How to develop our spiritual senses
- This page is part of an ERW course: Spiritual exercises, section Articles.
- By John Eagles, September 17, 2009.
In an ideal world we would live in good harmony and in close relationship to our ancestors and friends in the spiritual world. Due to the fall of man, people have lost many of their abilities to relate well to the spiritual world. How can we develop our spiritual senses so we can live in communion with our good ancestors?
In general, one could say that because the fall of man caused our loss of spiritual capabilities, we need to restore the fall and go our course of restoration. That statement is true but it doesn't deal specifically with our spiritual senses and how to use and develop them.
Why is it difficult for us to relate to the spiritual world? I believe that the problem can be seen from two different angles. The first angle is about the situation in the spiritual world. The spiritual world is not anymore a place that is only under God's control. For example, certain angels and human spirits have set up the ideology of communism, or already longer ago other materialist philosophies and cultures. In such materialist traditions, people are being taught that God and the spiritual world do not exist. When people believe in such ideologies, they grow up without understanding the need to develop their spiritual abilities. Even in our modern western world, which is thought to be based on the religion of Christianity most of all, society generally regards spiritual experiences as signs of someone being crazy, schizophrenic etc.
The second viewpoint is that of an individual's personal course of growth. It was due to the fall of Adam and Eve that man lost their ability to relate to the spiritual world. Most people are born in bloodlines of ancestors that haven't come very far in relating to the spiritual world. Later generations that stand on the foundation of their ancestors must accomplish big advancement of internal development in order to regain spiritual abilities.
The problem of spiritual senses being rather closed is therefore both a problem of our society in general and of our personal lack of spiritual growth. When everyone around you lost faith in the spiritual reality, it is difficult to have strong confidence in the meaning of your own spiritual experiences. Moreover, as Lucifer once deceived Adam and Eve, so evil spirits today are still working to make us confused whenever we have spiritual experiences.
There always have existed groups on earth where people learned about the spiritual world, but several of these schools of teaching were not always centered on God. Many of us have heard of esoteric and secretive groups, mystery schools etc. where adepts get their special education in dealing with spiritual phenomena. Also in the world of New Age there are accepted many forms of spirituality that do not always lead us to God the Creator, but that bring us into realms under control of deceitful spirits.
This is why I want to warn for the desire to just 'want to have spiritual experiences.' The wish to be closer to the spirit world carries the danger in it to become deceived. The growth of our spiritual abilities should not precede our advancement in our course of restoration but should rather follow it.
Although it is an original desire to want to understand about the spiritual world and to have spiritual experiences, this craving should not be separated from what's our deeper purpose and destiny of growth to become more mature in experiencing God's love and giving good love to others. First comes our individual growth under God in a course of restoration, and as a result of that there will automatically and necessarily follow the development of our spiritual senses.
This is not to disregard that certain people could have gotten special missions to deal with the spiritual world. They could be members of a tribe and have the task to inform the other tribe members of what goes on in the spiritual world. Essential is that we can trust that such people do really have a personal relationship with God and that they do not misuse their position for fame or other personal advantages.
How can we then develop our spiritual senses? Although there are good exercises for development of the spiritual senses, I do not recommend trying to do it by exercises first of all. Such exercises could easily begin to live a life of its own and drag us into realities that are not anymore connected to God. The main thing is that we are to go our course of restoration, our development of maturing our love under God. When we are going that course, our spiritual senses will automatically develop as we are progressing. As we come farther in our course of restoration, we can then make use of certain exercises.
As part of our individual growth, we need to study and understand the words of truth that God revealed to us. It is of little help to only intellectually understand books and scriptures. We need to be able to comprehend and apply the truth in our own lives.
Based on our personal growth and our increasing understanding of the Divine Principle, we can make effort to understand our lives as essentially being spiritual of nature. This we can do by attempting to understand all that happens to and around us from a principled and spiritual viewpoint. It is in this way that our awareness of the spiritual reality can grow.
The spiritual world is all around us and I bet that most of us, even those who may not be aware of it, have had many spiritual experiences. But we do need to acknowledge the spiritual experiences as such and not ignore them or explain them away as being only psychological phenomena. For example, we could have a meaningful dream. That is a spiritual experience about which we can pray. We could have a premonition of something going to happen to us. That is a spiritual occurrence. By taking seriously such kind of daily spiritual experiences, we increase our awareness and understanding of the spiritual reality.