Walking the path of spiritual practice is like a treasure hunt. Each clue will lead us down the path closer to the goal. The problem is, will we see the clues? Will we discern the clues properly? And finally will we follow the clues?
Clues on this treasure hunt are always showing up. God does not want us to lose. Though we are challenged, the answer is always embedded in nature. The small self, however, misses the clues, and will pass them without even realizing they were clues. So we need to be vigilant. We need to want to discern what is in front of us. The truth is, everything is a clue. So do not worry about missing clues. The answer is embedded in all our life; it is everywhere. If we open our eyes and see the world this way, then we will be approaching Prakriti as the Yoga Sutras teach; Nature is here for our experience and liberation. So all is here for our education. Our life is actually designed magnificently to bring us to liberation. We have to be willing to see that this is the real purpose of our life: to go Home. Then we will see all our actions and situations as clues to take us to the treasure.
The next question, then, is what am I to learn from these clues? Here is where discernment plays a most important part. I may see all the information or clues but be unable to access and analyze them clearly. I can then make decisions that are completely erroneous. I can miss the mark completely. So even though I have seen the clue, I then have to read it correctly. Without discernment, I will be moving away from the treasure. The problem with the small self is that it is so sure of itself. We can discern correctly, and the small self can be sure of doubt. Its purpose—until it is purified—is to cloud our discernment. We will call a feeling something it is not and then proceed from that erroneous assessment only to find ourselves going deeper into darkness rather than into the light. So if I have a feeling that I am sure is reflectiveness, I will believe my thoughts to be insightful. However, if in fact the feeling is just sulky, then my great insight is actually a whiny complaint and I will be caught in a swamp rather than moving down the path. Once in this swamp, I will linger there for long periods of time and miss the chance to find the treasure.
I need to be asking myself constantly what am I supposed to be learning from this. True reflection is very important.
So once I have seen the clue and have now discerned the clue, will I follow it down the path? Most people will say of course they will follow it, but in truth will they? Will we have the courage to actually follow the path that is laid out for us? The clues on the path that guide us to the next clue may be fraught with pain and danger. We have to have the courage to face what this clue is telling us about ourselves. This is not always easy. We need the strength of character which means we are not attached to what we have to give up in order to move forward. The goal for us has to be more important than our small self and its ideas. No matter what our temperament, whether a lover, a hermit, a warrior, a scholar, or whatever, we have to have the courage to face the truth.
Know that everything is a clue. Discern the clues. Have the courage to face the truth the clues reveal. Then the treasure of Love is there.
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