The Chinese philosophy of the Tao, translated, means “the conscious way”. In Buddhism “nirvana” is a state where an individual has transcended thought and united with a stream of pure consciousness. Yoga means union with one’s one individual consciousness with the infinite divine. In gnostic Christianity, seekers believed they could embody the light of Christ, in their own life. Mystic Islamic sects, like the Sufis, also believe in an ultimate goal of dissolving one’s personal identity into that of the great One. Jewish mysticism also created concepts of how one could enter into the state of convergence with the un-nameable. The ancient Egyptians, had many veiled initiation rites, which brought people into supra-conscious states, where ascension, emergence into the great cosmic powers was achieved All of these ancient, esoteric religions and practices have a similar theme, and concept of what it means to be spiritual and what the ultimate goal is.
The ultimate goal of life seems to be taking our seemingly finite, drop of consciousness and merging it back into the great ocean of consciousness which begets all.
The pathway towards this sort of liberation, from the worldly delusion and suffering, begins with one becoming more mindful and aware of their own habits; emotions, thoughts, actions, relationships, etc. By bringing a sense deep concentration into one’s outward and inward life, differentiations can be made as to what is beneficial and what is detrimental. This is a cleaning out of one’s mind and body. Then, through the practice of detached observation of these processes, one can re-unify the psyche (the matrix of one’s being) and discover a life that flows naturally like an river.
In all of the ancient mystery religions, use of prayer, mantra and meditation was key to training the mind to be pointed inwards. That is, towards the light (God) which resides in the heart, or others say between the eyes. We are born into a world that conditions us to value what is external- what is material- but the esoteric religions point out that these forms are transient; only temporarily coming and going. As we concentrate our efforts inwards, we discover that our thoughts and emotions are also impermanent. Through deeper states of fixed concentration and then eventually, profound exaltation we discover that behind these phenomena is a absolute source of infinite energy.
We must take initiative to study these ancient religions and integrate them into the Western psyche. It is not a matter of emulating the Yogi, or the Taoist, but instead being inspired by their journey and in turn making the same journey inwards ourselves. Thus we can intuitively discover what resides in our own infinite inner space. As we each begin to align our conscious minds (ego) with the transpersonal (spiritual) dimension, the Western mindset, which has become bloated in intellect and rationality, can become more balanced and respectful of the intuitive and spiritual. This is vital at this stage in our evolution as humanity, especially as it relates to the planet as whole.