The Evolving Soul is dedicated to the notion that we are all on a path of spiritual evolution and that we are meant to become highly evolved super-beings. It is not about the idea of a far-off concept such as heaven, but involves our capacity to live in a state of complete peace and harmony while living in this increasingly busy world. It is about how the Universe is teaching us to evolve every day.
This book also explores the varying levels of spiritual growth through which we all progress, moving from resistance to tolerance, and eventually into full acceptance. It also examines how these varying states of evolution relate to relationships, ego, hidden issues, inner decisions, true happiness, and unconditional love.
The Evolving Soul is designed as a guide toward the highly evolved path of finding true peace amidst the chaos. Through simple hands-on principles, it offers meaningful guidance toward a greater awareness of how life is trying to teach us to find this extraordinary state of being.
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The Evolving Soul
A Guide For Spiritual Progression
By Brad Flinders
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Brad Flinders
All rights reserved.
THE EVOLVED FOLK
In the early days of my search for truth, I spent an inordinate amount of time researching Near Death Experiences (NDE's). The more accounts I read, the more interested I became in one particular aspect common to nearly every story. Almost every person who visited the other side encountered a grand being who radiated the most profound love imaginable. Basking in the presence of this being of light made them feel unconditionally accepted and loved. Sometimes they would meet Jesus, sometimes an unnamed super-being of light and love.
The thing that fascinated me about these higher beings was their tremendous capacity to emanate an all-encompassing love toward and into the person experiencing the NDE. The person relating the account would often go on extensively about how they felt in the presence of this personage as well as how this feeling stayed with them long after their NDE. These higher beings radiated an unconditional love so powerful that it changed the NDEer permanently. The experience almost always altered their perception and understanding of life.
As I would read these accounts I would feel an irrepressible longing to be in the presence of such a being of pure light and love. I wished desperately that I could feel what the person experiencing the NDE had felt: the pure love of God emanating from such a highly evolved being. Whether it was Jesus, God the Father, an ascended master, an angel, a nameless being of light, whoever or whatever it was that these people were meeting in the heavenly realm, I wanted in on it so intensely that I could think of little else.
As I continued in my studies, the more I read about these fascinating NDE accounts, the more I realized that there was something else going on inside me. As I was thinking about this one day, I suddenly realized that what I really wanted wasn't necessarily to stand in the presence of one of these magnificent spiritual dignitaries. What I actually wanted, what the longing and pull inside was really about, was to become such a being. I came to the realization that I wanted to essentially be the guy radiating this tremendous healing love. I didn't just want to be transformed by this powerful love, I wanted to transform the lives of others. I wanted to become a superhero light being of the highest order! I wanted to serve others.
I began to ponder how this was possible. How did these tremendous beings of light become beings of light? How did such highly evolved beings become so highly evolved? How does one become so completely advanced, so fully evolved, that they radiate a pure unconditional love that heals all who come into their presence? Were they formerly a lowly being like me? If they were, how did they get to where they are now? How is this even possible? Did they have to start where I am and learn one step at a time? Could I actually do this? Could I some day, in say, a few million years, actually become such a being? I had so many questions and such a deep longing inside.
As I continued to study, pray and ponder, I began to reach some conclusions. I decided that it took eons for these super-beings to evolve and to grow into what they have become. I came to believe that this path of evolution was experienced through endless lifetimes of growth and learning. I supposed that they were indeed just like me at some point in their evolution. This gave me tremendous hope. Somehow, through extensive experience, growth and learning, they have become superheroes in the realms of love and light. They have become so highly evolved that they have arrived at, and have become, the actual embodiment of the greatest power in the Universe: pure love.
Back here on planet earth, in this extremely low-vibrating realm of snail-paced evolutionary progression, we are each evolving in our own way. We are on our way, far away though it may seem, to becoming beings of immense light and love. We are all on a path of eternal progression toward spiritual superhero-ism, whether we realize it or not. We are all evolving souls, all in our own unique chapter of life's endless book of experiences.
As we walk this path, it may be of interest to note that the Universe is not necessarily in any hurry to bring about our personal evolution. This is fortunate, since some of us may take eons to progress due to our determined resistance to life's lessons. The good news is that the outcome is certain. We are all evolving, thanks to the lessons that Life is bringing into our every experience. How quickly we are evolving is another matter entirely. Fortunately we all get to decide and determine for ourselves how this evolution all plays out. The beautiful and perfect gift of choice lets us progress at our own rate.
Since we are a rather impatient species, especially the current generation, it is important to recognize that there are few shortcuts on this pathway of growth. Progression requires the grind of meaningful and repeated experience. It is not a matter of suddenly and magically being thrust through the pearly gates into heaven. Death does not abruptly transform us into light beings. It does, however, help us to awaken to the extent of our spiritual advancement or lack thereof.
When we pass on to the other side, our sudden enlightenment due to freedom from the heavy mortal veil serves to alert us to the purpose of these perpetual lifetimes of growth. Each time we go through the cycle and then pause to review our experience, we become more determined to come back and try again. From a perspective of clarity we can see the tremendous value in progressing through our mortal experiences. We want to get it right. We want to truly learn from our life lessons rather than resist them. We want another chance.
