense that you mean, though.

Initially they decide they like to look at light once in a while.

Until a person has started to formally meditate, they’re still early on.

But once a person has started to formally meditate on a relatively regular basis, striving to cease their thoughts, to gain a little bit of control over their life, they’ve made a decision, and that’s to try.

When you come to it, you could have stopped there and said,

So you’ve gone further than that. You’ve started to meditate.

Well, you crossed another crossroads. There’s another one after that, and you crossed that.

That was when you joined an organic fellowship of beings who were walking together along the road, what we call a spiritual community. That’s another step.

So you went through a second one because some people meditate out there on their own, and they’re doing fine, but they just feel they don’t need the teacher because they’re not in a rush.

So the second step is finding a teacher.

But teachers are a complex issue as you’re finding out now. It’s not so simple. (It is, actually, except that you make it complex.)

To find a teacher and be accepted by a teacher and start along the way in the spiritual community is the next crossroads. Now to have done this, you’re still an absolute beginner.

But you managed to get in the door. Step number two.

The next crossroads is one that you come to—I would say—at about Year One of studying with a teacher.

Now, when I say “studying with a teacher,” you understand I mean studying with a teacher who traverses the superconscious, what we call “enlightened.”

Enlightened is a funny word, hard to define. The less words used, the better. But I think you know what I mean.

So the next step, then, is that first year. Now, this is where it gets more interesting. We get down to the basics, we’re past the prologue.

In the first year of spiritual study with an enlightened teacher,

You will see tremendous changes in your life that first year.

But, a person will have to make a decision, and that’s whether to make it through the first year or not. A lot of people don’t.

The first year is definitely the most difficult … until you reach the second year.

The first year is difficult in that suddenly the velocity of the energy gets to you.

In other words, on the one hand, it’s like a crazy roller coaster ride. You go up and down very, very fast. Your “down’s” are not as far down as they were before and your “up’s” are much higher, but it’s very fast.

Everything that you’re going through is accelerated. To work with someone who’s enlightened means that you step onto a faster field of attention.

You evolve very quickly because you’re in their energy.

But you’ve moved into a faster field of attention.

Yet it is you because your personal power and your choice in evolution brought you there. It’s both at once.

But don’t think it’s all you—terrible mistake, a lot of egotism.

And don’t give all your own personal power away to a teacher and say, “Well, it’s all them.” It’s not.

So the first year is a very trying time, for some people.

For some people it’s absolutely easy because they just watch their life changing. They watch their level of attention rising, and suddenly life becomes fun.

But for some people it’s very demanding.

Or let’s say that power — or life — gave them an opening.

It gave them a doorway that they walk through and they walk through that doorway. But in walking through the doorway, once they got in the room, they decided that

Let’s say that the reason you find a spiritual teacher and you come into an advanced spiritual community has to do with your past karma, what you’ve done before.

You get an opportunity.

But finding it is not the same as staying there, nor should it be. In other words, a person’s karma gets them to a certain point where they found a way—teacher, community, friends—but then the karma runs out.

That’s as far as it was supposed to go. That’s how far they got in their previous life, and they stop.

Now, at that point, if they wish to go further forward, they have to work at it.

So at this point, some people then, leave.

It’s a very wise thing to do because they have walked into the room, but they found that the light is too bright there, they’re just not comfortable in this life.

They, perhaps, are not ready for such an advanced school. Perhaps there’s another school, another community, where the rate just isn’t quite as intense, where there’s more structure.

Graduate school, of course, is much more demanding than either, and a very small group of people go to graduate school. Maybe ten percent, nine percent, something like that, of those who graduate from college.

They’re not better, they’ve just chosen—that’s their way of life. They want to be scholars.

The spiritual education is very much like that.

In other words, there are different types of liberation.

Some souls reach a certain static plane and they stay there forever.

Then they reincarnate and come back after that point in another cycle of creation, and so on and so on, infinitely.

Some souls move beyond that.

What’s important is to accept your fate.

