Journey Exploring Spirituality Spiritual Exploration The Hero's Journey

The Hero’s Journey — The Journey Exploring Spirituality

The “journey exploring spirituality” is the ultimate adventure.  The great sages tell us all we need are the right tools to explore the inner world of our mind.  Are you ready to begin?

The Hero’s Journey

To explain this quest, let’s start by defining terms.  Spirituality is a word with a wide range of meanings and a lot depends upon the context and how you use it.  You can infuse almost any value into the term, which adds to the confusion.

Defining the Terms

Spirituality is concerned with the deeper aspects of the human psyche, what religions call the Spirit or Soul.  It is a way of describing the elements of consciousness.  Some people say we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.

The word journey means to travel. The word exploration is the investigation of the unfamiliar territory. When we put all three terms together, we get “the journey exploring spirituality.” A simpler way to say it is “spiritual exploration.” See, that was easy.

It is common for people to think that religion and spirituality are the same things, but this is not correct.  Religion is the belief in dogma and imaginary friends. Religions use spiritual language to make the belief mythology sound worthwhile. It is a scam to make people customers.

The Abrahamic or Semitic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are devoid of processes for exploring consciousness.  It is all about belief in myth.  Whereas spiritual exploration is the use of processes to explore our inner world.

The Semitic religions of have a membership of 4 billion members combined.  They are a rebranding of the mystery religions from the Mediterranean region.  These earlier systems were assimilated into the Roman empire around 1 BCE.  These systems have nothing to do with spirituality or human development. They are schemes to sell myths and superstitions.

Spiritual exploration is the practice of techniques to explore consciousness.  You do not join a religion to practice these techniques.  The pioneers of these techniques used spiritual terms to explain how to learn them.  These are tools that enable us to explore the inner world of consciousness.

The Journey Exploring Spirituality

It is only natural to be curious about our consciousness and the inner world.  We are born with an innate desire to explore the unknown, and our curiosity prompts us to ask questions and seek answers.  Our natural curiosity leads us on a quest for inner discovery.

You may have questions about who or what are we? Where does our consciousness originate?  What happens to our awareness when we die?  Who is the person I talk to inside my head, experiencing my dreams when I sleep?

The questions above prompt us to find answers with inner work methods.  This is spiritual exploration, what Joseph Campbell calls it the “journey exploring spirituality” or the Hero’s Journey (1).

You can find this model around the world in numerous cultures.  It is a pattern which resonates with us on several levels.  So, it is not surprising that we find the themes in the most popular stories.

Look at the characters in the prominent religions and their life stories.  You will see many have humble beginnings.  Then they set out on a quest to obtain something special.  Along the way, they gather friends or disciples and face supernatural forces.  In the end, they are victorious.  This theme is repeated in many holy texts, like the Bible.  It is also at the core of the stories like Star Wars and the Avatar.

We use this same philosophy in our blended learning process.  It is a natural progression that shows up when you teach the ancient technologies in perspective with their culture.

“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land, Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there. And so it starts.” — Joseph Campbell

This quote sets the tone of group sessions.  It establishes the mission for the Hero’s Journey steps we are about to take.  Many people are interested in the inner quest.  It is the desire to seek the unknown, and it serves as a spark for our spiritual journey.

It reflects this process in three steps: awakening, transforming, and inspiring.  We use the most effective techniques in our blended learning method.  These processes are what we call spiritual technologies.

Spiritual Technologies

These are scientifically proven techniques to explore consciousness and develop your potential.  Think of these methods are like a recipe for baking a cake. If you follow the recipe, you’ll end up with a delicious cake.

These tools have been used for generations.  With the medical technology we have today, we can prove they change our physiology.  These tools are repeatable and predictable.

For example, Japa Meditation produces a deep state of rest.  We can measure increased brainwave coherence, a lower heart, and respiration than sleep.  It even increases skin resistance.  These measurements help us prove the existence of other states of consciousness.

We categorize these tools into four groups.  Some methods overlap and could be two or more:

Analytical Tools

It might surprise you to see analytical tools at the beginning of a list on spirituality.  However, these methods are the cornerstone of every spiritual explorer.

We integrate emotional check-ins with each tool, which involves exploring beliefs or the subconscious mind.  It’s an essential part of the research process because it helps us to maintain control of our feelings.  You know it is vital to stay calm when engaging in ideas that don’t align with your worldview.  The hero’s journey will undoubtedly need these tools to keep on track.

Critical thinking is the backbone of spiritual exploration.  The three tools in this group are:

    • Rational Thinking,
    • Comparative Analysis, and
    • The Enneagram of Personality.

Logic and Rational Thought

This group comprises Logical and Rational Thinking Skills, which are the basis for sound thinking.  The study of this subject helps identify the proper use of argument in language.  Next is a tool to help us recognize the ten most common Logical Fallacies.  Last but not least are the Spiritual Axioms.  Axioms are formulas that help us spot deception.

