4  The spiritual development

"Our whole occupation in this life is to restore the health of the eye of the heart, with which we could see God." Augustine of Hippo, church teacher (354 - 430)

Man has come to earth with one great, overriding goal: self-realization. C.G. Jung

4.1 The spirit as an opportunity of development
You can become aware of the inhibitory initial state. As a result, a holy unrest can arise in you, a sacred desire, by which you want to strive for insight into yourself and to release yourself from that inhibiting, unhappiness and dissatisfaction causing status. In order to achieve that aim, you must learn to use your abilities consciously and in a controlled manner, whereby you more and more realize yourself and your original spiritual nature.
The meaning of this inhibiting initial state is therefore that it gives you the opportunity to free yourself by taking yourself as work. By this work on your personality you can realize your spiritual independence - the goal of the school that this temporary existence is for us.
As a human spirit you start this existence not only in that mental state of unconsciousness of yourself, but also as an opportunity of development. As is said before, you possess a spiritual figureability, with which your ability to learn is connected. By this learning ability you are not only educable, but also able to educate yourself by developing your spiritual abilities and thus by forming your personality.

Henri Boelaars OSB - The Meeting
St. Willibrord Abbey, de Slangenburg,
Doetinchem, the Netherlands
4.2 The development of the abilities
How can the spiritual abilities - and thus personality - be developed? The spiritual abilities can only be developed in the personal interaction with your fellow human beings in everyday life. You can become human only by the living association with your fellow man.

You develop the ability of perception by being aware of your daily experiences and listening with attention to what others say to you.
You develop thinking by trying to understand the meaning of those experiences, by analysing them intellectually and by connecting them with your other experiences, thus increasing you in understanding.
Feeling you develop by consciously adopting an open feeling attitude towards your experiences, by which they can touch you personally, so you can have compassion with your fellow human beings and fellow creatures, with plants and animals.
The development of strength of will is an exercise in self-control and patience. In doing so, it is important to master within yourself the conscious force of life and outwardly to carry out your reasonable and moral decisions resolutely.

4.3 By self-experience to self-awareness
If you develop your abilities by learning to use them in a conscious and controlled manner as much as possible, then you develop your sense of perception into a sense of beauty, a sense of order and tidiness; then your thinking is characterized by wisdom and striving for truth; your feeling by love and goodness, and your willpower by strength and perseverance.
By the development of your abilities you start to live more and more consciously from yourself as being a spirit; for by experiencing the activity of your abilities in yourself, you come to self-perception and therefore to self-awareness, to self-knowledge, to knowledge of yourself as being the fully active human spirit.

"Who looks outside, 'dreams',
who turns inward, 'wakes up'." C.G. Jung

4.4 The conscience and the virtues
Because of the controlled use you have learned to make of your abilities, you have also developed a special quality of them. It is in fact the possibility to direct them on yourself by introspection and to present yourself with a mirror. It is the possibility with the help of your own abilities to observe your own spiritual activity yourself again, to reflect on the value of your own way of thinking, to feel the value of your own feelings and, if necessary, to control your own willpower.
With that ability, your conscience is connected. The conscience is the whole of your own self-reflection, your reasonable and moral self-assessment and your self-control.

In the developed mental state your abilities, when turned inward, appear to be the conscience, when they are turned outward the virtues. The ability of perception is then characterized by attention, thinking by understanding, feeling by love and wanting by patience. By virtue, your behavior - and with it your personality - because of love is characterized by attention, understanding and patience, and therefore a close relationship between yourself and your fellow human beings can arise.

4.5 The reunion with the universal spirit
By self-realization, as the development of your abilities to conscience and virtues, your spiritual light and warmth rise in the spiritual world, and thus your spiritual state can at last conform to that of the universal spirit. Self-realization results in that state of spirit, so that a close relationship with the universal spirit can also arise and reunification with it becomes possible.
Self-realization by self-education, by taking up yourself as work, is therefore the core of spirituology; it is the decisive step on your life path and it is the meaning of the school, which this temporary existence is for us.

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to part 5: the spiritual reunion