A quick review of the interior spiritual life model so far has described “the dawning” when a person realizes that there must be a better way to live their lives.
The “dawning” sparks “the turning” which involves starting to give up the things of the path of the ego so that there is time, energy, and resources to start the “search.” At this point, the person becomes “a seeker” and the question becomes where does the search lead? The first place we discussed was religion and for some people, especially early in their search, religions can be helpful, but the study of religion leads to disillusionment.
Creeds and tradition and ecclesiastical authority are empty vessels. The seeker begins to see that the creeds, and traditions, and ecclesiastical authority are themselves idols the are counterfeit coins in the realm of the spiritual. Increasingly, people in our contemporary society say “I am spiritual but not religious.” And so the seeker is searching on his/her own outside the structure of the church. The seeker is taken onto the path of the mystical and begins to realize that there is whole human experience of mysticism that has emerged in many religions and many cultures and is looked upon with fear and skepticism by those who feel threatened by experience outside the bounds of acceptable, normative, values, thoughts, beliefs, and practices.
As disillusionment takes the seeker into a mystical direction, the seeker becomes aware of the witness. The witness is that part of themselves that observes their own functioning.
The individual observes their body changes, their thoughts change, their emotions change, their social status changes, their personality changes and the one constant in all this flux is that part of themselves that observes all these changes.
The individual begins to realize that their self is a social construction and is not real. With this realization the ego begins to evaporate and what is left is spiritual awareness. The individual observes that (s)he has entered on the path of the mystic, the path of the spirit. The person in shifting his/her perception and awareness is “born again.”