Spirituality: The Light of Heaven

Navigating Small School and Big School Spirituality

Introduction: In this presentation, we will explore the concept of small school spirituality and big school spirituality. It is important to note that these terms are not judgments about individuals, but rather reflections of our personal needs and the extent of our struggles. Both forms of spirituality coexist within us, residing within the same building, and we transition between them depending on our circumstances.

Small School Spirituality: There are times when we seek solace, healing, and reassurance—this is where small school spirituality shines. It provides comfort and support, offering us the resources we need to navigate life’s challenges. It is a safe haven that allows us to find respite and rejuvenation.

Big School Spirituality: On the other hand, big school spirituality beckons us to step into a realm of self-confrontation. It calls us to face our inner demons and tackle the trials that life presents. This path requires us to muster the strength and resources within ourselves to overcome obstacles and grow in our spiritual journey.

The Quest for Big School Spirituality in Spiritualism: Within the context of spiritualism, it is essential to consider where big school spirituality fits into the religion. Spiritualism often emphasizes development while sitting in the power of spirit, harnessing healing energy and raising our consciousness. However, it is frequently associated with mediums who aim to enhance their mediumship abilities through development circles.

The Role of Big School Spirituality for the Non-Medium: This raises an important question: What about those who are not practicing mediums? What does big school spirituality offer to the average individual? In exploring this question, we expand the scope of our understanding and consider how non-mediums can benefit from embracing big school spirituality.

I recently met someone who spent her teenage years in a Spiritualist church in the UK, where she found great comfort during a challenging period in her life. However, as she started asking deeper questions, she found herself without guidance. She began to feel inadequate because she didn’t directly perceive or connect with spirits, so she resorted to pretending she did.

This situation highlights the consequences of excluding big school spirituality within Spiritualism. It wasn’t until later, when she attended university and took courses in religion, psychology, and spirituality, that she embarked on the inner journey she had been yearning for.

How often do we come across mediums or members of spiritualist churches who may do good work or possess extraordinary mediumship abilities, yet haven’t undergone their own spiritual journey and connected with the light of their own Soul?

This lack of personal spiritual development often manifests in their day-to-day behaviours, such as struggling with setting boundaries, engaging in healthy conflict resolution, handling criticism, participating in gossip, not dealing with addiction, lacking empathy and kindness, and exhibiting other signs that indicate they haven’t yet transitioned to big school spirituality.

When we sit in the power with spirit, our intention is to achieve several things. We engage in a powerful meditation where we blend with spirit, inviting energies that uplift us and provide us with the small school spirituality we seek. We yearn for comfort, reassurance, and healing on all levels—mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Ultimately, whether we are mediums or non-mediums, the true purpose of Spirit is to connect us to the light of our own Soul.

However, in many development circles, the emphasis tends to be on honing the faculty of mediumship, whether it’s mental or trance mediumship. This often leaves little room for the deeper connection to our own Soul.

At some point, when we have the necessary resources and energy, it becomes time to transition to big school spirituality. This transition is akin to the Hero’s journey in mythical traditions. For instance, when someone says something hurtful to us, seeking comfort and reassurance in the small school spirituality is helpful. But what comes next? Do we merely nurse our wounds and hope for it not to happen again?

In big school spirituality, we recognize that there is more to be done. We learn to hold our boundaries and avoid using the hurtful words as ammunition against ourselves or others—a common tendency. By doing so, we reinforce the parts of ourselves that we dislike—those shame-based, rejection-based, abandonment-based, and shadow aspects of our identities. These are the core wounds that we must address as part of our Soul’s work and the reason we have incarnated in this body and life.

In big school spirituality, we acknowledge these dynamics and pause. We acknowledge that while we didn’t protect ourselves and felt upset and hurt, we have found solace in the comfort provided by spirit. We have received healing and regained our energy. Now, we ask ourselves, what needs to happen next? Where does the wisdom of our Soul come into play?

We make a conscious decision not to be harsh on ourselves the next time someone says something hurtful. Can we stand our ground? Can we be open yet assertive when necessary? We reflect on the resources we need to accomplish this. And in this moment, we turn to spirit and simply ask, “Spirit, help me.”

Assist me in not internalizing the hurtful words and becoming upset by them. Help me detach and avoid taking it personally. Enable me to stand my ground and be assertive, maintaining a mature and composed presence.

Lately, I’ve been appreciating the term “adulting.” It emphasizes the importance of keeping the adult perspective in challenging situations and engaging in healthy conflict. Without healthy conflict, genuine intimacy in relationships becomes unattainable, as unresolved issues lead to constant upset. This is where spirit comes into play, facilitating the development of higher consciousness and spirituality. It allows us to cultivate loving kindness not only towards ourselves but also towards others, including those who challenge us and hurt us with their actions and words.

This is where the practice of loving kindness becomes crucial. However, we can’t achieve it on our own. We require the profound resources that spirit provides, especially as we continue to grow, become more resilient, and deepen our spiritual connection with our SOUL.

