Posted by: Zane Maser | September 9, 2013


The way to truth is through the spirit. … You are looking
outside for help,
 and all the time the help you
want is inside. The world of spirit that so many of
talk about and believe in, and long to touch,
is all within. It is an inner world,
and spirit is within matter. 

White Eagle, spiritual teacher

Most of us are taught to seek our answers and confirmation outside ourselves. We are often trained early in life to listen with our mind rather than our heart. This training begins when we hear refrains like: “I’m your mother. I know what’s best for you!” Or, in our early education we hear: “Trust me; I’m your teacher. This is the right answer. The exam allows no freedom of thought or creative answers.” Most traditional church teachings encourage young children to conform: “This is the way it is done within the rules, and you must obey.”1

In how many ways, when you reflect on your life, were you prompted to beware of subverting the established order? In how many formative ways were you encouraged to follow society’s outward dictates or limitations in order to fit in or stay in line with external expectations? How many of us were properly groomed to circumvent finding our own answers, the ones that would lead us towards greater self-knowledge—and self-trust? No wonder we spend a lifetime of searching in an attempt to get our scorecard back!

This kind of early, cultural training is a necessary requisite of “tribal power” or group consciousness, because it creates and maintains an important foundation for understanding how to navigate life. Such an underpinning includes a sense of belonging, a sense of (external) identity, order, security, safety, and loyalty—all the way from one’s family to one’s nation. These positive benefits focus mostly on the external and thus often interfere with the attainment of self-empowerment and the fulfillment of individual and spiritual needs unique to each person.

This is what I call being held in the grips of externalogy. Many people spend a lifetime restlessly seeking answers, quick fixes, and healing in the realm of externalogy. But many never achieve lasting growth, individuation, or the deep satisfaction that all is well within their inner world. The spiritual teacher, White Eagle, speaks to the external whirl of discontent when he says, “People find it such a temptation—it is much easier to do—to go here, there, everywhere; going to all kinds of places: to the west, to the east, to the south, in search of a master! And all the time the Master is within, so close to them!”

Carolyn Myss, in her timeless book, “Why People Don’t Heal: And How They Can,” discovered, in her years of working with people, that for many their physical, emotional, and spiritual dis-eases serve vital emotional needs and purposes that ultimately result in a self-limiting stagnation.2 To her amazement, many were unwilling to give up either their conscious or unconscious wounds or suffering. This is often due to the person’s receiving worthwhile (primary and secondary) benefits that make the patterns of stuckness a perceived advantage. Others operate under the illusion that they can continue to do the same old things and somehow derive a new outcome! Many voice the desire to be free of their pain, inertia, or meaningless daily life, but are unwilling to sacrifice in order to make the necessary adjustments through having an authentic vision and plan of action to heal. As a result, many never settle in to focus and deepen because this would mean sustained commitment and self-responsibility. The doable alternative is to make a conscious choice to undertake the demanding inner work required to become a whole, healed individual.


In what turns out to be a highly purposeful process, even those sincere, motivated ones who want change may experience many years of exploration and bumping around before they let go of casting outward and embrace casting inward. Prior to any significant inner shifts that may occur, each person must come to the place where they consciously choose the goal of psychological maturity. Such a leap into the unknown is the much written about and dramatized hero or heroine’s journey—a journey of individuation we all must take at some point, in some lifetime. This arduous journey represents the major shift toward internalogy, which is the quiet turning inward to hear the voice of Spirit within. It is only then that we begin to perceive the Principles of Truth with our Higher mind, because the Ancient Wisdom cannot be absorbed by a restless, constantly searching outer mind. Knowledge, as a purely mental attainment, can never be of much use to the soul.

The Journey of Self-Realization has been aptly portrayed in Herman Hesse’s classic book, “Siddhartha.” Like most of us, Siddhartha spent many years seeking answers and fulfillment via external modes, from the extremes of an indulgent, sensuous pattern of life to an equally extreme form of aesthetic deprivation and withdrawal from life. He finally discovered the transitory nature of outward life, which satisfies temporarily and superficially until the next discontentment or appetite arises. Broken, weary, and full of despair from all his exhaustive searching, he found himself no closer to “the” answers that would result in permanent peace and contentment. Hopeless, his journey took him to the edge of a river where he planned to cast himself into its rushing waters. An ordinary ferryman, whose job it was to take people and cargo across the river, appeared and took Siddhartha into his gentle care.

