Thoughts on Overcoming Temptation & Spiritual Growth

Recently I’ve been noticing some interesting overlaps from remarkably different sources about temptation and spiritual growth. Since my books touch on both of these concepts, I’d like to show you an interesting parallel that I’ve noticed. First a quote from the Ra Material that forms the philosophical foundation of the Epic of Aravinda:

18.5 Questioner: …I have a question here from Jim that I will read verbatim: “Much of the mystic tradition of seeking on Earth holds that belief that the individual self must be erased or obliterated and the material world ignored for an entity to reach ‘nirvana,’ as it’s called, or enlightenment. What is the proper role of the individual self and its worldly activities in aiding an entity to grow more into the Law of One?”

Ra: I am Ra. The proper role of the entity is in this density to experience all things desired, to then analyze, understand, and accept these experiences, distilling from them the love/light within them. Nothing shall be overcome. That which is not needed falls away.

The orientation develops due to analysis of desire. These desires become more and more distorted towards conscious application of love/light as the entity furnishes itself with distilled experience. We have found it to be inappropriate in the extreme to encourage the overcoming of any desires, except to suggest the imagination rather than the carrying out in the physical plane, as you call it, of those desires not consonant with the Law of One; this preserving the primal distortion of free will.

The reason it is unwise to overcome is that overcoming is an unbalanced action creating difficulties in balancing in the time/space continuum. Overcoming thus creates the further environment for holding onto that which apparently has been overcome.

All things are acceptable in the proper time for each entity, and in experiencing, in understanding, in accepting, in then sharing with other-selves, the appropriate description shall be moving away from distortions of one kind to distortions of another which may be more consonant with the Law of One.

It is, shall we say, a shortcut to simply ignore or overcome any desire. It must instead be understood and accepted. This takes patience and experience which can be analyzed with care, with compassion for self and for other-self.

Incidentally, this is question, from session 18 of the Ra Transcripts, is one of my favorite quotes of the entire 5-book series, and it’s insightful in its own right.

And now, in the same vein:

Let Your Temptations Be Your Explorations

When you resist a recurring temptation, it tends to remain a temptation. You’re stuck with a feeling of incompleteness. You may wrestle with yourself internally as to whether or not you should explore it.

Sometimes you can resist a temptation, and the temptation will fade. You’re able to let it go. The temptation is just a thought ripple in your mind. You don’t have to explore it.

But if the temptation keeps coming back to haunt you, even after you tried to let it go, maybe it would be wiser to stop resisting it. What if you were to consciously dive in and explore it? If you fully immerse yourself in it, the temptation will be able to run its course. It may take years, but eventually you’ll grow bored with it, and you’ll finally be able to let it go. Then you can progress to other explorations.

It’s also possible that after you explore the temptation thoroughly, it will resurface in a different form. Once again, you can choose to resist it or to continue exploring it.

Initially you may have some beliefs blocking you from consciously exploring a temptation. You may feel that the exploration is somehow bad or wrong. But can you imagine a light at the end of this tunnel? Do you think you’d learn something valuable by consciously exploring it? Is there a chance you’ll grow from the experience? Could the exploration transform you for the better?

The above was written by Steve Pavlina from this article. I don’t know if he’s read the Ra Material, but if not I’d say he is channeling the same source. In any case, it’s interesting to see how these spiritual principles are filtered through different personalities.

Needless to say, this idea that overcoming temptation may actually be counterintuitive to spiritual development is an intriguing idea that I’ve found more relevant over time.

What do you think?