The Spiritual Science of Enlightenment

April 26, 2024

The spiritual traditions of the East often assert that the process of awakening and growth unfold according to a science that can be understood and practiced. In the West the term science generally refers to the natural laws of the material world. In the East they also recognize an inner science governed by natural laws of the spirit.

I will never forget the retreat that revealed the scientific nature of spiritual work to me. At the time I realized that all of the practices and contemplations I was doing involved the repeated application of just a few simple principles. It was clear to me that if you know the principles, understand how they work, and apply them consistently, you will grow. There is no question about it, spiritual work is a science that works every time.

It is important to remember that although the principles of spiritual work are simple, the application of them is subtle and needs to be applied uniquely by each individual. I also don’t want to imply that the process of awakening is entirely scientific. There is certainly grace involved in the process as well, but those aspects that are scientific can be understood and worked with in ways that will yield results.

When I discovered the inner science to spiritual work, something changed in me. I saw the underlying principles that needed to be applied, and I saw that consistent application would lead to transformation.

At the time I wrote in my journal, “I am the source of my own inspiration” because I saw myself applying these principles during the retreat, and every single day my experience of reality deepened and expanded. At the end of each day I felt like there couldn’t be anymore to discover, and yet every next day I was amazed at how much more happened. I knew that the results of my own spiritual work was all the inspiration I would ever need. My spiritual work had become my best teacher.

My in-person retreats are a wonderful opportunity to experience working with the science of enlightenment because on retreat you receive the detailed guidance that allows you to understand and apply the principles, as well as ample time to experiment with them for yourself.

The science of enlightenment always starts with a cognitive framework, a metaphysical understanding, and I want to share mine with you here. There are, of course, different traditions offering different frameworks, and many of these are powerful, and it is important to remember that it is not always useful to compare frameworks. Instead you need to try them on then judge them on pragmatic grounds, and ultimately discover if they work for you.

My work starts with the idea that the most essential reality is pure energetic potential. It is an infinite source of possibility that can become manifest into experienced realities. This infinite unmanifest potential can be called Source, God, Divinity, Universal Being, or any other of many names, but whatever it is called, it is the potential for everything that is possible.

Human beings are agents of manifestation. We ourselves are a manifestation of the potential of source. The life energy that animates us is a direct flow from the source of being, and everything that we feel, think, and do, is a further realization of the unmanifest potentials inherent in source. We bring source to life. We allow potentials inherent in source to be realized as experienced actualities.

Spiritual growth can most easily be understood as the gradual or sudden increase in our capacity to bring source to life, or to manifest divinity. If we think of ourselves as a lens that the light of source shines through, then how much light shines through us depends on how open our aperture is, in the same way that the pupil of the eye allows more light to pass through when it is dilated.

As we grow spiritually we become more expansive and allow more of the energy of source to pass through us and subsequently we manifest more of the potential inherent in that energy. The aim of spiritual work is to open us so that more of the higher potentials of source can flow through into manifestation.

What constrains our opening is our limited self-concept, – that is our beliefs about ourselves, about who and what we are, and what we are capable of. Our familiar sense of self, the one that we developed through cultural conditioning and personal experience prior to spiritual work, is generally very limited. In fact it is often the uncomfortable feeling of this limitation that initiates our spiritual quest in the first place.

We are all infused with patterns of thought, feeling and behavior that reinforce our smallness and keep us from realizing our full potential. We can transcend these imitations through the application of spiritual science in three important ways.

1. Release limiting patterns of thought and establish more expansive ones. If, for example, we habitually think of ourselves as unworthy or unfit to manifest divinity, we will never open to our higher possibilities. We must gain confidence in our purpose and inherent power.

2. Open ourselves emotionally and physically to the higher energies of source. We need to be ready to hold the higher frequencies of source as they flow through us. This involves nothing less than the transformation of our nervous system.

3. Transform our lives so the people and activities we engage with amplify our true self. To hold and manifest the higher energies of source our lives must be shaped in ways that allow us to relax and remain focused on the higher dimensions of existence and possibility.

In subsequent essays I will explore specific principles that can be practiced to initiate shifts in each of these three domains of growth. Together they will give you a good understanding of the underlying spiritual science behind everything that I teach.

An online community of inspired individuals dedicated to spiritual transformation and mutual evolution.
Become a member