Through repeated experience, we eventually learn that the purpose of our existence is to evolve. In truth, we can't help but evolve. Experience is our teacher. Every lesson in life, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is ultimately designed to teach us how to become highly evolved beings. The path to this evolved state, as well as the end goal, is profoundly simple. It is unconditional love. Getting there, of course, requires consistent practice.
The chapters that follow provide suggestions and observations regarding how we are meant to grow through the experiences life brings. They serve as a gentle reminder that everything we go through is a lesson. All of our experiences, especially the unpleasant ones, are ultimately given as important steps in our eternal evolutionary development. I am convinced that if we see them as such, our evolution into pure love and light might take merely thousands of years instead of the customary millions.
We are all here to learn something specific to this particular lifetime. We all have a different path and a different purpose. We have all been sent here to earth school, and school is definitely in session. We also have a choice in how our lives play out. We can progress or we can stagnate. The Universe is in no hurry. Regardless of the path we choose, the news is good. We are on the road to perfection, and we are walking it every day.CHAPTER 2
LEVELS OF EVOLUTION
RESIST – TOLERATE – ALLOW – ACCEPT – EMBRACE
You can ascertain, to a certain extent, where you are on your own evolutionary ladder by how you react to a given situation; and by situation, I mean unsavory experience. Let's start near the bottom and work upward. The natural and un-evolved response to a life lesson is typically resistance. We don't like pain, emotional or otherwise, and we resist it at all costs. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), this resistance only brings more pain. When we become aware that the experience is a lesson provided by a loving Creator, everything changes. When we can ask the highly evolved question, "What's the lesson for me?" we escalate the evolutionary process in dramatic fashion.
There are definitely levels of growth and awareness involved in this process. In the beginning we always resist. No one likes an unpleasant situation, and resistance is typically our natural response. Later, with experience, we learn to tolerate the painful encounters. We no longer react. We stop resisting.
Then, with experience, we learn to allow. We reluctantly allow our experiences to be what they are because we perceive their value as life lessons. We also realize that they're going to keep showing up whether we like it or not.
Later, as we more fully evolve, we move into a feeling of acceptance. We come to know that a higher power is bringing these experiences into our lives. We agree to the encounter even though we struggle to find our way through it.
Eventually, after a lot of meaningful learning experiences (pain) and significant evolvement, we grow to the point where we not only accept; we embrace. This takes a tremendous amount of awareness. When you can finally embrace your painful learning experiences as perfect for your growth, you will have come a considerable distance in your evolutionary progress. When this becomes your truth, your life will begin to transform itself just as the caterpillar moves toward the realization of butterfly-ness.
The truly evolved soul actually feels gratitude for the painful or unpleasant experience because they have learned that there is immense value in whatever the Universe is bringing into their life. They know that it's perfect for their own growth. They are eager to learn the lesson because they comprehend that the experience is helping them to evolve. They have come to trust the process and they no longer ask why. Only the resistant ask why. For the evolving soul, the only question that is ever necessary is what. What is the lesson for me in this experience? What is Life trying to teach me? What am I not learning from this situation that keeps coming up in my life?
The evolving soul has learned that resistance is futile. Trying to avoid the pain becomes pointless once you understand that the pain is going to keep coming back until you get it. When you decide to let go of whatever the pain is trying to help you to let go of, you evolve more fully and more quickly. What you resist persists. Fortunately, what persists finally teaches you to let go.
Resistance brings more pain, which is not necessarily such a bad thing since pain is a pretty good teacher. Some people insist on learning the hard way by refusing to let go, refusing to forgive or refusing to admit that it is they themselves who need to learn from the situation. Again, that's okay. Those who learn the slow or difficult way always end up learning the lesson more fully. Learning the hard way will ultimately make the lesson more permanent and more fully ingrained into the soul.
Resistance to difficulty is a form of judgment, and judgment is, of course, on the lower-end spectrum of the evolutionary process. One of the keys to stepping onto this wondrous path of spiritual evolution is learning to avoid judging appearances. Judgment, when perpetually engaged in, can slow one's progress to a near standstill. Judgment is an extremely low energy in which to live. By contrast, when we acknowledge that life is a series of perfect lessons for everyone involved, we stop judging everything and everybody, including ourselves. Evolving souls are doing everything they can to come out of judgment and move into a constant state of acceptance and allowing.
Judgment can be subtle. We all do it at some level. The more we evolve, the more our eyes are opened to our own judgmental nature. As we grow we become aware that what we thought was a normal reaction is really a judgment. We learn that when we evaluate a person or situation we are in judgment.
Non-judgment must be learned in degrees. We don't think we're judging anything, when in truth we are judging almost everything. It takes awareness and commitment to grow into complete non-judgment. It is a lifelong process that continually evolves. We can't learn it all at once. It must be learned in degrees. It is not, however, a burden. It is a wonderful path of discovery that brings a lightness and joy to your life.
Non-judgment requires practice. When you complain about the weather you are in judgment. When you are annoyed by someone's behavior you are in judgment. The very definition of judgment is to declare that something should be different than it is. The non-judgmental soul is a lover of what is. It is possible to experience life without judging life. Non-judgment means not having an opinion about everything. Non-judgment is movement toward acceptance.
