How to Start Your Spiritual Journey: 7 Illuminating Steps

How to Start Your Spiritual Journey

The 3 Worlds of the Spiritual Journey (Which Are You Inhabiting?)

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep”– Rumi 

At some point in life, we all experience the “call to adventure.” Often our journeys start when we experience a sudden spiritual awakening or dark night of the soul. Often without wanting to, we are cast onto the path of Soul expansion.

Like you, I have wandered these paths and have at times wound up lost and confused. For this reason, I find it useful to map out the spiritual journey in a way that helps the human mind know where it is, and where it will go next.

My Andean ancestry speaks of three worlds that we can experience in life: the Upper World (Hanaq Pacha), the Middle World (Kay Pacha), and the Lower World (Ukhu Pacha). In many traditions and mythologies, these three worlds correspond to the different realms of the Self.

Read: Jim Carrey On Awakening: How He Began His Spiritual Journey

The Upper World is the home of Spirit, the Underworld the home of Souls, and the Middle World is the home of the physical body and human ego.

Different practices and techniques are used in each of the three realms to help us spiritually mature and rediscover joy, peace, and wholeness. Below I’ll explore each of these three realms with you:

1. Middle World

Purpose: Personality development

In our everyday lives, we function within the middle world. The middle world is responsible for our ego development, and yet many people on the spiritual path ignore this vital element of inner growth. Without developing a healthy personality, our spiritual growth reaches a dead end.

In life, we all begin within the middle world, or physical realm. As children and teenagers, we go through various years of personality change and growth. Finally, as adults, we all have developed unique personalities. Yet many of us fail to continue our self-development, getting lost in corporate jobs and the pursuit of money, status, and fame.

The goal of the middle-world path is to develop a healthy personality or ego. Tasks involved in this process include the exploration of core emotional wounds, self-love, and the cultivation of authenticity. A healthy adult ego will be able to love freely, be vulnerable, express creativity, and display empathy towards others.

We cannot develop a healthy personality by using techniques from the Upper or Under World such as meditation or shadow work. Instead, we must use techniques that pertain to ego development and healing such as assertiveness training, non-violent communication techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP, and other psychological avenues of self-development.

2. Under World

Purpose: Soul discovery

Our Soul is the vital, mysterious, and wild core of our individual selves. It is the unique essence within each of us that goes deeper than our personalities.

Think of your Soul as a stream that is connected to the ocean of Spirit. Our Souls contain our destiny, purpose, gifts, and the ultimate significance of our individual lives. To access these deep layers and qualities we must descend into the Under World of our unconscious minds.

Unfortunately, for thousands of years, our culture has “protected” us from the hardships and dangers of the descent into the Soul. This has been done through the establishment of comfortable, predictable, and clockwork lives that revolve around material pleasures and shallow values.

In fact, thanks to religious thought, the descent into our Under Worlds has been condemned as “evil” and wayward. Only Shamanic cultures and a few Western mystical schools like Hermeticism and Alchemy have dedicated themselves to exploring the Under World.

The descent into the Under World has been so feared and avoided because it is a perilous journey. There is a reason why Christianity referred to this place as “hell.” Within our, Under Worlds lie our repressed thoughts, feelings, desires, traumas, and denied gifts. 

Often when we descend, or inscend, into ourselves, we come across many demons, ghastly creatures, and other parts of our Shadow Selves that we’ve been unconsciously hiding from.

Yet despite the fact that the Under World journey can be such a harrowing and haunting experience, it is ultimately a powerful odyssey. Only by descending into our personal Under Worlds can we truly embrace our true life calling, talents, gifts, and deepest values.

Under World, or soul work techniques, include practices that allow us to access altered states of consciousness. These may include crafts such as lucid dreaming, drumming, shadow work, shamanic trances, breathwork, vision quests, etc.

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Mateo Sol

Mateo Sol is a prominent psychospiritual teacher whose work has influenced the lives of thousands of people worldwide. Born into a family with a history of drug addiction, schizophrenia, and mental illness, Mateo Sol was taught about the plight of the human condition from a young age. As a spiritual guide and teacher, Sol’s mission is to help others experience freedom, wholeness, and peace in any stage of life. See more of his work at Lonerwolf.comView Author posts