The Spiritual path deals with
(i) Purity: Refining one’s intentions via reflection
(ii) Self-Mastery: Overcoming carnal desire and exerting willpower over oneself
(iii) Self-Realization: Finding the ‘self’ amidst worldly distractions
‘Purity’ is solely judged by intent. Each action a person undertakes is ultimately brought about in pursuit of certain rewards. The reason why a person would seek such a reward can only be judged by the individual’s conscience – which sees all in ‘black and white’.
Selfish intentions (i.e. ‘black intent’) aren’t necessarily bad as they arise from a personal flaw or set of flaws which are to be reflected upon (i.e. brought to light), understood and overcome. A person who walks in-sync with their morals holds no burden in their heart, and as such, has a conscience as light as a feather. Such people are known to be ‘pure’.
Self-mastery is the daily practice of overcoming oneself. This involves dominating the lower self via neglecting personal pleasures. The objective of such is to alleviate the individual from being governed by pleasure (sensory experiences). This strengthens mental willpower as it asserts dominance over the urge(s) of the flesh. One who fails to master their body becomes a slave to it and is thus sanctioned into leading a life based on the pleasures of the lower self. This deprives the individual of their higher mind as they’re shackled to the body’s cravings.
Abstinence, fasting and periods of chastity are necessary for all seeking to come closer to their soul. These forms of Ascetism are nothing to do with torture, but of the practise of dominion over the body and the alleviation of the soul from the shackles of the flesh.
Each individual bears a mask of social identity. This is the combination of social factors regarding the person’s circumstances – their nationality, ethnicity, job, social class, family line etc. The amalgam of these factors constitute who the individual is (on a social level) and what they’re supposed to do or how they’re meant to act. However, these don’t account for the person inside – as a unique individual. Thoughts, feelings, interests and talents are fundamental aspects of each soul which are, more-often-than-not, eclipsed by socio-economic conditions and backgrounds. Forms of expression play a pivotal role in understanding the inner world and so does the immersion of oneself in activities of interest. It’s therefore essential to detach societal constraints which inadvertently keep individuals from being themselves.
What’s most important in finding the self is the realization of personal aspirations which are truly fulfilling to the soul. These grand desires (of the higher nature) become an individual’s ‘will’ or ‘soul works’ and are worked upon in order to pursue the self (i.e. crystallize).
The manifestation of this ‘self’ is synonymous with the term ‘Destiny’. Working consciously (and unconsciously) towards this goal becomes ‘first-nature’, almost seeming as though the stars do align when opportunities present themselves to the truest of hands.
“Via individuation, you find yourself. In expressing yourself, you become yourself”