Monday, February 9, 2015

5 Stages on the Path of Wisdom

I have been meaning to blog about this for a long time. Just as there are stages of development that children go through on their way to physical and emotional maturity, there are stages that a person goes through on the spiritual path--and as you read them you may recognize yourself and your own journey, not just with KY but also with your membership in the church.

This is basically a summary of some really good information on in the Aquarian Teacher Manual. If you want to know how to get that manual, sign up for a Kundalini Yoga teacher training near you.

Stage one is called Saram Pad (the novice) –  It is the honeymoon phase when we are happy and everything seems fresh and new. We have left the pain of the past and feel the freshness of a new life on a spiritual path. We have found a spiritual teacher and feel the blessings of these gifts. 
Stage two is Karam Pad (the apprentice) – In this stage it is all about the action, doing, and practice. We become aware of the work to do, the issues and the growth needed to go deeper and we are doing it. 
Stage 3 is Shakti Pad (the practitioner) – This is the most crucial, challenging and transitional stages. This is where you confront your ego.  You experience wonderful things and work through neurosis or head into hard to bare realms.  The choices made here determine whether you decide to keep going, stay at an apprentice level, or quit altogether.  This is where you choose to follow your own desires or the higher values of the path you are studying. 
Stage 4 is Sahej Pad (the expert) – This is a stage where every thing is in flow. There is ease, balance, grace. You become infinite and aligned with your destiny.  The expert learns by teaching.
Stage 5 is Sat Pad (the master) – Gone through the process of purification.  Living a life of service.  When the observer dissolves.  There is no separation…just transcendence.


There is a lot more said about each stage and I hope you look it up on line. But I wanted to expand on stage 3, Shakti Pad. Because it is the most crucial. The following are some quotes from the manual. 
By this stage the student has a lot of experience. He has tested the rules, stored up conscious and unconscious abilities and habits, and he is overwhelmed and inspired by possibilities.... As an apprentice, each journey was assigned by the mentor. The choice is now the practitioners. ... A novice is  like the newborn. The apprentice is like the young child. The practitioner is like the adolescent who is ready to challenge the rules, to risk new combinations and to act in patterns that are unlike the past. It is a creative and dangerous stage. Just like the adolescent who wants the power of choice without the dangers of responsibility, the practitioner wants to make a choice without commitment. The practitioner who learns to command commitment, to overcome doubt and to discern the proper values, conquers this stage of learning..... 
The real test of this stage is the test of overcoming doubt; i.e., to create an action where all the parts of the mind are behind the original chosen path. This stage requires commitment. It requires involvement in the sense that the practitioner is responsible for the choice. Success and failure become portentous and filled with consequence. It is similar to adolescence, when the smallest rejection or acceptace by others is met with enormous reactions of grief or ecstasy.... 
In spiritual disciplines, this choice is the leap of faith....On the path of yoga, many students leave the path at this stage because they feel that some part of themselves has been neglected or rejected by their own earlier efforts. Others gain spiritual ego and fancy themselves complete even thought the teacher and teachings warn them against such a position. Others fade away slowly because they decide they are the exception to the rules, and they need not follow the original disciplines anymore.... 
Those students who act with faith and wholeness do well at this stage. Students who can search for differences from the main goal and correct their direction pass through this stage most easily. It is easy to forget yourself at this stage and become hypnotized by the satisfaction and power of the skills you have gained so far. If you surrender to the path and goal... you will emerge with strength and empowered with an unshakable direction. 

Now have to share the Fallacies on the Path of Wisdom. There are 4 common mistakes that students make on the journey when they do not understand these 5 stages. Here they are. 
One Level Fallacy- The student acts as if there is only one level. The world exists without gradation. This can come from a need for certainty or simple ignorance. The student stops the effort to learn more and performs task poorly and with lack of depth.  If you find yourself here, shake yourself away. There is more to learn!
Short-Cut Fallacy - The student believes s/he can skip to a later stage just because he can percieve that stage. It doesn't work that way. The stages cannot be learned without experiencing the challenges of each stage. Students who fall for this merely imitate levels of expertise but can't hold steady when real pressure tests them. Pay attention to the stage you are in and let the others play out on their own. 
Cross Domain Fallacy - Most commonly made mistake. Student gains mastery in one area and therefore thinks it applies to other areas.  It is important to keep a beginner's mind and be open and ready for instruction in other areas. 
Bootstrap Fallacy - This mistake comes from the assumption that the student can declare himself complete. Many students decide they no longer need a teacher--they are the perfect master. The ego believes it is powerful and great. The lesson is to cultivate a teacher or mentor at every stage. Continue to be challenged and learn.  

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