This article by John-Roger was previously published in the Movement Newspaper, June 1982
“The old axiom, ‘To thine own self be true,’ is not just an idle statement. It’s a commandment and a directive right out of Spirit.” – John-Roger, DSS
In the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, we deal with the Spirit. You can call it a lot of things. You can call it an energy unit. You can call it cosmic consciousness. You can call it Soul. You can call it “it” or any number of other things, as long as you realize we are dealing with the spark of energy which gives life and vitality to all living things. It’s the existence that continues when everything else stops. It’s what is still present when your emotions quiet down, your mind goes blank, and your body lies down and goes to sleep. It’s what we sometimes call the “true self,” the “high self,” or the best part of you.
That energy has always existed and will always exist. It often goes unnoticed and sleeps in unawareness, but when it is stirred awake, it is the most powerful force you can encounter. Spirit is experienced as happiness and joy. Sometimes you’ll sense it as a feeling of relief inside, as if something has clicked into place, and there will be a sense of well-being from deep inside of you.
The Mystical Traveler, as the focal point of energy for the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, is one who can awaken the Spirit inside of you. The Traveler can assist you in developing your awareness of the Spirit you are. Part of this process is releasing and clearing the karmic conditions that have clouded the Spirit within you.
I sometimes refer to the Traveler Consciousness as the “garbage collector” because that is a big part of its function. If you think of karma as the garbage or dross of your consciousness, part of my job is to help you to release it. I don’t take it from you. I would never do that because I will not violate your consciousness in any way. But as you are willing to let it go and give it to me, I will take it and dissolve it so that you are not burdened by it anymore. If you later take it back, I’ll let you do that because you have every aspect of your beingness under your direction. If you ask my point of view, I might suggest you don’t take back those things that pull you down to this world, but if you don’t ask my point of view, I’ll probably never say a word.
You might wonder how you can let go of the karma which has been a factor in your life, perhaps in ways you perceive as negative. One way is through the process of spiritual exercises. In spiritual exercises — which look a lot like meditation but are more active and forward-directed — you learn to travel back through your body, past the nervous energy of constant fidgeting, past the depressed emotions of remembering the last rejection you experienced, past the present resentment and judgment you place on others or yourself, past the sexual arousal that can occur in attempting to sit still and be quiet within yourself, past all of these levels and any other distractions that come up.
Spiritual exercises give you a “handle” on who you are beyond the body, emotions, mind, imagination, and subconscious. It’s nice to know there’s a Kingdom of Heaven, but if you have to die to find it and know it as your home, it’s too late. You may miss and go in the wrong door! Our goal in MSIA is to discover that Kingdom both within and outside of ourselves and to know it as our home while we are still living here in the physical body.
I don’t promise you anything in this world. I’d be foolish to do that because this world is going to decay and fall apart; it’s not designed to last. Spirit is designed to last. It’s everlasting, eternal, and forever new right now. So we move to the spiritual qualities and make those our reference points for reality. If your reference points are material things, there will come a time when you’ll lose them, and at that point, you’ll feel very lost and alone.
You know the body doesn’t maintain its position. It’s looking good one day, but after staying up all night or having a fight with your spouse, it may not look so good. As the years go by, you may add a few pounds, lose a little hair, and get flat feet or tired blood. In other words, the body s changing.
You know the emotions don’t maintain their position. They fluctuate all over the place. You feel depressed one minute, then your girlfriend calls and you feel great. You flunk a test, and you’re back in the pits again.
The mind doesn’t hold its position; it believes in one thing one day and something else the next. And the imagination jumps from one thing to another to another, depending upon the most recent stimuli the body has received. All those levels are very transitory.
Beyond all those levels is the Spirit or Soul. It maintains its position, which is neutral, loving, joyful and balanced. When the body is balanced and healthy, when the emotions are content, when the mind is quiet, and when the imagination is inactive, that which lies beyond it all — the Soul — can come forward. However, so often you keep at least one, if not several, of the other levels in some kind of turmoil that it’s difficult to perceive the Soul. That’s why in MSIA we advocate getting healthy, wealthy, happy, and balanced; when all those levels are handled, you don’t have to pay attention to them. Then you can look to the Spirit and start placing your focus and your attention on the God within.
