A Practical Guide to Facing Adversity WITH INTEGRITY
John-Roger’s latest contender for the ‘Best-Seller list’, Spiritual Warrior, seems at first to be the kind of book I prefer: short. Yet his words became meditations taking me on timeless inner journeys. As I finished’ my first reading, I realized that it was just the beginning. Beware of this book. You could be entering a maze that will amaze you and from which you may never want to escape.
Spiritual Warrior is a ‘tool kit’ for discovering our true spiritual selves while staying protected from the adversity that goes with the territory.
In an age where it’s fashionable to decry humans as the pillagers of the planet, John-Roger reminds us that “Only human beings are capable of observing the presence of God in all things, including themselves. Human beings are sacred for that very reason. If you could understand that simple fact, you would never need to read another self-help book.” Quite a claim. Yet quite a book.
I was struck by the almost ‘matter-of-fact’ way he talks about spiritual matters. He discusses the (unusual) concepts of ‘manifesting your spirit’, ‘moving from the unknown to the unknowable’ and ‘bridging the left and right sides of consciousness’ with the savoir faire of someone for whom discerning the worlds of spirit is as natural as making a cake. Yet he does this without trace of ego or superiority.
In the course of my own personal growth, I’ve read a lot of so-called self-help books. Yet this is the first one that actually seemed to read me! Cliché spiritual ideas that have become just so much vocabulary seemed to penetrate the fog of my mind and make more sense.
I’ve always cringed at ‘organized religions’. Now I know why. In his chapter ‘Moving from the Unknown to the Unknowable’ he says, “God is unknowable … some people take what they know about God and start preaching it so they can get more people going in one direction. This gives the illusion that God is a known quality. As a result, people cease to seek inwardly, having the idea that because many people are following a particular way, it must be right. But that is a fallacy. Nothing in the world can relieve us of our personal responsibility for seeking the truth. How can something as noble as religion get us into so much trouble? Because we constantly confuse what we know or think we know with what is truth. The Spiritual Warrior has to be able to discern the difference.”
The notion of ‘Observation as the key to letting go’, I am familiar with. Now it’s becoming more of an experience. I felt things stirring in me. A new sense of freedom showed up. The excitement of realizing that even I could open the inner doors to a profound spiritual awareness.
It’s as if the material was simply a vehicle for keeping my mind occupied while my soul danced and played with some invisible energy somehow impressed onto the paper.
A mature grasp of the nature of ‘abundance’ was something always out of my reach. I could never detach myself from its association with ‘money and things’. Now in my consciousness and in my life I’m beginning (a touch smugly) to experience what it means.
John-Roger makes no pretense that the path of the Spiritual Warrior is easy. Au contraire. He encourages us to take on greater challenges in order to promote our spiritual growth. What he does do is de-mystify the mystical and place it within reach of all of us who are ready.
As I read on I felt like I was being guided through different levels of experience. By the time I’d reached the end of chapter 10 I felt ready to, as he says, maintain my ‘spiritual convergence’. My what? You may well ask. “Well, I think I’m beginning to grasp it: it’s when “inside us, who we are as an eternal being meets the person who is here temporarily. Here the Spirit, the emanation from God, meets us, the selves we know. This is our point of convergence. A point of concentration or attention.”
It would be easy to ignore Spiritual Warrior for its apparent ‘jargon’ and casual Americanism. But we’d miss the fact that he’s introducing some very profound ideas in a very different way. The difference being that these tools really do work.
Though the title might suggest to one that here is another New Age Alternative Religion book, this is actually a manual and workbook for developing a highly creative type of Christian personality, albeit one featuring elements I’d never have thought anyone would attempt to square with that religion’s doctrinal base, had I not seen it for myself within these pages. Like the book New Thought for a New Millennium (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) the text presents, in a remarkably straightforward style, an extremely Humanistic approach to Christianity.
As with all self-help books, this one is full of advice on how to take better charge of your life; but in this case the emphasis is truly on the “self” aspect. Rarely will one come across works of this nature that place the responsibility for any improvements one might make in oneself more solidly on the shoulders of the seeker themselves. The author states openly that he doesn’t care how many mistakes you may make along the way, just so long as you persist in your intent.
The Christian perspective offered in these pages is as far to the Left of Center as you can get. Yet the book also manages to toe the conservative line nicely with its emphasis upon Strength Through Surrender, a conscious giving over of personal will to the direction of Divine Will. Nowhere else have I seen a more Zen-like bunch of exercises for self-development (open, spontaneous writing, passive observation of the present moment, and meditation) set within a Western framework before. Given the impressive listing of books the man has to his credit, this kind of discipline can clearly wring a lot of potential out of those who have a combination of narrowly focused belief and a broad education, but overall the basic conflicts of the Eastern and Western approaches to God are likely to overwhelm those of his readership who have some knowledge of both systems, rendering it nearly impossible for them to carry out the 15-day developmental series of exercises offered as the last third of the work. It’s as true of Theology as anything else: It’s mighty difficult to have your cake and eat it too.
