If you wish to evolve from the sleepiness of the mass-consciousness into the Ultimate Reality which you are seeking (the Divine Consciousness), you must first develop responsibility for yourself as an individual.
Suppose you are one of those seekers who have been doing so many different things and you still find that something is missing. Perhaps you were initiated into Transcendental Meditation and you did it ten times and didn’t find your ideal goal. So along came a swami from India and you did that for ten days, then along came a Tibetan monk and you did that for ten days, and so on. In the course of forty years you may have done hundreds of different things and still something is missing!
What is this missing dimension in your life? Self-Responsibility! It is your awakening to the realization of the awesome fact that you are the Path, you are the Way. You are the beginning and the end of the process. Nobody else, nor any outer thing, is responsible for your process. You are responsible for it! You are the self-becoming entity. You are the process which is becoming. You have to become that which you want to be. This is Self-Responsibility!
Until this point, you always think that the cause of your happiness is outside of you. If you don’t succeed, you blame the government, or your teacher, or your parents, or God, or the weather. Something outside of you is always at fault. Then finally you realize that you have to take your own cross of Realization upon your shoulder and do it! This is a very important crisis in your life and the beginning of your Path towards true Spiritual Enlightenment. We are talking about a great leap forward in the evolution of the human psyche whereby you realize that you are totally responsible for everything that ever has happened to you or will happen to you, and everything that is happening to you now. You alone are responsible for your life. This is that great moment of intelligence and understanding when it becomes possible for you to truly begin the Spiritual Path, when you realize that you are the one who has to do it, that you are totally responsible for everything in your life.
At that time you will come across a Teacher, or a Teaching, which will tell you that the Way is within yourself—not outside in Nature, not through spirits or spirit-guides, not through other beings or things, but one-hundred-percent inside yourself. You, yourself, are the Way. This is a huge leap in understanding, because until that point you always look outside of yourself. You think that someone or something is going to do all the work for you, that someone is going to save you, that all you have to do is sit there and everything will be done for you. The Church promises that if you believe in Jesus Christ you will be saved and go to Heaven, for instance. Jesus will do all the work for you! He will put you in Heaven and that’s that. No more problems for you. But once you wake up and realize that you are the Path, that you have to attain it, then you will find a true Spiritual Teacher. And when you do find a true Spiritual Teacher, then you will experience another crisis, because the Teacher will squash your ego.
The first great crisis of Spiritual Life is the annihilation of the ego, our self-centred attitude in life. For many people this is a very hard lesson. There is nothing wrong with having a strong ego, since we need the mechanism of the ego to deal with this world. A strong, balanced, focused ego is necessary to succeed in any field in this world, but to succeed in the Spiritual Realm you cannot be self-oriented. To succeed spiritually you have to be humble, you have to be pure and simple, you have to completely vanquish the ego.
This is a very hard lesson for many people, and this is why the Path is very slow for them in the beginning. Even after they have started on the Path they still display that strong ego which they would normally use for worldly situations. They want to project that strong ego into the spiritual dimension. They think: “Here I am, Supreme Spirit, I will take you!” And a lot of people want to conquer the Teacher. They want to influence the Teaching. They want to influence the Path! They want to be in charge of it. They want to control it. In the Spiritual Life this simply doesn’t work. In fact, it produces the reverse effect.
This is a Cosmic Law. The more Mystical Illumination you experience, the more you will understand how the Spirit works. The Spirit works in absolute and unutterable Humility. So, when we enter the Spiritual Path, the first thing we learn is humility, simple receptivity, a simplicity about ourselves. We want to receive the Divine into ourselves in a very simple way. No artificial ego. No big displays.
When you learn to meditate deeply, you realize that you cannot reach a higher state of consciousness unless you surrender the ego. If you are in your ego the Divine won’t come to you. Vanquish your ego and the Light enters into you. From the very beginning it is vitally important to surrender the ego.
