Spiritual Warriorship

The unique walk is how we hold all of the levels within the heavens and the earth at the same time. We are multi-dimensional beings. This includes the physical, emotional, and mental planes, and the plane of direct knowing or the World of Atzilut. Integrating those levels is part of spiritual warriorship. Spiritual warriorship is a very important component of spiritual life. The Native American way puts a particular focus on spiritual warriorship, which is part of what the Inipi ceremony and the Sun Dance are about. It is no accident that many of the great enlightened spiritual teachers were great warriors. These include Rama, Krishna, Arjuna, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and Jesus.

There are many levels of spiritual warriorship. I was fortunate to have had two different enlightened spiritual teachers. When I was first acknowledged as liberated by Swami Prakashananda, he spent a day with just me (and a translator) during which he made a very important point. He said that even though in self-realization you know nothing is real and everything is just a thought form, wherever you go you must hold the dharma. That’s a very interesting statement. You may be walking on the upper planes in liberated awareness but if you cannot walk the dharma on the Earth plane, it creates a great deal of confusion for your students.

Holding the dharma has lots of different levels of manifestation. The Tree of Life Center US and Tree of Life Foundation has a dharma. Every individual person is on his/her own healing and spiritual journey, and we are not to interfere with that. The general Tree of Life dharma includes no drugs or enticement of others into drugs because that undermines people’s spiritual path in the Tree of Life context. If you are going to go to Peru to use Ayahuasca this is whole other discussion, but we are not in Peru and we do not have this here at the Tree of Life Center. During the Conscious Eating course one can see the SPECT scans that show the amount of brain damage that happens with illegal drugs including Ayahuasca. This is an example of holding dharma. Another example is that we have very clear boundaries about male-female relationships, including respecting female space and the energetics of it. Maintaining basic boundaries such as these are just the beginning of spiritual life. If you can’t get that, you haven’t even started in spiritual life.

The next level is titiksha, which is a yogic term for spiritual endurance. Titiksha is the spiritual quality of endurance that enables one to make it through spiritual difficulties without getting lost along the way. Titiksha, or spiritual endurance, is a very important quality. It is based on the character development of spiritual will power. This is sometimes a beginning part of spiritual life that often gets skipped over, or not honored. Historically the great spiritual teachers of the East and Torah wisdom teachers tell us that this is what we need to do as part of building the foundation for spiritual life.

The next quality is what I call spiritual perseverance, netzach, or yearning for liberation called mumukshutva. This is a little different from endurance. In the Kabbalistic tradition we call this netzach. Different than endurance in dealing with hardship or obstacles, perseverance is the will or spiritual intention of staying on the spiritual path. Common to the different traditions are the Six Foundations. These are living as the vibrations of spiritual life. You cannot technique your way to God, or eat your way to, however the foundations are what support you in mumukshutva. The deepest instinct we have, deeper than the sexual or death instinct is the instinctual urge for the divine- mumukshutva.

Once you’ve gotten the lifestyle down, the spiritual warriorship powered by the mumukshutva (or urge for the Divine–the perseverance and equanimity in endurance) is what supports you.  Paradoxically, if you have a certain goal, such as “I’m going to get liberated” it is actually an egocentric distraction that gets in your way. One must be lived by this elevating lifestyle that naturally and non-causally brings inner spiritual joy. As you go deeper into it, you begin to access the anandamayakosha, the highest layer of the mind, which is a state of non-causal joy, non-causal peace, non-causal love, and non-casual compassion. This is joy, peace, love, and compassion having no cause as they are our natural state.  This non-causal love, compassion, and peace is the key to healthy relationships as well. We are joy. We are peace. We are love. We are compassion. This is literally our natural state. We may have many other things that get in the way, but we must understand that this is what we are.

As you go deeper, those non-causal levels of awareness become more and more a steady part of our consciousness until the glass ceiling of the mind shatters. That is key in understanding the bigger picture. Along with this is what I call the Essene Sevenfold Peace. To allow peace to happen in all of these relationships we must find the proper balance of boundaries. This requires a certain amount of spiritual work and maturity.

Once we have integrated the Six Foundations and the Sevenfold Peace, we are empowered to go a step further. The spiritual warrior must persevere as well as to go into the unknown. That takes a lot of courage because there’s a place where you have to let go of the idea that one is in control and go beyond the limitations. That is the final level of spiritual warriorship. This is demonstrated by Moses walking up the mountain into the unknown. Are you ready to walk into the unknown and to surrender?

We can see how spiritual warriorship affects every level of spiritual life and is, in a sense, the one thing that allows you to reach the highest levels of awareness. Faith is also a part of this. Faith in the Self (Shraddha) means living in a way that increases that direct spiritual experience (such as living the Six Foundations and the Sevenfold Peace). You are acting on faith because you’ve had the experience. Even if it was only for a split second you’ve had the experience, which is more than mere theory.

The Divine urge, T’shakat Deveikut, or mumukshutva, is deeper than the sex urge, or the death urge. The urge for God is our most primordial instinct. This urge is always there, and the spiritual warrior is the one who is willing to follow that primordial instinct into the unknown – dying into the nothing.