Continued from a previous series of posts on the stages of spiritual growth . . . These stages certainly can be thought of and experienced as an upward path. But there are dangers in viewing the spiritual life as an ascent. In our world, people tend to scratch and claw over each other to get the top of the corporate ladder, or look down with a sense of superiority over those below them. Spiritual growth does require disciple and courage, but exertion and effort and self-will nearly always end in spiritual disaster. Remember, the effort to reach the heavens with the Tower of Babel was a colossal mistake of human hubris (Genesis 11).

If Christ teaches us anything, it’s that the way up is down, the way to greatness is through humility, the way to possess All is to let go of everything.

Stage six, what I call, “abiding in love,” is the end point in the journey, the goal of the spiritual quest. When you arrive here, you realize that you’ve not been traveling up but in, to the depths of your being; you’ve been traveling down, into the fullness of your humanity. You’ve become a fully integrated person.

To be continued . . .