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Spirituality in time of change
by Joachim Armbruster

Why do we need a Path of No Way in these times?
What kind of times are we facing?

What do we need, especially in times when everything is open? Where nothing – or only very little - is predictable, and when science questions our fundamental view of the world? Economic and ecological crises challenge us. Daily headlines concern increasing poverty, violence and greed, as well as a shortage of natural resources and energy, and natural catastrophes. Conflicts between belief systems shatter our daily life and threaten our so-called peace. The international network and global connections become clearer, and our dependency on one another becomes stronger.

We live on a planet where everybody is connected with everybody. More and more people seem to become conscious about that. However, we still act as egotistically as before, and our decisions are based on national or personal interests of power. Our own survival is most important, and a united strategy is barely in sight. The discussion about energy and mineral resources is a key issue for the industrial nations, since they have not succeeded in developing appropriate alternatives. No wonder that “the curtain goes down” on several industrial branches. We missed the signs of the times, and nobody is prepared for it – there are no adequate solutions.

Do we have time left?
The fact that this development accelerates is an additional factor. If you buy a new computer today, it is already out of date. The pressure to be innovative grows over-proportionally because we are driven by technological developments and therefore the half-life of products. “Time is running,” and it does not seem to ask us if we are ready for it.

Unfortunately, this concerns the global problems as well, and the demands that they pose. What was right today may be wrong tomorrow: The current international financial crisis seems to confirm this. Stability and security are shifting to become old-fashioned values of the 20th century. Change is more popular now than ever. Change, yes, but into what? From where can we find the trust to take the next step, and how can we find security in it?

On the one hand, we enjoy the liberty of knowledge and of access to information through media such as television and the internet. The achievements of the era of information allow information to be available for us without limits, worldwide and ‘just in time.’ Nonetheless, we have learned little about how to use this potential to solve global crises or personal conflicts. The central themes of our times, such as poverty and hunger, pollution and waste of energy resources, diseases and isolation, have not yet been touched. Every minute 18 children die of hunger, illness, or lack of water?

Instead, we suffer of a flood of information and an inflation of opinions, just because of this variety in media. Managers spend 2 hours daily responding to e-mails?, and 33% of office staff feels overwhelmed by the amount of e-mails and information?. It is barely possible to handle this, and it leads to a kind of tunnel vision which narrows the personal horizon rather than widening it. This demands a new evaluation of knowledge and of what is essential.

Instead, we know less and less what to believe and whom we can trust. Political and economical powers are exchangeable. Politicians wear themselves out in their positions, and are still hardly able to offer effective perspectives for the challenges that we face. We seem to know a lot, and still we feel a lack of orientation.

Where does this lead us, and what questions arise?
One can observe a search for long-range orientation, for new values and for essential change, not only in the principle concepts of political parties and companies. It becomes clear that there is a strong need for answers to the question of the meaning of, and a deeper understanding of this over-all development. Connected to this is insecurity about which way to go, and what would give us direction. At the same time, there is an increasing need for individualism, authenticity and integrity.

Some people withdraw into their homes, saying “my home is my castle.” The entertainment industry is booming and “home entertainment” is available on all channels. Stores selling building supplies are highly successful, and especially in the large cities of the world, shopping has become a basic need for many young people. Others search for a way out in radical ideologies or with other religions. There is a stronger demand for traditional religious directions and healing methods, even if a satisfying solution to the problems of today is not in sight. Do we only search, but not find?

Where do we find essential answers to these questions?
Famous philosophers, scientists and teachers have given answers that meet the deeper wish for an essential life. They have answered questions such as: What is the core of our problems? How can we experience peace and freedom? How do we overcome suffering and greed? Are we humans responsible for all this? Also, the findings of Quantum Physics and of Chaos Theory head towards the same direction (everything is connected to everything; change is the only constancy; the discovery of singularity). But do these findings really help us concretely in daily life? Do we become free and independent if we follow these teachers and their paths?

The time seems to be ripe for an expansion of our consciousness that can deal with today’s challenges. It is ripe for a spiritual lifestyle that is adjusted to the needs and problems of the present social and economic tensions. Today’s facts and challenges speak a clear language. As it looks now, we need an individual and authentic path, without ideologies. A path that does not foster dependency nor follow given rituals. We do not eat the same food, we live in different cultures and traditions, and we come with different social and constitutional backgrounds. Is there a path that is nevertheless useful for everybody? And if so, what should it be like in order to fit our personal situation and give answers to our questions?