So persons who find themselves in a school that’s too advanced should have the humility to go out and find another school—which might be the “school of life” experience; or another teacher who moves at a slightly slower rate.

Then, when they feel the time has come, they should go back to the advanced school.

Those who are in the advanced school will do well their first year.

They’ll go through many, many changes, but they’ll find at the end of the year they’re still there. Usually about 75 percent will last through the first year; 60 percent to 75 percent, it depends.

Some teachers allow many students to come in. They feel they’ll give everybody a chance; they’re not too selective because they know that life itself will make the selection. Others feel that they should be selective. One is not right, one is not wrong.

The dharma expresses itself in different ways.

After you’ve crossed that first year threshold, that’s when the real opportunities begin and the real problems begin.

The first year, again, the student is really not quite sure what they’re doing.

They’re just trying to learn to

and the teacher’s

Now, the second year is a very difficult year for some people.

They’ve reached a certain level. Their life has improved to a certain degree through association with a spiritual teacher who’s enlightened and through association with others who are advancing.

And now they’ve gone about as far as they want to go.

Now what they’d like to do is

In other words, they went through one or two transformations of the self, which occur in the first year.

After the first year of study, you will be radically different.

In the second year, though, you won’t want to go through it again. This is where the resistance comes up. People feel, “I’ve reached a certain point, I’m kind of comfortable with it, and I’d like to make a little spiritual progress.”

They don’t think this, but this is going on inside. So they level.

But this doesn’t work in an advanced community because in an advanced community, it’s graduate school. People are always going forward. So what will happen at that point is, they will begin to feel resistance.

What they should do is make a very simple decision.

They should decide either

or they should choose to step out of school for a while.

What happens is, they will feel this resistance and they’re not quite powerful enough to overcome it yet—or they don’t want to, actually—and then what they do is, they go backwards.

Instead of stepping out at that point and saying,

Instead they stay there, heaven knows why. Not liking it, because there’s a pressure there and they can feel it. There’s a pressure to evolve quickly, and it feels like that for them.

It’s a pressure and they resist it, and their resistance begins to manifest in anger.

They get angry at the other students, angry at the teacher, angry at the structure, angry at themselves. This anger turns into hate, self-pity, complacency, self-importance.

In other words,

Each one of you is dealing with that.

It takes at least a year to get back. The first year, again, is a general clearing by the teacher. But then, after the first year, the residuals of this life have been somewhat broken up. They’re not all gone, but they’re somewhat broken up.

The samskaras — which means how far you’ve come in a past life — come up again.

The things that threw you last time are all ready to throw you again. Takes at least a year to get there, though.

So at that point, what you can do is say, “This is how far I went before, and I’m not ready yet for this challenge.” There’s nothing wrong with that. That is a very, very astute observation, which has a great deal of personal humility and dignity.


On the other hand, the majority of people—after their first year—will find it very smooth sailing. It will be a much easier year—and each year will get progressively easier—in the sense that they build up velocity.

It’s like a snowball effect where the snowball’s rolling down a mountain and it gets bigger and bigger, only it gets smaller and smaller in this case.

The snowball is self; you unravel.

They [students] will continue very eagerly to go through dissolution after dissolution, and each self that the teacher dissolves will be followed by a more refined self.

Now, naturally, it’s not smooth. That’s what makes it an adventure.

All of them are your selves, but it takes a while to realize that.

I would then say, the second year is a time when many people check out, and wisely so. The first year gave them a new self—that’s as far as they want to go. Their enthusiasm has run out.

But out of a sense of spiritual obligation, moral obligation—because they think that there’s something wrong with leaving when they’ve come a certain distance—they stay, doggedly fighting when it isn’t fun anymore.

But if they get all meshed up in their doubts and hates and project them on innocent spiritual seekers (or teachers), all they do is

For most people, though, the second year will involve several dissolutions.

They will begin to get

While they’ll miss most of it consciously, they’ll begin to get the sense that that’s happening.

Now, in the second year, it’s very necessary for the spiritual seeker to begin to come to terms with their physical life.

