Virtues and Qualities Needed to Advance on the Path to Liberation
To start the Path to Liberation and to advance on it, it is necessary to have certain qualities of the soul that enable us to go through the initiations and tests of the Path. This Path that leads to direct liberation from the Wheel of Samsara and into the self-realization of the Being is not for everyone, as most people today are not ready to sacrifice what is needed to sacrifice in order to progress in a strong way; they are still developing those needed qualities and hopefully after some time, more people will be ready to embark on the Probationary Path and later on the Path Proper. Fallen humanity of today (which is a humanity without spiritual mastery, immersed in the heaviness of the egos) is on the kindergarten level of learning, as it is completely devoid of their inner Being, though the latter can at any moment wake up its essence and make it ascend, if he so chooses. The Being, however, takes a slower path, through which virtues and qualities of the soul are developed through many lifetimes. The only exception to that is if he already has a rich esoteric history and/or a good amount of lives on this planet, in which case the learning would go faster.
We live in a peculiar time in which we can see many people with interest in spirituality, though at the same time the pull of materialism is very strong, and few are those who have needed qualities to resist such a pull and dedicate their lives to spiritual advancement. The pull of materialism is indulgence in things that keeps the consciousness asleep and lethargic.
Everyone has come into the esoteric teachings from the life of indulgence and sleep, as it’s rare or non-existent for an essence to be born in a family of initiates who directed their child from an early age to the inner work and far from the danger of the materialistic entrapment. It’s more realistic that we have all entered the work from a fallen life, in which we were spiritually lost. A lot of people that came to teachings hit the rock bottom first, and then they turned towards spirituality. However, even if we were lost, it doesn’t mean that we stumbled upon something we were not ready for. On the contrary, we are always where we need to be when it comes to such huge things in life such as finding the Gnostic work, and if we still keep going with it, it means that the initial qualities needed to enter the Probative Path are there, but it is up to us to develop and awaken other qualities that are needed to advance further, and that lie dormant in our soul.
When we start the work, we are in a fallen state. We have certain virtues that are part of our free essence, and these we must use to increase them and develop new ones. Throughout the entire Path these things are developed, and they need to be developed in order to fulfil the requirements to go from one initiation into another, as each of them is different and the tests on them are increasingly more demanding.
Here are some needed virtues and qualities:
Spiritual maturity (or maturity of the Being) – our Higher Self needs to be of a certain level in order for us to even have any interest in the inner work, as it is he that awakens the longing for the spiritual within us. Even though the Being is fully spiritual and divine, if it lacks experience of material realities it will keep its essence there until there are enough experiences. It can also happen that the Being is ready to push its essence through the awakening process, though the essence being weak and immersed in materialism, it ignores that impulse and does whatever it wishes. Sometimes we think that our Being is not doing enough to help us, or that he is not interested in awakening, but our dreams reveal the intention of the Being as he shows us where we fail and what we should do to gather more inner strength.
Love – when we enter the work we have a certain degree of love, but as this energy is so essential in Creation, it becomes a prominent part of our life as the egos are being eliminated and the flow of universal love is unhindered. Likewise, the consciousness itself is endowed with that same energy, so when it grows in size simultaneously love grows within us too, just like every other virtue. Through the inner work, we develop unconditional and impersonal love, which we need to have in order to ascend the Three Mountains.
Conscious faith – A true faith is not a blind belief as it is often supposed, but rather it is something that comes from experience, an inner revelation of some spiritual truth concerning us or the world around us. It is conscious faith because it came from consciousness and because we are aware of its dynamic within us. Faith and trust go hand in hand, and to be able to trust ourselves and our Being (which is very needed because that’s how we are guided on the Path), we first must have conscious faith.
Patience – a very important virtue to have as there are many situations in life where there is a need to be at peace with accepting the situation as it is, without complaining. The reactive nature of humanity is always prompting us to complain, but as we clear out the egos and increase the essence, we begin to feel the peace of the latter as well as its other qualities, and like this the virtue of patience grows and is strengthened. Patience is needed in situations of daily life, but also with the achievement of large milestones on the Path, as it takes time and effort to achieve spiritual heights.
Tenacity – there needs to be a strong resolve and being able to follow it throughout one’s life, because that’s how long the inner work lasts. Tenacity means that we have needed spiritual strength, which is developed with the overall inner work.
Compassion – this is a quality of the essence that is tightly related with impersonal love. It is different from pity, which has its root in the ego state. Having compassion for every living being comes with increase of the consciousness, and then it grows exponentially as we incarnate various parts of the Being.
Forgiveness – even though it is not a virtue in itself, the ability to forgive truly, unconditionally, comes from compassion, love, understanding of life, and dissolution of the egos that latch onto experiences where forgiveness is needed. With the inner work we can transform impressions from different stages of life and thus heal ourselves by forgiving ourselves and others.
The sense of wonder (or the sense of mystery) – I don’t think I have ever met someone with a real interest in spirituality who was lacking in this sense, which indicates that this quality is probably related to the maturity level of the Being. The esoteric work involves exploration of realities, in various dimensions of life. As we become more and more spiritually mature, this impulse for investigation of other realities becomes a significant aspect of our life.
Longing for the Being – this is developed and increases with the inner work. In the beginning we only have an interest in the work and in freeing ourselves from the ego driven thoughts and emotions, but as we become more and more conscious and immersed in the spiritual energy that is being provided to us, and as we develop stronger connection with the Being through prayer and the sensing of higher realities, it becomes a natural thing to gravitate increasingly towards the incarnation of the Being within oneself.
Ability to recognize and see the truth/reality – another great quality that emerges on the Path is the ability to see into the essence of whatever we focus our attention to, whether that be something internal or external. Another aspect of this is being able to discern false from true, subjective from objective, illusionary from that which is real.
Repentance – an ability of the soul to understand deeply the mistakes that we’ve done throughout this life, and to feel repentance for what we did. When we thus repent from our heart, we can ask divinity for forgiveness, and this is how our karmic account can be cleared. Karma, together with an ego, is what stands between us and the Being. Repentance and dissolution of the ego is how karmic debt can be forgiven.
Ability to let go – this is a very important ability, on which depends our passage through initiations. In life we have developed so many attachments, some more obvious than others, but many attachments there are and we ultimately will have to be able to let go of all of those if we are to ascend. On the path, we understand that the only thing that is permanent is what we create within us, everything else is temporary and will be taken from us sooner or later. To let go of everything that is temporary does not mean to be irresponsible towards our responsibilities, but to see everything in its proper place, and look upon things from a higher point of view, of that of eternity and spiritual unfoldment.
Here are some of the qualities that emerge or that we strengthen and develop on the Path to Awakening. Do not dismay if you do not yet see those virtues prominent within you; we always start with the virtues we have and use them and the esoteric exercises to further our growth. As long as we are working sincerely on ourselves and do our best, everything will go according to the order that the Being has set for us. Virtues are like flowers of the soul that start to grow as we care for them in our spiritual garden, and when they begin to bloom it is a clear sign of progress.
HDP, January 2022.