Under normal circumstances, an individual in serious spiritual work follows a particular teaching, a certain path that involves a perspective, a detailed knowledge of Reality and the path to it along with various attitudes and methods. He needs to faithfully follow the teaching, for a real teaching is the objective manifestation of true and essential knowledge, the nous of true nature. Yet to be fully liberated he must go beyond any knowing, and his realization must be independent of his discriminating mind. This will only be possible only if he does not adhere to his path as the final description of reality -- not because the description is necessarily wrong or inaccurate, but because true nature is ultimately beyond any description, any system or teaching. This possibility of detachment from the path he has faithfully followed is granted when true nature manifests its nonconceptual presence. It appears as nonattachment in his heart, and as total openness in his mind. He is open to see that the teaching he has been following has been, at least partially, conceptual. He can now see all teachings, and all systems and wisdom traditions, simply as useful stories that explain Reality and the path of liberation, but that liberation itself is beyond any and all stories, any and all teachings, any and all knowing. This is not usually easy for good students who have not only followed their chosen path faithfully and diligently, but have deeply appreciated and loved it, and seen its amazing beauty and preciousness. At this juncture in the inner journey, many conflicts may arise, great doubts about one's path, and even about one's personal realization. If the student has been following a path that emphasizes a certain dimension of reality or postulates God as the reigning divinity, this juncture can bring about a great crisis of faith, involving guilt and intense self-recrimination, because the inner unfoldment is now revealing to him that God, or whatever divinity he has believed in is actually a concept. That Reality, or God, cannot be seen as "God" or anything. It cannot be named, and it cannot be made into a special category. There are no special ultimate categories, because there are no ultimate categories. No sacred cows survive the realization of the nonconceptual, and one's realization becomes independent from any belief or teaching.
Inner Journey Home, p. 342
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The fruit of the path is the capacity to live in objective reality. With the understanding of the view of objective reality, you can discriminate how each of your experiences is a reflection of this reality, a distortion of it, or an approximation of it. The view in its totality cannot be completely grasped until an individual arrives at a deep realization of it, but that does not prevent us from trying to understand what that view is. This attempt helps us to orient our work on ourselves because our understanding of what reality is determines our minute-by-minute and day-to-day approach to our own consciousness. In fact, the methodology and actual practices of the various spiritual paths are determined by the particular understanding of reality out of which they arose. Because the view of any genuine teaching is an elucidation of the one reality, the various teachings are similar; where they vary is determined by the particular view of reality that is emphasized on each path. When you are engaged in a path, you need to understand the view of that teaching to be able to fully engage in its work -- to be aligned with its path and to have the right attitude about its practice in your life.
Facets of Unity, p. 61
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Because havingness is a cornerstone of the ego-self and its life, spiritual traditions have seen poverty as necessary for realization, which is largely a going beyond the ego and its view of reality. Learning to be poor, to live without attachment, without havingness, becomes the way to empty the self and to move towards the truth of reality. Since it is almost automatic that possessing becomes possessiveness, many of the spiritual traditions teach material poverty as an effective method to counteract the tendency of havingness. Living a life of renunciation becomes the way to avoid the temptations of havingness. The world begins to appear as a temptress to be shunned and renounced at any cost. This strategy can help but there is no guarantee for success. Most renunciates do not become enlightened.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 6
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In traversing the inner path we make a full circle. We first leave the practical, in terms of our value system, and go to the complete Absolute; from the Absolute we come back to the practical and see it as the Absolute. When I say our destination is the Absolute, I don't mean a rejection of this world. I mean coming back to the world from a different perspective. Coming back to the world as divine, as Absolute, as real. In this realization, matter itself is spiritualized. You realize that matter, the physical universe, the ordinary stuff of your life is the ultimate reality. There is no separation between essence and appearance.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 151
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