By Don Bradley



It was wonderful. Liz had stumbled through every kind of philosophy in existence, it seemed, and then finally discovered her True Path. A way of higher beingness where every question became answered and where all the things that were at one time confusing, instantly fit and made sense. This just didn't happen by chance - Liz was dedicated in her pursuit of the highest wisdom she could find.

Liz followed this group and then that one, she read everything she could get her hands on, and doggedly searched out every "new" teacher that came down the pike; her passion for knowledge and wisdom ultimately led her to the door of her spiritual path. The search was over.

As she stepped upon her path, Liz could feel every part of her beingness burst more into the light with each passing day. Each book she read exploded its knowledge into her mind and empowered her consciousness. The sunrises she witnessed seemed to speak just to her of their illuminating mysteries. Every flower, every wisp of a child's smile, and each random kindness that flowed from her glowing heart were the rocket fuel in which her spirit took flight.

As she continued down her path, Liz found her solemnity increasing she radiated a peace and understanding that many of her friends noticed and asked about, eager to learn the secret she had obviously discovered. And as her solemnity grew, so did her joy and happiness. Life's ugliness and misery dropped into the background, never missed and soon forgotten.

Centered firmly upon the way, our friend found she had to bring this spiritual consciousness into the other parts of her life: her work, her family and her love. The transition from darkness to light, though not easy, was attained with such definition that Liz discovered she was finally content and happy.

Then, after a time, Liz realized quite suddenly that the magic had departed. Yes, those sunrises still inspired, the books still spoke boldly of their wisdom, but something had changed. Terrified, she tried to remember the moment when the change took place and found she could not. She talked with her friends, researched her books, and attempted - she was very serious about her spiritual path - to uncover the reasons for this change, unable to find and answer.

The story you just read happened to a friend of mine, though I changed her name. What Liz and many of us experience is really nothing more than the vacuum created when we lose our enthusiasm and vision. Once these are lost, our links to our heart are no longer supple and fluid.

Liz is fortunate and has a Teacher - the true one in her heart - who helps her unravel the causes in her life which brought her to this condition. Some of us have spiritual Teachers who can aid us when our path becomes confused or misdirected. He or she can explain to us that what we are experiencing is what students undergo on their spiritual journey. This cycle of discovery and renewal, with its apparent period of withdrawal, is aptly termed the honeymoon of the path. It stems from the combination of singular causes: lack of enthusiasm, striving and maintaining our focus upon the real.

Enthusiasm is the charm, beauty and wonder which inspires us to reach and discover new heights within us. A child possesses this quality in abundance and it may be said that there is more than a hint in the Great Master's words about "becoming as little children."

Vision is the rudder by which we steer and direct our spiritual and mundane ship our daily life to the star in our own mystical heaven. Without vision, we can be turned in any direction by the slightest current or fad which happens upon us. This is dangerous because without direction and vision, we find that we can no longer discern just what it was that caught our soul and filled it with wonder and possibility.

Once vision, enthusiasm and direction are lost, we might just notice that our spiritual path is a thing of the mind having no basis in reality. And then, sooner or later, we wake up one day and ask "what happened?"

Yet, this is entirely natural. Like a new car, computer or house which we place a material emphasis on, it ceases to satisfy after the "newness" wears off. This, again, is entirely natural because in each case we placed our focus upon some external event or object as the source of our contentment and happiness. And, as the Great Teachings of all the ages and civilizations tell us, nothing external in the material world has any real basis in reality.

In fact, the material world is an illusion.

Placing our hopes, dreams and desires upon material objects, places or people will only increase the discord in the heart. This is by wonderful design. All of life is constructed in such a way so that each woman, each man or each conscious being learns the vital lesson that the source of all happiness is within.

When we find our path or our way in the world, we are very happy. Like any good honeymoon, the joy of discovery and love fills to excess, but this can never last until the true source of joy within the heart is discovered once and for all time.

After the heart is found and the focus centered upon it, all other objects in the mental, emotional and physical planes will ring as empty as a clay pot. If the student has discovered the true path within, then every material object in the world will echo that beauty back into their lives, making that new car, home or dress a source of real and lasting joy and appreciation.

Liz learned what each of us must learn one day: that the path means only one thing. To go within. Having discovered this secret, rest assured Liz has recovered her boundless enthusiasm and joy.

Don Bradley is a freelance writer and columnist living in Los Angeles and is the author of several novels: "The Significance of the One," "Freemasonry in the 21st Century," "Angels in A Harsh World," and "The Teaching." You can order these books by calling (818) 558-9543.

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