3 Paths to Connect with the Consciousness of Source
Art: Jessie Bayes (1878 – 1970), “The Erl Kings Daughter Sending Faery Servants to their Several Tasks”
In the Higher Self Yoga tradition, there are several different approaches to aligning fully with the wisdom of the Higher Self. The spiritual paths of the Higher Self are centrally broken into two broad categories, Paths of God Consciousness and Worldly Paths. While the worldly paths allow you to focus on the manifestation of your life in the day to day, many deeply spiritual seekers may find themselves drawn to The Paths of God-consciousness or put another way to path to connect to the Consciousness of Source.
These are three of the Paths of God Consciousness for those who are determined to seek the highest levels of spirituality, and orient their lives around achieving difficult spiritual goals.
These paths and exercises are based on the teachings from Higher Self Yoga: Book 1 by Nanette V. Hucknall. For more information on each path, along with more exercises for determining which path is the correct choice for you, pick up a copy from Amazon today!
1. Path of Illumination
The Path of Illumination is a path to the Higher Self. It involves letting go and forming new habits, new ways of thinking and new disciplined methods of working and acting. Your friendships will be limited, and though your family will be part of your life, but not the most important part. You will spend more hours alone than with others, and you will often need to overcome enormous obstacles that will require all your heart energy and your entirely focused mind. There are no direct rewards for this labor other than spiritual wholeness.
Most Important Quality for Followers: A powerful will.
Biggest Challenges: A strict, disciplined routine, clean living situation, openness to change and the advice of a teacher. You will need to work every day, every hour with the Higher Self and listen to its suggestions, and know when you are really in contact with the Higher Self or an illusion of your lower nature.
Before You Choose This path… ask yourself, are you ready to spend at least three to four hours a day in study and contemplation? Are you willing to sacrifice yourself and let go of all earthly pleasures? Are you ready to give up your attachments, whether they are physical or mental?
2. Path of Love
The Path of Love is the path of the humanitarian and of the compassionate Buddha. It will lead you in active pursuit of ways to help others. The person who attempts this path must be psychologically sound and able to disidentify from outer circumstances, to be very much in the world, but not of it. This person will be much more active in the world and will be required to deal with many more relationships. Times of solitude will be needed to regain focus, but, primarily, the time of this individual will be spent interacting with others.
Most Important Trait: A willingness to sacrifice personal needs to expand the heart to include others and to focus on service in the world.
Biggest Challenges: This path requires courage, strength of will, and sacrifice of one’s time and energies to do service. The person who attempts this path must be very much in the world, but not of it. It also takes a disciplined mind and heart, with an emphasis on using the heart at all times as an instrument of the Higher Self. With the constant use of the heart, there will be many challenges to be met on this path that affect the personal ego, personal love needs, and personal desires. Though more time will be spent on relationships, the person on this path will need to meditate at least twice a day and study for at least one hour a day and two hours on free days.
Before You Choose This path… ask yourself if you would prefer to seek the peace and solitude of a different path. The Path of Love is for the person who immerses themselves in the world and enjoys working closely with others.
3. Path of Higher Mind
The Path of the Higher Mind is for those who derive inspiration and joy from learning about the higher principles and actively training the mind to focus. The path is extreme in the discipline of the body, and employs strong methods to curtail any desire coming from the lower nature and any personal desires.
People on this path also need to do service in the world. Their dharma takes them into fields that can benefit humanity. They may want to live in solitude but generally they can’t. They are also the teachers who need to help others. Their methods of teaching will differ from those of someone on the second path, and they generally will be much stricter with their students. It is a path that can take them far before they must join the second path, the Path of Love, for the sake of wholeness.
Most Important Trait: Extreme physical discipline, strong enough to curtail physical desires and desires coming from the lower nature.
What it Requires: This student must be a vegetarian, have no sexual inclinations, and want more of the solitude of the first path. This path differs from the first path in that it concentrates on achieving shamanism and, in that achievement, attaining access to the Higher Mind. In doing so, the Higher Self will be partly accessed, but later in the practice, even this student will have to work more with the heart to become one with the Higher Self. Later, this will change to more meditation time, putting into practice some of the methodology that has been studied.
Biggest Challenges: It is important to remember to use the heart, as the Higher Mind practices can most definitely lead a person to become one-sided. There is also a tendency to become too intellectual and believe that knowledge is the only way to achieve God Consciousness. As a result, the lower nature can use this belief to make the person feel superior to others. This path is a far more difficult one because of these temptations. Those wanting to pursue this path must work every day on using the heart and look at how their lower nature can trick them.
Before you choose this path… Make sure your happiness is not dependent on being a part of the world. You also should not choose this path if you are averse to studying: the amount of time spent studying far exceeds that required in the others. Students on this path must devote at least three hours a day to studying and, at the beginning, at least one hour in meditation.
Exercise: How to Choose Your Path
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a spiritual path is whether a social path or a path of solitude is more suited to your nature and your spiritual goals. Take time to meditate on the ideal situation you would like for yourself, then ask yourself the following questions:
- If I could have more time alone, would I want to spend it developing myself spiritually?
- Would I prefer to have more time in my life to develop relationships with others?
- Are my spiritual needs being met?
- Is there something I have not done that is hanging over me?
- Do I feel fulfilled in my vocation, or do I need to change it?
- Are there relationships that I neglect?
- Do my relationships fit into my spiritual life?
- Is my spiritual life always separated from my everyday life?
- When I am alone, do I feel happy?
- Does being alone make me feel uneasy or unfulfilled?
- If I love someone, do I want to be with the person all the time?
- Can I have freedom in a love relationship?
- Am I in a relationship that limits me spiritually?
- When I am alone, how do I entertain myself? With TV or reading, Internet, etc.?
- Can I sit quietly and contemplate without feeling that I need to be doing something else?
- Is my life too full of outside activities?
- When I find myself with others, can I enjoy myself?
- Do I sleep a lot?
- Do I prefer being alone and exclude people as much as possible?
- When I work with others, do I enjoy the interaction?
- Do I enjoy being in a group?
- Am I silent in a group or do I take an active role?
When you choose a path, do so carefully. Read about the paths once, twice, many times before meditating on them. Look at everything that is happening around you and decide only when you definitely know which path is right for you. Use your Higher Self as much as possible and be aware when you could be listening to your desire body instead. Keep questioning your decision until you are completely sure about it. When you are certain you have made the right choice, put it on a shelf for at least a month. Then, take it down and test it again with your heart. Finally, take your decision to your teacher if you are working with one, and see if they agree with your decision.
These paths are based on a chapter from Higher Self Yoga: Book 1 by Nanette V. Hucknall. For more information on each path, along with more exercises for determining which path is the correct choice for you, pick up a copy or download to your kindle today!Go back