Click for audio: The Narrow Gate to Freedom
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter though it” (Matthew 7:13).
Though I have referenced this scripture many time in my talks and writings, I return to it again to reiterate the profound truth it embodies. Many on the spiritual path today distinguish between religion and the quest for a deeper understanding of their spirituality. What is implied here is that the old worn paths of religious dogma and creed no longer suffice, that the seeker is looking for a more organic, experiential approach to spiritual understanding. While this quiet rebellion against stiff tradition is understandable, this new version of the spiritual quest has also become a wide gate through which many have entered. There exists a spiritual pop culture that makes the same undeliverable promise of enlightenment.
The narrow gate that Jesus spoke of is so simple that it is easily missed. The fulfillment of our spiritual quest is present, right where we stand. We are looking for our soul. To label our search a spiritual quest is to guarantee that we will not find what we seek. What we are trying to grasp with our head (intellect), the heart has always known. The spiritual pop culture worships the quest. It thrills in filling its bookshelves, accumulating credentials and traveling through all the wide gates of the world in search of the fulfillment that can only be found at the quiet center of every individual.
The truth Jesus conveyed is true still. He was not talking about the narrow gate of religious belief. He was talking about the correct understanding of the soul. The soul is complete now. How do you get to the now? How do you experience that which you already are in truth? You settle in, you turn your focus away from the demands of the self-image and you observe that changeless point of awareness you have always known as I. This is the narrow gate to freedom. The moment you step through it you will know without a doubt that your spiritual search is over.