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How to Have More Spiritual Power
by David Truman

People often think of spiritual life in selfish terms: the acquisition of spiritual experiences; the advancement of self. In those terms, the notion of spiritual power becomes yet another feather in one's personal cap. Without a doubt, spiritual progress is the supreme benefit available to the individual soul, but let us not lose sight of the greater truth: Spiritual life is not a solitary affair -- it is a love affair.
A genuinely spiritual life is one that brings love to life. Such a life is lived out of love for the humanity, and for the spirit that gives Itself to life. So, true spiritual life begins where the self-serving aspects of ego leave off -- and where the consideration of others begins. Active humanity service, and not so much the search for solitary gain, yields soul benefit.
In the spiritual phase of life, we realize that all life is joined anyway: we cannot benefit others without benefiting ourselves; we cannot benefit ourselves without benefiting others. And our influence doesn't stop where we lose track of it. Everything we do affects lots of people, passing our influence down a long chain of dominoes.
In the course of our spiritual development, our perspective on the meaning of helping deepens. We look for longer-lasting positive effects. We think, "Beyond getting along right now, how is this interpersonal action or communication going to influence this person in the future? How is it going to influence their future destiny, socially and spiritually? And how is their influence -- including what I may contribute to it -- going to affect the world?" This may be a big thought, but it is an important one.
Spiritual "surrender"
How can a mere human being produce a lasting positive effect that ripples beyond just one person, and persists long into the future? We can't see that far, or calculate that big! Fortunately, we don't have to do it alone. But to accept the help that is readily available to us, at all times day and night, we must be willing to cooperate -- to surrender.
Is surrender a four letter word, or a sign of true freedom?
To some people, surrender is a four-letter word, a word that suggests the loss of power. Look at it another way: surrender is just an expression of FREEDOM -- the freedom to let inspiration flow, the freedom to love. After all, we can't love if we can't let love flow. In that sense, surrender is a way of GAINING tremendous power, and using power effectively in the world.
One fine day, we will recognize what surrender really is -- something so natural, we almost don't even notice it. In that recognition, we experience great relief.
Relief in doing. When we are doing the right thing, we sometimes get special help. Perhaps, this time it seems easy to do something that was hard to do in the past. We feel a certain wind in our sails. We begin to realize that we are becoming part of a larger, more graceful process.
Relief in speech. Likewise, when we speak, we don't always have to rehearse, or think it over. The right words seem to come -- we seem to communicate perfectly, and it all seems right. Even if the subject is difficult, everyone is happy to hear the words of truth, and everyone walks away heartened and glad.
Relief from figuring out what to do. Sometimes, we don't have to think about the right thing to do, it just comes to us: "Yes! This is what I should do!" And when we do that, whatever it is, things seem to work perfectly. The more we follow that kind of inspiration, the better things work.
Surrender gives us this new ease and this new power: the freedom to act spontaneously as the spirit moves, in accordance with true spiritual inspiration. The secret of surrender is this:
Surrender is when sole responsibility yields to soul response ability.
Spiritual transmission
How does an inspiration become a spiritual gift?
Inspirations are intended to be transmissions. When we have a loving inspiration, do we act upon it, or not? And, if we act on it, do we act on it right away, or do we wait so long that its spirit is lost? The answers to these questions will reveal our effectiveness as agents of spiritual transmission. Spiritual responsibility is measured in terms of our willingness to implement promptings, and thereby engage in spiritual transmission.
Of course, it is impossible to proceed with an inspiration confidently unless you are sure that it is sound, and coming from the right source. All of us have lots of thoughts and inspirations -- some good, some not so good. One of the problems with "spiritual obedience" is knowing which inspirations to follow, and which to disregard. In the spiritual phase of development, we learn to clearly distinguish between a true spiritual inspiration which should be followed, and a crazy notion that might come from the subconscious or who knows where, but which, in any case, should be ignored.
How to distinguish a true spiritual inspiration from a random idea.
Here is how to distinguish a true spiritual inspiration from a random idea: A spiritual inspiration feels sweet and blissful when it first crosses your mind. It fills your body with a good feeling. Conversely, a strange idea -- like "I should jump off this cliff," or "I'd like to tell him he's an idiot," feels dark and uncomfortable when it first arrives.
Evaluating inspirations "on arrival." We must analyze the validity of the idea by the way it feels when it first arrives. We must not wait and analyze it later on -- giving ourselves time to think about it or react to it. There is a sound reason behind that. It is possible -- almost inevitable -- to have various reactions to a spontaneous idea. Such reactions reflect old habits of mind, fearful attitudes, or conventional prejudices. But those sorts of reactions have little or nothing to do with the validity or nature of the inspiration.
How to distinguish a true spiritual giver from a slave to convention and convenience.
