Spiritually Speaking: Choosing a Spiritual Path

By Marcia Bender

Many of my regular readers are familiar with one of my constant reminders, “There are many paths to enlightenment.” I have never been one to adhere to warnings that certain subjects are taboo when it comes to social situations or column writing, and I continue to be grateful that I can honestly state my opinions in “Spiritually Speaking.” It has been said, from the beginning of time, that there are two subjects that must be avoided when interacting with others; politics and religion. What a shame to live in the United States, where freedom of speech is one of our greatest gifts, and to suppress our personal views and ideas when dealing with the public. Even sadder is feeling the need to do this with friends and loved ones!

I challenge you to examine all belief systems and find the one that works best for you.

I have spent the greater part of my life in the study of all religions, cultures, and metaphysical teachings. I am constantly amazed at how close the core teachings and beliefs of each actually are at the fundamental level. Oh, the words, prayers, practices and traditions may be different but the message is always the same. Regardless of this fact, most people still believe that their own belief system is the right one, the only true way to salvation. Even people who believe in nothing, those who follow no religious or metaphysical path, strongly believe that they are correct and right in their lack of belief and faith. In the final analysis, who among us can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are correct and all others are wrong?

I am a religious person who has a strong belief in God, as well as a Metaphysical Teacher, but I cannot, in good conscience, tell you that my way is right for you, let alone that it is the only way.

What is right and true for me may not be what works for you.

A spiritual belief, like your choice of anything else, must fit you. We can take as an example the preference of shoes. I like Birkenstocks and you might prefer three-inch spike heels, but that doesn’t mean that you and I can’t go to the same function, Iin my Berkie’s and you in your heels. This certainly doesn’t mean that we cannot be friends and respect the fact that what is the correct “fit” for me might not be the one for you.

Now you might be asking yourself, “Where is Marcia going with this?” As humans we are fourfold beings and there are four levels of human existence: The physical/material, the emotional, the mental, and the spiritual. Unless these four aspects of self are balanced, we cannot be totally happy; not in work, our personal relationships, or any other aspect of our lives. Dr. Carl Jung (a disciple of Freud, renowned practitioner of traditional medicine and a scholar of metaphysics with a focus on the symbology of the Tarot) stated that there are four functions to the human psyche. According to his work, we are born with the potential to develop each of these four functions to some extent. Early in life, there is one function for which we show special aptitude, and this is called Superior Function. Then we gradually find that we have some degree of competence in two of the other functions. Jung called these Auxiliary Functions because we can call upon them to help our Superior Function. Our fourth function remains relatively unused, and Jung called this the Inferior Function.

Overall, these four functions correspond to the four levels of human existence and, again, we must strive for balance between the four. The physical/material level is very important to us, as we are in a physical body and have to endeavor to do all that we can to find happiness here. This encompasses our careers, possessions, physical health and well-being, etc. This is a part of our existence that we spend a great deal of time trying to perfect. We are also quite preoccupied with the emotional level, as it has to do with love, personal relationships, family, etc. Regardless of whether or not we are happy in our personal life, we cannot avoid this focus. Mental stimulation is also somewhat important to most people and this is where studies, intellectual interaction with others, books, plays, etc. come in. It is a known fact that the one level of the four that is sadly neglected is the spiritual. I regularly challenge my students to put deep thought and contemplation into which of their four functions is the Superior, which are the Auxiliary, most important, and which is the Inferior.

It is my belief, from years of study that we must strive to develop the spiritual if we are to have the balance necessary in our lives.

And that is where Marcia is “going” with this column. I challenge you to really self-reflect, and if you find that spiritual balance is lacking in your life attempt to develop it—and not necessarily in the way your parents, religious teachers, or society at large told you it must be developed. And it’s not going to be my path either. I’m suggesting that you find your own path.

What can you do to find your own true path? First, if you are happy and fulfilled with your spiritual life, then you should stay with the path that you are on and keep going! If you find that peace, harmony and balance are lacking, or that answers to questions that you are asking are not forthcoming from your spiritual practices, there are things that you can do to resolve the problem. You must begin a search and conduct it with an open mind.

1.    Attend church or synagogue, and not just those of the faith in which you were raised, to see if another “organized” religion is a better fit for you.
2.    Talk to others about their religious beliefs and practices and decide if what they believe resonates with your inner feelings.
3.    Do research and study on your own. Read books and attend lectures and classes that explain beliefs and belief systems.

I hope that this advice helps you examine your Inferior Function, and if it is the spiritual, that you are inspired to bring about, more balance and meaning in your life by expanding your horizons.

And remember, Knowledge is the Greatest Power, so Walk in the Light.

Marcia began her career as a school teacher, working with preschool through inner city high school students. She has worked with all aspects of Metaphysics for over 40 years and specializes in Tarot and Numerology. Marcia’s clients and students are in every state and throughout Europe. Marcia has taught over 400 students to “read” the Tarot for the purpose of self-guidance and to use the powerful symbolism of the Tarot to reach higher levels of spirituality. Her column, Spiritually Speaking, originally ran for 8 years in Attitudes Magazine. Email marlou2000@aol.com

This entry was posted in Enlightenment. Bookmark the permalink.