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Spiritual Maturity

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Quotes about Spiritual Maturity

Realization is Partial in Most Instances for Most People

Most people believe—and this is an indication of a lack of spiritual maturity—that if you have achieved a certain state, then that state is completely integrated and realized. They believe that it must be everywhere in your consciousness, fully integrated in all spheres and domains of experience and functioning. That is the way most spiritual books and teachings characterize it. They give the impression that realization is always complete and absolute. The fact is that things are not like that most of the time. Realization can be partial. In fact, realization is partial in most instances for most people, which means that a person can have Brilliancy in a certain area but not in others. So a scientist can be brilliant in his field and not be brilliant when it comes to his or her emotional makeup. This is an important fact, and it implies that spiritual realization has no end. The same thing is true about Love, and in fact about any aspect. You know, you could love your dog to death but still hate everybody else. It is possible. 

Brilliancy, pg. 35

Self-Realization or Spiritual Maturity is Not for the Squeamish and Not for the Dilettante

The courage of the Red latifa is what we need in all these situations. This willingness to feel our fear and continue our inquiry appears as a natural resilience—nothing strange or unusual, just a natural sense of how we can experience ourselves. This strength that we feel in our hearts infuses the soul with a boldness that allows her to be open to seeing things she has never seen before—even things she considers to be threatening or terrifying. From this perspective, you can see that self-realization or spiritual maturity is not for the squeamish, and not for the dilettante. You need to be serious about the journey in the sense of being willing to risk your life for it. If you’re going to complain or retreat every time something difficult happens to you along the way, then you are interested in something else; you’re not a true spiritual inquirer. The path of inquiry is a path of challenge and adventure always leading us into the unknown. Such is the fullness of the Red Essence that it arises in many flavors to support the openness of our inquiry: strength, energy, expansion, and the capacities to discriminate and confront our experience as we discover what is true. When this fullness of flavors fills our heart, it gives us the courage to welcome whatever the adventure of life brings us. 

Spiritual Attainment that Does Not Heal One’s Psyche is Incomplete or Imbalanced

Cortright, like many other transpersonal psychologists and new age pundits, has developed the mistaken idea of the sick guru or the neurotic enlightened individual. The idea is that one can be enlightened and neurotic at the same time. But this view does not appreciate the nature of the process of spiritual unfoldment, where there can be degrees and levels of spiritual realization. The view we take, which happens to be the view of the major traditional spiritual teachings, is that spiritual attainment has many levels, and that psychological health improves with the deepening of this attainment. The latter will be the integration of one’s spiritual attainment in one’s life, an important dimension of spiritual maturity. Therefore, spiritual attainment might coexist with neurosis; however, spiritual attainment that does not heal one’s psyche is incomplete, or imbalanced. Furthermore, enlightenment is not only spiritual attainment. Enlightenment is the completion of the attainment, its perfection. One is then a buddha, in Buddhism; a perfect master, in Hinduism; a complete human being, in Sufism, and so on. When one is truly enlightened one cannot be neurotic or suffer emotional pain. To not see this is to dilute the concept of enlightenment, the possibility of complete integration of psyche and spirit, and all other dimensions of existence. This dilution might seem compassionate and gentle, but it is ultimately uncompassionate for it robs us of the view of true spiritual maturity, which has been seen traditionally as completeness, balance, integration, wholeness, inner health, and liberation. 

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