A religious or spiritual path that demands that I follow an external set of rules based on the experience of others does not appeal to me. I value paths that encourage me to seek my own experiences through inner exploration and discovery.
Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.
Sufism is one such path. Guidance is required but it is up to the spiritual seeker to do the work necessary to gain enlightenment. Click here for my video interview on the principles of Sufism with Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe, the leader of the Shadhiliyya Sufi order in the United States, and the founder of both the Shadhiliyya Sufi Center and the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism.
Self-Realization Fellowship is another path that demands much of its followers. As founder Paramahansa Yogananda said in a Thursday evening talk at the Self-Realization Fellowship temple in Encinitas, California, some sixty years ago:
Most religions try to hold followers by rousing their emotions or intellect, or insisting on blind belief in theological dogma. But the Masters of India hold you by your own realization. Never forget that. This path of Self-Realization Fellowship is the way to know Truth yourself through step-by-step realization. . . . So get buys. Do not waste your time. Day and night have unceasing devotion for God. You are bound to reach the Goal. Your own experience will hold you to this path. That is the only kind of seeker we want on this path. I could teach in a way that would stimulate your emotions or your intellectual curiosity, but I want to hold you only buy your awakening Self-realization. Let your own realization of God be your loyalty to this cause. If it doesn’t give you that, good-bye.
Click here to view all my posts about Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship.