There are seven major initiations (tests) that all human beings experience on their journey towards wholeness. These tests are placed in our path by us, not God, for our soul’s growth. These tests do not occur only once, but instead recycle around and around, bringing us to higher and higher levels of awareness-whether we are conscious of it or not. However, becoming conscious of these tests makes our journey much easier. Then, when the opportunities for learning lessons in a body are completed, the body dies, and the soul moves on into higher realms until it needs to return again for other lessons or initiations. And finally, when the soul has learned all of its lessons, it will surrender its existence and merge back into its originating Spirit and oneness with God.
The idea of spiritual evolution through life’s lessons makes great sense and is reasonable since it assures a good chance of learning-at various levels. Yet, the problem with this theory of evolution is that if we believe we have work to do, it means we believe we are not already perfect, which means we have stepped outside of God’s Consciousness.
One of the best ways to escape this trap of constant embodiment is to recognize that a common theme runs throughout all aspects of the spiritual path. All choices are equally an attempt by the soul to learn lessons and explore itself and its environment. All paths are actually just different perspectives of the same Truth and will ultimately lead to God. From this viewpoint, it’s possible to look at people and the choices we have made and see that judgments are neither necessary nor valuable. All choices ultimately play a part in our growth. We simply have the free will to choose to learn the easy way or the hard way.
The hard path takes much more time and potentially more pain. It involves two facets: The first is for those who are in complete denial that there is a spiritual path at all. For these folks, the universe usually sends the “holy two-by-four” to bless them over the head. The second facet is for those who do indeed believe in the spiritual path but still try the hard path to perfect themselves and still judge themselves for not being spiritual enough. The easy path, on the other hand, is for those who are ready to accept that we are already whole and perfect beings with nothing to fix. We are already perfect! So, we need only to let go and live according to what we believe is in alignment with our perfect connection to Spirit.
In other words, the spiritual path is actually a “journey without distance, to a place we never left.” (A Course in Miracles) We seem to be on a path or journey, having experiences, learning lessons, and gaining knowledge. Yet, this path is merely part of the illusion of human perspectives and has no ultimate purpose. However, since we do seem to live in this illusion, the journey of spiritual evolution is necessary and essential because it is through this process that we create an opportunity to remember the Real World of God-Consciousness. In so doing, all of humanity also attains this remembrance.
Ironically, after we go to great lengths to “evolve” back into spiritual consciousness and seemingly away from the material world, the final test lies in our ability to bring our renewed self back into the earth-plane or make our spirituality a practical discipline. The entire initiatory process can be eased and even shortened by knowing that, rather than waiting for the multi-step process to be completed, we can live as though it were already complete. By bringing a heavenly state of self into the earth-plane, we raise the level of consciousness and vibration closer to that of Heaven. Yet, in the end, we often still wonder, “What is the purpose of all these complicated processes, cycles, and experiences? Why did we choose these lessons in the first place?” Nevertheless, when we see what new attainments come to us (after being so patient and vigilant with these initiations of life), we feel a humble sense of gratitude. This is especially true when we witness the effects our transformation can have on the lives of other people struggling with their tests.
In the end, we feel more whole and complete, as well as free and at peace. We now recognize our part in learning to gain new perspectives of ourselves and the world around us. We see everyone, and everything, in a new light. We begin to feel more responsible and in control of our life, as though we are living masters who have integrated Divine Consciousness. We resist life’s lessons less often and learn to see trials as our own misperceptions being called to transformation-knowing something better awaits. Of course we still encounter lessons, cycles, and phases of growth or remembrance. In fact, we now measure our growth process not by having an absence of challenges, but by the ability to recognize when we slip and choosing to bounce back more quickly.
When all lessons are learned, we are able to see that behind them were simply our own false beliefs. Although at our deepest core lies a perfect spark of God’s Presence, this was heavily masked over by our own patterns of limitation (sometimes personified as the ego), which then acted as a god who began creating our world and attracting our lessons and experiences. But now we realize that our evolutionary experiences were never really about God sending us forth to pay debts, learn lessons, or attain perfection. It was always us! We’ve only learned lessons that we thought we had to learn and paid debts that we thought we owed.
The final awakening (which only occurs after numerous smaller awakenings) is a liberation from all of these opinions, illusions, and false beliefs. It’s a release from all beliefs other than God’s and a surrendering of our opinions to God’s perfect Knowingness. At that moment, our Spirit awakens to a level of awareness where there are no more lessons to learn. Then, there is a realization that our soul was only sleeping and dreaming of a world of fear and separation and is now awake in the mind and heart of God.
This article is an excerpt from Michael Mirdad’s best selling book, The Seven Initiations on the Spiritual Path: Understanding the Purpose of Life’s Tests.