Qualifications of the Aspirant: Some Divine Qualities — Patience and persistence

Every person is a rightful heir to the Truth. But he who would inherit it must be spiritually prepared for it, and this spiritual preparation sometimes takes several lives of patient and persistent effort. Therefore, one of the first requirements of the aspirant is that he should combine unfailing enthusiasm with unyielding patience. Once […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Some Divine Qualities — Qualities necessary for spiritual life interconnected

If the inner life of an aspirant is to be harmonious and enlightened, he has to develop and express many divine qualities while he is engaged in his daily duties. Each quality by itself may not seem to be extremely important, but to consider it apart from its necessary relationship with other important qualities […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Critical and creative thinking balances mind and heart

The transition from external conformity (shariat, or karmakanda) to the life of inner realities (tariqat, or adhyatma-marga) involves two steps:

(1) freeing the mind from the inertia of uncritical acceptance based upon blind imitation and stirring it to critical thinking; and

(2) bringing the results of critical and discriminative thinking into practical life. In […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Need for putting theory into practice

When a person gives up uncritically accepted dogmas and creeds in favor of views and doctrines to which he has devoted thought, there is a certain amount of advance-insofar as his mind has now begun to think and critically examine its beliefs. Very often, however, the newly held beliefs are seen to lack the […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Dogmas and creeds often harmful

Dogmas and creeds generally, however, are as much a source of evil as of good, because in them the guiding vision is clouded owing to degeneration or suspension of critical thinking. If allegiance to creeds and dogmas has sometimes been good for the individual or the community to which he belongs, it has more […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Dogmas and creeds

Sometimes even a wrong view, which is held with fervor, may indirectly invite an experience that opens the gates to spiritual life. Even at the stage of shariat, or karma-kanda, allegiance to religions is not infrequently a source of inspiration for many selfless and noble acts. For while the dogmas or creeds are blindly […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Bankruptcy of barren beliefs

For the spiritual aspirant, however, it is not enough to exercise merely intellectual discrimination between the false and the true. Though intellectual discrimination is undoubtedly the basis for all further preparation, it yields its fruit only when newly perceived values are brought into relation with practical life. From the spiritual viewpoint, what matters is […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Discrimination between true and false

The rise from shariat (karma-kanda) to tariqat (adhyatma-marga) is not to be interpreted, therefore, as being merely a departure from external conformity. It is not a change from conventionality to idiosyncrasy, from the usual to the unusual. It is a change from a life of thoughtless acceptance of established traditions to a mode of […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Freedom from convention due to critical thought

Sometimes people stick to unconventional things for no other reason than that they are out of the ordinary. The unusual nature of their pursuits or interests enables them to feel their separateness and difference from others, and to take delight in it. Unconventional things also often generate interest merely through their novelty in contrast […]

Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Limitations of conventions

From the standpoint of the realities of inner life, the life of external conformity may often be spiritually barren; and a life that deviates from such rigid conformity may often be spiritually rich. In seeking conformity with established conventions and formality, one is almost always prone to slip into a life of false or […]