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Archive for August, 2009

Over the years, I have found Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith’s Stages of Spiritual Development helpful.  These stages represent the evolution of consciousness:

TO ME:

This is victim consciousness.  I feel powerless.   I am unconscious, unaware, and most of the action I take in my life is a reaction to what is happening to me.  I believe I am separate from God, and that this God is testing, rewarding and punishing me.

BY ME:

I wake up.  I learn that God is a creative principle, and is operating within me.  I discover that there is a law that I can use to create change and I use this law effectively.  I feel powerful.  Affirmative prayer, visualization, and affirmations are powerful spiritual practices in this stage.

THROUGH ME:

I have learned to establish dominion over my life and I experience harmony in the various areas of my life.  I sense there is more to life than this.  I let go of control, surrender to God, and let it use me.  I become an instrument.  At this stage I prepare myself to receive the Grace of God through Practicing the Presence, meditation and visioning.  Affirmative prayer and other practices are still appropriate at this stage.

AS ME:

I release any remaining sense of separation and rest in the realization of Oneness.  Jesus was in this stage when he said, “I and my Father are one.” In this stage I am instantly made free; for to know God aright is life eternal.  I no longer have to go anywhere mentally to reach God.  I spontaneously live in the awareness of the Presence and behold God’s grace unfolding.

These stages are not linear.  We move back and forth between them.  As we become a witness to our own thoughts and actions, we can identify which stage we are operating from at any given moment.

As we develop spiritual consciousness, we notice that we are hanging out more often in the Through Me and As Me stages.  This is where we let go of our own agenda, make conscious contact with the Divine, and allow God’s grace to unfold.

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