An ideal home is an attractive thought. There are exhibitions and magazines which promote smart and aesthetically pleasing furnishing and house design. What is your ideal sense of home? Journeying to my ideal home would be aiming to live in the same community as other people with whom I feel at ‘home’. It also is to do with being around those who have a similar outlook to my own. This hopeful dream would be a bright tranquil place, where I would be happily involved with other people and feel quite contended. Do you have a similar aspiration?
Perhaps however, you don’t feel at home in yourself just now and somewhat uneasy or even dissatisfied with how you are. Having to justify to yourself your inner cravings. Desires which in your heart you know are not good.
Journeying home and inner oppression
Some people feel oppressed and held down by negativity and pessimism within their soul.
Can I ask you to consider whether there is a gap between your model way of living and what occupies your mind now? Is there any difference between your true home and actually what you are like inside now? If you are caught up in the priorities of bodily life and worldly concerns, do you wish to escape from their influence? I would like to say that all of us require some sort of enhancement – journeying home to our true self. A state of confidence, fulfillment, and commitment, and experiencing a deeper level of knowledge, understanding, and illumination.
Journeying home and personal change
So what is the way to feel at home with yourself? And in what direction should you travel when uncertain about this? Some people might experience the journey as passing through different states of doubt, belief and conviction: others in terms of attaining different states of vision, wonder and enlightenment.
However you think of the home destination, the journey will involve personal change. But of course change is tough. We move away from our comfort zone. We take on new challenges. Escaping from an unethical or materialistic way of life isn’t stress-free. Spiritual maturity doesn’t come easy. There is plenty of scope for losing your way or falling by the wayside.
Journeying home and deserts
A person is not transformed overnight by undergoing a single challenge but rather by undergoing very many of them. This is because there are numerous facets to ego mind that need to give way before one’s true self can fully emerge. Various self-orientated attitudes cling stubbornly to a person. For they have been deeply rooted in our culture passed down to us by ancestors going back many centuries and are for this reason innate in our nature. They have also been made stronger since early childhood by our own doing.
Consequently, soon into our journey we meet difficulties on a daily basis and begin to lose hope. We feel we lack something important to sustain our difficult journey. It is like travelling through a desert. One may get hungry for good ideas and thirsty for knowledge about how to manage. Being close to giving in when faced by such hardship, we need all the spiritual food and drink we can gain to refresh and give vigour to our newly forming spirituality.
Journeying home and battles
There can be no change deep down without some degree of inner conflict between the old desires and the inspired ideas that lead to a better life. You may need to fight against family expectations in order to learn a new kind of skill. You may need to battle against the fear of making a deeper commitment in an intimate relationship.
The conflict is within yourself. It can be a struggle between adopting a forgiving attitude or retaliating towards someone who has offended you: between exercising self-control or being self-indulgent: between embracing the spirit of generosity or acting in a stingy penny-pinching way.
There is no gain without pain, so there is no improvement in our character without giving up something not good. Do you still hanker after your past attachment to possessions? Do you still envy your neighbours’ furniture or holiday destinations? What are you battling against that is oppressing your spirit?
Drowning in a dangerous sea
As you try to make progress in your personal life you may suffer pangs of conscience when you remember the bad things you have entertained doing. So much so that you incriminate yourself. You are assailed on all sides by illusory ideas stemming from a condemning attitude.
Confronted with doubt, disbelief, and fear one realises that, by solely relying on oneself, one is likely to drown in the overwhelming sea of trouble.
I believe there to be a power of the flowing divine energy present within each of us; an energy that is strong enough to remove what is spiritually dangerous if only we would turn to it for help.
Journeying home and mountains
When in difficulties it is possible to remember a previous experience of a different state of mind. Like when you reached the mountain peak and you felt the clear air and had a panoramic view. Something good and true connected to that feeling of inner harmony and joy.
Many realise that this indicates the reality of something beyond themselves. A higher inspiration and strength that can guide and empower personal change. Call this higher light and power what you will; the higher Self, the Source of true love, the Divine-within, the Divine Being, God, or the Lord. All these terms imply something beyond oneself, a universal life force that works for good.
I believe this awareness of the Divine within – the mountain-top experience – can give you the strength you never suspected possible. The ability to conquer your fears, your depressive thoughts and your negative urges – temptations that assail us all.
Your journey may meander around as you experience many repeating alternating states of up and down, battle and rest, desert place and mountain top. Some lessons are harder to learn than others and we all take different paths depending on where we start. But with reliance on the inner light of divine guidance and the inner power of divine strength, I believe you can have every hope of finally reaching your home destination.
Copyright 2016 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author of Heart, Head & Hands Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems