When you cruise the categories of the books entered in the “Next Top Spiritual Author” contest, you find subjects like:
Art, Business, Dating, Diet & Nutrition, Divorce, Gardening, Massage, Organizing, Sports, Technology, Travel, and UFO’s. This makes one question exactly what is meant by a “spiritual” author. The contest organizers say “This competition is focused on finding authors who have a message that appeals to the spiritual market. This market, often referred to the “new thought market” offers personal growth and spiritual messages (religious messages are not considered “new thought”). Authors like James Twyman, Neale Donald Walsch, Wayne Dyer, James Redfield, Abraham Hicks, etc – have messages that appeal to this market.”
To me, in the truest sense of the word, a “spiritual” author or teacher is one who has both awakened and can point others toward It. They cut directly through all concept and thought about awakening, so that one can awaken to the only possibility–to That which always was, before ideas about It, and to That which always will be.
With this definition, there are only a handful of true spiritual teachers embodied in the world today.
What this contest seeks to find is a message and a messenger that appeals to seekers. Seekers, one of which I used to consider myself, have not settled for what we have been conditioned to believe in and experience abut life, even though they may be strongly conditioned that way. They innately know there is some…thing… else. They cannot turn away from the fact that everything changes and that this body has come and will go, nor from a sense that what they have known is not all there is.
They cannot turn away from the mystery.
The irony is that it is only a mystery to the mind, and it will always remain a mystery to the mind because It is not thought, and the mind is thought. It cannot be known by thought–that would make it simply a thought. Therefore, a true spiritual teacher will not conceptually tell you “We are all one” because they know that would be cheating you.
Feel good “pep talks” are not It, and as sure as any other thought and state, “spiritual” pep-talks fade away. And most importantly, as sure as any other belief, they can actually direct you away from It, away from your own true discovery, your own direct knowing of It; the only thing that will truly, permanently, infinitely satisfy you. As it should be. As it must be. For those who worship thought and knowledge, there will be no Knowing of Self.
Yet there is a place for thought, hope, and belief. They are the boats that can take you across the stream to Knowing. However, do not cling to the boat, do not cling to thought, hope, or belief. At some point, you must abandon all knowledge and thought; you must step out on the other side, into Knowing, as Knowing.
When I heard of the contest, I hesitated entering because I know I am not a spiritual author, in the truest sense of the term. And yet, I will also not “parrot” concepts, ideas, hopes, or beliefs. I strive to speak only from what true Knowing is present, moment to moment.
Like you, I cannot turn away from the mystery. And turning toward it has resulted in experiences and understandings, and love and joy beyond what has been known or can be expressed, and immense gratitude–all of which cannot be contained. Like an unstoppable seed sprouting through concrete, it is emerging. Thank-you for shining your light on it.
Cindy Teevens is author of The Alchemy of Love and Joy, the end of suffering and birth of unconditional love.