Anywhere we are, anywhere our journey through life takes us, is ‘our path’. In that sense,everyoneis on their path. But not everyone is on what we might call a ‘spiritual path’. A spiritual path is when the direction of our path is one that can finally lead us in the direction of Spirit, rather than materiality, lead us to Unselfish Love, rather than selfishness, lead us to Universal Consciousness, rather than separate consciousness.
They are always being given the opportunity to learn, regardless of the type of path. Karma is constantly being created, and life keeps trying to teach us something by providing us with our own self-created lessons – that explode in our faces.
Getting taught in that way, has been called ‘the school of hard knocks’. But while everyone suffers the slings and arrows of life experiences, most people ignore these lessons which are being constantly presented to us. This is unfortunate when it is ignored, because suffering can cause us to be introspective, and really take a hard look, a deep look, at the ‘whys’ of our life experiences.
After we’ve had enough suffering to open our eyes, we realize we need to change. Therein lies the value of the pain. As you’ve already learned, transcending our separate self, and renouncing selfishness is painful too – it’s like ‘crucifying’ yourself. Most people won’t choose the spiritual path until they realize that the pain caused as a result of living selfishly, outweighs the pain of the spiritual path. But as I said, from time to time, people get hit with an unpleasant life experience, suffer, and get introspective. That’s when they can more easily realize that it is worth it to choose the spiritual path.
“Is that the only way someone finally chooses a spiritual path?”
Your consciousness and destiny chose it for you. And there are also other factors that can influence people to take the spiritual path.
During the introspective times brought by suffering, people are more aware of that constant painful gnawing that exists from the lack of inner peace. It reminds them, at least internally or subconsciously, about the great fact, that the suffering caused by remaining separate and selfish, will never end unless you return to Oneness with the Universal Spirit. And that they can never really be happy as a selfish separate self. Never. You may have temporary ‘high points and get offs’, but that’s it. On the other hand, the pain of ‘crucifying’ the selfish separate self is just temporary. And when you’re done, you have inner peace, and that’s the only true happiness, and the only happiness that never leaves you. When people suffer enough self-pain, they will eventually realize this. When one finally realizes this, and thus decides to take the “return trip”, is when the real spiritual journey begins. This is the point when we each begin our real ‘spiritual path.
There are as many ‘specific paths’ back to the Source of our being, as there are individuals. It can be no other way. Each entity is where they are, and basically what they are, because of the separate paths and experiences they have had (and created) in arriving at that point in time and space. Likewise, each entity has their own particular way to return, or ‘backtrack’, from that point. Let’s use an allegory. Let’s say there is this ‘mountain of life’. On all sides of this great mountain, are paths, millions of paths. These paths have been created from people starting at the top, which is the point of Oneness and of Universal Spirit. And all these paths are winding their way down the mountain, which is separateness and materiality, in various ways. On each of these paths, is a person. These people are at all kinds of different places on their path. Some are down at the base of the mountain, and some are near the top. Some don’t care to climb the mountain, and some want to because they have realized they must get to the top to find Oneness and peace. To get to the top they each have a different route – the path they made themselves from the top. It doesn’t really matter where each person’s path is, they all still end up back at the top. As we get closer to the top, some paths converge. We converge with soulmates, and with soulgroups.