Spirituality, and what we call the mystical path, interests many people. There are two ways to explore this need. You can join religion or create your own path. See why walking your own path is better than religion.
Almost half of the population of the world follows one of the main organized religions. Every believer will tell you their path is the only one that is right. Every religious believer is sure their path is the only right path, but this conclusion is obviously an illogical assumption.
Every religion is mutually exclusive, so either they are all wrong, or only one is correct. It is least likely only one is right, but which of the 10,000 religions is correct?
But many people do not believe that organized religion has the correct answers when it comes to things related to spiritual quest. More and more are venturing out on their own to seek other ways to fulfill their spiritual quest.
“Ever since I was young, I was always interested in exploring spirituality. I know that there are many paths to God. There is not just one path.” — Kyan Douglas
How to Define Spiritual Exploration
Religion uses spiritual language to make their myths sound spiritual, but myths are not spiritual, they are make-believe stories about fictions people and events. Whereas, spirituality is the focus on the human spirit and soul. In modern terms, this is our ego and consciousness. You explore the spirit or consciousness with processes, not by the belief in gods and devils.
“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against any idea, religion, or government that limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.” — John Steinbeck
So, “we define spiritual exploration as the use of processes for exploring consciousness.”
Here’s how we explain what this approach to spirituality entails.
Defining Spirituality and the Mystical Path
Let’s break down the way we use these terms.
Spirituality is the study of everything involving the Spirit or Soul, the life force, or consciousness which is behind our awareness. Whereas, Religion is the belief in mythology and superstition.
Exploration infers an activity of investigation and examination and searching.
The word mystical refers to things of mystery and mystics who are people who explore the mysteries and mystical things in life. The path refers to the direction you are taking.
There is nothing more mysterious than the inner world of consciousness. Exploring this landscape is the domain of mystics and truth-seekers. We use the terms spiritual and exploration to honor the pioneers of these processes, and it also describes the purpose of these methods and their goals. The mystical path of spiritual exploration meets our inherent need to explore who we are.
How Did We Reach This Conclusion?
“The major task of the twentieth century will be to explore the unconscious, to investigate the subsoil of the mind.” — Henri Bergson
Second, we define spiritual exploration in this way to honor these traditions and keep the historical meaning and context intact. It is all about the use of processes, simple as that.
It is a collection of methods for the investigation of consciousness. You can describe it in different ways. You could call it awareness research, or the exploration of human potential. You might even call it the survey of the parameters of perception.
When people ask, “how do you define spiritual exploration?” we tell them is using processes to explore the mind. It has nothing to do with religion. It is the mystical
Consciousness Exploration and Development
The processes for investigating and developing your consciousness have nothing to do with the belief in mythology and superstition. Every person is different, so the approach needs to be individualized and uniquely tailored to fit the individual. We each have different gifts and abilities locked away in our DNA. But you don’t need to join a religion; you need the tools to unlock these gifts. We don’t need to have an imaginary friend; we need the tools to open the doors of consciousness.
“Does religion fill a much-needed gap? It is often said that there is a God-shaped gap in the brain which needs to be filled. We have a psychological need for God — imaginary friend, father, big brother, confessor, confidant — and the need has to be satisfied whether God really exists or not. But could it be that God clutters up a gap that we’d be better off filling with something else? Science, perhaps? Art? Human friendship? Humanism? Love of this life in the real world, giving no credence to other lives beyond the grave?” — Richard Dawkins
Thankfully, many ancient cultures were more concerned with unlocking the secrets of the mind rather than creating mythology to trick people out of their hard earned cash. In fact, many cultures spent considerable time and resources to develop repeatable processes for investigating awareness and consciousness.
Their efforts stand the test of time. They devised methods which open the doorway to higher states of consciousness. We call these safe and effective tools for investigating consciousness “spiritual technologies.”
If you can follow a simple process, you can use these techniques. For example, children as young as two can use the simple two-step beginning mediation. It’s like following the recipe for baking a cake. If you combine the right ingredients in the right way, you get something delicious.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
Each of these categories contains several methods that are proven to be safe and effective. People have some common questions about using them. Here’s the list of frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Is it possible to use these techniques and still follow my current religious beliefs? Yes. To use these techniques, you follow a process. These methods have nothing to do with religious beliefs. However, your religion may not want you to investigate anything outside its boundaries. Some religions are very protective of their membership. Depending on how integrated they are in the culture, you may need to be careful with whom you share your ideas about forging a unique path.
“My view is that organized religion is a very dangerous tool that’s been misused by a lot of people.” — Stephen King
2) If I want to use them, where should I start? Good question. We have several articles to help you pick the right source, teacher, and method to begin your journey. You can start right now by using a journal. It’s the first tool we recommend. Start writing. Ask yourself some questions about where you are now and where you want to go. Ask yourself about the obstacles you need to overcome.
Here are some more helpful resources:
3) Which of these tools is best for opening my spiritual gifts? Everyone is different. Your gifts are unique, and so are the available options for finding these tools.
4) What are the most common obstacles to using these methods and creating a unique spiritual path? There are three:
1- The most obvious obstacle is getting sidetracked by organized religion. Following a religion is not the mystical path, rather it is the submission to hypnotic power of superstition. From the picture above (1), you’ll see that those who do not follow one of the organized religions make up about one-eighth of the world population. Islam is one of the three Abrahamic religions along with Christianity and Judaism. Islam is the fastest-growing organized religion because it controls the cultural narrative in the middle east. Violence makes people unwilling converts.
2- Harmful thoughts and beliefs. These come from two primary sources, the unhealthy aspects of our personalities/instincts and the cultural narrative. The latter includes the prejudice of the dominant religious paradigm. Organized religion is the source of much of the harmful thoughts and values that are barriers to solving global problems.
3- Psychological barriers. It is hard to live a life without encountering harmful situations. These can leave mental scars that create obstacles to our development.
5) Will the use of these processes help me find my own spirituality? Yes. That is the goal. The objective is to find your personal truth, unique gifts, and path.
6) Is spiritual faith the same as “spiritual exploration?” In a strict sense, no. Faith is a term describing belief in religious dogma. Religions try to reframe the term spiritual and associate it with their ideology.
Exploring your spirituality has nothing to do with religious doctrine, belief, or faith. These are all counterfeits for the authentic spiritual path. A glance at the lives depicted in the most popular religions reveals that the way to find spirituality is by doing it on your own. Jesus rejected Judaism to find enlightenment in the wilderness. Likewise, Buddha found enlightenment in meditation, not by memorizing religious texts.
We hope this article has helped you to see that it is the use of processes for exploring consciousness which are the key to developing your potential. The use of processes has nothing to do with the belief in an imaginary friends or enemies. Organized religion would like to define spiritual exploration as the belief in their doctrines. But they are wrong. The mystical path is a journey into consciousness.
We hope this article provides some food for thought. If you have comments or questions, contact us.
(1) The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050: https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/