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What is Spiritual Growth?
Spiritual growth is the growing awareness of a higher level of consciousness. A higher level of consciousness brings an expanded view of reality. The more your view of reality expands, the more you are able to integrate conflicting issues within yourself.
The Shift into higher consciousness is propelling today’s search for spirituality and meaning in life. Spiritual growth involves gaining a deeper sense of inner awareness. Deeper awareness ranges from light meditation to a complete and blissful union with your true, inner self.
Spiritual growth has become such an urgent issue today because everyone is under
an unprecedented pressure to grow. They may not know that they are growing. They
may resist it. They may be in denial that today’s great changes affect them.
Nevertheless, these are the days of great change, an era called the Shift.
The Shift is a steady rise in consciousness which is affecting the entire
planet. It is similar to the cultural shift of the Renaissance, only amplified
several times over. The Renaissance was merely a practice run for today's
Exposure to the deeper states of meditation have the long-term effect of raising
your everyday level of awareness. The higher the frequency of your
consciousness, the more likely you are to see the synchronicity of events in
your life and gain intuitive insights into these. The universal theme playing out on Earth today is shifting from one of
separation to one of integration. Integration means learning how to love and
accept yourself, and others, completely and unconditionally.
Deeper awareness opens the door to an inner sense of the connectedness of all life. You begin to see other people as different expressions of the same Infinite Being. Not better than, not less than, just different than yourself. In the deeper awareness of spiritual growth, the universe is seen to be within, not something separate and outside of yourself.
Inner integration is a process that causes issues of separation to arise so that
they can be resolved. In society today, issues are coming up so rapidly that
society appears to be in turmoil or chaos. This turmoil is actually a great
society-wide healing, with issues becoming resolved one after another.
People are becoming more sensitive in many ways as the frequency of
consciousness rises. The search for lighter diets is just one manifestation of
this new lightness of being.
The physical senses are becoming more acute. An example of this is people’s sensitivity to the smell of cigarette smoke in work places and restaurants. Back in the 1970s, people smoked everywhere and very few noticed any discomfort from it. By the 1990s, however, the majority of people’s sensitivity had changed so much that they couldn’t wait to get smoking banned from indoor gathering places, and the sooner the better.
With the rise in consciousness comes a rise in personal empowerment. People are no longer willing to tolerate abuse or inequality in any form. Many forms of abuse which were traditionally ignored and tolerated have now come out into the public view for examination and reform.
David: Icon of the Renaissance. The Renaissance movement was inspired by the icon of Michelangelo’s statue of David. The statue portrays David, strong-willed and ready, at the moment that he decides to engage the threat posed by Goliath. This icon of personal empowerment resonated with the cultural shift of the time.
People wanted to explore their potential, taking personal initiative in their lives. Before this, they had seen life as a sequence of events caused by a pre-ordained destiny. Up until that time, people had resigned themselves to a pre-ordained flow of events which they saw as being outside of their control.
When people shifted towards the attitude that they might also be pre-ordained to take some personal initiative, then everything began to shift. Then the floodgates of possibility opened up as people began to explore their true potential.
In that same era, humanity on Earth still thought that their planet was the center of the universe. The Sun was seen as orbiting around the Earth, and the stars were merely a decorative backdrop in the Creator’s sky. Today, it is known that the universe measures billions of light years across, contains countless billions of galaxies, with each galaxy typically containing billions of suns.
The number of planets in the universe is so large that people find it hard to wrap their minds around such an expanded view of reality. All of those trillions of planets were created by the One Creator, so today there is a need to explore the concept of God in the light of this expanded awareness. Faced with such an expanded vision of the universe, how are people to grasp the concept of such a huge Creator in a way that makes sense today?
What would David have done? As he faced the looming Philistine giant Goliath and readied his slingshot, to whom did he pray? Did he invoke the power of an external God for his protection? Possibly, but not likely. As portrayed in the Michelangelo statue, his face was set, not with a need for protection, but in a defiance born of inner strength and determination.
Everyone possesses such inner strength. It is appropriate here to remember the
lessons of the past, lessons from those days of frequent mortal combat. One of
the great lessons was to realize the incredible inner strength that could unfold
in the face of such mortal combat.
The advanced version of the lesson occurred when an individual decided that the cause was more important than themselves, and became willing to sacrifice their life for the greater good. Then, with the last shackles of personal caution released, the individual became like an invincible David. Whether they physically survived the battle or passed away into the afterlife, they became permanently transformed in awe at the depth of the personal power that they had discovered within themselves.
