The first thing that needs to happen is this: quit limiting. There are no rules when it comes to the spiritual pursuit, but if there was but one, this would be it. Dogma has no place in the world that we’re headed to. There is no body, institutional or otherwise, that has rule over you. There is not one thing you need to adhere to on your path, simply because it is just that: your path. You decide, no one else.
Study, learn, celebrate, indulge. Feel it out. Make mistakes. If you are paying attention the path will make itself known. That’s the thing. All you have to do is live, and be mindful — particularly of what’s going on inside of yourself — and the truth as it relates to you alone will arise. It will not come from outside of yourself. It is not some template you pull in and impose, even if it is seemingly formed from the pieces you’ve managed to put together from all you’ve read and learned. While these outside concepts can be useful in pointing the way, opening the door and dissolving old beliefs, they are, if taken on without any inner guidance, utterly useless. You will train yourself into your own entrapment. This is something the mind would delight in doing, something that it cannot keep itself from doing when it is alone at the helm, because the mind knows only boundaries, limits, rules and regulations. The puzzle pieces collected by the mind will only fit together on the table of the spirit. The puzzle is two-fold. The mind restricts, the spirit expands. Together they find their balance. When they do, you will know it, because the result will be joy.
There is a qualitative difference here, however, between pleasure and joy. Again, it is possible for the mind to deceive you into mistaking one for the other. Pleasure is an earthly thing, and while there is nothing wrong with earthly pleasures in and of themselves, the context and limits are up to you to define. Only you know. Indulging in jealously and the actions that result thereof can be pleasurable. Stealing can be fun. Gluttony, avarice, drunkenness all of these things can feel quite good. So it is up to one to define themselves in this regard. If you cannot feel past the surface level these pleasures provide, then it is there you shall remain — until they fail to serve you any longer, until they end up causing you the pain they inevitably will, and the search for something genuine resumes.
Joy is different. It radiates in a manner that is much softer and much deeper. It is the movement within the centre of silence, the same energy that arises when one achieves the space of no-mind. It is also the same feeling that informs the ‘flow-state’, that manner of being in which one is active and moving toward large goals, but perfectly content and focused on the step at hand. However subtle it may be, it is a sublime feeling of peace.
And so upon the finding of this joy, there will be a free-flying shedding of limitation. The opinion of the world will cease to matter, because you will know that you are there, you have found it, whatever ‘it’ may be. The irony here is that, once you have found this strength and this path, ‘enemies’ will begin to emerge. Indeed, the creation of opposition, in this world, at this time, is an inevitable occurrence when one truly commits themselves to following the walk of the heart, when one discovers, uncovers, admits to and begins to speak the truth as they know it. And, as with all genuine truth, it does not seek to make others wrong, or declare any particular individual to be so, it simply carries the momentum of a powerful rise into consciousness with it — a strong and uncompromising clarity of vision that has a tendency to polarize, however inherently unifying it may be. Forces of opposing energy gather against it simply because it is becoming, and making itself known. It is as natural as any occurrence in nature, and therefore as it should be. Any person who finds themselves unwittingly garnering an audience of opposition need not be bothered by it — as long as they are true in their heart — as it is as simple as the growing resistance of wind when one increases their speed.
This is what happens when you move beyond the veil of thought and re-align yourself with nature — with the only true laws in existence — and surrender to their governance. You come into contact with the explosive truth of non-restriction, and inevitably experience restriction from the outside world as you begin to follow its path. Learning to keep this resistance from slowing your growth and stilling the message you bring with it then becomes the next step. This is often the point at which martyrs are made. Despite the incredible restrictions the world begins to place on them, they continue forward, as does nature, following the path of least resistance and demonstrating the incredible truth of it for the world to see. They understand that to restrict something is to give it strength, and thus do their oppressors empower them. Simultaneously they drain the strength of those enemies by yielding to them, even if it results in their own death.
This is what it means to be boundless, to know the truth as it comes from yourself. Any system of thought that preaches otherwise can be construed as dogma, and has no place in true reality. That which produces facsimile of thought, censorship, prohibition and rule over the ‘other’ of any kind is to be strongly questioned. Anything that focuses more energy on the other than on the self should be, fittingly, watched quite closely.
Beyond this, we would all do well to forget the other. Honour them, definitely; provide them an equal playing field, a non-judgmental ear, a helping hand when in need, the right to express themselves as they so choose, and let them be. Just let them be — let them create what they will, whatever it may be. Such would be a massive step in the direction of enlightenment for all.
Think of it. What would the world be if we restricted painters to one colour, writers to one topic? The idea is absurd. So too is it with the spiritual pursuit. To fall for the idea that only those who believe a particular thing, practice a particular thing, or conduct themselves in a particular manner can be on the spiritual path is just as ridiculous. In fact, even the label ‘spiritual’ is just that — a label. The joy within you can be unlocked through any number of means; the limits of the human condition can be transcended without conforming to one single thing — even the idea of non-conformity.
If something honestly speaks to you, who are you to deny it? Who is someone else to tell you that it’s wrong, or not worthy? Some of the most unique individuals the world has ever produced were also some of the most eccentric, the most bizarre. Yet if the rest of us were honestly engaged in the pursuit of the self, these people would barely stand out. In truth, it is our conformity that makes their originality; our fear in seeking our true selves that makes their embodiment of it so seemingly astounding. This is the difference between ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. We are normal, as it has been so defined, and they are natural — they have surrendered to the call of nature and become the individual they were meant to be. Nature produces only originals. And what more pure expression of spirituality is there than nature?
This is what it means to shed limits. This is what it means to find truth. If anything, it is our duty to stand up and engender our own uniqueness, to celebrate the bizarre, to create and reflect the immense, infinite diversity that undoubtedly comprises the Godhead itself, and to be fearless in our rendering of it. To do anything less is to sell ourselves short of that which truly are: limitless.