We are each of us a unique expression of humanity in this existence and though we share many commonalities, say with family, friends, cultures etc., we are still all individuals with our own lives to live and our own paths to follow. This is why when we talk about our spiritual existence or indeed growth we refer to it as a ‘spiritual journey’.
At the Irish Pagan School we acknowledge the uniqueness of each person’s journey, and all of our teaching is designed to specifically give a person the information and insights that might aid them along their way.
Accept our Ignorance.
There is a saying I’m quite fond of and it’s ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’. As with a lot of tricky things in language, the word ignorant has multiple uses and not all of them are nice. When I refer to our ignorance it is not a behavioural sense but in an informational sense that I am speaking.
We are living in the so-called ‘information age’ and as such it can be a very scary thing to say something as simple as ‘I don’t know’. We have developed such a fear of others’ judgement that admitting ignorance of a thing could lead to ridicule in the wrong circles.
Accepting our ignorance is not a weakness. It is instead embracing the fact that there is something new or more to learn. Approaching our spirituality with an open curious mindset makes everything a lot easier. There is nothing wrong with being ignorant of something, but there is if one consciously chooses to remain so.
Explore with Openness and Compassion
Once we embrace our ignorance it’s time to offer ourselves compassion. In this way we make allowances for mistakes and avoid many of the early pitfalls of any exploration. That is what spiritual growth is all about after all. A brave venturing forth into the wilds of the conscious, subconscious and even the unconscious mind.
It is important to consider the things that we need to bring with us on our journeys. In the same way that we wouldn’t leave the house on a camping trip without packing a bag, checking a map, and considering the tools we might need on site, our spiritual journey also has tools that can aid us.
Exposing ourselves to the recorded experiences of others who journey is a good way to gather insight. Taking time to read the lore of the ancestors, Gods, guides and guardians can give us sign posts to look for. Engaging in personal meditation and self awareness practices can give us the tools we need to remain centred, and also recognise what is a construct of our own mindscape and what comes from something that is Other to us.
Yet always remember compassion. It’s okay to get it wrong. It’s okay to stumble, forget, or make a mistake. There is no true failure as long as we continue to try. A pathway is never made with perfection, but is always made when there is at least some progress.
It sounds simple right?
When we are children it seems that belief comes easily. From Santa, to the tooth fairy, to the easter bunny… children believe with such single minded strength of will that to question them is to unleash a hurricane of curiosity as we are bombarded with the ifs, ands, and buts, of an open mind. As we grow our capacity for this kind of belief seems to diminish as we experience a world of scepticism and in some cases ridicule.
Yet what we are actually talking about at this step is not some childish willfulness in the absence of knowledge. It is instead an intentional choice, based on information and experience that we set our will to.
Whenever people talk about magic, be it performative illusion or intentional energy manipulation, one of the cornerstones is always belief. Aleister Crowley defined magic thus: “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will”. It is belief that allows us to gather sufficient will to create these changes.
From getting that new job, getting off the couch to run a marathon, overcoming our struggles and trials, or forging a greater sense of self in line with our spiritual journey, the first step is always believing that it is possible.
So Where to Now?
The answer to this question is simply, wherever your journey takes you. There are times in our spiritual growth that we may need guidance and as that old saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Yet that doesn’t have to define our personal spiritual journey.
We are each of us on a unique path of experience and though there are many sign posts or shared milestones along the way, there is no one true path to growth as there is no one true way that every mind works, or every body functions, or every spirit grows.
All each of us can do is be aware of ourselves, our personal limitations but also our personal strengths. When we accept our ignorance, explore with openness and compassion, and choose to actively believe in ourselves, our Gods, guides, guardians, and indeed the journey itself, we can truly achieve growth in our lives.
Where To Now?
If you think that Paganism is interesting, and might even be something you’d like to explore further, you can always:
One thought on “Miss these Steps in Your Spiritual Journey, and you will Regret it”
Thank you for this blog post! It brings to mind something that has recently happened to me in regards to my own ignorance and path. I truly welcome those “awakening” moments. Those moments when something is brought to my attention…..something that makes me look at the world from a different perspective….something that lends to an alternate way of processing thought. Although sometimes these moments come with embarassment, I welcome them whole-heartedly and am truly grateful for them. It’s because of these “awakening” moments that I am a better person today than I was yesterday.