However, you define spirituality, if spirituality is to have any meaning whatsoever, you must have well defined metrics for evaluation of progress.
If your metrics exhibit commonalities with those of most other people on spiritual paths that are similar to yours, you are less likely to practice self deceit, less likely to attribute success in contexts within which a failing grade is appropriate.
This is not to say it is impossible to arrive at subjective metrics that are effective, or that it is impossible for attempts at self evaluation to have objectivity. The problem with metrics that are subjective is, they can be set too high or too low, or perhaps may be totally off, not be appropriate to benchmarking of progress at spirituality.
If your metrics are time tested, if they have been shown to produce people who have spiritual awareness, if they have produced people who developed capacity for actualization of things of which they become aware, you are less likely to practice self deceit when you evaluate your progress at spirituality.
What then are some principles to keep in mind as you seek to arrive at metrics that enable credible assessments of your progress at spirituality?
Well, the first question to ask yourself is, “will progress be measured in character and relationship terms, or in economic terms?”
The question to ask here is, “which inherently is more difficult to obtain without spirituality, economic prosperity, or combination of good character, well rounded personality, and capacity for right treatment of others?”
People may differ on this one, personally, however, relative to economic prosperity, I am of the opinion that character, a well rounded personality, and capacity for right treatment of others are steeper, yet appropriate tests for progress at spirituality. This is evident in the fact that it is possible to prosper by cheating others. There might be some cadre of spirituality which argues cheating others is consistent with spirituality. Suffice it to say, however, that if Uncle Sam can put you in jail for it, it probably is not an appropriate test of intentional progress at spirituality.
What then are some character traits to look out for in quest for metrics that enable credible estimates of progress at spirituality?
Given love is an obvious one, I merely mention it in passing for focusing on a character trait that is oft overlooked, which is, ‘capacity for reining the self in, capacity for keeping obsession at bay’.
Whenever people are obsessed with anything, they seek a solution immediately, are not willing to wait things out, not willing to work for, and expect emergence of a solution somewhere along the line.
Whenever people, in context of diligent application of resources at their disposal, are not willing to allow things unravel naturally, they cut corners, seek short cuts, perhaps make things worse, perhaps engineer the solution at the most inopportune of times.
There is a movie based on a true life story, a movie about a reporter obsessed with breaking of a story about how the CIA imported cocaine into the United States of America. In the movie and in real life, the reporter got discredited, lost his marriage, lost his career, died in disrepute with everything lost.
In my opinion, the reporter’s marriage fell apart, and he lost his career not because of sensitivity of the matter, but because he would not allow the scoop arrive in it’s own natural time.
Consider that the drugs already were in the United States, already were being consumed. Breaking of the story immediately would do nothing to stop distribution and consumption of the cocaine. Even if the CIA acknowledged the truth immediately, arrest of people it surreptitiously hired for means of distribution of cocaine would have been immoral. It was prudent for the reporter to wait things out, keep a finger on pulse of the story, wait for the story to arrive in it’s own natural time.
Years after he lost his career and his marriage, years after he passed away, necessary documents were unsealed and the U.S. Senate confirmed the CIA had imported cocaine into the United States of America. If the reporter had not gotten obsessed with breaking the story in his own specified timing, perhaps he keeps his career, keeps his marriage, still gets the scoop, does not get his whole life messed up.
If you make progress at spirituality, you have capacity for doing everything in your power, for applying of all of the resources at your disposal with objective of arrival at solutions to challenges.
Simultaneously, you have capacity for waiting, for expecting the solution to arrive in it’s own natural time. People who have been unwilling to work towards solutions without attempting to force solutions have many at times reaped unexpected heartaches alongside desired solutions.
History has it Pompey lost to Julius Caesar because he was persuaded to attempt to force a victory at a time that as yet was not opportune. Pompey would abandon his men, run off to Egypt with loss of face, suffer assassination.
Brutus and his collaborators plunged the Roman Empire into wars of attrition, and servitude to brutish Emperors because they would not be patient to allow Julius Caesar’s intentions emerge. Brutus and his co-conspirators got exactly what they claimed was objective of assassination of Julius Caesar, which was brutish dictator Emperors. Emperors Tiberius (14–37 AD); Caligula (37–41 AD); Claudius (41–54 AD); and Nero (54–68 AD) all definitely were worse than Julius Caesar ever could have been.
Given Brutus and his co-conspirators had been pardoned by Julius Caesar for their opposition, did not have any wealth confiscated, and had their Senator statuses restored, nobility of gestures undertaken by Julius Caesar demanded a ‘wait and see while engaging rightly with’ attitude, not an assassination.
If you come up with metrics for assessing of your progress at spirituality, make sure to include capacity for keeping obsession with immediate solutions at bay.
You’ll be glad you did.