In the realm of small school spirituality, we experience healing, comfort, reassurance, and messages from our departed loved ones. We gain an understanding that life continues beyond death, which brings reassurance and shifts our perspective on the world. However, in big school spirituality, the objective of spirit is to connect us with our true essence, our SOUL self. It’s about realizing that we are spiritual beings going through a human experience. We are eternal beings with a profound connection to a vast array of resources and gifts at our disposal.

It’s not merely about believing, but truly knowing and embodying it. Knowing it and living it completely transforms everything. The path of spirituality, the big school journey, is an inner voyage. In small school spirituality, the focus remains largely external. We seek protection from others, ask for healing to restore our well-being, and request that negativity be kept at bay. This work is essential and valuable. However, it doesn’t mark the beginning of the profound spiritual journey of the SOUL.

The true spiritual journey commences when we enter the depths of our inner being, venturing into the underworld. As the Buddhists say, “you cannot know heaven until you have stood in the ninth level of hell and see no difference.” It’s about reaching a point where there is no distinction. This poetic and mythic statement holds meaning only within the realm of big school spirituality. In this advanced stage, every experience, particularly the challenging ones, becomes a gift that allows us to establish a deeper connection with our SOUL, elevating our spirit to a sacred state.

From a human perspective, these experiences can be painful. Life presents numerous situations that are truly terrible. We may feel hurt, upset, despairing, and hopeless, and these emotions are entirely valid. Yet, from the perspective of the SOUL, each of these experiences serves as an opportunity for growth. They propel us inward, enabling us to transcend the limitations of the ego and establish a profound connection with the indwelling Divine reality within us.

Here, the term “Divine” is used to signify that the SOUL is not a separate entity isolated from the rest, including the ego self. Rather, it is both an individual expression of the Divine and a doorway that, when opened, connects us to the Divine, revealing that we are not separate from it.

As we embark on our inward journey, we navigate through the dense forest of our roles, busyness, and projections. In Christian Mysticism, John of the Cross referred to this journey as the Dark Night of the Soul—a departure from the distractions of everyday life, the cravings of the senses, and an entry into an interior space. It is not a darkness that denotes negativity, but rather a realm that exists within us, away from the external world of forms.

In this exploration, we seek to discover the core of our being, where a radiant light resides within every individual. Despite the density of the forest or the darkness of someone’s outer behavior, within each person exists an impenetrable, luminous SOUL that is intrinsically connected to the Divine. No matter how evil or despicable someone’s actions may seem from an external perspective—and indeed, there are truly horrific behaviors and individuals who engage in them—deep within, beyond the hardened layers of their being, the light of the SOUL still dwells.

It is important to understand that the presence of light and the potential for spiritual awakening are not exclusive to certain individuals. The mythic quest that leads us inward, through the metaphorical forest, brings us closer to the realization that within the heart of the forest, in a radiant glade, an Angel awaits us.

This guardian Angel has always been present, patiently safeguarding and hoping that we will awaken to our true selves, to the depths of our SOUL. It requires courage, inner resources, and a heightened awareness to recognize the yearning within us—to say, “Wait a moment. I want to be authentic. I want to delve deeper. I long to experience the essence of my own spiritual being. Being solely human is no longer sufficient.”

The external world, on its own, proves to be unsatisfying. No matter the material possessions, indulgences, wealth, or status we accumulate, they can never provide true fulfillment. They were never meant to be the sole source of peace and contentment. Instead, the path to genuine fulfillment lies within us.

As we embark on this inner journey, progressing through the metaphorical forest, we eventually arrive at a serene glade bathed in luminous light. Here, we encounter the Angel—a symbol of purity, guidance, and illumination. This sacred encounter represents a profound connection to the Divine and the inherent spiritual awakening within us.

And in that transformative moment, everything changes. The connection we establish with our inner light alters our perception of the external world. We no longer rely on it in the same way, and our attachments to people and things weaken. The distractions of the external world lose their grip on us as simplicity becomes the essence of our existence. Our needs become minimal, and our very being is fulfilled from within. The light within us now fills us completely. We are one with it, and it with us. In this profound realization, we are liberated from the shackles of the past and the relentless pull towards the future. The eternal search for ourselves in every experience comes to an end because we have returned home to the radiant light within.

As we bask in this inner light, peace envelops us, love pervades our being, and a deep sense of connection prevails. The burdens of our past, the anguish we carried, and the suffering we endured dissolve in the radiance of our true nature. How could we not be drawn to this sacred journey? The quest for eternal life, the Holy Grail, lies within us—a boundless wellspring of illumination.

This, ultimately, is the essence of spirituality. It is the place we sought outside ourselves, in the world, in relationships, in marriages, in various experiences, but never found or found only momentarily, always accompanied by the fear of losing it. Until the scars on our hearts, the remnants of our failures and brokenness, guide us inward, forging a path through the dense forest of our psyche. We descend into the depths, into the sacred womb-tomb of our inner self. Through dedicated practice, this inner journey becomes our personal monastery, our sacred temple. Here, away from the distractions of everyday life, our stories, hopes, and dreams, we enter the realm of stillness. We wait and allow Spirit, the guardian Angel, and all those who support us—the angels—to find us. They carry us, weary and worn, often broken, to the serene glade and the luminous pool that offer not only healing and illumination but also the profound light of our own Divine SOUL.

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