Universal Path of the Soul
There are levels or steps that each soul must pass through that resemble a stairway in order to reach Heaven. It may take a few lifetimes in each stage, but with each one, the soul gains more power and awareness, and depth.
The first stage is tamas. In this stage, the soul is new and has difficulty using the human mind. None of the chakras are opened and they struggle with processing information.
There are many in third-world countries and they can best be described as the indigenous populations of the world.
They are not so much in the United States, but God does put together those with the same affiliation in a certain chakra.
If He didn’t, a person in a higher chakra would feel much suffering. If say, for instance, you were in a higher chakra and wanted to be learned, you would feel much suffering to be born among the indigenous.
There is a caste system going on in India that needs to be addressed. The soul is placed in a particular situation to advance their sadhana or soul growth.
With a caste system, one is judged by their birth circumstance alone which is displeasing to God. All should be given the same respect regardless of their birth lineage and all should be given the same liberties regardless of their last name.
A soul is placed in a certain situation for the benefit of growth, and it takes place between the Atman and God. It is a holy interaction that should be honored by all.
The second stage is rajas and the opening of the root chakra. The soul is still weak, as they gain momentum in the physical world.
They become adept at using the human mind and wielding it for their own purposes. At the top of this stage, they can become quite powerful and ruthless in the world.
The Bible speaks of them in Ephesians where it says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This is an accurate description of those nearing the top of this chakra.
The reason God said, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” is because God doesn’t want war and bloodshed. It’s cruel and inhumane.
In the end, everyone suffers, even the “winner.” Sometimes, war is inevitable, and the Father understands and doesn’t hold a soldier accountable.
Genocide is a different story as was the case during World War II. God holds many accountable for the Jewish death camps. The soldiers should have fled instead of following orders, and some did. God expects decency, even in war.
Some versions revised this verse from spiritual wickedness in high places to spiritual wickedness in “heavenly places.”
These other versions are referring to the war in Heaven recorded in Revelation that never took place. It’s imagery for the war that lies within the human soul between the ego and the Atman.
Where heavenly places know nothing about war, rajas fully embrace it. They are the world destroyers, and they number in the billions.
The third stage is the opening of the sacral chakra or pratyahara. It is also the stage that marks the beginning of wisdom or spirituality.
The soul gains momentum as the senses begin to turn inward and may gravitate more towards organized religions or yoga and Eastern traditions.
The most notable change from rajas to pratyahara in the physical realm is the desire to beautify their surroundings. They may like to plant flowers or show interest in the arts.
It’s in this stage, they begin accumulating gifts based on their interests. A singer or painter isn’t born in a day, but lifetimes.
The fourth stage corresponds with the solar plexus chakra or dharana. This takes a spiritual awakening from pratyahara to a higher level.
The soul begins to look deeper into the mind for meaning in life. Many theologians are in this stage, mastering religions on an intellectual and philosophical level.
They become adept at various subjects of debate and like to take things apart to see how they fit together, according to their interests.
They may excel in science or math, and organization is usually important to them.
The fifth stage is dhyana or the opening of the heart chakra. Where dharana enjoys mastering the mind, the next stage brings a new ability to use what was previously learned in dharana, to make changes within the mind and being-state.
This is where they begin to cast out, what the Bible teaches as original sin. This process is far from over as there are more chakras that need to be opened before ascension is possible.
Dhyana encompasses the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chakras. These are the heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras and there is a distinct difference as the soul progresses through each one.
As they near the end of a certain chakra, they may bring a teaching to the world from their progress thus far.
There are popular dharana- and dhyana-gurus. The most notable or seventh chakra of the dhyana-gurus is Eknath Easwaran, Da Free John, Osho, and Andrew Cohen.
Easwaran has brought one of the highest teachings so far from the East while including passage meditation. I read his grandmother encouraged this which helped him tremendously.
This is particularly useful for self-purification and if he continues to use passage meditation in future lives, he will move rapidly to moksha or final liberation.
There is one more level and these are the bodhisattvas. They represent those who have one foot in Heaven and one foot on Earth. Their chakras are fully opened but they linger behind for the sake of humanity.
Their desire is to bring enlightenment to others before seeking their own. They, too, are a special part of God’s creation and should be treated with compassion.
They have molded their minds into higher regions that make it difficult for them to be understood by the majority of those who are working through the chakras.
They’ve recently abolished the ego and while young, they see the world from a spiritual perspective that surpasses the chakras, though they know it not.
