Read Timeline #1 first in order to get a view of the main points. This timeline describes the key stepping-stones on the conscious spiritual path in more detail.
This sequence corresponds to the second half of Tarot of Marseilles’ Major Arcana. It is linear in time. However, after key events take place, at any point it can become non-linear and we jump from one stepping stone to any other, until the process is completed. The process may terminate at any moment.
Aim, aim, effort, effort. Of course effort is important. Put some restraints on that unruly personality full of negative habits. So that if some truth comes our way we will not crack or go mad.
Glimpse of Truth
Truth then does come our way. Specifically the truth about who we really are. A glimpse of the true self. Gee! What a surprise! I am not what I thought I was all these years. I’ve been looking from the wrong angle all along. Even, and most importantly, the “spiritual” angle.
Elimination of the Unnecessary
There is so much nonsense in this personality. So many wrong ideas unrelated to reality, to how things really are. So many wrong beliefs about myself. Wrong masks that don’t suit me and don’t really fit that I learned and was forced to wear. They all have to go. All symbols of identity have to go. Including the spiritual “me” and the unenlightened me as well as the enlightened me. Eliminate the unimportant and the useless.
Right Work of Personality
The more the garbage is out the more balanced we become. We begin to feel normal and handle the opposites of duality with more grace and ease. Right work of personality begins to settle in.
Yet, old habits die hard. The momentum of false-personality is not so easy to rein. It will come back with a vengeance at every opportunity. The self-sabbotage, self-limitation, self-harm, self-ignorance are still stirred when given the right stimulus, and often even without apparent stimulus simply out of the spinning air in our minds and its memories. We feel at a loss and it seems our spiritual work has gone backwards. We have no control over false-personality, it appears it has a life of its own.
So, in situations when we are stuck we receive an external shock or intervention, of the unpleasant kind. It shakes us up and breaks our personality’s structure. An illness, an accident, a divorce, betrayal, whatever. It is painful but it is good in the overall picture of the spiritual path.
We become humbled and begin to flow with nature around us as a result, rather than resist the forces of life. We acknowledge guidance from a force beyond us as individuals. We feel more integrated into the world and more in harmony with Essence.
Yet, emotional pain is inherent in life and must be acknowledged and accepted. Our degree of emotional maturity becomes prominent. Past trauma becomes visible, impinging on our present emotional outlook, so it must be consciously processed. We have to grow up and accept pain as a natural part of our experience, rather than deny or avoid it. Pain is to be felt. There is nothing wrong in emotional pain.
We are not alone. Help comes in one form or another. A teacher, a friend, a spirit guide, a session of psychedelic drugs; it will come in many forms. Likewise, we will impart this same help to others we meet on the spiritual path. Like brothers and companions we all are.
Within this process of cleansing, purification, and love we become ready to recognize who we really are and live by it. The truth we glimpsed earlier on the path becomes more and more accessible, as the false beliefs and identities dissolve more and more and we are able to listen to the voice of the Natural State.
Spiritual Realization – Removal of Ignorance
One fine day, nothing is wrong anymore. It is not the voice of the Natural State that we heard. We Are That. The strain of being alive is removed. A quiet miracle or gift.
Both life and personality go on just fine as they are supposed to. With our likes and dislikes, pains and pleasures, but fearless and uncontrived. Making mistakes, paying attention and learning curiously as every normal human being does.