We may have a great idea, an idea we KNOW is right and good, but we may be resistant to implementing it anyway. Maybe the idea cuts across some of the patterns of convention: to send a card at a time when it is neither a birthday nor a major holiday; to phone someone you just phoned an hour ago. The resistance or fear we may experience in reaction to any idea reflects our state of mind, perhaps, and our spiritual courage -- but such a reaction cannot, and should not, be used to indicate the validity of the idea, or to determine whether or not we should act on it. At first, our resistance is likely to be greater if the idea is a very good one, in fact. We are just not ACCUSTOMED to such purity!
Likewise, we need not take enthusiasm about the implementation of a BAD idea -- the idea of revenge, for example -- to indicate that revenge is a good idea. Just remember the rule: A good idea will always feel sweet on arrival, and a bad idea will feel bad on arrival. Act accordingly.
Positive confirmation
Reading the Bodometer.
Humans are endowed with a reliable system of inner feedback for spiritual guidance: the "Bodometer" (the body). Feelings of lightness or heaviness in the body show us how we are doing moment by moment. Willing obedience in properly transmitting good inspirations makes us feel very good inside, every time.
Also, ample evidence of the effectiveness of our efforts is clearly visible in the outer world. Good inspirations work amazingly well for the accomplishment of their intended purpose. Spiritual transmissions almost always make other people feel happy: they provide immediate relief; they promote useful and clear understanding.
The growth of Self-Confidence
True, unshakeable Self confidence is confidence in Self, not in self. This kind of Self confidence is attained through a right relationship -- an active, cooperative relationship -- with inspirational spiritual realities. We begin to develop confidence in Self as we faithfully transmit what we are inspired to transmit (as we do what we are inspired to do, and say what we are led to say). As a regular habit, willing obedience provides soul peace, and deep security.
How the Self works through human beings for world Healing.
In our spiritual evolution we develop confidence not just in Self, but also in the effectiveness of the work that is performed by Self. The Self-helpers give us the ideas and motivations through which we may help others.
These spiritual inspirations are enormously efficient, appropriate, and effective compared to anything we could come up with by thinking about it all. Transmission is something more perfect, more profoundly healing than ordinary forms of social responsibility can possibly be. Spiritual responsibility involves soul healing, a step beyond mere social/emotional healing. But more than that, taking spiritual responsibility has ramifications that are indeed planetary. You become more aware of the cosmic aspect of your own responsibility, intuitively, as you go along.
The growth of Self-Reliance
In this phase, we see time after time the remarkable effectiveness of spiritual promptings freely obeyed. This experience builds more and more confidence in the deep springs from which those inspirations come. As our confidence grows, our reliance grows. We learn to depend upon inspiration and spontaneous understanding to see us through life: to help us do the right thing in difficult situations, to provide clear understanding when we are confused, and so on. The habit of reliance further cements the bond that exists between lower mind and higher mind, between creature power and creative power.
Spiritual reliability
The cosmic aspect of spiritual response ability.
Gradually we learn to say and do the right thing, in real time -- as it is given to us to do. As we get used to this kind of obedience, we become more reliable, spiritually. Our initial habit of resistance wears down, and the process of implementation becomes easier and easier. Spiritual surrender substantially improves the ability to respond to the needs of others, and to inner promptings.
The interpersonal aspect of spiritual response ability is the ability to respond to the needs of others in such a way as to take their long term (spiritual) interests into account. The cosmic aspect of spiritual response ability is the ability to respond to inner promptings obediently and sensitively in both word and deed. A person who faithfully exercises response ability becomes spiritually and cosmically reliable.
Spiritual practice
Spiritual life on earth is an enormously practical affair. It is practical because transmission often occurs on a very down-to-earth level; it is an affair because spiritual transmission is indeed the transmission of Love. Our spiritual affair intensifies and improves rapidly with consistent and dedicated practice. The following five steps represent the essential practices of a spiritual life.
1. Practice Self reliance. Turn prayerfully to the Power that Be's whenever something is troubling you. Do not be upset and do not worry if the answer you think you are looking for does not seem to come right away. Instead, maintain faith and confidence that the answer will be provided, and go about your life with faith and confidence.
2. Practice discriminating. Write down, on paper, various inspirations you have during the day. In the evening, copy them over and analyze them as to their source. Consider the following items in each case: What was the idea; how did it feel upon arrival; what were your subsequent reactions to it?
3. Practice transmitting. Practice following through on spiritual inspirations. Relative to the spontaneous promptings you recorded above, answer this relative to each one: Did you act on it? Why or why not? If you did act on it, how did it work? Start by trying to complete a very small number of transmissions per day, and work up to a higher number.
4. Practice acknowledgment and gratitude. Note instances when spiritual transmissions have done beautiful things for you, through others, or through you, for others. And note instances when you suddenly came to understand something, inwardly, that you had not previously been able to understand. This observance develops your gratitude and your spiritual confidence.
5. Practice Mindfulness. Practice spiritual awareness, which is awareness of the presence and support of spiritual Reality throughout the day. This attunement (or at-onement) facilitates and empowers the love affair of the Spirit.

by David Truman

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