Today, I want to discuss three influences that impact your personal and spiritual growth. They are called “influences” because they affect you daily on a personal and spiritual level whether you realize it or not.
We spend most of our lives under the lowest level of influence known as “Influence A.” Influence A consists of all our wants, needs and desires as an individual, hence they are often referred to as “life influences.''
Influence A comprises such things as money, food, housing, sleep, clothing, transportation, and relationships. Influence A also extends beyond the personal to our society and culture, and includes things such as our desires or associations with sports, politics, news, social position, wealth, power, etc. Basically, anything that is essential or related to your day to day existence falls under the umbrella of Influence A.
As a result, A Influence also assists in the development and maintenance of false personality as it reinforces and fuels the desires of the ego.
The importance we place on various things that fall under the category of A Influence can directly affect our mood, mental and physical health, and well-being: worrying about not having enough money to pay bills or losing a job, problems with your significant other/parents/children, trauma resulting from having been directly affected by a hurricane, heat wave, tornado, etc. For many, COVID-19 has probably been the single, largest Influence A event on a global scale in the past couple of years as it has affected our health, job, economy, and behavior.
While Influence A concerns one’s outer world, the second influence, “Influence B,” are those things that pertain to one’s inner world—their soul—and indicate there may be a higher form of existence, that of a spiritual or more conscious nature.
Influence B exists in life but is not born of life, meaning it originates from something higher than man. Religion, esotericism and mysticism, for example, fall under the category of Influence B.
B Influence teaches, encourages, and facilitates the work of the soul in your daily life.
B Influence originates from “C Influence.” C Influence is God—the Absolute—and is transmitted or delivered to mankind via individuals who attain a higher level of consciousness as a human such as Christ or Buddha.
The teachings of Christ and the Buddha are B Influence as they teach of the possibility of rising above false personality, living from one’s soul, practicing unconditional love, acceptance, forgiveness, presence, and such, in order to attain spiritual salvation or awakening.
Their teachings were directly given to them from God, but once that knowledge and understanding was written down or taught orally it immediately became B Influence as the teachings now exist in a form that others can directly digest and apply to their lives to grow spiritually.
It may be helpful to look at it in the following way:
C Influence: God (Absolute) and is transmitted to mankind through individuals who awaken and become “God-realized” through their own spiritual practice and efforts.
B Influence: Includes religion, esotericism, mysticism, and all the teachings, art, music, writings, etc., that we can verify to have originated in C Influence because it has the ability to assist us in being present and/or directly facilitates the awakening of the soul.
A Influence: All that is directly related to our life each day.
It is possible to interact directly with C Influence through prayer, meditation, practicing presence, etc. Many people believe they have direct conversations with God or have a guardian angel protecting them or a Saint they pray to for assistance, healing and guidance.
It’s important to have a discriminating eye regarding B Influence as there are spiritual teachers or so called “enlightened people” who can easily deceive you into believing they are real teachers when it’s actually a very powerful ego masquerading as something higher, and you can be manipulated and misled, and it can literally destroy your life as you can be drained financially, cut off from family relationships, etc., all in blind faith to a person who at first appears to be a true teacher.
There are several documentary films detailing this exact process and the path of destruction it can weave in one’s life.
My teacher said one factor in assessing a true spiritual teacher is by the “fruits of his labors,” meaning are his or her students truly growing in spirit and awakening or are they acting as blind followers parroting the words and actions of their so-called “guru.” There are of course the typical warning signs too, such as requiring large sums of money, telling you to isolate yourself from family and friends because they are a threat to your growth, basically the normal warning signs of a cult.
I encourage you to look at your life from the perspective of the Three Levels of Influence and examine their role and impact in how you live personally and spiritually.
For example, consider the following questions:
"Am I placing too much importance and focus on things related to Influence A such as money, power, status, possessions, things that can be taken away at a moment’s notice?”
"Am I experiencing unnecessary friction because I’m neglecting my physical, emotional and mental health?"
"Do I have relationships that are negatively affecting me? Are my relationships feeding me personally and spiritually?"
"Am I working with the daily friction that A Influence delivers and trying to rise above false personality?"
"Do I need more spiritual nourishment, Influence B, in my life?"
"Am I reading, watching, and ingesting things (B Influence) that elevate me spiritually and fill me with love and gratitude and make it easier for me to be present?"
"Am I neglecting my spiritual practice for things that don’t contribute to my personal and spiritual growth?"
Everyone has A Influence friction in their life. But, you can be present to the friction and transform its energy by observing it objectively, with loving acceptance, and turn it into fuel for you to be present.
It’s also important to seek out art, teachings, and the works of conscious origin that facilitate the growth and development of your inner world that feed your soul and fuel your awakening.
There are so many things that nourish the soul: walks in nature, listening to music that elevates you spiritually, reading the poetry, writings, and teachings of the great artists and spiritual teachers, visiting museums and botanical gardens, practicing meditation or meditative prayer. The list goes on and on.
I hope you’ll begin to look at your life from the perspective of A, B and C Influence and how it relates to and impacts your personal and spiritual growth. I think you’ll find it an invaluable tool to assist you in your desire for spiritual growth and awakening.