The barriers to the realization of universal spirituality are many, largely because of the perceived differences between people. However, the only barriers we need to be concerned with rest with the individual. The realization of global spirituality is a monumental task, to say the least. It is not our responsibility nor should we be overly concerned as to the how and when this will be achieved. Since Universal Spirituality on a global scale can only happen as a result of awakened individuals who have realized “universal spirituality” within themselves, our only major concern is the education and development and practice of our individual spirituality. This does not mean we go around preaching universal spirituality. It means that in order to qualify as an awakened individual, you will have realized, at the very least, the connectedness of all life, including very much the Earth Herself and treating all life with mutual respect and compassion. Those who continue to make war, victimize the weak, advocate violence, repress others, and stand in the way of peace are not awakened, nor are they mature.
Though the Holy Spirit works slowly, it works wonders. You would be amazed at how many people you inspire, directly or indirectly, speaking or non-speaking, when you seek the spirit of life. It has been said that for every individual who comes into the full realization of him or herself as a spiritual person (a full-fledged son or daughter of God), one-thousand other people are offset. The interpretation of what this means varies, but we might assume that one-thousand others are inspired in some way to begin asking fundamental questions about what life experience is really all about and taking serious steps toward finding answers to those questions. The awakening may take place through an intuitive insight to buy a spiritually orientated book, a connection with a new friend, a vivid dream, or a profound encounter with something extraordinary that produces new motivation and momentum to begin the process of self-discovery.
On the large scale, there are numerous barriers to Universal Spirituality. One of the barriers is the result of groups and organizations – the larger the collection of individuals, the larger the barrier. We really dislike pointing fingers, but most religions are the best example of this disparity. The majority of religions “follow” a saint according to an established pattern of belief and practices of worship. Direct communication with God is discouraged, and it is taught that members must go through the saint or a higher representative of the church. People who believed otherwise were burned for heresy not all that long ago. These days, while you may not suffer such inhuman treatment, if you believe yourself to be on an equal par with a saint, you are considered blasphemous. These are barriers that continue to be stimulated through group energy; however, they are only a barrier to the individual if he or she allows it. This also is certainly not to say that spirituality is not present in religions and large groups of people. One of the primary factors in spiritual expression is unification. When people unite in large groups, an aura of spirit is present; however, the potential of increased awareness and understanding is limited to whatever box of beliefs the congregation is attached. Worshiping a saint or a God external to oneself is to worship a false God, but it is only a momentary lapse of misunderstanding.
One of the largest barriers to the manifestation of Universal Spirituality is the recognition of equality among all our fellow human beings. Humans have a great number of differences, but these differences are in perception only. As long as differences between people continue to be perceived as appositional instead of respected, Universal Spirituality will not happen. The major premise behind spirituality is unification in a harmonious and cooperative way for the benefit of the whole. Once again, this falls back upon each individual. Each individual must develop a nonbiased and nondiscriminatory attitude toward others and, ultimately, all of life. As we know all too well, this is not something that happens overnight. It is a process that takes time and serves as an integral component of the Spiritual Development initiative. This is probably the most crucial barrier to surmount, both on an individual and global scale. It starts with accepting yourself for whom and what you are because when this self-love and respect begin to take effect, you will automatically begin to see and accept all others in the same light. In fact, whether you think so or not, you cannot progress satisfactorily in developing yourself spiritually unless this illusion is slowly erased. In short, right relations are the crucial and necessary first step, and a large one at that, in unifying humanity. When right human relations are fully implemented and practiced globally, the individual human spirit automatically shines forth of its own accord because there is no anger, hatred, animosity, or overall negativity restricting it. If there is one thing you’d better accept about yourself, it is this: the longer you remain biased toward other races, beliefs, and practices, the longer you stand as a barrier to finding yourself. You do not have to interact with those whom you oppose. Though you will probably find yourself in that situation at some point, you must erase the opposition by a conscious change in attitude.
Society itself discourages spirituality, and this is prevalent in the more common areas of organizational employment and schools. The human spirit treasures self-expressive creativity and interactive unity for the common good, neither of which are found in the workplace or schools. Hundreds of millions of people go to work every day, but just because they assemble in unification under one roof means little in the way of creative expression.
Though there are some nonprofits, churches, and other organizations popping up these days making a concerted effort to serve the needs of the community and create awareness of problematic areas, corporate America drives the economy. Corporate America sees people not as units of self-expressive potential, but as cattle to do whatever needs to be done to increase profits. People going to work for a corporation every day unify, but when people go about their work in repetitive, robotic fashion exploiting resources and people, this is not creative expression, but creative exploitation. Knowing their place in the corporate hierarchy, creative change and advancement is discouraged because operational procedures have long been established and carried out by top-level management. If change toward a more common denominator of the common good were even suggested, management would not hesitate to toss you out the door like yesterday’s garbage. We don’t wish to get into a long and drawn-out discussion on this topic, but corporate America, combined with a dominant influence over the government at all levels, has produced a mechanized, consumer-oriented society resulting in an ever-increasing division between the rich and the poor.
