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I feel honoured to be asked this question, as this is the most important question (in my opinion) in the universe. It is an extremely beautiful question!
I hope you will understand that this is also a question that can't really ever be answered. This is the question that everyone has to answer for himself! Liberation is an inner process; it's often referred to as Alchemy, which means converting the lead that we are into the everlasting gold of the Universal Creative Spirit.
The Bible quotes Jesus, who is our prototype for the inner process, as saying I will destroy this temple and build it up again in three days [stages]. In other words, in both examples there is a process of breaking down, and a process of building up. Both these actions have to be performed by ourselves.
What I'm saying is that liberation is a deeply radical process which changes our whole being totally, completely and utterly. And WE have to do it ourselves. No one's going to do it for us, because that would be against one of the most fundamental principles of the Universal Spirit: Absolute Freedom. This also means we can't be tricked or fooled into doing anything we don't want or trust completely. The Path of Liberation is safe! It's in our own hands, and we can do it at our own pace.
However, there are rules to it, like anything else we try to do. I want to be able to explain the rules to you, but in such a way that you feel totally comfortable about everything, and that you see the reason for the rules, and understand completely what you're doing.
Transmuting a mortal, biological person into an immortal, Divine Child of God is an immensely long journey. But you must know that quote I've seen in so many homes: a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
So let's not think too much about the length of the journey, but on that first step.
Well, Liberation is achieved in four main stages:
Insight means understanding the Path, understanding Liberation, understanding the imprisonment we're in. It's the MENTAL process.
Yearning for Liberation means that when we understand the need for liberation, for return to God, we start to WANT it very much. We focus our heart on it. This is a DESIRE or astral process.
Self-surrender means surrendering our whole being to the Divine Self in the heart. This Divine Self is symbolised by Harry Potter, born in Godric's Hollow, God's hollow place: the heart. A New Soul is born, but this is like a foetus, without consciousness, and completely dependent. We have to care for this inner God as the most precious thing in our life, and we must place its interests before ours. The force of life we call ETHERIC and so this is the etheric process.
The New Mode of Life means living life as the humble, selfless servant of the Inner God. This Inner God gradually grows in strength and starts to become conscious. This means we can begin to understand what he wants, and when we do what he tells us in our heart, our mode of life becomes magical. It becomes pure, unselfish, loving, caring, and wise. In other words, we start complying with the Universal Plan of Creation. We start to carry out God's Plan in the PHYSICAL plane.
The above paragraphs possibly raise a great number of questions (which is great) but for now I just want you to understand that this process starts of on the mental level, then moves into the desire or astral level, then the etheric, then finally the physical.
What this means in practical terms is that you must fully understand the Path before you can start to go it. To become an Alchemist in the laboratory of your own body you must become an apprentice first, to learn what it's all about.
However, insight isn't just intellectual learning. The word explains itself: it is sight within our self. Insight means understanding with our whole being. Insight is achieved by learning from experience. It's achieved by putting something into practice. For example a mother may be overprotective of a child. The one day something terrible happens. The child has a bad accident because it comes across something it hasn't had experience with. The mother has protected the child so much that when it faces danger it doesn't know what to do. Insight is when the mother realises her mistake.
So before the process can start, before the journey can begin, you have to know what you're facing, AND have insight into what works and what doesn't.
In the case of liberation, it's insight into how much we are in a prison. If you're born in a prison and you're happy there, you're not going to be liberated, obviously. But when you feel unhappy and try to escape, which is very difficult, you'll start to experience the walls of the prison very painfully. So insight is exploring the prison, not seeing a way out, and suffering the pain of imprisonment. That doesn't sound very attractive, but only when we realise how strong and restrictive our prison is can we develop enough yearning to be able to escape.
Now I want to give you a practical suggestion. How do we bring the Path of Liberation into everyday life?
Keeping in mind that the beginning of the Path is on the mental plane, my advice is for you to think with great joy and excitement that you're preparing to start a long journey. Just as you know that you have to make thorough preparations when you go on a camping trip somewhere far away, so you do for the Path. But the important thing here is to get excited about it, feel the anticipation, feel the expectation of a journey that will take you to the Heart of God, to a state where you'll be able to do something permanent and real for the millions of people suffering in this world; to a state where your heart will be so filled with Love for God and humanity, that you think it must burst in the ecstasy of it.
Open your heart to 100% faith in the Inner God; experience the hope of liberation for yourself and those you'll be able to help, and let your heart sing the song of Love that God has written there from the beginning.
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