Higher Knowledge & Spiritual Experience: What to Buy? by Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

There are a thousand forms of mind. Rumi

The goal of the mystical process is to help complete human evolution.  The Sufi asserts that humanity is evolving to a higher spiritual condition and this evolution is purposeful and directed.  The end result of this process is more complete travelers who are better able to serve themselves and others.  Travelers proceed toward this goal by entering a path to spiritual completion and are guided by a Master.

The complete person uses all their abilities, and through a course of guided study, has added a measure of latent spiritual capacity, to make the world and their community a better place.  During this period of study, all human capacities are further developed so the individual becomes multi-faceted. This development and learning emphasizes physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth.  This original process of completion was perfected a millennia ago and has been called the Science of Man.  In past ages, this development wore different garb; one of which was alchemy. The lead to be altered was the human condition, and the gold was higher consciousness.  Today, many systems of human development exist and are clothed in psychological, self-help, and personal development clothing.

In our culture, many are familiar with systems that teach about physical, emotional, and intellectual development; however, there is less familiarity and growing curiosity with learning systems that develop our spiritual or higher nature.  We have seen a proliferation of ‘New Age’ medicine, teachers, workshops, and gurus all who have something to teach us about our higher self and the inner world. This stream of inner experience and learning exists alongside our traditional religious systems.  Sometimes there is friction between these systems and other times harmony.  Some of these New Age systems have something to teach us and others want to take from us; how to tell the difference?

The focus of this discussion is to provide a yardstick, to help the serious traveler make intelligent choices, and answer some basic questions concerning a spiritual quest for higher knowledge.

What is the Outcome?

Before entering into any course of study or learning, one must be clear as to the outcome.  When we go to college or technical school, we graduate with a degree that is useful in our chosen field.  It is similar in spiritual development.  You enter into a system that is focused on an outcome.  Genuine mystical schools seek to develop more complete people who are better able to serve by working in the world; using their added, latent, higher capacity. This study involves learning through spiritual experience.

Spiritual experience, in part, deals with states of consciousness and as the great Master, Rumi offered, ‘there are a thousand forms of mind.”  Often, most travelers are unclear about the outcome of spiritual development and seek higher powers, inner peace, emotional happiness, or perpetual harmony.  It is exciting to expect to develop powers, read people’s minds, move objects with thought, heal the infirm, or never feel anxiety.  Sadly, these are outcomes travelers expect and are disappointed when they are not forthcoming.

A Complete Person

The purpose of any genuine mystical school is to help develop a more complete person; someone who has added a measure of latent, spiritual capacity.  Through guided training and various spiritual experiences, gradually, the traveler aligns with their own higher destiny and the higher destiny of the universe.  They participate in the world and help make it better.  Additional spiritual capacity, abilities, and insights develop to help guide and influence events according to a higher plan and are outgrowths of higher consciousness.  A spiritual Master is not able to read thoughts to impress you, the Master does this to display who they are and help make you realize you have work to do.  This capacity is a natural extension of consciousness and a purposeful, directed, learning experience intended to improve the student.  The Master has this capacity because the student needs it and in most cases is transitory.  As needed, higher capacity comes and goes.

Higher knowledge, or spiritual capacity, exists within everyone.  This is our birthright and already part of us.  For many, this capacity is never fully developed and lies dormant, sometimes, asserting itself in experiences that appear extraordinary.  These might come in the form of a premonition or a dream that something will happen and it does.  Or this experience may take the form of a shift in consciousness where the traveler feels connected to all living things.  These expressions of the higher soul are like energy over runs that jump out, finding a way to express themselves.  The higher soul forces its way into our ordinary consciousness; reminding us we are more than ideas, emotion and flesh.

What is Higher Knowledge?

Higher knowledge is knowing or that knowledge which is tied to the inner workings of things.  This knowledge is aligned with the higher destiny and is a by-product of higher consciousness.  This knowledge is purposeful and directed.  It exists to further the human condition.  It is higher because it emanates from the higher plane; and is holistic, integrating and presents in the corresponding, higher portion of the soul. Spiritual experiences are by-products of this awareness and knowledge.

After traveling the spiritual path, in time, the traveler becomes their own master and learns to direct their life from a worldly and spiritual perspective. Within a Sufi framework, travelers are not accepted into a mystical school unless they have prepared them self and their inner motives are ‘pure,’ that is, relatively free of self-interest.  This preparation includes a basic stabilization of emotional, physical, and intellectual health. Because at times, these capacities must be placed ‘in a neutral state,’ by the traveler or the spiritual impulse will not operate; and if the traveler does not have the capacity to accomplish this, will not be accepted.  The traveler must have this capacity for stabilization, then, they can be taught how to experience the spiritual.

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