The Power Is Within You
That same source of incredible personal power is available within everyone. That source is your inner self. Often referred to as the soul, the inner self is the permanent part of you. While the physical body can pass away from the physical world, and later the spirit body can pass away from the spirit world, your inner self is the real, permanent you.
It is the part of you that is permanently joined with your soul family in
vibrant love and harmony. And the more you contact your inner self through
meditation, the more you can tune into this source of strength, love and
harmony. People’s connection to the Infinite Being
always has been through their soul, or inner self. Inner
contact through meditation is the most peaceful, and the most productive, part
of the day. Everyone deserves quality time. When you make quality time the first
priority of the day, then regular meditation will happen and the benefits will
be automatically yours.
Put meditation at the top of your To Do list for each day and watch your spiritual growth unfold.
Intuition is a sense of instantaneous knowing that does not involve a linear,
logical thought process. Intuition involves the use of senses other than the
five typically considered the full range of human sensory perception. There are
different theories about where intuitive information originates; some feel it
comes from our own "higher selves", others from God or another spirit source,
and some believe intuitive information is accessed by connecting with a
universal data bank of knowledge.
Intuitive information is helpful in a number of ways. Our society values input
from our five physical senses and from logical reasoning. Intuitive information
is often discounted or ignored. Our natural ability to sense information that is
more subtle than can be perceived by the five senses, or more holistic than can
be deduced by reasoning, has withered from disuse. Intuitive information can
compliment intellectual, emotional, and physical information to paint a clearer,
richer picture of the situations and challenges in our lives.
Living intuitively creates a sense of peace for the divine order of manifestation. You feel totally guided and cared for. It transforms doubts and shadows into trust. You listen for directions by paying attention to your voice of guidance and integrity. You learn to contact and communicate with different frequencies and dimensions. Seeing the physical world with love allows you to live with understanding and compassion.
Recognize Your Weaknesses Without Hiding Behind Them
While improving our self-knowledge and realizing our true goals can be very liberating, we should not discard the rules of the society in which we live. We must recognize that other people's value systems are no less important than our own. And we must recognize and accept that we live in a society in which certain personality types and behaviors are more suited towards particular tasks. This is the second key that will open the door towards personal growth.
For example, there are situations in which it is more appropriate and effective
to show compassion and caring (Feeling), rather than impersonal logic
(Thinking). Likewise, there are situations that call for using impersonal logic
to make a decision, in which the more subjective viewpoint of the Feeling
function is inappropriate and ineffective. Persons with a preference for Feeling
will have a natural advantage over Thinkers in situations that require
compassion and awareness of other's emotions. Conversely, persons with a
preference for Thinking will have a natural advantage over Feelers in situations
that require the ability to make a decision based on impersonal data.
As we learn about our personality type and the types of others, we are empowered
with an understanding of why people react differently in different situations.
When put into the context of Psychological Type, we can better accept and
understand people's behaviors that are different from ours. These insights are
extremely useful and powerful to us as individuals. However, if we are concerned
with growing as individuals, we must take care not to use personality type as an
excuse for our inappropriate behavior. While it's powerful and useful to notice
that another person's inappropriate behavior may be due to their personality
type, we cannot use the same reasoning on ourselves. We should recognize that
our personality type has weaknesses, but we must use that knowledge to conquer
those weaknesses rather than to excuse poor behavior. We cannot be responsible
for other people's behavior, but we can control our own.
Accordingly, if we notice that someone seems to be unable to make an impersonal decision that is isolated from human perspective, we should say to ourselves, "Ah ha, here is a Feeler. This person does not use Thinking well, and that is why they're behaving this way." Yet when we as Feelers are presented with a situation that requires an impersonal approach, we should NOT say to ourselves "I am a Feeler, and can't be expected to make decisions based purely on impersonal facts and logic." This kind of rationalization for behavior is certainly an easy way out of a situation, but it enforces the weakness, making it weaker and weaker still.
Strive for Balance
Most of the weaknesses associated with any given personality type are a result of that type's dominant function overtaking the personality to the extent that the other functions become slaves to the dominant function. Although it is natural for every personality to be ruled by its dominant function, it becomes a problem when the supporting functions are not allowed to develop fully on their own because they are too busy "serving the master". In such cases, a personality can become quite imbalanced.
