"The Enlightened Soul is not one to whom the Truth has been revealed, but one who has summoned it; and not just when they’ve been driven by pain, but when life’s seas were as calm as glass."

—Notes from the Universe

I like to refer to an Enlightened Soul as a Spiritual Master. To become an Enlightened Soul or Spiritual Master has nothing to do with what type of clothes you wear, where you live, what you eat, what particular mantra you recite, what religion or guru you follow or who you hang out with. A Spiritual Master is one who has done the work to examine their own consciousness and thought structures extensively, and has let go of what limits or no long serves them.

Spiritual philosophies, spiritual teachers, meditation, mantras, etc. can play a large role to assist you on your path to become a Spiritual Master (which, by the way, the becoming never ends), but all these wonderful teachings and teachers are not the journey itself. It is the inner work that sets us free from the limitation of the mind and of the physical. As Joel Goldsmith states, it is a “Conscious courting of the Divine.”

There are those to whom Truth or Enlightenment has been revealed in a single experience or series of intense spiritual experiences. It seems as it was given to them by some sort of favoritism or religious bias. That is impossible, as the Divine’s nature is unconditional love and favoritism implies conditional love; this is simply not the case. Those with a seemingly sudden enlightenment are at some level open and ready to receive and sometimes have trouble dealing with it in the socially structured ego consciousness.

Truth is revealed to those who are ready to receive and embody it. Truth is revealed to most of us in steps or small awakenings or what is called Satori(s). What is revealed is in exact proportion as to what we are ready to receive in consciousness.

We are not open and ready to receive when our mind is blocked with false beliefs such as superstition, fear, religiosity, social conditioning, dogma, a sense of separation, etc. It is our spiritual task to consciously endeavor to examine and release all of the limitations in our mind and be open to receive. The stream of awareness cannot flow through a clogged vessel.

It is a common understanding that pain, sorrow and suffering is the doorway to an enlightened soul and many speak of a “broken-open” heart that leads to love. This is a common experience. It is true that pain and suffering can be a catalyst to experience something greater. It is in this desperation of one’s “Dark Night of the Soul” that can we finally start to release the constraining thoughts and beliefs that have been limiting us.

The good news is that we do not have to experience and walk through the “Dark Night of the Soul” over and over again to expand our consciousness. Sudden awakenings or Satori are common when we allow ourselves to have a calm peaceful mind or when we are deeply inspired by beauty, music, or nature. A spiritual experience happens when our conscious limitations are set aside, even temporarily by an intense focus on inspirational ideas and events.

We can ready ourselves with inspirational readings, enlightened teachers and spiritual practices. It is the application of these understandings in the self-examination of our own consciousness that leads us to a greater awareness-and a sense of inner peace. This is what has been called The Great Work.

Enjoy your Journey ….

—Jim Hatton is author (under the pen name James Apollonius Alan) of “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life,” available on Amazon. Email him at RevFatherJim@outlook.com. Send 600- to 700-word Inner Peace articles to Sally McKirgan at innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com.