The spiritual path: An elementary introduction.

What is it? Is it real? What about enlightenment, cosmic consciousness, mystical experience? Are these fact or fiction? Can they actually be experienced and known - to be sure?

These are some of the questions that many people have when awakening to deeper understanding. They are part of a considered approach, and similar to questions asked before undertaking any journey - much less the road to the unknown - even when dimly remembered and beckoning again.

If you wanted to go to a far off land, you might look at brochures and read stories about it. Some would be true or partly true, and some would be embellishments of the photographers and writers. To get more realistic information you might consult a travel agent. Even better would be to discuss the trip with a well-traveled person who had been there. It could help make it easier to decide to go or not; what to wear, to bring, or to leave behind. It would help to get a sense of the guideposts, the sights, the easy way to get there and get around, and some things to watch out for.

The same is true of the spiritual path. It has been said that the spiritual journey is like crossing the ocean without knowing the landing spot, the route, or that there is a boat to use - much less how to use it. It would certainly be helpful to have the assistance of some one who has made this trip before; who knows the way, and who can sail. That is the guide. And it only makes sense that if one can be of assistance on an outer journey, then one can also help in the inner one.

The spiritual path is there for those who wish to travel it. But to know this is true and to know the answers to the questions above, a person must experience it. Reading about it may satisfy the intellect. Hearing from another may touch a deeper feeling. But to know, it must be followed to find where it leads - just as the taste of chocolate must be tasted to know it, or the land must be visited.

If you are drawn to the "spiritual path", by whatever name, it is helpful to consider these questions; but even more, it is helpful to discuss them, your concerns and goals with an experienced traveler and guide. "Seek and you shall find", and "when a person takes one step toward the Divine, It takes 10 steps to the person" are more than sayings. If you keep looking, pay attention to that little voice of intuition, are sincere, and follow your feeling, you will be led to what you truly deserve. You are now taking the first steps on the spiritual path.

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