William T. Masonis
Independent Publisher Magazine
In 1971, John-Roger, known to all as J-R, founded the non-denominational Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA) whose headquarters is in Los Angeles. MSIA, described as a “church without walls”, is dedicated to the teachings of the Mystical Traveler Consciousness, which includes practical techniques for incorporating spirituality into your everyday lives. The spiritual intention, or goal, is Soul Transcendence, which is becoming aware of oneself as a Soul and as one with God. Since 1963, when he emerged from a nine-day coma during which he experienced a profound spiritual awakening, John-Roger has reached millions of spiritual seekers with his many lectures and books, some of which have reached “best-seller” status. Some of his teachings are quite controversial, so we suggest that an important companion to Spiritual Warrior is James Lewis’s Seeking the Light: Uncovering the Truth about the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness and its Founder John-Roger. This noted authority on nontraditional religious movements was given complete access to MSIA material and files, and brings a necessary balance to the various misunderstandings that have arisen around the church and its popular founder.
Spiritual Warrior follows the tradition of Dan Millman and Carlos Castaneda, while it also retains its own character. John-Roger stresses simplicity, clarity and practicality and tries to simplify the act of bringing spiritual teachings into one’s daily life. The Spiritual Warrior chooses, and can maintain, his or her focus even in the face of emotional crisis, illness, or conflict. So, through attention and observation, you learn how to use “energy wisely and purposefully, conserving and directing it to form your alignment with Spirit.” J-R discusses acceptance, cooperation, understanding, enthusiasm and empathy and how these qualities relate to your inner spirit. He shows how seductive feelings of worthlessness can be, and how, through a “God” point-of-view, you can arrive at consciousness and feelings of worth. Perhaps his most controversial section is on relationship. He says men hold the priesthood of consciousness and pull women out of the left-sided energy field into their rightful heritage of the right-sided energy field. This enjoins both men and women to “lift up in great pleasure and joy and sustain each other.” His point is that each man and woman need to work unto themselves rather than seeking their cross-gender energy side through relationship. Throughout the book, John-Roger provides spiritual exercises. The last chapter suggest a fifteen day journal exercise to practice the concepts and lessons from the book and to bring your Spirit back into alignment. John-Roger does a fine job presenting a complex subject matter clearly and simply but without sacrificing wisdom or usefulness. This book offers a practical opportunity to become spirituality impeccable and lead a realized life.
“I hope that I have made it clear that we don’t even try to control the guilt, the separation, and the rest. We observe them. Observation is a state of detachment, which lifts us into a greater awareness. We become more and more free.”–John-Roger
Bodhi Tree Book Review Summer/Fall 1998
Basic Training in Practical Spirituality from Renowned Spiritual Leader John-Roger
At long last, the secret weapons of a powerful and extraordinary spiritual teacher are revealed. In Spiritual Warrior, John-Roger answers the question of how to live a rewarding inner spiritual life in today’s world of constant change and adversity. As he has for thousands of people throughout the world, he presents tools for mastering relationships, fear and addictions, and creating abundance and love.
John-Roger says, “My approach is not like fine china that it taken out carefully and used once a year. There is no point in having a philosophy, no matter how poetic, if it can’t be applied and used every day. I have written a practical book, because I am a practical man.”
Full of wisdom, humor, common sense, and above all, loving, John-Roger’s many best-selling books are characterized by down-to-earth steps for getting the most out of life through spiritual focus. He portrays today’s Spiritual Warrior as battling the distractions and anxiety of modern life with the incisive weapons of intention, impeccability and ruthlessness. The Spiritual Warrior counters negative habits and destructive relationships by changing patterns and living in conscious alignment with the Soul.
John-Roger lays out not only the problem, but practical solutions. Observations, Meditation, Spiritual Exercises and a Journal of Spiritual Convergence are some of the hands-on tools for spiritual achievement.
Copley News Service
In Spiritual Warrior, John-Roger answers the question of how to live a rewarding inner spiritual life in today’s world of constant change and adversity. Spiritual Warrior presents practical tools for mastering relationships, fear and addictions, and creating abundance and love. Filled with wisdom, humor, love, and common sense, Spiritual Warrior is characterized by down-to-earth steps for getting the most out of life through a spiritual focus, battling the distractions and anxieties of modern life with the incisive weapons of intention, impeccability and ruthlessness. The “spiritual warrior” counters negative habits and destructive relationships by changing patterns and living in conscious alignment with the Soul. John-Roger lays out not only the problem, but practical solutions. Observation, Meditation, Spiritual Exercises, and a Journal of Spiritual Convergence are but some of the hands-on tools for spiritual achievement to be found in the pages of Spiritual Warrior. Here is highly recommended and spiritually based self-help reading.
The Midwest Book Review