The very thing you are after -- the essence -- is inside of you all the time. And you don't have to leave the physical earth to find it.
The reason for doing spiritual exercises is to learn to be aware of the spiritual realms while you are conscious here.
There are no choices outside of God's perfection. This is the realization that brings liberation from all things, all conditions.
Service is the highest form of consciousness in the physical world. When we recognize our love of humanity, we do whatever has to be done to express that love to and with others. That is called service.
When you can allow people to express their Light their own way, to fulfill their destiny and walk the path to the drummer they hear, then you are, in essence, doing the same thing God does -- allowing them the freedom of their expression.
We often ask the Mystical Traveler, "Am I ready for my next initiation, and if not, what can I do to get it? What do I have to do?" And the answer has always been, "Do spiritual exercises." That's always been the answer. It's never changed.
A recycling process within each individual continually allows the opportunity to experience all the laws of Spirit. You continually have a chance to check your expression as it is returned. The Spirit returns all things to you, as if to say, "Are you sure?" - John-Roger, DSS (From: The Way Out Book, p. 27)
A cardinal principle of the Spiritual Warrior is: It is not what is happening that is important; what is important is what you are doing with it. Thus you say, "Regardless of what it looks like, regardless of my perception, I will use everything for my advancement, upliftment, and growth."
Who would you like God to be? "I'd like God to be really good and love me, and bestow all the greatest aspects of what God can be on my consciousness." That's a nice idea. Would you be willing to own it as true for you?