Judgment is a vibration. It brings a feeling into your body and into your psyche that feels increasingly foreign as you evolve. As you learn to judge less, those times when you do slip back into judgment will make you feel uncomfortable. You begin to feel a friction and a resistance in your spirit when you laps back into judgment after having lived in comparative non-judgment.
With practice, you find that the less you judge, the more freeing the non-judgment becomes. Non-judgment is the first step toward a more accelerated rate of evolution. It is also the beginning of evolvement into unconditional love. Non-judgment is warming us up so that we can be ready to live in the pure love of the higher realms.
The judgmental soul is the un-evolved soul; however, we only remain un-evolved until the judgmental experience itself becomes the lesson. Judgment is actually an integral part of our growth and development. This is because, with enough awareness, judgment becomes our teacher.
Years ago my wife and I were, due to our spiritual pursuits, cut off from the church to which we had belonged since birth. After this became public knowledge in our small close-knit community, I was fascinated by the way this experience revealed the true sentiments of those around us. It was like the layer of façade was peeled back and people would unwittingly reveal what was in their hearts. Some displayed such a heartfelt love and concern that I truly felt bad for them. They were heartbroken over our fall from grace. Others were less charitable in their feelings toward us. It was as if our experience of excommunication was as much for their growth as it was for ours. A judgmental situation (appearance) always reveals what is in one's heart. It also presents a valuable opportunity for growth.
I recently read about a Mormon bishop who showed up at church disguised as a homeless man. He wanted to teach his fold about judgment. Some ignored him, some asked him to leave, and a few (mostly children) wanted to talk to him and interact with him. When he walked up to the pulpit and removed the disguise, after the initial shock, everyone got to have an honest look into their own hearts. What a tremendous moment! I'm sure some of them wanted a do-over, while others may have felt thankful for their heart-felt loving response. The experience helped them to look within in the most honest way possible. That's how life's lessons work. They teach us about ourselves and they help us to change. Our lessons in judgment will hopefully teach us to see all people and situations with new eyes. These types of lessons only help us to grow.
Judgment is a marvelous teacher, especially if we are determined to become a student of life. It is an important part of our experience and is critical to our growth. It teaches all of us (because we all judge) that we still have a ways to go. Judgment is a necessary part of our evolution. It must be learned in degrees. We can't practice non-judgment unless we have the opportunity to judge, and trust me, the Universe is generously (and lovingly) providing ample opportunities to all of us.
The opportunity to judge is a golden opportunity to evolve. The more you can bring yourself to choose non-judgment in a judgmental situation, the more you are growing in spirit. This kind of growth is more significant than you might realize. The seemingly inconsequential moments of simply choosing to judge or not judge are considerable in your evolutionary development. You are given countless opportunities to judge every day. As you evolve you are able to see these moments more clearly and to see new ways that you have been in judgment. It really is a great quest of learning and growth if you see it as such.
If you stay in the ego-driven tendency to rationalize or justify the judgment, then the judgmental opportunity will keep presenting itself. When the same difficulty or annoyance keeps showing up in your life it is because you are focused on the difficulty and not on your own reaction to the difficulty. If you rationalize that the person really is a jerk, that you really have been wronged or that you are not the one at fault (all of which may be true), you miss the opportunity that the Universe is lovingly providing. Everything is a lesson. Every day school is in session. There are no weekends in earth school. The Universe has you on the fast track to your evolutionary development; it works full time at your growth.
One final thought on judgment. The most important aspect of non-judgment is non-judgment of self. We are always the toughest on self. We are our own worst critics. This tendency to judge self is completely destructive to the practice of soul evolution, yet we all seem to engage in it. We are much too hard on ourselves.
Let the journey toward unconditional love start with yourself. Try the practice of feeling at peace when you look at your reflection. Looking in the mirror (both literally and figuratively) tends to be a highly judgmental experience. Look for the good. Ignore the so-called flaws. Come to a place of peace with who you are, and stop with the thought that you are not enough. You are perfect, especially in relation to where you are in your eternal progression. You are enough. It's time to stop judging.
The pursuit of non-judgment is delightfully freeing. To be free from judgment is to be free from the weight of mortality. Freedom from judgment gives us a small taste of the pure love experienced by highly evolved beings. It is the beginning of freedom from the low vibration of this mortal existence. Non-judgment is the beginning of the path to love. It is a welcome tool embraced by the evolving soul. It is the foundation of greater happiness.
Excerpted from The Evolving Soul by Brad Flinders. Copyright © 2014 Brad Flinders. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Evolved Folk, 1,
Chapter 2 Levels of Evolution, 7,
Chapter 3 Eternal Progression, 17,
Chapter 4 Vibration, 27,
Chapter 5 Stuffing Stuff, 39,
Chapter 6 Relationships, 45,
Chapter 7 Gratitude: The Secret Weapon, 57,
Chapter 8 The Observer, 63,
Chapter 9 All You Need Is Love, 67,
Chapter 10 Living From Within, 71,
Chapter 11 There's Something More, 87,