By Gregg Sanderson
“I am perceiving everyone, including myself, as an awakening being who is here to claim his or her birthright to the higher consciousness planes of unconditional love and oneness.”
The Twelfth Pathway, from the Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes, Jr., is the antidote to judgment. Whenever I catch myself condemning that person who cut me off in traffic, the tax collector, or the Pope—and anyone in-between, I access the Twelfth Pathway.
The key to understanding in this Pathway is the word “…awakening.” We are all awakening beings…not yet fully awake, so there’s no possible reason to expect perfection. Yet we all have a birthright to the “…higher consciousness planes of unconditional love and oneness.” We just aren’t there yet.
I also like the “…including myself” part. It makes it much easier to live with my rare screw-ups. OK…Maybe not so rare. It’s still easy when I remove the personal requirement to be Saint Gregg. I can keep growing toward that state of unconditional love, even if I haven’t reached it yet, and that’s just fine.
I once heard a speaker proclaim his inability to relate to the idea of low self-esteem because he had always had a positive self-concept. I realized he had nothing to teach me along those lines, because he had no idea how to get there.
I use the analogy of the wagon train scout in the days of the pioneers. He would be just a little ahead of the wagons so he could point out the rocks, water holes, and Indians. He wouldn’t be of any value if he was already at the destination.
The speaker may be pompous and the scout may have questionable hygiene, yet both serve their purposes and are “…awakening beings…etc.”
This Pathway is especially useful in our daily encounters with the world.
It’s much less stressful to think “awakening being” instead of “idiot,” “jerk,” or “bozo.”
Same goes for politicians, TV characters, and DMV clerks.
I once posted a quote on Facebook by Thomas Jefferson, and one commenter invalidated the quote because Jefferson had slaves…which had nothing to do with the subject.
Enlightenment doesn’t happen all at once. Different aspects of us may awaken at different times, but we all have the “…birthright to unconditional love and oneness.”
In other words, enlightenment isn’t going anywhere. It’ll still be there when we get there, no matter how long it takes. Needless to say, some will take longer than others, but it’s their birthright, too.
Just a word now about “unconditional Love.” It’s unconditional. There’s no “I love you because…” or “I’ll love you just as soon as you meet my conditions.” There’s only “I love you.”
If I’m waiting for you to shape up, I guess I have more awakening ahead.
And that’s OK.
Gregg Sanderson, one of our long-time contributors, passed to spirit in September 2021, and we are continuing the 12 Pathways Series in his honor. He also authored Spirit with a Smile and The World According to BOB. During his life, he was a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books include What Ever Happened to Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing the Pain of Divorce.