As they age, they feel at odds with the world and while dispersed among the other echelons, may fall into troubles of all kinds. Their trouble is not caused by their own inadequacies but by the world’s inability to comprehend their motives or actions.
Many grievances arise as they are judged or misunderstood by others, though God looks on with much love and compassion.
Some may follow a path in one of the religions and others may not, but they always follow the spiritual path the Atman and God set into motion from the beginning of a particular birth.
Whatever their mission is for completing their sadhana, they should be loved and respected, for their soul’s growth, too, is holy in the eyes of God.
The Buddha brought attention to this special place in this evolving of the soul, but there have been few examples outside of the last few hundred years, for just as the world is evolving, so are the bodhisattvas.
An example from the 1800s would be Edgar Allan Poe. As a child, I was immersed in fairy tales from Hans Christian Anderson with Cinderella and the Little Mermaid.
Later in high school, I found Poe’s poem, the Raven, and read his other short stories such as The Tell-Tale Heart.
The reason I list him here is that his writings show the dark nature of the unconscious and he drove into those depths like a spiritual warrior with divine madness and brought out writings the world had never seen before.
His short stories are dark but inviting, as he draws the reader into the darkness like the vast unconscious mind that a sadhu must eventually travel to conquer the ego.
Poe’s one foot in heaven was his divine writings and his one foot on earth was the troubles he succumbed to at a young age.
Some considered him a madman and a lunatic, and a few days before his death, he was found wandering the streets incoherent. Even upon his death at the age of forty, his adversaries attacked with cruel words and hateful slurs.
Little is understood by the world regarding the bodhisattvas, but they may go through long stretches of divine madness such as was the case of Swami Ramdas from India.
Born in 1884, he walked all over India, speaking “Ram, Ram.” He saw God everywhere and in all of creation. His spiritual writings are superior to the samadhi-gurus who have only had a taste of this sweet nectar.
The life of St. Edith Stein is another example of the bodhisattva. She was a German nun who was later sent to the concentration camps during the Nazi occupation.
She had a burning passion and a fire that wouldn’t be quenched as she strove to minister to those suffering beside her.
The two fellows from Led Zeppelin who wrote Stairway to Heaven, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page, are bodhisattvas, as well as Scott Stapp. I read he drove all over the United States for a month, following an angel on the hood of his car.
Most called him mad, but it was divine madness. His music and lyrics are deeply spiritual, though he never claimed a religious affiliation for many years.
Unlike the world, God understands the bodhisattvas and their path for that lifetime and even in their mishaps along the way. Their motives are pure as they strive in their sadhana to lift humanity to greater heights and nobler ways of thinking.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” He was speaking of the bodhisattvas for in their divine madness, they see God everywhere.
By acknowledging these levels within humanity, people may begin to look around at one another or themselves.
At the beginning of a new era, it may be the most useful as far as the teachings of the gurus.
It is with caution that a sadhu should follow any guru into an ashram-like setting. Their being state has not been completed yet, and they are in essence, a sadhu themselves.
There have been reports of abuse and many sorts of impropriety inflicted on those who live among them, credited even to the seventh chakra teachers.
Yet, those in the seventh chakra may bring more sophisticated or useful teachings than those in the sixth, and so on.
One can still practice their methods, but it may not speed up one’s sadhana to live among them, regardless of what the teacher might promise.
These are the levels within humanity, regardless of their religious affiliation in any given lifetime. A Buddhist will not reach enlightenment because of his belief in Buddhism.
A Christian does not reach Heaven because of the belief in instant purification. If anything, it can become a stumbling block as they wait for God to do it for them.
It is only through self-purification that the soul will see Heaven. There is no bypassing this truth and entering Heaven by any other route is not only unlikely but impossible.
The Christian message that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God is no more accurate than the Eastern tradition that we are all divine in search of realization.
Each has its shortcomings, but all must traverse through the chakras to reach Heaven. There is no such thing as “saved by grace,” and there was never a soul who entered Heaven this way.
Christianity does offer insights into the weakness of the human soul. It’s difficult for the soul to see more than one lifetime, as they endorse a one-life perspective.
The soul has great difficulty looking up so outside of Catholicism, Christianity discourages adoration of the saints as idol worship.
Christianity has proven that if one makes a valid claim to Divinity, they will be persecuted for it.
Jesus died tragically because of the ego and the inability of the human soul to look up and see His Glories in His everyday existence.
The ego wants to bring war regardless of where the soul is on the path to samadhi, and there is no war in Heaven. It doesn’t exist and it never did.
By extinguishing the ego, the soul is set free, and freedom is worth the price. What is that price? Sadhana.