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a guiding principle out of which one could derive generally valid answers, thus fitting everybody? A GPS for spiritual orientation in life as a whole, and for personal direction in everyday life? Path of No Way seems to suggest this approach as it is presented by Stèphano Sabetti. Stèphano Sabetti describes it as followed: “The Path of No Way is an inquiry into the essence of our spiritual nature, without rituals, fixed practices or external rules. It is the research of a choiceless freedom, beyond suffering, confusion and struggling of any kind”(4) .

The Path of No Way gives us orientation through the experience of an inner resonance. It is like an echo of what we feel and what we do. It is a spontaneous journey that represents essential spirituality in a lifestyle without belief systems. This is why Path of No Way suggests considering spirituality as a natural joy of evolution unfolding directly in front of us, rather than as a discipline. It is a path without a predicted way – a relatively shapeless though focused life in consciousness, love and surrendering to spirit as it moves in and through us.

Path of No Way is based upon the unique concept of resonance that we experience in our body and through daily life messages. When you start to move into a certain direction in your life, you can notice: “Yes, this feels right.” And then you continue going this way, and: “ Yes, this also feels right.” In this way, you begin on a path of resonance that develops out of its own sequence of movements, reflections and research. Instead of believing something and then following it, the concept of resonance allows to develop a connection to one’s own reality.

Where does this knowledge or the feeling for this path come from? Sabetti’s answer is: “Everything is in connection and in communication to each other in a universal field of consciousness. This is a non-personal field that understands everything that happens. The communication of this field is similar to the principle of a transponder, known from the technology of satellites. It is a combination of sending out and responding. When we send out something we automatically receive an answer.”(5)

There seems to be a universal field of consciousness, out of which we continuously receive life messages showing us our direction. Outside of ourselves, this might be a car accident or an important meeting; in the body, an illness or simply a feeling of congruence. We learn to develop a repertory of feeling, understanding and accepting. We are asked to look at the facts of our life, whether we like them or not. These facts accumulate, and in this way we find our individual path that we have always been looking for.

Path of No Way represents both a profound research into the essence of reality as well as a research into our being, beyond the identification with our egocentric side. It is a path that connects, rather than one that isolates and causes insecurity. It is a path that always emerges spontaneously, in union with an inner power, the Self. In this way, it gives us a deeper and consistent orientation.

How can we regard current problems from this perspective?
In our daily life, we shift between various aspects of our life. Most of the time we experience these as contrasts. This invites conflicts. Wouldn’t there be a connection, if we did not experience these polarities as separate from one another, but as aspects, only apparently different? Wouldn’t these polarities then merge into each other, although their forms and movements seem to be different?

Indeed, we can learn from this path how all polarities come together in a Middle Course of Confluence, e.g. in relationships, working process and economic developments. Sabetti describes the Middle Course of Confluence as an experimental process, a quality of consciousness and a lifestyle in which any polarity can come together in a one-pointed reality.

When we have an argument with another person e.g. about who is right and who is wrong, each one insists on one’s own position. Or, we could ask ourselves: “What is it concretely that annoys me about the other person? Do I know this aspect from something in myself?” Often the answer is: “Yes, I know this, too.” Simply because of that, we start to develop a sense of understanding, and the “wall” changes. If both parties do this, it is hardly possible to maintain the conflict. The polarities dissolve towards a common ground and an understanding on both sides.

Transferring this example to a larger context, it is apparent that suffering and conflicts in our world have their roots in the arguments within ourselves. In these arguments, the polarity itself is not the problem. The problem is our attachment to the one side or the other, and our defence of this attachment. If regarded in this way, wouldn’t many global difficulties get a whole new perspective?

In this manner, the Path of No Way shows a way in which for complex challenges do not automatically have to end in conflict. Instead, they can lead to essential and therefore sound changes. Due to one’s respective learning experience, the Path of No Way shows how to let go of the attachment to the problem, no matter on which level the problem manifests itself.

