The Value of Books: Shouldn’t “Spiritual Knowledge” Come From Within?

I still recall, when I was four or five years old, too young to be deluded, I often lost myself in conversation with Nature. I knew without knowing, the joy of innocence and a deep connection with both the Nature and Her people around me. This innate knowing became veiled over by daily experience, education and the thoughts and feelings these engendered.

When I was eleven or twelve I recall the first dreams of traveling outward from the body and the first experiments with consciousness to determine if indeed I was dreaming, or traveling. Experimentation lead to replicable observations that indeed consciousness was able to observe beyond the immediate surroundings.

By this age I was experiencing many expressions of natural consciousness that although easily acceptable, were not entirely rational in my current intellectual capacity and I was starting to formulate real questions about my reality. Due to my inner experience, and the contradictions offered in religious upbringing, school, conversations with friends or family, I began to desire any kind of validation. Hence I approached books for the first time. And thanks God I did! Because I both realized that I was not alone in my experiences, as well as coming to know that there were pathways available for the development of my experience to conscious purpose. I found out that there were various cultures around the world, in my own backyard in the U.S., in Europe, in Asia. I understood that there were masters of these paths that lived to teach their arts and share their knowledge with people who wanted to discover and develop in line with those particular perspectives.

So in short, while the development of the spirit is very much a personal journey, books and teachers have their place in that journey. It is no different than the development of any other facet of my existence. If I want to be healthy, obviously I must do the work to be so, but that does not remove the value of an exercise coach, a cookbook or a video documentary on holistic health approaches.