Spiritual Survival Skills for a World in Chaos: Access the Strength, Wisdom, and Equanimity to Meet the Challenges of Our Moment WATCH NOW

How Independent Are We Really? Why We Need Each Other to Evolve on the Spiritual Path

by | Jul 2, 2020 | 0 comments

As a spiritual guide and teacher, I’ve worked with thousands of people aspiring to realize their spiritual potential. And if I’ve learned anything in the process, it’s that to evolve on the spiritual path, we need each other.

To truly realize our highest potentials, we need to engage in transformative interactions with other people who share our aspiration to evolve.

It’s a simple idea. But its implications run deep.

Notice how this idea strikes you, and perhaps you’ll see what I mean.

For instance, this notion that we can’t walk the spiritual path alone may resonate with the part of you that longs for connection and support on your journey.

But you might also notice that another part of you finds it difficult to swallow.

In our modern world, in which independence has become almost a religion, the notion that we need other people for anything seems like heresy. Indeed, if we were to embrace such an idea, wouldn’t we be giving away our power, and our freedom?

When we think about traditional depictions of the spiritual path, the picture that often comes to mind is also of a solitary, independent journey. The lone sage on the mountaintop. The yogi alone in the cave. The hermit in a hut. The wandering pilgrim.

Even if we attend church services or classes or meditation groups, most of us still tend to think of our spiritual path as a private, internal, solo quest in which we are the sole determining factor of our own spiritual destiny.

But how independent are we really?

If you’ve ever attended a personal growth workshop or spiritual retreat, you’ve probably noticed that in an environment where everyone is focused on our higher evolutionary potentials, it’s relatively easy to experience a spiritual “high” or to break through to new ground within ourselves.

But what happens when you come home from such an event, and find yourself again surrounded by people who don’t share your higher values and aspirations?

For most of us, in the absence of a supportive social container for our awakening, we find ourselves quickly losing touch with the new potentials that had seemed so accessible in the retreat or workshop environment.

Although we like to think of ourselves as independent, the reality is that we are social creatures. Our ability to co-exist with one another depends on our willingness to abide within a matrix of shared values, assumptions and agreements about what is real, what is important, and what is acceptable behavior.

So unless we surround ourselves with others who share our highest spiritual values and aspirations, we will almost inevitably find ourselves fighting against a kind of invisible but powerful “social gravity” pulling us back into the unenlightened, unevolved “world mind” we’re trying to break free from.

It’s not impossible to generate “escape velocity” on one’s own. But, for most of us, a sustained context of “evolutionary partnership” with kindred spirits becomes essential.

Where and how do we begin to create such an environment?

Begin by asking yourself some important questions:

  • Of everyone I know, with whom can I truly be my highest self? Among my friends, family and colleagues, who truly shares my deepest values and highest spiritual aspirations?
  • Do I have any social structures in my life in which I feel free to stretch myself—and my relationships—beyond my and our comfort zones? To reach into new territory without being concerned that I’ll “rock the boat” or scare others off in my efforts to awaken and evolve?

If a number of people come to mind, count yourself among the fortunate, and then arrange a meeting with your newly identified “evolutionary partners” to begin to create a conscious container for ongoing evolutionary partnership.

In that meeting, make your shared agreements and values explicit. As a starting point, I invite you to discuss with them one of the Principles of Evolutionary Relationship I teach in my Integral Enlightenment 9-week course:

Evolutionary Relationship Principle #5: We agree that the context for our relationship will be leaning into our evolutionary edges. Rather than meeting in our limitations and problems, fears and doubts, we take a stand for meeting in the expression of our highest potential. We take up the challenge of showing up and engaging from that place, stretching to manifest that potential now, and explore that potential with each other.

This is just one of seven Principles of Evolutionary Relationship I explore in the Integral Enlightenment course. But even on its own, if engaged with sincerity, it can serve as a powerful foundation for deepening into evolutionary partnership.

If your relationship inventory does not immediately reveal a core group of potential evolutionary partners, you may need to begin searching for a new group of kindred spirits with whom you resonate at the deepest level.

You can do that in your local area, and thanks to the ever-expanding power of the Internet, you can also now find community online. More and more opportunities are emerging all the time for us to not only find loosely knit spiritual community, but true kindred souls whose aspiration and focus is deeply aligned with our own.

Wherever your spiritual journey takes you, remember: you’re not in this alone. You never will be.

So, seek a supportive context for your higher development. If you do, you may find your solitary spiritual journey being replaced by a rich and joyous relational spirituality, in which the fruits of the path begin to show up immediately as love, trust and shared inspiration with your newfound partners in evolution.

-Craig Hamilton

FREE AUDIO WORKSHOP

What if you could transform your entire life into a spiritual experience?

Despite peak experiences that show us how life  could  be, most of us still find that day-to-day challenges pull us back into our old, unenlightened habits. But what if your entire life could become a spiritual practice—and a spiritual experience? What if every relationship, every moment at work, every minute at play could be infused with a profound sense of purpose and the freedom and clarity of enlightened awareness?

In this 90-minute audio workshop with spiritual teacher Craig Hamilton, you’ll discover the simple shift that can transform your spiritual practice and open the door to an awakened life.

Share Your Thoughts…

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

Does the Ego Ever Disappear?

Does the Ego Ever Disappear?

Question:  Does the ego ever come into alignment with the evolutionary impulse? And if so, what happens to it? Does it go away or dissolve? Answer:  It depends which ego you’re talking about. Ego is a term that is used in different ways, by different people to mean...

read more
What Wonder Woman and the Buddha Have in Common

What Wonder Woman and the Buddha Have in Common

Have you noticed that the number of movies and TV shows featuring beings with supernatural powers seems to be on the rise? Why are we humans so fascinated with superheroes? Is it because we can’t bear the overwhelming complexities of our world and find comfort in the...

read more

Craig Hamilton is a spiritual trailblazer whose innovative approach to transformation is bringing enlightenment down to earth and unlocking the codes to our highest human potential.

READ MORE

Explore

Meditation
Awakening
Evolution
Spiritual Life
Q&A
READ
WATCH
LISTEN

Subscribe

Subscribe to Craig’s weekly Awakened Life Newsletter to receive his latest inspirational teachings and guided meditations.

Recent Posts

Can Flow States Transform Us?

Can Flow States Transform Us?

“Flow” is a popular concept in spiritual and personal development circles; And getting into flow states is often considered a kind of spiritual practice. But there’s a big difference between these peak experiences and the kind of spiritual awakening that leads to...

read more
Two Ways to Go Beyond the Mind

Two Ways to Go Beyond the Mind

In spiritual teachings, we’re often told that we need to let go of our minds and embrace the unknown. But how can we do that in a healthy way that doesn’t involve dumbing down or fighting with our thoughts? And what, specifically, are we letting go of? In this audio,...

read more
Never Doubt Your Intention

Never Doubt Your Intention

Question:   Recently, I came to a point on the spiritual path where I had a real reckoning with my soul. I realized that at this point, I needed to choose whether or not I wanted to “go all the way” and really align my life with my highest spiritual calling. It was a...

read more
Guided Meditation: Letting Everything Be As It Is

Guided Meditation: Letting Everything Be As It Is

One of the most liberating stances we can take in meditation is to allow everything in our experience to simply be—relinquishing our compulsive need to control or judge or make a problem out of anything. In this 12-minute audio, Craig guides a meditation on the simple...

read more