"Welcome! It's so graceful to share the journey. We've been on the journey a long time together. We've gone through a lot of stages. And just as in any journey, some people have dropped along the way, have had enough for this round. Others have been waiting for us to catch up. The journey passes through the seven valleys, the seven kingdoms, the chakras, the planes of consciousness, the degrees of faith. Often we only know we've been in a certain place when we pass beyond it, because when we're in it, we don't have the perspective to know, because we're only being. But as the journey progresses, less and less do you need to know. When the faith is strong enough, it is sufficient just to be. It's a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It's a journey out of time, leaving behind every model we have had of who we think we are. It involves a transformation of our beings so that our thinking mind becomes our servant rather than our master. It's a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body, through identification with our psyche, on to an identification with our souls, then to an identification with God, and ultimately beyond identification.
"Because many of us have traversed this path without maps, thinking that it was unique to us because of the peculiar way in which we were traveling, often there has been a lot of confusion. We have imagined that the end was reached when it was merely the first mountain peak which yet hid all of the higher mountains in the distance. Many of us got enamored because these experiences along the way were so intense that we couldn't imagine anything beyond them. Isn't it a wonderful journey that at every stage we can't imagine anything beyond it? Every point we reach is so much beyond anything up until then, that our perception is full, and we can't see anything else but the experience itself.
"For the first few stages we really think that we planned the trip, packed the provisions, set out ourselves, and are the master of our domain. It's only after a few valleys and mountains some ways along that we begin to realize that there are silent guides, that what has seemed random and chaotic might actually have a pattern. It's very hard for a being who is totally attached and identified with his intellect to imagine that the universe could be so perfectly designed that every act, every experience is perfectly within the lawful harmony of the universe including all of the paradoxes. The statement, 'Not a leaf turns but that God is behind it,' is just too far out to think about. But eventually we begin to recognize that the journey may be stretching out for a longer span than we thought it was going to."