Here, living at the bank of the quiet river in the uncluttered, humble environment of the ferryman, Siddhartha gave up the outer search and traveled inward instead. He became the still center of his own world, in harmony with and respecting the truths of his own nature. At last, he was living each moment in the Presence of the Divine.

His journey was the natural life progression of chaotic unsettling—the Cosmic Call to Awaken—in order that one may eventually melt into themself with acceptance and grace. He had come home to his True Self simply by allowing the river of life to flow. When his friend, Govinda, arrived, he was mystified at Siddhartha’s transformation and annoyed to lose his comrade in the quest. Govinda, unable to comprehend the shift from the outward to the inward, set off once again seeking the next alluring sensation that might at last be the golden remedy.

The elusive Grail Cup beckoned once again. Govinda, unlike his serene friend, had yet to realize that the elixir of life is only obtained through quietude and harmony, steadiness and devotion.


Today’s Incessant Quest

As part of our own evolutionary process of self-discovery and awareness, many of us spend our fair amount of time sampling and dabbling, as the archetypal Govinda. A psychotherapist in a workshop I attended some years back called these Govindas “bliss ninnies.” The round of external search can cover the gamut of the latest, new-age consciousness-raising pursuit of the continual round of the next workshop/retreat/tele-seminar, to the latest must-have book, to the most recent flower essences or aromatherapy oils, repeated astrology or numerology readings, all sorts of bodywork, energy work, expensive cruises to sacred sites, or chasing the current “guru” in the healing, mind/body speaking circuit.

White Eagle refers to this seductive trap when he cautions how easy it is to scatter our energies hither and thither in outward, sensation-oriented outlets seeking answers and remedies with no lasting inner substance. The Grail Cup is always just around the next bend in the Path or beyond the next hill. Rather, he would kindly encourage, “Withdraw each day from the tumult of the outer world, and try to feel the presence of your shining heavenly self. Look to that self for your guidance and inspiration in life. Be strong and poised and true to that enduring self.”

You might be asking what could be a valid objection to any of the above-mentioned, helpful modes of inquiry or disciplines of healing. Absolutely nothing! Any one of them need not be discounted, because they might be just the appropriate touchstones at the most auspicious time in the School of Life that provide us with yet another deepening point of reference. It could turn out to be the crucial piece, where everything suddenly comes into focus! Each segment of the journey may serve a vital, experiential purpose, not only in how they broaden and open our awareness to Wisdom but also perhaps as part of the distinctive route whereby we search for and find the true companions of our spirit. We do indeed magnetize to ourselves the circumstances, experiences, events, and people we have personally designed to help us to grow.

Also, some of our most priceless learning in the larger cycle of self-change happens during what may appear to be detours, side trips, meanderings, addictions, and the occasional banks of fog we walk into. Any experience is potentially an evolutionary call to new life! Our explorations further serve to personally winnow the valueless from the valuable so that we may move more deeply into the soulful, inward life we came to re-discover.


It is only by regular withdrawal from the rush of the outer world to journey within that we access the Spiritual Power that releases, quickens, and renews the Divine Life within us. Here we touch the “sphere of ideation,” the place of creation, and the source of our true empowerment. In no other way than casting inward can we actually build the Temple of our Soul and experience the Divine Rose that perfumes our lives.

There are many whose choice will continue to be the external way. And it is a worthy part of their unfolding process. When we pass each other in our travels, let us lovingly nod in respect and honor to those whose timing is different than ours or who choose another way, saying quietly in our hearts, “bless you for your courage.” I may not understand or agree with some of your choices. You may not with mine. Let us joyfully accept one another just as we are without judgments, labels, competition, or comparisons.

Life is, after all, challenging enough, and we never know what another soul has agreed upon for their highest evolutionary progress in this lifetime. If we acknowledge that the search is ultimately to re-member the Kingdom Within, then at best we can offer one another our love, encouragement, and blessing. Is there any greater gift of heart we can share?

Related Posts:

• The Divine Broadcast

• The Lily-Work

• Energy Signal

• Greatness Within

• The Timeless Trek

• Soul Assignments

• Be True

• What Value A Gold Nugget?

Ad Infinitum Ourselves


1. This article originally appeared in the Drumbeat, Journal of the White Eagle Lodge (Canada), August 2004, Volume 12, pages 2-5.

2. Carolyn Myss. Why People Don’t Heal: And How They Can. 1997. Harmony Books.

Text © by Zane Maser, 2013. Photos © by Chris and Zane Maser, 2013. Photo of the Siddhartha Buddha gratefully used from Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved worldwide.

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My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

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