One of the most important things you can bring to your spiritual journey is an open mind. While a teaching is very useful for giving one a sense of how and where to put our attention and how to frame a journey, it should not be held fast. It should not be seen as “the truth”. There will be a natural tendency to form beliefs and try to hold them. To write a better story. But if we can see this occurring, we can begin to untangle their grip.
How do we see this? From consciousness itself. The observer. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to teach 2 principles on this.
1) Knowledge is structured in consciousness.
In other words, our experience of the world and how that informs us is directly related to our state of awareness. Do we see the world as fearful or fun? Do we see ourselves as weak or strong? No matter how hard we try to change our attitudes about the world, if we don’t change the underlying quality of awareness, our experience will not change much. The choice is to fight what is or go deeper into what is.
2) Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.
Because a change in state of consciousness changes our perspective of the world, it changes what we know as “truth”, what is seen as real and not real. For example, in dream state, our dreams seem very real. Yet they are clearly dreams when we change state of consciousness and wake up. Similarly, when we awaken to our true natures, the world can come to seem like illusion and the ego dead. People call it waking up because it’s just like waking from a dream, the dream of waking state.
Later on the journey, the world is found to be real again, but not the real of waking state but rather the real of being consciousness itself, inclusive. And the person we seemed to have lost is found again but now at a cosmic level. The individual is found in it’s cosmic nature. Whole.
This is the unfoldment towards wholeness or totality of consciousness, beyond any states of. Sanskrit calls this Brahman. Only then is the true nature of reality revealed, beyond all states of reality.
If all of this happens in consciousness, what does it matter if we have an open mind or not? It is true that if the opening is deep enough, consciousness will literally “change our mind”. But most of the steps we take on our journey will not be apparent cliff-jumpers. They will be small steps forward in opening. Incremental discovery, just as we experienced growing up and into the world. The spiritual journey is no different.
If the mind is feeling a resistance to what is happening, this can get in the way of what takes place. We will experience discomfort and difficulty. We will lose the opening that has begun. I have seen this many times. Friends who stepped through a door and then fell back as they were unwilling to be with what had begun. Uncomfortable with standing in the light.
But this is not a bad thing. All of us have our places of resistance and holding. It is the dance itself – step forward and back, then do see do. (laughs) Eventually we become comfortable with riding a bike, speaking in public or seeing the angels around us. We step progressively deeper into the life we are. Together.