Self-Responsibility is the realization that the Path is yourself, that you are the Way and you have to make your Way, while at the same time you surrender that very thing which has made you a success or failure in the world—your ego. Whether or not you have succeeded in the world does not apply to Spiritual Life. It is another dimension! Understand that we are living in two different realities—a spiritual reality and a worldly reality—and you cannot apply your knowledge of the world to the Spirit. The Spirit is the Spirit, the world is the world, and they each function according to their own Law. The world works according to Law, and if you are smart you figure out how this Law works so that you can succeed in this world. If you have “the gift of the tongue” you can be a good lawyer and make millions. That’s fine, that’s the way of the world; you succeed according to your talent. But you cannot apply that to the way of the Spirit. The Spirit is a totally different reality.
Jesus said that the Spirit is like the wind which comes and goes (John 3:8). You cannot control the wind. You cannot make the wind blow some other way. Jesus used this rough analogy to express the fact that you cannot control the Spirit. You have to go with it. You have to surrender to the way of the Spirit.
This is shocking news for a lot of beginners. They think, “What? I can’t control God? I can’t control my Soul? I can’t control my Higher Self? I can’t control my Teacher? I can’t control my group? This is a terrible situation!” But there is nothing terrible about your situation. You just have to get used to it.
Self-Responsibility means that you stop blaming others for every misery that ever happened to you in life. The common thing is to say, “My mum and dad fought, so now I’m fighting with my husband.” Most people think they are victims of their past experiences, that they have to continue the patterns of the past. But the news for you is that every moment we are re-created. We don’t have to hang onto the past whatsoever! All of those psychological techniques which involve reliving the misery of the past are one-hundred-percent wrong, because the Spirit re-creates you every moment. If you tune into the Spirit, you are living in an Eternal Now, independent of the past.
If you wish to attain Enlightenment, forget the past. The past is gone, finished. You are living today, here, now, this very moment, and you are creating yourself now. The cosmic pattern of Creation exists within you in the Now. Every instant, the Universe is created and recreated as every atom goes in and out of incarnation, and on a larger scale the whole Universe goes in and out of incarnation. The Spirit is creating all the time. You don’t have to hang onto something which existed yesterday, a hundred years ago, or two thousand years ago. If you do, you are holding back your progress.
Many people come to do spiritual work and still hang on to the past. They say, “Oh I can’t do this because twenty years ago Aunty screamed at me and I still haven’t forgiven her.” You must realize that the past has nothing to do with the present. Period! Whatever anybody did or said makes absolutely no difference to you, because you are a Living Being in an Eternal Continuum, now! Forgive everything, forget everything, and get on with what is now!
Self-Responsibility is the first step in your Spiritual Life. It is a normal human condition to blame others if you fail, but you must learn to think differently. This is vitally important. You have to make your Way, and you can’t blame others if you fail.
There is a Divine Plan for you. Every single human being has a Divine Plan. So, what is your Divine Plan? First of all, you have to remember that you are an immortal Living Soul in a Living Universe, and, whatever mess you have made of your life, it was purely you who made it! This may be difficult to understand on the intellectual level, but as you meditate with the proper techniques, and as you begin to develop pure Mystical Consciousness, you will know this from practical experience. You will realize that you, the Living Soul, are an immortal Spirit living in the Fifth Dimension. (I don’t mean an astral spirit, which you will be after you die, but an immortal Living Soul existing beyond the Astral World, beyond Time, Space and Causation, beyond action and reaction.) And you will realize that how you throw yourself into Time and Space, and what you make of yourself, is your responsibility and nobody else’s.
This is not a philosophy, but a simple experience! As you go deeper inside yourself in meditation, you move out of your physical body, out of your astral body, out of your mind body and into your Soul realm, and suddenly you know yourself to be an eternally-existent, self-intelligent, luminous Being. You are a Light Being! And at that moment you know that whatever happened to you during many series of lives was simply your projection into Time and Space. This is when you truly realize that you are responsible for yourself.
Excerpt from The Sedona Talks (pages 90 -95)