Maps To Awakening – The Map Isn’t IT
Imagine if you would, traveling to a new destination. Knowing how to get there would prove quite helpful for starters. Especially if you’d never been there. Before GPS and modern technological navigation arrived there were paper maps that were commonly used to navigate to locations we had never visited. Before maps there were other means like the stars, sun, moon, and also the good ole (not so reliable) word of mouth.
In today’s digitized society more people have greater access to spiritual teachings than in any other time in history. The internet for better or worse has brought both ancient and new teachings to our fingertips and eyeballs. With that proliferation of content it also seems that there’s also the inevitable tendency towards fanaticism and entrenchment of that knowledge.
How quickly we can become attached to tools, teachings, and pointers that we’ve long since outgrown is interesting and worth paying attention to. Particularly once they have served their purpose and lifespan for our particular stage of advancement in consciousness.
If we are devoted to our awakening in its purity more than we are attached to the comfortable experience of “cerebral spiritual knowing” about spirituality these pointers will gently be laid to rest naturally. This is why the Buddha said that once we have crossed the shore we need not carry our raft upon our heads. Not that we should not or could not honor teachings, tools, customs, or traditions of a lineage but more importantly is it that we wear them loosely if it still feels natural to do so.
Maps in consciousness (spiritual teachings) are beautiful and oftentimes very necessary pointers that give structure and direction through our awakening process. Without them most of us would be lost not knowing that which is helpful to our process. The map is not (It) though just as a city signpost is not the city itself. A map of Venice, Italy is not Venice, Italy. Right?
Over the years I’ve been graced with many teachers, teachings, and pointers. All of those are still very valid today were I to look to each again today for guidance and direction. I still occasionally do but it’s much more of an intuitive, occasional occurrence of spontaneous prompting and it almost always serves as reassurance rather than an inquisitive motivation to “know” something more.
There’s a lot of truth out there and the beautiful thing that’s always amazed me is the flavors it can come in. It seems grace has almost assured that there is a legible map for anyone who earnestly desires freedom.