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The Stages Of Spiritual Growth

Leslee Horner's picture

I’ve been feeling inspired to write this post.  I’m writing it solely based on my own experience and the various books and ideas I’ve studied.  I’m only an expert in my experience, so if you feel I get something wrong in this entry, keep that in mind and (kindly) throw your 2 cents in.

It appears to me there are stages in our spiritual growth.  They are rungs in a ladder that elevates us to the highest levels of consciousness.  The most obvious examples of this highest point is what we know of Jesus and the Buddha.

Here is my interpretation of what seems to me as three stages.

1.  Survival

If you are into energy stuff and yoga then you will understand when I say this is associated with your first Chakra, also called the root chakra.  So this stage is all about security and safety.  In this stage you may find yourself depending on outside sources for your protection and comfort.  I don’t know about every religion, but I can say that at least Christianity (or some aspects of it) speaks to people at this level.  It offers an eternity of comfort and security by setting up rules to follow.  If you behave in a certain way, or at least beg for forgiveness when you veer off track, you will be rewarded even after this life.  At this level we are driven more by fear than anything else.  We work jobs that we don’t love (or even like), cling to our relationships, build kingdoms out of material possessions (b/c stuff = wealth and wealth = security), and hope and pray that our house of cards doesn’t fall.

2. Master of Your Domain

At this level we start to get it.  This is where the William E. Henley quote comes in.  “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” At this phase we become less afraid of the BIG BAD WORLD because we understand that our thoughts, beliefs, and ideas create our lives.  When your boyfriend dumps you instead of crying that he’s an asshole and you’ll be alone forever, you think what am I going to do with this opportunity?  You understand that there is a power within you that you may or may not call God.  You question religious dogma and in some cases leave it behind.  Here you begin to use the laws of nature and the power of your thoughts to bring good into your life.  You are in the driver’s seat and in essence are the God of your own experience.

3.  Surrender to Something Bigger

I grew up Christian but these days I believe in an Omnipotent and Omnipresent power and it is not Jesus.   Jesus was a human who happened to make it to stage three.  And this tells you a little bit about what your life looks like when you reach stage three.  At this stage you are merely an instrument for the Divine.  The force that guides the Universe also guides you.  It is at this stage that you fully come to that realization.  Here you stop inserting your own will and start living from the Christ consciousness.  There is no more duality.  No more right and wrong or good and bad.  Life is love and love is life.

Traveling the Stages

Traveling through these stages is not a clear cut process.  To see the full picture you would have to pull the lens way, way, way, way, way back.  At that point you might see that it takes hundreds or thousands of lifetimes to progress through them.  I also know from my own experience and others around me that we hop around the three.  Just in the past month I’ve had moments where I’ve been scared to death that my whole world would crumble at the loss of a loved one, I’ve used sheer will and determination to get started on a project, and I’ve “let go” and allowed the Divine to speak through me.  There is also the idea that we can be in different stages in different areas of our life.  Someone could be a stage one in relationships and a stage two in their career path.  I would also venture to say there is a lot of space to play with in between each stage.

Anyway, thanks for reading my theory here and please keep in mind that I did not consult any textbooks or experts.  All of this came from within me (except for the quote), so if you have anything you could add I’d love to hear it!

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

Comments

Monica 's picture

Great Post

Love this post, Leslee. I couldn't agree with you more on the stages. Hopefully, more and more of us are climbing that ladder. ;)

Monica 's picture

Great Post

Love this post, Leslee. I couldn't agree with you more on the stages. Hopefully, more and more of us are climbing that ladder. ;)

Loran's picture

Yes, the spiral staircase, a

Yes, the spiral staircase, a perfect blending of ideas!

Loran's picture

Stages of Spiritual Growth

I read your post with great interest.

The first stage you describe, Deepak Chopra calls Level One. It's pretty basic and child-like. There is little questioning.

Stage Two comes with the maturation process. It takes time to start being able to ask the question, what can I learn from this? You are the God of your own experience is a fascinating concept. It's one that many people would be uncomfortable talking about or would vehemently deny.

Stage 3, learning to surrender your own will, is definitely a key component. Letting go of the ego, practicing acceptance and compassion are also part of this stage too.

I don't view spiritual stages in a ladder form. I see spiritual growth in the form of a spiral. We go through cycles, forward and backward because energy and understanding is always shifting.

My spiritual practices have transformed over the years in many ways. It's a lifetime process I embrace wholeheartedly.

Leslee Horner's picture

Thank you Loran!

Ah yes, the spiral. Maybe like the Karen Armstrong book it could be the spiral staircase. It definitely isn't a straight path upward, there are often times where we feel like we've gone backward and times where we're super glued to one spot and of course, times where we are moving onward and upward without even realizing it. Thank you so much for sharing your spiritual wisdom with me!

Love and Light,

Leslee

Learn more about the series, THE PAST LIVES OF LOLA RAY, at www.lesleehorner.com

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