a mere experience, a Spiritual Realization of any degree involves
a fundamental and permanent shift in one's sense of reality
is your sense of Reality right now? Odds are that, in spite of
any "spiritual experiences" you may have had at one time or another
in your life, the direct and tangible awareness of God or a Greater
Reality is not your experience in this moment, and is not your
constant or even regular experience.
this is so, then regardless of all those meditation classes, regardless
of all the spiritual reading you've done, it has not amounted
to a Spiritual Realization
that is, a fundamental
and permanent shift in your sense of reality,
and all your conclusions about it. Every experience has its limit,
because it doesn't fundamentally change the experiencer.
is not to say that most people open to the possibility of growth
don't experience some kind of shift in their sense of reality.
For example, thinking of one particular friend of mine, perhaps
one used to feel most people were idiots, and now one feels much
more compassion for people (in part having seen one’s own liabilities,
but perhaps also just because of a general increase in one’s sensitivity
to one’s own suffering and the suffering of others). This is good!
And it is a realization of a kind (a small "r"), if it takes the
form of a permanent, positive shift in one’s relationship to others.
But as good and necessary as human maturation is (and it is indeed
a necessity at the beginning of genuine spiritual practice), why
settle for little "r" realization alone? Big "R" Realization is
available to you as well! The shift in sense of Reality that is
a Big "R" Realization is profound. It is literally a shift in
Identity. All the realizations associated with being merely the
physical body are still little "r" realizations. But you are also
Spirit (as is everything and everyone). And you are the Consciousness
in which the universe is arising.
is a very useful yardstick by which to measure our current realization,
and our own life goals! Does anything we are engaging in now have
the purpose of Realizing Perfect Happiness? Even close? Probably
genuine Spiritual process is all about Spiritual Realizations,
shifts in one's sense of Reality. Such Realizations are the milestones
by which one can mark one's actual progress in the process, and
the process culminates in the Ultimate Realization of Most
should be noted that there are profound cultural and religious
taboos against God-Realization. Simply put, these stem from the
misconception of God as "Creator", rather than God as "Source".
In the former view, anyone who says "I Am God" is committing sacrilege,
because built into the viewpoint is an unbridgeable gap between
Creator and creature. Even mystics speaking of "communion with
God" has been risky business throughout the course of the Great
Tradition, but most of them survived that confession without torture
or excommunication for heresy, and a few were even officially
recognized as saints.
worth considering for a moment the common uses of the word, "realization".
Two common uses are worth looking at.