Comparative Religious Study — Comparative Analysis

Comparative Analysis is a method of comparative religious study using a structured approach to keep the investigator on track.  It’s an effective tool for investigating and evaluating spiritual concepts.  You can use this process to create a template of your core values.  This will help you understand how values affect your thinking.  It works well as a group project, and you can do it solo as well.

The Enneagram

The Enneagram is a system of cognitive psychology combining scientific principles and spiritual understanding.  It’s a method to identify Ego, personality, and instinct using questionnaires and exercises.  It is easy to understand, yet also deep enough for clinicians.

The Enneagram and psychology share the same roots. Freud and Jung use this framework in the design of their concepts about psychic structures.  For example, Jungian psychology parallels the design of the Enneagram with nine processes of consciousness, which align with the nine personality types of the Enneagram.

Meditation

Seated meditation is the first technology most people think of when discussing a “spiritual practice.” But meditation involves both sitting and moving forms.

The benefits of meditation are well-documented.  It’s a mind hack using sound.  It also employs unique formulas known as mantras, sutras, and affirmations.

Seated Meditation

A seated form of meditation is often the first spiritual practice one learns and is often the core of consciousness exploration.  There are several types of sitting meditation.  You have everything from a simple two-step approach to Mindfulness Meditation.  Next in the progression are Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM) techniques.  And more advanced methods, such as the Siddhis Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Moving Meditation

Tai Chi is the most recognizable form of moving mediation, but these techniques include almost any movement where you can engage a heightened degree of awareness.  There are several progressions of Moving meditation.   For example, the Japanese Tea Ceremony is a form of moving meditation, and mindfulness is also part of this group.

The practice of moving meditation improves the mind-body connection.  It is proven to improve our overall mental health.  The methods in this group are modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi.  Most forms of active meditation involve the concept of grounding.  There are tools to help us ground and connect with nature, like Sun Gazing, Forest Bathing, and Tree Grounding.

Awareness Expansion Tools

These methods involve the bandwidth of our perception, like the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation.  Some varieties of this technique use movement and dance.  This category of tools includes techniques like Lucid Dreaming and Third-Eye Awakening and tools that enhance memory, such as Learning How to Learn.  It rounds out practical tools like the spiritual journal or book of shadows, Automatic Writing, and Exploring Memories.

Shamanic Journey

The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first tool for exploring consciousness.  You will find this process in indigenous cultures around the globe.  Because they’re as so many varieties, it proves the universal significance of the spiritual journey.

Aboriginal Dreamtime is a unique form of this method.  Yet, all forms of the Shamanic Journey use the same basic formula.  They combine the rhythm of a drum or rattle along with creative visualization.  The rhythm regulates heart rate and breathing, and then the imaginary landscape provides the gateway to a lucid adventure.  A Shaman specializes in one or more applications for this technique.  However, you don’t need a Shaman or a guide.  You become your own guide using a drum or recorded drum track, and you become your own guide.

Our Western culture sees the value in this process and rebrands it accordingly to make it more marketable.  Some call it guided meditation or creative visualization, but it’s still the Shamanic Journey.

Natural Healing Modalities

Healing is an ongoing process.  We learn to enhance this with spiritual technologies like Pe Jet, from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan.  We also use Vedic medicine, and various forms of Self-care are an integral part of healing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it better to create a spiritual path of my design, or should I join a religion?  We recommend finding the tools to develop an approach tailored to your gifts.  If you read the holy books most religions use, you’ll discover that the spiritual leaders like Jesus and Buddha had their spiritual revelations by finding their own way.  Jesus was a Jew, but left the religion to find enlightenment in the wilderness.  The same with Buddha, he found enlightenment meditating under a tree.
  • Can I follow a religion and also these processes?  Yes, you can, unless your religious beliefs say there is a conflict.  Some religions forbid you from involving yourself in anything outside of the religion.  And, some regions have harsh penalties for venturing outside the boundaries they dictate.  If this fits your situation, it’s time to test your path to see if it’s leading you where you want to go.
  • How can I start my spiritual journey?  The easiest way to start is to get a journal and start writing.  A journal is a tool anyone can use to spot growth trends or obstacles preventing your development.  It’s your best coach.  The next step would be to find a resource that provides tools for exploring consciousness.  Read the section below on spiritual technologies.  Find out which of these methods resonates with you, then find resources that provide the techniques you want to try.
  • If I use these techniques, will I become more spiritually aware?  Yes, these are the processes that unlock your spiritual gifts and are one of this quest’s primary goals.
  • Is spiritual faith the same as the journey exploring spirituality? Faith and spirituality are two different things.  Faith is a term used by organized religions to describe belief in religious dogma.  Many Western religions try to reframe the word spiritual to associate their ideology, mythology, and superstition with spirituality.  Exploring our spirituality has nothing to do with religion, faith in doctrines, or an imaginary friend.

Final Thoughts

We are thankful for ancient cultures that safeguarded these tools.  They are the true pioneers of consciousness.  They may not have been aware of the pattern of the hero’s journey within their teachings.  It must be a universal principle for so many cultures to arrive at the same conclusions.

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