In the first year of study, it’s just enough to be there and sit there and learn to meditate on a regular basis, and learn to just become aware of other levels of attention, and of course to try—with enthusiasm—to evolve and just learn about this new world.

But in the second year, it’s time to

Every step you take

must be followed by a step

meaning that your life becomes tighter, prettier; your consciousness of beauty in your environment increases, and in your personal self.

You begin to look at life, in other words, with new eyes. You got those new eyes in the first year.

A certain amount of this goes on in the first year, but it becomes much stronger in the second year.

And the connection between the student and the teacher, in most cases, really begins in the second, and particularly the third year.

But in the first year, unless there was a past life connection between the student and the teacher, which is almost better to ignore in the first year, in my estimation, and not think about it at all …

But sometimes that’s there and there’s a great deal of love between the student and the teacher because they’re old friends.

But even so, one doesn’t want to “ride the friendship,” because it’s a new life and it’s a new world, and it’s best to start over again.

Even though you’re friends with the teacher, you don’t want the teacher to give you good marks simply because you’re friends, but because you’re doing a good job, because otherwise you won’t learn.

So you shouldn’t ride the friendship.

In friendship, we don’t “ride” it,

So then, the student will then turn their attention—in the second year—to their physical life, and the teacher will suggest certain things that they should do.

Now, in advanced spirituality there are no demands.

But in the third, the teacher no longer says, “Listen, you must live this way, you must think this way, you must dress this way.”

In high school they watch over you and they tell you what to do with your homework. In grammar school they don’t ask too much, it’s just enough to kind of get by.

But in high school, there’s much more discipline and the teacher will yell at you if you don’t do your assignment.

In college the teacher doesn’t do that, because the teacher feels if you’re there, you’ve already got that together, and you’re there because you’re very motivated, and you want to be. If you don’t come to the lectures, fine. If you do, fine. It’s entirely up to you.

The teacher’s going to come in and do their very best job to aid you, but you need to be self-motivated and you should be by that time, otherwise you’re not ready for college.

And then, of course, [there is] graduate school—takes us all the way back to the beginning again.

So then, in this particular school of self-discovery, at this level—at Lakshmi or other places like Lakshmi—the teacher will make general suggestions about lifestyle for their first and second year students, and so on. If they haven’t mastered it by the first or second year, the suggestions still pertain until they’re done.

These are made as suggestions.

The teacher won’t say, “Do this, don’t do this,” because they don’t feel they have to. They feel that automatically the student will respond and do it without having to be admonished.

Otherwise the student is not ready for that level of study.

No one has to stand over you and say,

and so on and so forth. You know,

The teacher will mention these things casually and also give very explicit suggestions which will vary according to the teacher and the student and the culture.

But again, most of this will not be done on an individual basis.

The teacher usually will not sit down with you in those first years and give you a talk as to what you should do—it’s very unusual.

If the teacher ever does that,

if the teacher walks up to you and says,

It’s very unusual for an advanced teacher to walk up to a student in the first few years and give them specific instructions.

If they do, it means that they have seen something,

It doesn’t mean you’re an exceptional person.

Again, in sophisticated spirituality you are free to do whatever you want to. No one is going to insist.

In other words, the teacher will not say,

The teacher will just very casually mention, as they walk by you,

If you’re not that aware, then you’re not ready yet and then you wouldn’t have understood, even had they explained it to you.

You would have heard their words

The teacher will then observe. We’re going to then go through a period, I would say from about Year Three to Year Five.

During this period of time, Year Three, Four and Five—again, these are general outlines of time, it varies, sometimes there are exceptional cases—

You’ll come and meditate with the teacher—

realize that you’re dealing with a magical being

This is something you should have learned in your first year.

In your first year, you should have determined whether this was your teacher or not. In your first year, you should have seen, “Is this person really enlightened? Do they really have powers and abilities to help me transmute my consciousness?”

And if you found out that they didn’t, of course, your first year you should have gone elsewhere, unless there was no one else available and they never claimed to have those powers.

