Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Quotes about Discovery
Beginning to Perceive the Universe from Within
When we begin to experience consciousness directly, a whole new world opens up. Rather than the normal sense that we are seeing the world as an external object, we begin to perceive the universe from within. The inner journey becomes a journey of discovery that opens us to magnificent, exhilarating inner experiences and perceptions, but also brings our knowledge of the world and of existence into a sharp, clear focus. Inner explorers travel to a world much more exciting and thrilling, much more beautiful and meaningful, much more satisfying and fulfilling, much more amazing and magnificent than any outer explorer will ever behold. Many religious perspectives tend to turn the inner journey into a heavy sanctity, a dull morality, a perverse holiness. Given this tendency, it is no wonder that so many people are no longer interested in religion. But when we explore the soul, rather than leaving it in a static relationship with an external divinity, we penetrate to the ground of the self, to the conscious field of the soul, and begin to know consciousness directly. Then the inner reality becomes a delight and a wonder, and we approach more and more closely a lived understanding of the relationship of our soul to what has been thought of as the divine; thus we approach an appreciation of the source of all discovery and creativity.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 31
Discovery of a New Way of Experiencing Does Not Displace the Old Way of Experiencing
What characterizes the aliveness of this teaching is an ongoing stream of realization, enlightenment, and understanding that continues to grow, deepen, expand, and open up to ever-further ways of experiencing reality. Another interesting characteristic of the living nature of this teaching, which is really a characteristic of all life, is that the discovery of a new way of experiencing does not displace the old way of experiencing. Living is an evolution from one thing to the next. Life evolves from what went before and always becomes more fully manifest. It develops more capacities, more richness, more variety, and more creativity in the way it manifests itself. The living and evolving nature of the teaching is apparent in the orientation and the view from which the teaching is presented. Each time we meet together as a school, everything we have explored is presented from a new perspective. The understanding of the teaching as we have learned it is simply opened up further. It’s not so much that the understanding of it has changed but that the understanding has expanded. Like life itself, the teaching builds on itself, living and evolving from one form to another.
Runaway Realization, pg. 168
Holy Faith Sustains Us on Our Journey into the Unknown
Holy Faith is a specific condition or state, a specific development of this sense of purity and implicit confidence or trust. It is needed to embark on, and to continue traveling the path, because as we journey on our path, we do not have full knowledge of reality. We do not have complete access to this view, and so most of the way along the path, we don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know where we are or where we are going, except for occasional glimpses. Because of this inevitable ignorance, faith is very important; in fact, it is necessary to keep you going when you can’t see the road clearly. When we have complete understanding and perception of reality, faith is no longer necessary. But as long as we are passing through what St. John of the Cross calls “the dark night” of not seeing reality clearly, we need faith. At times, the journey is easy, at times it is difficult, and at other times it feels down-right impossible; and for the most part, we don’t know why, nor do we understand what it is that is happening to us. In the face of this not knowing, our faith keeps us going; and when there is faith, we don’t need to know where we are going or how to feel secure. If we knew exactly where we were heading, there would be no discovery, no adventure, no magic. Holy Faith sustains us on our journey into the unknown.
Facets of Unity, pg. 252
Joy is the Presence of Discovery
I’m saying this today because it’s important for many students. If you are oriented in the Work towards getting good things and getting rid of bad things, you will continue suffering. You will not understand the spirit of the Work, the spirit of truth. But if you are curious, it doesn’t matter if there is pain sometimes. Joy is not the absence of suffering. Joy is the presence of curiosity. It is the presence of discovery. Then you can see not just the Work, not just your effort, but all of existence as a beautiful, intricate, exquisite field. This beauty, this magnificence, includes everything in it, including ugliness. You can see an ugliness so ugly that it is beautiful, because you are seeing the truth. The truth is what makes things beautiful.
Diamond Heart Book One, pg. 241
Recognizing that Truth is Our True Nature
This brings us then to recognizing the truth—recognizing what we are actually experiencing and recognizing that truth is our True Nature. We discover that that is what we are, not just what we experience. Many steps and experiences of being with the truth as it reveals the false or learned ignorance may be needed before True Nature is revealed as our nature. And love of the truth must be our guide. Ultimately, by staying with the process, we arrive at the third level of understanding, where we see and know that True Nature, our True Nature, is what moves everything—that it is the source of everything. How does this discovery happen? By simply being where we are. Throughout the journey, whether we’re inquiring or we’re meditating or just going about our business, we’re learning to be present and aware, to just be there, not doing anything to anything. This attitude invites True Nature to reveal itself, to reveal that it is what we are, and to reveal how everything else relates to it.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 121
The Possibility for Us to Find Out What We are and to Be Who We Are
What does this fact mean for our practice? To learn to be ourselves, we have to start with what we have—and what we always have is our experience in the moment. If we allow ourselves to be in our experience in the moment—to feel it, to see it, to taste it, to hear it, to smell it, to be aware of it—it becomes possible for us to find out what we are and to be who we are. To be ourselves, or to be real, basically means that we are being our true self, or we are being the realness of who we are. You may have heard it said, “My True Nature means the true or the self-existing nature of who I am.” That can sound esoteric, but it just means that your True Nature is not false, not fabricated, not created by anybody; it is what you truly are. It is the real you. Being who we are requires first finding out where we are. And although being aware of where we are does not necessarily mean we are being ourselves yet, it’s a start. That’s because it contains an element or flavor of our true self. And that flavor, or that element, is what we call “truth.” So wherever we are, whatever our experience happens to be, is related to our True Nature in some way. It may be distant or disconnected, or it may be a reaction, a reflection, or a substitute. But it still is somehow related to who we truly are.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 11
The Understanding and Trust that Essence will Bring About what Needs to be Brought About
Life continues to be a process of creative discovery. The process of learning, unfolding, and expansion never stops. Essence continues to unfold, new dimensions arise, new modes of experience and insight emerge, new capacities manifest. The process of understanding continues; however, it is not seen as a necessity, as work, but rather as the process of creative discovery itself. Life becomes a process of creative discovery from the moment essence is recognized and experienced as one's true being. It continues to be an endless process of creative discovery when the identity shifts to essence; however, there is now the understanding that it is so. There is now the understanding and the trust that essence will bring about whatever needs to be brought about. The ego does not need to work any more. The creative process happens on its own. Ego can only obstruct it. This is true the moment essence is discovered.
When Discovery Itself Becomes the Heart of Life
The discovery of essence is the beginning of the true life. Essence, as we have seen, is not a state experienced once and then always experienced in the same way afterward. Essence is rich and endless in its aspects, qualities, dimensions, capacities, and possibilities. All of this richness starts unfolding, bringing surprise, delight, beauty, value, and fulfillment. Life stops being the life of strife and frustration, the wish for success and the fear of failure. More than anything else, life becomes a process of creative discovery. Discovery itself becomes the heart of life. Life becomes a continual creation because essence is the creative element in us. Suffering and problems become less important, and creative discovery becomes the actual process of living.