connecting psychotherapy and spiritual growth for human awakening
Next to being bound to the physicality of the world, as we discussed before, there is another binding and that binding is a welcome one. Spiritually we are obliged to embrace our potential fulfillment and destiny, which constitutes a binding in Truth. It is the binding of the religio, or the yoke of yoga. Both terms, religion and yoga, speak of the way in which we are given life in order to transcend it through persistence and spiritual discipline. Both western and eastern terms hold the secret to our freedom and liberation and how to accomplish it. We are bound to life in order to make it sacred. We have an obligation to make life sacred, to accept the yoke, to go through it again and again, until we have achieved sacred union with the Divine. In other words, we are bound to life in order to become enlightened and in that lies our authentic freedom, our liberation and Self-realization, and our union with Consciousness itself.
Authentic spirituality has absolutely nothing to do with morality, society, and relationships as you may know them or happiness as you habitually think of it. Peace, fulfillment, satisfaction, or human experience in every way is dwarfed by the genuinely spiritual. This does not mean that attaining spiritual heights can’t make you a better person, a happier person, a person who is more moral and responsible in his or her relationships, capable, sensitive, and skillful with others and in the world. It may well do these things. But these things are not what spirituality is about. Spirituality is about eternity; it is about what is absolute.
There are many people who are not necessarily interested in spiritual transformation or the deeper teaching of the spiritual way. Nonetheless, human beings are spiritual. It doesn’t matter if you know it or not. It does not matter if you believe it or not. We are human beings and human beings have a spiritual nature. When that nature is not recognized, understood, and honored then you are likely to suffer… unnecessarily. As so many have pointed out now, from Ram Dass to Oprah Winfrey to Nelson Mandela, the human being is magnificent, extraordinary, gifted beyond measure. This is true, for human beings are conduits of divine love, recipients and givers of grace and compassion, with interior worlds of unspeakable harmony, transcendent peace, and unending stillness and devotion. To reach these states is surely the goal of a purely intentioned, informed, and courageous human life. However, in these dark times, the way is unclear and many things are inhibiting it.
Just how these processes take place in this present era and how they stand in relation to a broader sweep of successive ages, evolving humankind, and emerging collective spiritual existence has been my lifelong concern and study. My conclusions are formed from my personal witnessing and participation in the psycho-spiritual healing and growth of thousands of individuals, my acquaintanceship, friendship, mentoring, and teaching with scores of teachers, gurus, and guides, and my personal tendency to experience all the methods and possibilities of development and growth, before theorizing or intellectualizing. I am under no illusions about my work; it does not offer shallow or necessarily easy or immediate rewards. With the right attitude much is possible. With the wrong attitude the veils are drawn even tighter over the truth and over what is real. What I offer is not for everyone. It is likely that within my lifetime it will remain the gift of a few, but I maintain that whether in my words or someone else’s, something of what we will discuss in this book will be the way in which humankind and the whole of existence over time emerges out of a natural cycle from the Kaliyuga, the present times of darkness, into another magnificent age of love and divine radiance.
Only a human society strongly and authentically rooted in real spiritual wisdom and insight can create a sacred culture where people behave with mutual respect, belonging, and compassion, a global society with love and devotion as a practical, viable basis for action, responsibility, and relationship.
If we continue to act in ignorance, to not know ourselves, and particularly, if we do not acknowledge and act on the crucial need to make real spirituality the basis of modern life, the long hoped for return of mutual respect, honor, and reverence for humanity and the natural world as reflections of divinity will be thwarted… and not merely delayed, but quite possibly in effect destroyed. If, however, the true heart of humanity manifests here in time and space through the collective soul evolving in love and consciousness, paradise will assume its rightful place: heaven will appear here on earth.
This article is an excerpt from Richard Harvey’s book Your Divine Opportunity.
This article was published on this site in December 2023.