Are you a Saint? A Zen Master? How about just a good human being? How do you know? What are the qualification? Are there any tests you can take to find out your spiritual growth? Yes there are. There are lots of ways to test your spiritual progress and life is constantly doing just that — giving you tests to help you evaluate yourself in order to make spiritual progress. There are also many ways to assess your spiritual level proactively and in this article I will provide one such illuminating test. Human beings are complex and so is life. I am glad it is so. The test I propose in this document is to evaluate some aspects of your being and is by no means a comprehensive examination. Perhaps I will come up with a more complete system down the road, but for now let’s try this one test to get us started. This test will help you determine if you have the right perspective, the right spiritual attitude towards life or if you have been snared by society and entrapped by the ugly web of attachment.
From my experience this one test, although simple, is quite revealing. It is incisive and cuts deep into your psyche to reveal the conditions under which you are currently operating. Using it, I can not only keep a sharp eye on if I am slipping into the jaws of ambition, but can also determine the state others are in, with regard to their “spiritual evolution”. By no means am I suggesting that you start to use this test (or others I might propose) to start judging the world or yourself harshly. The test is simply to be used as an indicator, to give you insight and help you with your spiritual work. So here is how the test works.
Test To Determine Your Spiritual Growth & Mental State
Step 1: Take a few moments and determine what you are very passionate about. This can be your career, but, does not necessarily have to be so. It should be something, though, that you are actively engaged in doing and something that you feel deeply about. Here are some examples: Yoga Teacher, Professional Blogger, Health Care Professional, Technology Professional, Businessman, Politician, etc…
Step 2: In this field that you care very deeply about, think about someone who is enormously successful. Successful in all ways if possible. Someone who has made a huge amount of money in that field, become famous and is powerful. Now one more criteria is important about this person. If possible, have it be someone who you don’t like, or don’t agree with. The more you dislike their ways and methods the better, but the test will also work pretty well even if you don’t dislike the person or their systems.
Step 3: Watch your reaction to when you hear complimentary information about this person, or just hear about the success this person is having in their life. Be brutally honest, or you will just be cheating yourself. Does it create any negative wave within you? Any tinge of jealousy? Any feeling of irritation? Any feeling of frustration? Any feeling of hurt? Does it cause any ripple, any disturbance, in your psyche? The greater the disturbance the more the test indicates its time to get busy with your spiritual practice. Here is a more detailed analysis of the test results.
A negative reaction or disturbance can indicate the following with regard to your spiritual state…
1. Too Much Ambition: You are probably focused too much on getting results and are overly ambitious. These attachments to the results can cause jealousy and ill-will towards those who have already achieved what you so badly seek. Another way to look at this is you may not be doing what your really love to do in life? This is the only way to be free of the clutches of society and gain oriented living. Doing what you love to do, will free you from everything. If this test produced negative waves, it could mean that you are only doing things to see what you will get out of them, instead of doing things for their own sake.
2. Non-Dual Perception of Reality: The test could also indicate that you are living excessively in an ego-centric way. You are seeing the world as full of separate people and focusing on the various personalities, instead of seeing the world in a non-dual light with all of creation being One and having nothing but divine nature. As Yogi Bhajan points out, “If you don’t see God in all, you don’t see God at all.” Are you seeing the Divine Nature of he who is getting under your skin? Are you seeing the Oneness of Reality?
3. Chasing the Wrong Things in Life: If you have never thought about it, let me point out an interesting fact about enlightenment. In society there is so much competition because resources/rewards are limited. There are only so many top 10 Blogs, there is only 1 winner in the tournaments, there are only limited political seats, there is only 1 CEO, only so much oil, land, etc etc. This breeds competition and conflict. But Enlightenment is not limited. Just because I am enlightened, does not mean you can’t be also. We can all be enlightened (and are), so this is one of those things you can chase without worrying about having to wrestle it away from anyone else. There is no need to compete, it is an infinite, inexhaustible resource. So this test implies that you are not exclusively chasing enlightenment. You are getting distracted and running around all over the place chasing useless stupid things. Time to buckle down and get back to the business of going after that which is the highest purpose of man. Time to fulfill your destiny.
Take this test from time to time, or be aware when life brings it your way. It is an insightful instrument to gauge your goodness and spiritual understanding.