If someone is just a yoga teacher or something like that and an inspirational individual, well, you can study and you’ll learn more by being around them. They may have a purer level of attention than yours. But they’ll have the humility not to claim that they’re enlightened. You can learn a lot, and they are a friend.

When you deal with someone

and your first year will tell you if they’re real or not.

Now, naturally, just because they are, doesn’t mean you’re capable of working with them. In reference to our earlier discussion a few minutes ago, you will make the decision yourself.

You can find an enlightened person, and it’s very baffling then to find your being reject it all.

Time is a wonderful healer. Sometimes we just need time. We need time in the world. Things have to work out. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong.

In my own study with the teacher I worked with for many years, I at one point took about two years off and went out into the world, got married, had a lot of experiences.

It was an interesting experience, and I decided that was definitely where I didn’t want to be, but I had to have that experience to know that. Sure, I could appreciate the idea, but I needed the visceral experience. Life gave it to me. Life is wonderful.

Every day I meditate on Mother Kali, Maha Kali, and she treats me well. She’s given me the short path to evolution, and I love it. I wouldn’t live any other way.

So then, the teacher will observe how you’re doing in Year Two, Three, Four, Five.

And let us say that after the second year,

The second year, from the teacher’s point of view, is still something you just have to pass through to prove that you’re at all interested in the higher aspects of the study. This is again, even in a sophisticated spiritual community, that’s like a letter of intent.

After the second year—except in unusual situations where the teacher will step in directly into your life on the physical level—then the teacher will begin to look a little more closely.

Now, this comes to the subject, … What is it that creates spiritual advancement?

Is it a nebulous process? Is it just fate? Is it just karma?

Well, I would suggest that for the first year,

In the second year, having survived the first year (if you have), then

The teacher may make hundreds of suggestions and you may be able only to implement one or two at a time.

What’s important though, is

You need to begin to love yourself and accept yourself.

You won’t accept your fate yet, it’s too soon.

If you think you have, it’s egotism—it’s too early yet. That comes after Year Five, I would say.

But rather to just begin to feel good about the fact that you’re making progress, even though it doesn’t seem like you are sometimes.

But what will happen is that

When there’s no one else around, you can feel eternity more, very simply.

Some days you’re happier, some days you’re not, it depends on the world, your aspiration. You still fluctuate a great deal in the second year, up and down, radically.

That doesn’t matter, but

If you survive the Second Year, then as you enter into Year Three through Five, that’s when the real separation occurs.

That’s when you will determine how far you want to go,

It is during these years that you begin to get to know your teacher.

Only because in the first years, unless there was an unusual situation, you simply didn’t have the sensitivity level to have any idea what the teacher was talking about, even though you heard the words and you did your best with them, and you didn’t do a thing wrong. You did everything right.

But the teacher doesn’t speak to you with words. Mostly it has to do with their “other sides.”

The teacher is

While they have a body and appear to be there, they’re not.

It’s only after

that nothing else could interfere with that—that’s your sense.

Once you’ve reached that point, which I assume a person would after their Second Year, even though their meditations—individual daily meditations—will fluctuate widely, their lifestyle may not be totally together, but they’re having fun implementing these suggestions.

It’s not that wild enthusiasm, perhaps, of their First Year, but at the same time the progression continues and they’re very confident about their way.

They feel there would be no other possible way, no other possible teacher, at this stage. And they’re right, at that stage.

Then, when they cross the border into the Third Year, the teacher will begin to examine them more carefully to see if they continue to change, if they continue to grow.

The teacher is then beginning to look for some stability in their life.

They should be seeing a person, in other words, who’s happy—starting at around the Third Year. It takes two years just to remember that life is fun. After that, they see the smile grow and increase, not even necessarily outwardly but inwardly, regardless of what they’re going through in life, whether they’re in a crisis situation or not.

The time you show

A balance begins to develop, and that balance should increase every year. Those are the working years.

Your own inner being demands more from you, not the teacher; the teacher is content to sit back and watch unless you’re creating a terrific problem for others.

But you want more, and

If during those years you fully apply yourself,

then when you reach Year Five—which you most certainly will—something happens.