Once you’ve got all the lower levels handled and your life flowing along pretty smoothly, one difficulty is that ego and pride can come in, masquerading as the great spiritual teachers. Then you start telling other people how to live their lives instead of focusing on how you can best live yours. Don’t be anxious to be the teacher. Live your life to your own best advantage, and if other people gain from observing you, that’s great. But you need not go outside of yourself in an attempt to make others see it your way. Allow them the freedom and the integrity of their own consciousness.
The old axiom, “To thine own self be true,” is not just an idle statement. It’s a commandment and a directive right out of Spirit. People have said to me, “J-R, I don’t know if I can be loyal to you.” I say, “Who cares? I’m loyal to me and that’s all I need. I take care of myself so that I’m not a burden to anyone else. You be loyal to yourself.” Take care of yourself so that you are not a burden to anyone else. When everyone does that, we all have the freedom to be with and relate to one another without demands, restrictions or controls.
In the loyalty to yourself, you may find a new ability to set a direction for yourself and complete what you have set in motion. In rounding up all your projects and finishing up all your loose ends you may find it interesting to discover that your anxieties disappear and your depressions leave. You may find out that a whole lot of your illnesses, confusions, and emotional desperations are entirely what you’ve done to yourself. When you discover that, you can change. And if you choose not to, it’s okay with me.
My work is to awaken you to the Spirit within you and to let you know that there are choices you can make which will serve and uplift you and enhance the joyful quality of your life. Whether or not you make those choices is up to you. I want you to know they exist and that you are not trapped in an unending cycle of confusion or despair except as you create, promote, or allow it.
Creation is ordered in terms of progression. You can never stay where you are in your evolvement. You must continually move forward. Progression is infinite. When you think things are going great and you’ve “got a handle” on your life, keep in mind that it’s not going to become static at that particular point. It may continue getting better and better as you continue lifting up in your awareness of Spirit, but it won’t stay the same. If you try to hang onto something in exactly the form it now is, you’ll lose it.
Once you have mastered a level and you know how to work it, Spirit will shut it off and have you go to the next level. A lot of people, not knowing how to move to the next level, will fake their prior mastery of their present level. At some point, the fact that they are faking it becomes obvious, and we say they’ve lost their power. And they have, not as a negative judgment, but as an accurate description. As soon as they move to the next level, they will be able to encompass their present level and be mastering the next level, so they regain what they seemed to have “lost” and can experience and express it on an even greater level of consciousness.
You never lose a level by giving it up. You always gain a greater manifestation of it. If you’ve truly mastered anything, you never lose it. It becomes a part of your next experience. It becomes a part of your next level, until you finally become multidimensionally aware of your entire beingness in all its aspects. That is an easy state to be in. It’s free. It’s clear. The value in it is in experiencing all the things you normally experience and still maintaining your awareness of the Spirit. You don’t suddenly stop experiencing emotional ups and downs or mental confusion and unclarity at times. But you don’t take it so seriously, because you also perceive the beauty of the Spirit or Soul which resides behind all the negative expressions. And the Soul keeps telling you, “Everything’s all right.” Whatever turmoil you get yourself into, there is that spark of awareness that says, “This is temporary. This is transitory. Everything is all right.” And it’s true.
Look how many times you’ve gotten yourself in a “terrible” situation and said, “Oh, this is so bad, I’ll never make it through this. I can’t handle this.” And you do handle it — maybe not gracefully, maybe not the way you’d like, but you do handle it. The part of you that handles it is the part that knows everything is all right. And once you’re clear on that, you have more choices. You know you’ll handle it, somehow or another, so how you handle it becomes a matter of choice.
Start using your wisdom to make the best choice available to you. Look at your situations as if you were a friend. Be the observer. BE MORE NEUTRAL. Bring in your experience and your intellect to make the best decisions you can, and then follow through on those decisions. If you can do that, you’ll find a lot of things clearing up around you. You’ll discover that you really do hold the key to your own happiness and well-being.
There are three parts to the backbone of MSIA’s teachings. Use everything to your advantage; don’t hurt yourself and don’t hurt others; take care of yourself so you can take care of others. If you apply those guidelines to every level of your expression and experience, you’ll find your life transforming all around you as you awaken to the joy of the Spirit within you.
WATCH A SHORT VIDEO WITH JOHN-ROGER