One aspect of practical spirituality is the practice of values such as tolerance, patience, flexibility, humility (egolessness) etc. Another is for the meditator actually to experience the highest level of consciousness. It is said that when this highest level of consciousness is experienced, there is the strength to practice those values that create well-being. How can we go beyond the stages of information, knowledge and even wisdom to experience the original state of being, that is, truth?
One way to describe the above process is to compare it to the game of the pole-vaulter. The pole-vaulter has a long pole to help jump over the barrier. The athlete runs for a short distance, and then quickly fixes the pole into the ground, enabling the body to be lifted up. When the athlete reaches a certain point in the air, the very pole that was used to get to that point is discarded; if the athlete fails to let go of the pole, then the body will be propelled backwards and it will be impossible to accomplish the task of jumping over the barrier.
The same mechanism of the pole-vaulter is involved when a person wishes to attain realization of the self and an experience of a higher state of consciousness. To experience realization, we have to run some distance, collecting the necessary information. Then we use the pole of knowledge and wisdom to lift us off the ground of ordinary consciousness. But, we must then let go of the very pole of knowledge that we used to elevate our minds and take a jump of faith, flying over the barrier of 'ordinary consciousness' to experience a new and higher level of consciousness. If there is no faith, then there is not enough trust to let go of the pole and jump.
Many people do not let go of the pole of knowledge and, as a result, fall into the spinning of speculation and the habit of analysis and discussion – the experience of spiritual consciousness eludes them. The pull of the ego draws the consciousness back to the ground. The irony is that they think they have jumped over the barrier and regard themselves as being in the privileged position of knowing. Then they think that from this privileged position they are in the position of judging and being better than those who 'know' in a different way or in other words those who are truly spiritually enlightened.
The ones who have let go of the pole can be characterized by their wider, creative perspective and their benevolent strength.
~ Brahma Kumaris, Mt Abu.