Now it could be Year Four, it could be Year Three, it could be Year Nine—I’m using Five as a general figure for most people.

When you lose your human form—

The spiritual name suggests not at all a high level of advancement, but it suggests that—at least for a period of time—you have so radically transformed that you are no longer the same person.

It is possible, and I’ve seen it happen, to receive a spiritual name and then jump backwards and go right back into the form. That’s unfortunate when that happens.

Simply because a person has a spiritual name doesn’t mean that they are staying beyond the human form. It means that they did, at least for a while.

Sometimes as soon as a person receives the name it becomes an ego object and they go right back—it’s terrible. But that’s not the teacher’s fault.

I’m speaking of a formal teaching process in which one moves towards completion—the end of the cycle of rebirth and death.

Unfortunately, most people who receive their names don’t take them seriously. The name is an opportunity; it’s a doorway which they can walk through and they should never be as they were before.

They have to move into a different level of attention.

But remember, simply because someone has a spiritual name is no indication of their advancement, unfortunately. It means, once they were there.

But what matters is what’s current, not what’s past, in self-discovery.

We remember what’s past and we don’t forget it and we value it—

From there, the study becomes very personal; sometimes it does before.

But at one point, let us say, a personal relationship will begin to develop between you and the teacher. Very often it happens before you receive the name.

Some of my closest students have not received their names yet, who have much more spiritual potential than some of those who have received them.

It’s just not time yet, it’s not eternity’s moment.

I have given out maybe eight or nine spiritual names at this point.

But many of the students I’ve worked with very closely over the years still do not have their names.

I’m trying to suggest it’s not a simple process.

Receiving the name means that a certain level has been cleared, let’s say, of four or five major points.

Whereas a person may still have one point there which is preventing them from receiving their name, but not only have they cleared those four other points but now they have cleared on several other levels entirely—but still, one point is hanging them up and they won’t receive their name until that happens.

Then once they get their names, as I’ve suggested, they can use that as a marvelous excuse to go right back down again.

Receiving the name is symbolic, but it’s more than a symbol.

They see that—or some part of them does—even though their mind may not yet be fully conscious of it.

So as I’ve suggested, after Year Three

The relationship between student and teacher, though, is not always sitting down and having conversations.

It’s sitting down and having conversations, but not necessarily physically together.

But let’s say there should be a very deep communion taking place between the student and the teacher. They become no longer student and teacher, but friends.

It’s not so formal anymore,

In other words,

Just because the teacher now is more casual with you, and is your friend, and plays around with you, doesn’t mean that you should become casual.

The teacher is just saying, “Look, I’m kind of like you, too,” so you can feel comfortable with yourself and not judge yourself.

But at the same time, they’re not [like you] at all.

You’ve done something well and they want to be your friend, and make it more casual for you.

But also it’s a test, on the part of the teacher, for the aspirant.

The test is—

Another crossroad.

The teacher will, from time to time as you advance—and it’s a very healthy sign if your teacher does this—

Be very aware when the teacher gives you a task.

The teacher may just say something very lightly like,

The teacher just sort of mentions it casually.

Usually the tasks are not quite so awesome. Usually it’s a very simple suggestion, initially, regarding your lifestyle. The teacher will say, “Gee, you’d look really wonderful with a new hat.”

Now you may think, “Well God, what does this have to do with anything? Oh that silly old teacher.”

You don’t understand that they’ve seen something,

It’s not because of the action,

And sometimes it is the action.

If you succeed, the teacher will then give you another task and another and another. Each one is an opportunity for you to step up.


What I’m suggesting is, it becomes a kind of fun association, where the teacher will—in spiritual Montessori—give you the next step after you’ve completed the previous one.

But no steps will come until you finish the one before.

So if a person has still not accomplished basic lifestyle changes, which will raise their level of attention into a higher degree of purity, then they won’t receive the next step.

They’ll keep working on that until they do.

There are no “in” groups around teachers.

It’s unfortunate once in a while I receive a letter saying,

There’s no such thing.

People who spend time with a teacher either do so

It can be either.