Apart from the Middle Course of Confluence, Sabetti also mentions Essential Inquiry and Process Meditation as important elements of the Path of No Way. What do these elements mean  in this context? The yang element of Essential Inquiry is an extension of the tradition of self-inquiry proposed by Ramana Maharshi. This tradition asks the question: “Who is the person who...?” This is both a confronting and a supportive research into the deeper experience and growing understanding of one’s spiritual Self. In our example of one person being in conflict with another, one could ask the question:” Who is the person who knows the other (person’s) side and still gets stuck in a conflict?”

Process Meditation is the yin element in this method of meditation. It trains us to become aware of our inner movement, and to follow it towards peace and oneness. Instead of getting stuck in control (con-t-roll), one learns to go with what comes up (con-roll) in the moment. In this manner, the process uses supposed disturbances in order to become free of distractions and attachment. When we allow ourselves to “drop into” the meditation process, we experience the “gravity of the Self.” According to Sabetti, this is the part in us that invites us to let ourselves be drawn into our essential quality. We feel in a deeper and more radical way who we really are and what we have to do.

These two elements together lead us to an essential experience in the Middle Course of Confluence. It brings us in resonance with our Self and towards holistic answers and solutions.

How are my experiences with the Path of No Way, concretely?
This description of the Path of No Way might sound abstract. Therefore, my personal experience might give you some insight into practical experience and consequences of the Path of No Way. Getting through and learning from crises and “knockouts” (handicapped child, divorce/ failed marriage, and substantial financial losses) have been the main themes in my life. To some extent, psychological support helped me to get through daily life.

But these answers were not enough. And I was not attracted to traditional religious or spiritual communities. Only deeper research into those experiences helped me to gain insight into the sense and meaning of these events. The work with Stèphano Sabetti supported me enormously in this. I felt accompanied in a loving and consistent way, without being forced into an ideological or religious context.

On the contrary, the constant request to research into my own way and my own solutions was the most important help in this process. Although it was often uncomfortable and confronting, I experienced the Path of No Way as a continuous call to look at it. At the same time, I was able to experience the beauty and greatness of my life - one waiting for me with love and happiness beyond external conditions.

What was or is the meaning of all this experiences that I had to have? They kept showing me my individual task: to completely come down to earth as who I am and with what moves through me - in order to manifest my spiritual and personal potential in a world that might not wait for it outwardly.

By accepting these sometimes tough learning moments, I learned on the one hand not to give up, but to surrender into this life with all that I am. On the other hand, I became conscious of this inner voice that, beyond willpower and thoughts, gives me orientation and perspectives in the jungle of every day life. In short, it is a permanent lesson in practicing courage and humbleness.

The personal inquiry in Path of No Way, as previously described, has become an important element in my daily life on all levels. E.g. I asked myself the question: ”Who is the person who attracted all these difficult situations?” This took me away from self-pity and self-criticism. Instead, it supported my humor and my willingness to take and follow what comes.

From a practical perspective, my body often served as a medium of resonance for the next step. My many thoughts did not give any direction. It was sinking into the feeling of truth and honesty that showed me the way in practice. Whenever I left my truth, I had physical symptoms that forced me to slow down and take a closer look.

This path teaches me that only in this way can I learn to trust my own process. Only in this way can I get a connection to my spiritual Self and to a concrete manifestation of this experience in every cell of my being. Only like this can I realise how precious and helpful it is to have my life experiences and to transform them into learning. The saying is true: “If you want to change something, you have to start with yourself.”

New and modern, with much humor and fun, refreshingly unconventional and yet imbued with an incredible depth and truth: this is how the Path of No Way supports me to find the courage to go my spiritual way. This way is connected to my personal responsibility towards mankind and the planet, in an experience of love and connectedness in freedom. This is why a Path of No Way is necessary as a consciousness in the jungle of our times.

Path of No Way does not offer the possibility of consuming nice, literary thoughts or prepared ideas. It requires that every individual walks his or her own way consistently, and with a responsibility for him-/herself and the whole. This again requires a lot of honesty and courage. We have to be ready to listen to our inner voice. As Schiller said: ”The inner voice cannot deceive the hoping soul.”

1 year report of UNICEF, January 2008

2 H Henley Management College

3 DAK Health report (DAK is a German health insurance company)

4 Marga Society

5 DVD Path of No Way, Introduction to Essential Spirituality


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