A situation in which the dominant function of a personality completely
overshadows the other personality functions is analogous to a kingdom that is
ruled by an overbearing king who requires absolute servitude. Imagine such a
king sitting down to dinner in his castle. He keeps all of his servants running
about to bring him dinner, and requires that they serve him fully (disregarding
their own needs) until he is completed sated. His Foreign Minister, who is
expected at an important affair at a neighboring kingdom, finds himself pouring
ale. His Minister of Domestic Affairs, rather than addressing the issue of a
failing economy, slices roast turkey. His staff grabs food for themselves here
and there, but never get what they really need or want, and are consequently
unsatisfied, malnourished, and underdeveloped. The issues that the staff should
be taking care of are left undone, because they never finish their primary task
of serving the king. The king's immediate needs are being met, and so he is
tolerably happy, but he is an ineffective king. As far as he knows, everything
and everybody exists simply to serve him. He has no concept of Success beyond
his daily needs. Since he cannot see beyond his own needs, the entire kingdom
Likewise, a personality that has developed with a goal of serving the dominant
function above all other considerations often results in a person who is
imbalanced. In severe cases, the weaknesses associated with the given type are
often quite apparent to others, and overshadow the individual's natural
strengths. Such a drastic imbalance is not common, and may be the result of
continuous and extreme stress. Most people will experience times in their lives
during which they are stressed to the point of serious imbalance. People who
experience this constantly have issues that need to be dealt with, and should
Much more commonly, we see individuals who exhibit both the strengths and
weaknesses of their type. It is natural and healthy that each personality type
is ruled by a dominant function, and that the other functions support the ruling
function. We don't seek to change anyone's natural self, or to achieve a perfect
balance amongst a personality's functions. By definition, a kingdom needs a king
in order to exist, and a personality needs a dominant function. However, a
kingdom with a well-developed and effective king (the dominant function), who
has well-trained and educated advisors (the supporting functions), will thrive
more than the kingdom ruled by a neglectful king who is supported by
As we can see, Balance and Success are relative terms. They have different meaning for each of the sixteen personality types. One statement using these terms is true for all types: Balance is the key to Success.
Opening the Door
So how do we go about realizing what's truly important to us? How do we recognize our weaknesses, and learn not to hide behind them? How do we become balanced? How do we open that magical door that will show us the way to personal growth and success?
There is no quickie scheme that will make you a successful person. Psychological
Type is a powerful aid in our quest for excellence, but it is not the actual
solution. It is a model that will help you to expand your understanding of human
nature. An improved understanding of yourself and others will help you to find,
follow or expand your path. An awareness and acceptance of the fact that one
personality function may be more effective than another function in a given
situation will help you to understand the relevance of personal growth to your
Carl Jung identified a process of personal growth that he called individuation,
which is essentially the conscious realization of your true self, beyond the
persona that is presented by your conscious self. Our efforts to help people
develop themselves is essentially the effort to help them to realize that their
personal perspectives and conscious ideas are only a small part of who they are,
and that the more they try to develop and defend this superficial "self", the
further they get away from their true Self. This realization helps a psyche in
many concrete ways, and is also a positive step towards promoting a psyche that
is open to the process of individuation. For the purposes of making this
realization accessible to the general public, our writings are mostly void of
complex theoretical discussion.
We live in a world of paradox ...
where things are seldom as they appear. We witness events or encounter evidence that doesn't make sense, or that seems contradictory, ugly, or painful. As a result, some become jaded realists, while others shut their eyes and escape into a private world of fantasy or despair. A few, however, somehow find a way to remain awake and engaged, and are able to reconcile and even redeem the inevitable contradictions and setbacks of life. Thus, they find a way to experience true peace, happiness, love, beauty and stability. All the great mysteries of life are paradoxes: life & death, spirit & matter, real & unreal. These all must be faced squarely if one is to find true repose. How is this done?
Become enlightened and empowered ...
We are attempting to become Masters of our own lives... to become enlightened and empowered. All of us are at different steps on the staircase, or at different paces down the road. But we are beginning the journey and doing well!
We must continue to grow if we are to succeed and truly become Masters of Light. As we become a Master, we are able to help humanity. The three most important stages of Enlightenment are to know your Self, perfect your Self, and Empower Others.
Know Your Self
As a potential Master you must know yourself. If you believe you are greater than you are, then you become arrogant and vain! Or if you believe you are lesser than you are, you cannot help and teach others. You need to become an independent observer of your behavior. You must step outside of your Self. Begin to look at yourself objectively to see your faults and virtues. Increase the virtues within you and work on changing the faults!