If they worked very hard and cultivated a level of spiritual refinement, they may still have many things to go through.

Association on a close level with the teacher—spending time with them physically—doesn’t mean that a person is really advanced.

It just means that in one respect they are advanced.

Someone else in the center may meditate better; someone else may be more advanced but they still haven’t learned spiritual refinement.

That’s necessary, because for a teacher to spend time with someone—the teacher being a very refined luminous being—on a regular basis,

The other case, of course, is when the teacher just wants to work on someone very closely for a short period of time.

They’ve given them a terrific boost; no more is required. They couldn’t deal with more. It would be too much kundalini, too much energy; it would overload their circuits.

So the teacher would then watch and see what that did.

In other words, what I’m suggesting is, four hours or three hours in close association with an enlightened person is enough for years and years.

Very traditionally, very often

Then if they refine it and come back,

Naturally we do it a different way here. We have continual association, but the principles still apply.

At a certain point you will accept your fate.

When you accept your fate,

That’s a very fine achievement,

It means that

You develop tolerance, patience and commitment.

Beyond that there are many, many points—which we’ll discuss perhaps some time when they’ll be relevant—having to do with

The way is very joyous and very happy and very complete—for those who enjoy the way.

But there are definite stages in one’s progression and you need to gain a sense of these. You need to honestly evaluate where you are and not think poorly of yourself. If you do, you’ll do very, very well.

But what I’m suggesting is, there is much more to this process than meets the eye.

You’re dealing with the complete restructuring of your being.

When I say that what I do is

I’m not speaking at all metaphorically.

Sometimes it’s more—any enlightened person does that. But yet we just seem like an ordinary person, sitting there talking, unless you can see.

If you can see, of course, you see that you are not dealing with a person but with a vortex of light, something that’s incomprehensible, and that you are becoming, yourself.

What we do, in other words, as teachers, is

We give it to them.

We give them our own life force, our own energy, and then we watch what they do.

But we have to be very, very detached in this process.

While one gives one’s own life force, literally, to others, at the same time one must be very detached and observe what they do.

And if they show the proper signs over a period of time,

When this spirit is understood, then life becomes not at all common, but a constant magical circus in which you see yourself reflected in all forms and all formlessness.

One day you will pass through these stages. You will straighten things out; the house will be orderly.

You will move into the superconscious realms, which we haven’t discussed tonight,

But remember, your experience is generated not by yourself at this stage but by someone else, which engenders your progress.

It’s a free ride for now, but only to interest you in creating that for yourself.

So try to gain a sense of what matters.

What matters is your commitment to yourself.

But don’t think that you’re further than you are—it’s a terrible mistake because you lose your humility, and without your humility you can’t grow.

If you find you’ve reached a point where it’s not working for you, where you’re very frustrated and very confused, where you’re getting angry, then step out of the process for a while. It’s a very healthy thing to do.

Perhaps you’ve gone as far as you should in that life, and have the humility to accept that. Otherwise you prevent your future possibilities from occurring, or at least you delay them.

On the other hand, if the process is working for you, if you’re having fun with it, if your life is getting more joyous all the time, if you’ve lost your suspicions, then engage in it fully and you’ll find what it can do for you.

The world is magical, my friends.

There are no limitations except those we set for ourselves, and that’s what you will discover.

You need to have the humility to accept your limitations as long as they’re there, and have the humility to accept their end when that time comes.

But it’s only


So take each step in turn, don’t be in a rush, do each thing well and that which will follow, will follow.

Always follow your own common sense and your own heart in the matter.

But realize that

It will take quite a while to bring yourself back to that level of attention where they will be made.

It’s a curious balance between being yourself and losing yourself that each of us has walked through in many lifetimes, who’ve reached this point in which you’re walking through now.

But if we did it, you can certainly do it.

12. Human beings are said to be composed of combinations of three fundamental characteristics or qualities, called “gunas,” which are tamas, rajas, and sattva. Tamas is ignorance, laziness, dullness. Rajas is energy, action, excitability. Sattva is harmony, peacefulness, striving for higher truths.