*** This article, in another incarnation, was previously published on this site some time ago. I updated it, and brought it forward as I feel its subject matter remains forever pertinent.
Did you ever wonder why some people who tread the road of spiritual development seem to soar like eagles while others seem to be walking in thick mud wearing heavy boots? Why is it that some aspirants sail smoothly to their goals and beyond while others stagger along and eventually abandon the search?
Obviously, the answers to these questions are highly complex, covering all manner of reasons why some seekers fall into the first group and some into the second. It is beyond the scope of this brief article to cover this subject in depth. However, there is one basic and simple factor that applies to everyone who commences the spiritual journey. In fact, it is at the commencement, the beginning, of the spiritual journey where some individuals lay the foundation for success while others sow the seeds of a less favorable outcome.
I would also advise anyone who seriously considers undertaking a path of spiritual development to consider the fact that one must be serious about the work and make a heart-felt, disciplined commitment to the journey. In a word, if a person desire to advance spiritually, regardless of the path chosen, he or she must make an act of consecration.
Consecration requires that we make a conscious decision at the outset to deepen our daily contact with our Divine Source, however we perceive it, and allow that contact to transform both our character and our way of dealing with the world. Consecration is vital. Without it, the real work of the spiritual journey cannot be begun. Consecration means that we get serious about what we are doing.
Consecrating ourselves to our spiritual journey cannot be a half-hearted, half-baked decision. Instead, it requires that we have a willingness to “convert,” to turn around, and, based on that commitment, strive to be all that we can be under the direction of “Big Mind.”
Consecration requires that we acknowledge and accept. We acknowledge that we are not living at the level we were designed to live at and we accept that a better way exists. Through contacting and connecting with our Inner Light, however faintly, we can develop spiritually and begin to live in a sacred manner.
We begin with acknowledgement, which in this context implies admitting to ourselves that we are functioning below our optimal level, probably nowhere near it in fact. In the spiritual context acknowledgement means coming to a living realization that left to our own unaided efforts, we can make little progress. We must admit that we are living far beneath our potential.
If we stopped with acknowledgement, we would be left in a dark place, indeed. If all we did was come to a living realization that we are not what we should be, and did not see any avenue of improvement, we would come to despair. There is, however, hope and that hope lies in acceptance.
After acknowledging our current status, we next need to firmly accept that growth is possible and that spiritual practices can be of immense help in facilitating spiritual development. This may seem simplistic and, in a sense, it is. Many people, however, spend much of their time in limbo, realizing that they are living far beneath their potential but not realizing, at the same time, that there is a way out. Being stuck in this darkness is a dismal affair.
As we move forward in the process of consecration, we come to accept that we live in a universe that is always changing and evolving, growing toward higher and higher levels of functioning. This is a transforming truth if taken to heart. It means that if we can connect with the vital Spirit within ourselves, which is a spark of the evolving universe, we, too, can change and grow. For those who are serious and consecrated to spiritual development, a wide range of practices from various traditions can be of immense help in facilitating this divine connection. Thus, we have the bright hope that by connecting with and cooperating with our Sacred Mind, we can begin to unfold our divine potential, discover our unique purpose in life, and move forward to becoming the optimal version of ourselves.
Once we acknowledge where we are and accept that we can improve, we can truly consecrate ourselves to the spiritual work before us.
Why is it important to make a conscious decision to consecrate ourselves to spiritual endeavor? The answer is simple. We have to commence our spiritual journey with a sense of reverence and seriousness. Let’s face facts. Many people are looking for shortcuts to spiritual development. Many individuals have the dream but not the drive, wanting to manifest spiritual qualities and reach enlightenment but lacking the self-discipline and self-sacrifice that is necessary. It is incumbent upon each of us, from the outset, to accurately ascertain what this path entails, the amount of dedication required to walk it, and decide if we are willing to move forward. If we are indeed willing, then we consecrate ourselves and get on with it.
(c) L.D. Turner 2008/All Rights Reserved