Many people believe that it is loveable to have a few faults. They may think it is alright to be a little lazy or a little impatient. But if these same qualities were in a Master, you would be very critical of this! You would not like a Master to be arrogant, vain, selfish, lazy, or to anger easily. And if you to are to become a Master of Light, then you need to begin to truly look at your Self. Begin the process of perfecting your Self.
Perfect Your Self
Perhaps you will not gain 100% perfection in this Life, but you can certainly begin the process! Be courageous enough to truly look at your faults and see how you stop the Light from coming in. Think of yourselves as a mighty Lighthouse. A Lighthouse protects little ships at sea from crashing on the rocks.
There they stand, mighty and proud, with a beautiful Light within. But if the windows of the Lighthouse are covered with debris, then the Light cannot shine out! And this is the same with you. Look at your faults and work on them. Shine your windows and then your own Inner Light can save others from crashing on the rocks! Begin to be kinder, more humble, but at the same time use the strength within you to work toward the Light. Become a source of unconditional love. If you can see patterns in your life that have been destructive in the past, reach deep within and change them. In the future you can teach others how to release themselves from these patterns.
Examine your body, mind, and soul. Work on all three areas to perfect yourself. Begin the process, for this is why you have incarnated! So that you can perfect yourselves on all levels.
By empowering others, you empower yourself. By teaching others, you teach yourself. By healing and counseling others, you heal and counsel yourself. This work is done out of unconditional love. As others become full of Light, your Light increases, too. But you cannot empower others if you do not know yourself. Start to perfect your inner Being. Your light will radiate as you begin to teach from the heart!
There are many ways to Love yourself. Everything that happens to you is an opportunity to have a loving experience. When things seem to be going against you, they are showing you areas that require more Love. Send Love to those inner places which need it most. Love means accepting yourself as you are right now.
There are no exceptions to this contract. It is an agreement to appreciate, validate, accept, and support who you are right now. Many regret the past. They think about times when they might have handled a situation in a higher way. Others look to the future to make who they presently are, inadequate. The past can assist you in remembering times you have succeeded. And the future can be your friend if you learn to envision it as your next step of the journey. Do not make your self wrong because you have not yet achieved your vision. Validate and Love your Self at this moment.
One of the ways to Love your Self more is to stop comparing yourself to others. Although you are part of a whole, you are also an individual Self with your own Path. Sometimes you are told things that do not resonate with your Inner Being (i.e. "It is good to meditate.") The challenge of loving the Self is to step aside from everything you are told and ask, "Does this fit me? Does this bring me joy? Do I feel good when I do it?" There is a temptation to make something outside yourself decide what is "right" for you, such as a book or authority figure. Listen to your Inner Truth. Ultimately, it is your own experience that counts.
Feelings Of Guilt
Another way to Love your Self is to release feelings of guilt. People may want you to think and act in ways that fit their idea of what is correct or incorrect behavior. One way for others to gain control over you is through guilt, anger, or withdrawl of Love. Parents might use these tactics to dominate their children. When you feel strong and in control of your life you can come from the Heart. You do not need to engage in power struggles or make excuses for your behavior. Give your subconscious the message that you are acceptable. In making your Self acceptable, you give others the freedom to Love themselves, too.
A third quality of Self Love is forgiveness. If there is anything you are hanging onto, an anger, a hurt, a negative feeling about another, then you are keeping it in your aura. The person you are angry at is affected, but not as much as you will be. Negative energy that is part of your aura attracts more negative energy. Forgiveness cleanses and heals your aura.
By reflecting on these Soul characteristics you will magnetize them into your aura, increase them, and draw energy of a similar vibration. Whatever you think of, so you are. If everyday you ponder on one of the qualities of the Higher Self, you will create it as a positive, loving experience for yourself.
Concerns about relationship and health, finance and career, spiritual practice and higher purpose, are all relevant, timely, and divine. If we are to take responsibility for our own process and healing and live our lives with full awareness of the true gifts we have been given, what information or insight might benefit us at this particular time?
I believe that all have the power within to make the choices to pursue the path in life they wish. Each of us must walk our own path (not that dictated by another) to fulfill our soul's desire.
This part of my guidance is geared on helping you find YOUR path and tools you have brought in with you for this lifetime.
My purpose is not to take your power away from you, each of us require assistance from time to time in clearing up a "cloud" around a situation, however; my goal is to assist YOU in finding the center of YOU the place within where all true answers are found whereby; we find our true empowerment.