The majority of these problems originate in public schools, which really forms the barrier from where it all starts. From a very young age, children are taught to think and behave a certain way which, through the further degraded conditioning of a regimented society, carries forth throughout adult life. Children are taught to conform to authority and conditioned to accept a certain way of doing most everything, thereby creating a reality removed from the way they think and feel. Whatever is taught in school is considered to be fact and not to be questioned, thereby discouraging critical analysis and independent thinking. Successful completion is dependent on tests which place students in various categories, thereby affecting self-esteem and values. In short, independent thinking, creative expression, and pursuing your dreams are largely discouraged. The educational system has further eroded in recent years with the upgrading and strict adherence to standardized tests which further separate those who conform from those who do not. Adding our two cents to this dilemma, history is one of the most pointless subjects to learn, especially in pursuing a spiritual course in life. History consists largely of violence and wars, and further emphasizes differences and separation between races and cultures. Therefore, what purpose does it serve to learn it when we are trying to change that great disparity? Besides, yesterday is gone. It is history. Dwelling on yesterday constitutes “living in the past” and will only put on damper on maintaining your focus on present-moment affairs.
The media also stands as a large barrier. There is a great hypnotic power associated with newspapers, magazines, and most dominantly, the television. How many people do you know who read the paper every day? How many hours do we spend in front of the tube every day? These are what we refer to in our course of self-realization as distractions, and potent ones to be sure. This is not to say that media is not a good thing because it is. There are plenty of good movies and television shows. It’s just that when you devote every minute of your time to the tube, you are giving your reality to whatever is being presented. Discretion is warranted here. Not only that, but whether you realize it or not, what you see, at least on the news, is oftentimes not the reality it is presented to be. There is a tremendous amount of propaganda presented to create fear and sway the public’s reality. These are vices you’ll have to decipher for yourself, so please be aware.
Universal Spirituality happens in consciousness first. In fact, it must happen that way first because Universal Spirituality can and will never be defined or identified in those terms by the people who adopt its principles. What we mean is that with the vast variety of races, cultures, colors, beliefs, and perceptions, each sect will identify with Spirituality in their own individual way, thereby producing Universal Spirituality in like manner. As long as unification occurs in mass consciousness, that is all that matters. Currently, the world is far from being unified in consciousness due to extreme opposites in thought, action, and overall perception. There is far too much conflict between rich and poor, love and hate, joy and sadness, and war and peace, to name just a few characteristics of the dualistic illusion of separation and opposition. The unification in consciousness that must take place is that mass thoughts are aligned with the characteristics of peace, compassion, and respect for all life. When violence, war, and killing stop, the world will certainly be off to a prosperous future. When the qualities of peace, compassion, and respect for all life become the foremost train of thought in people’s minds, the condition for universal spirituality is automatically established. It doesn’t matter whether the concept of spirituality itself is present in the minds of people or not, because once the condition for universal spirituality has been established, through the aforementioned qualities, spirituality will begin to unfold in the minds of people automatically because adverse and oppositional forces that stand in its way are diminished. The bottom line is that when all people are free to live independently and exercise their creative abilities to their utmost potential, Universal spirituality will be present, regardless of how each individual perceives the process.
If there is one thing you had better learn quickly if you earnestly desire to know God more fully, it is this: if you do not drop your preconditioned perception of separation and the belief that your way is better than others, you will never come to know God more fully. No “one person” has it. Rather, everyone “has” it. The thing we have and don’t realize is the ability to first get along with each other in a peaceful, cooperative and harmonious way, respecting each other and having compassion for all of life. The human race is not going to come to know God more fully until it begins to fully practice these traits amongst each other. In other words, you must learn and accept the hardest truth that God resides within and works through all of life. When you separate yourself from other people because of whatever differences, you separate yourself from yourself and therefore separate yourself from God. This does not mean that you will purposely go around singing praise to a variety of cultures or races that are different from yours. It means that you must erase those barriers in your mind and prepare yourself for the actual opportunities for social interaction with people different from you because they will come your way. God will have you come to know others before you come to know him. To come to know God more fully means to come to know yourself more fully. Knowing yourself more fully is accepting the truth that you are no different from anyone else.
This is why we stress that the course in individual spiritual development is one of individual undertaking. In some respects, the most productive way to pursue this course is in silence. In other words, keep your progress to yourself and share what you have learned only with those who will receive your words in an open-minded and nonbiased fashion. We cannot always have a favorable learning environment where you join together with like minds. Even when we do have a favorable learning environment, we might consider that this is a projection of illusion, of a sort, because no two people undertaking the path of individual spiritual education will understand and perceive things the same way. Always remember that the unspoken and unseen love of the Holy Spirit works more advantageously in silence than in any other form. Even though oftentimes you will not be able to speak openly of all the things you are learning about yourself, the love of the Holy Spirit will convey your excitement silently and subtly to those around you. They, in turn, will receive, internalize, and interpret in their own individual way. Each person will be inspired and awaken according to their personage, sharing it in their own individual and creative way. That is the way of things.
The changes that need to take place in order to establish universal spirituality on the Earth will happen. This is the promise spoken of earlier by many a sage, prophet, saint, and seer. The establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven upon the Earth is inevitable. They will come because it is an integral part of the evolution of the human species. The changes will come, as they always have, through the intuitive influence of the Holy Spirit as its great wave moves in and through the human circuitry of spirit, as well as all of life. It will happen, one individual at a time, over a long period, so be patient. Your time is coming. The changes will happen because universal spirituality is commensurate with universal peace, cooperation, unity, and most important, the recognition and acceptance of equality between the human species and all of life.