Dealing With Failing in the Gnostic-Spiritual Work
When a person starts working on themselves spiritually, often time things start out good and there is enthusiasm and joy within new students, and it seems to them that they found something they were looking for a long time. Not only is there enthusiasm and joy, but also as we do the spiritual work we get a lot of help from spiritual non-physical being, and we may also get strength from the group that we are practicing with, whether that be online or in person.
Eventually, however, this enthusiasm is bound to diminish, and as motivation drops down, so too will strength drop down and then seemingly we are put down to a much lower level. It is at this level that people either leave the Gnostic work and look for something easier or more attractive, or they want to keep going but cannot, whether that be due to the strength of their egos, or because of the combination of the pull of life and the pull of egos. Even though we may still have a lot of longing at that point, due to our egos we fail in the work, forgetting about the spiritual practices, and forgetting about the inner Being.
I think that sooner or later, most students will fail in one way or another, whether that be by allowing life circumstances to take hold, or by giving in to egos, or by choosing a mundane over spiritual which then makes harder to do the spiritual work, or by simply becoming convinced that the spiritual longings that we have our not so good for our daily lives. And then when someone fails and is letting go of the work, it may be hard to come back to the same level in which they were before. Failing in itself is discouraging, but even more so when the mind kicks in and starts convincing us that the work is not for us, that we had our chance, that ultimately it is the best to live life through the lenses of the egos. If that bait is swallowed, it is harder to neutralize the damage that is done.
It is important to understand that the longings inside you to do the spiritual work are coming from your Spirit, from your Being, so that this highest and the innermost part of you can awaken. He wants us to be strong so that the work of self-realization could be carried out, and so that the Being achieves its purpose. If the strength for doing the inner work lessens, it is not because the Being has abandoned us, but because we are also expected to from time to time stand on our own feet. We may protest how come we are left to walk alone if we are still so weak, but eventually we learn that we are not left alone, but rather the help is withdrawn and we are then observed to see how we will be doing ‘on our own’. Besides this there are also tests, and some of them are to see if we will ‘move towards the small point of light while in the dark room’. We can see the light and know in which way to go, but the darkness can be too much to handle and so we make wrong choices, or choices that are contrary to spiritual growth.
Even though failing brings us down energetically and spiritually, it is necessary to lift oneself up from the floor and continue walking. In early years of the Work we don’t yet see the whole picture of who we are and why we are here. We don’t know much or anything about our Being, nor about its history and potential, nor about who is helping us and our Being. Because of this ignorance, when we fail we see it as something detrimental, but there is much that we don’t know about ourselves.
When falling on the floor, one should always stand up and continue walking, investigating the pitfalls and traps if the falling keeps repeating again and again; following that light in your heart that brought you to the Work in the first place, allowing it to shine through and express itself as much as it can, and you will be able to climb up higher next time. It is also important to see the impermanence in those temporary desires and wants that we give so much importance to. They will pass eventually and then we are left again with that divine spark which is the true us and which longs to unite with the Being and become whole.
The discouragement and disappointment that come from failing is also a temporary feeling of the ego that seeks to bring you down to the zero point. This is also not real and it will pass eventually. It is important not to listen to false suggestions that strive to bring you even more down, until eventually you are convinced that you are too weak and not ready to do the work.
Failing happens sooner or later for most students, in one form or another. When it happens it may feel as if you are betraying yourself, your Being, it may be hard to self-observe, but this is the time when more strength needs to be mustered up, when one should pray more earnestly, with longing towards the higher form of living. It is important to be clear with oneself what is that we really want with this work, what is it that we want to achieve. We should evaluate our goals, re-state them and adjust them if needed. If we know that we want to pursue the Final Liberation, then we should work a lot on building up force within us that will put us back on our feet, and that will carry us to where we were, and also further up above.
And once you are back up on your feet and get the momentum of the inner work back on its track, it is advisable to decide firmly that this time you will reach heights without failing anymore, to decide firmly that you will do whatever it takes to give your Being and the work the priority that is needed in order to succeed. It is true that the above mentioned heights are known only in theory in the beginning, but with time we get more and more glimpses about them, and then just focusing on that and the light in the heart that is guiding us towards the goal.
Perseverance is the key to success, but also intelligently maneuvering through the roads of life, prioritizing the right thing, while always keeping the light of the Being aflame in your heart, and its guidance before your eyes.
HDP, April 2020.