Some spiritual teachers, like Michael Langford and Ellie Roozdar, teach that awakening/enlightenment are extremely rare. Often, when people hear this, they feel discouraged. Recently, Kathy Smith expressed that discouragement during one of my Seven Steps teachings, and Michael heard it. He responded by writing a letter to Kathy. Here is some of what he wrote in that letter:
“When I make a statement that less than one out of every five hundred million humans attains [the final end of the ego], I am referring to the seven billion people living on the earth today. I am not referring to people who are practicing the truly Direct Path. Those odds do not apply to people who are practicing the truly Direct Path.
“Look at the Seven Billion humans living on the earth. Billions of them are not even on a spiritual or religious path. They are materialists who are just living this one life for whatever pleasure this one life can give them and they are not interested in anything that is not physical or material. You do not fall into that category because you have an interest in the spiritual and that is a reason to be encouraged.
“Billions of people are on some sort of spiritual or religious path. Almost all of those spiritual or religious paths are feeding the ego illusion. Most of those people have never even read one book or seen one video that describes the truly Direct Path. Let us suppose that out of the seven billion humans on earth that seventy thousand have read a book or seen a video that describes the truly Direct Path. You are one of the seventy thousand that has read books that describe the truly Direct Path and that is a reason for great encouragement!
“Whatever you do or do not do for the rest of your life with the truly Direct Path, you have been introduced to it and therefore you are way ahead in the game of awakening! That is a reason for great encouragement, not discouragement.”
For those of you who don’t know, “the direct path” refers to watching awareness. Everyone in the Gentle Healing Group has been introduced to this path and hopefully is practicing it a little each day. That means everyone in the Gentle Healing group is “way ahead in the game of awakening!” Our feet are solidly on the path, and this is reason for great encouragement.
By the way, Michael also mentioned in his letter that discouragement is of the ego. It is one of the ego’s preservation strategies, since discouragement keeps us from spiritual practice. If we see discouragement as an ego trick, it may help us NOT listen to thoughts of discouragement.
Before coming across Michael Langford or Ellie Roozdar, I already knew that full awakening was extremely rare. Yet, I felt called to reach for it in this lifetime, and so …. well, that was that.
One song that has always encouraged me in my quest for awakening is “The Impossible Dream.” Here’s a link to Susan Boyle’s version of that song: