Theosophy

The 3P’s of Spiritual (or Any) Progress.

Douglas Keene – USA

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For those that recognize a divinity in ourselves and our universe, we often wonder how to approach it. How do we open ourselves and unlock the secrets of the universe?  What is the formula for spiritual progress, if there is one?  How do we seek and engage our own divinity?  Many traditions have offered answers across the ages. One very simple response might be what I called the 3P’s of spiritual progress.

The first is patience.  Patience can be very beneficial in life. Some goals come slowly while others evolve. However, it was more than patience that brought them. Patience is fine, but it needs to be combined with persistence. We must be determined in our efforts, if we are to be successful. In aspiring for a goal, it is not enough to wait. We must reach out. We must be strategic. And we must be realistic about what effort is needed for success. We must calculate where we are and what changes we might need today to facilitate a different outcome tomorrow. We must construct the foundation before building the house. In other words, we need to prepare ourselves for the journey ahead, whether or not we are ultimately able to achieve the destination.

Years later I came across a quotation by the Master Kuthumi :

Let then the anticipation of a fuller introduction into our mysteries under more congenial circumstances the creation of which depends entirely upon yourself inspire you with patience to wait for, perseverance to press on to, and full preparation to receive the blissful consummation of all your desires.                                             

So, in this circumstance it’s not merely patience that’s needed.

Perseverance, or analogously persistence, must also be present.

Finally, preparation is essential. We must prepare ourselves through training, experience, education, and other modalities to make ourselves ready for a particular achievement that might be reached.

How does one ready oneself for a relationship, be it social, romantic, or spiritual, particularly for a deep and meaningful one?  Patience may be part of the answer but certainly preparation is also setting the pathway. We learn about ourselves with introspection, but perhaps even more so by how we relate to the outer world. Our lives become a series of events, often one leading to the next. How do we know ourselves? How do we mold our being?

Annie Besant in her book The Ancient Wisdom, writes “The whole body vibrates only in answer to the higher emotions, his love has grown into devotion, his energy is curbed by patience.”

This quotation reflects two of the paramitas, Ksanti (patience) and Virya (spiritual energy), as expressed by H.P. Blavatsky. Here patience is to temper to one’s devotion, not so much to damper it, but to channel it into the appropriate expression.  Patience is an essential quality, that like all qualities, needs to be used in appropriate circumstances. There will be situations where we lack patience but others when we are too patient. What we seek is balance, and the appropriate application of patience, as the situation dictates.

Master Serapis writes “The Germs will grow, Brother mine, and you will be astonished. It’s Patience, Faith, Perseverance.”  He elaborates on this more fully in another garden analogy:

 My Brother understands that once the germs are sown they must be left to themselves and Nature; any too inpatient hand that will interfere with them daily, trying to help their growth by pulling them upwards, and will not leave them quiet, is more than likely to bring them to wither, dry up and die forever.

The preparation has been completed providing fertile soil, nutrients, water and allowing the warmth of the sun to nourish each seedling. Persistence of both the gardener and the seed is needed. But then we must be patient for nature to unfold. The same is true for each of us on our spiritual quest.

Prepare, persist, and then be patient.

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