The path to God is, oddly enough, not linear by any stretch of the imagination.

In the Western word, we have largely inherited a linear, rationalistic explanation of the world that is rooted in the philosophical traditions of Greece. For scientific purposes, this worldview is absolutely top-notch and has yielded many fruitful results; consider the miracle of the computer I’m using to write this, and you need to observe no further!

However, somewhere along the way, we largely have forgotten that life is not always linear, logical, neat, and organized. This is an aspect of reality, yes; it is not the same as reality overall.

Earlier in the year, I read an incredible book called The Celestine Prophecy. The book gave a brief synopsis of the condition in which we live, which is to say the historical context in which our modern-day American worldview has evolved, going back to the Middle Ages and then proceeding through the Reformation, the Renaissance, and so forth.

The explanation was essentially what I’ve already set forth above, in case you’re wondering.

To my point: when it comes to dealing with God, or if you will, the Truth, the Ultimate Reality, things start getting…weird. Things are not easily packaged or constrained. God cannot be put in a box, so to speak. There is no progress from point A, to point B, to point C, and then BOOM, you arrive. There is no magical formula of 2 + 2 = 4 when it comes to God.

Rather, the path, as I have experienced it, is very much a spiral.

Perhaps this is the inner meaning of why churches build labyrinths for people to walk.

To exemplify what I mean: one day, or perhaps for a few weeks at a time, there is a huge sense of separation from God. I feel irascible at best and outright hateful at worst. No matter what I do, somehow, I see to largely be unable to make any kind of progress spiritually or otherwise. Things for which I should have the utmost gratitude are taken for granted, and my heart is largely closed off to others.

Then, for no apparent reason, days later suddenly I will feel the presence of God in my heart. I will perceive God in the world around me, in the people around me. Life will have a meaning, a purpose, suddenly endowed in it again, and none of it is by my own effort. In this moments, I have gratitude, I have peace, and I want to share the bounty of my joy with others.

And so it is for those insane enough to make the journey to God. Ms. Tweedie, the Sufi mystic, says in a video that in their group the spiral path is called the “yo-yo syndrome,” because you are up and down, up and down.

Spiritual practices are the same way. Some days, prayer and meditation are extremely enlightening, and I feel the love of Christ pouring into me. Other days, God seems to not care, to not be listening, to not exist.

Perhaps the most annoying feature of the spiral path is when I get hurled between two or three different religions. The essence of Sufism burns deep within me, but the beauty of Catholicism and Gnosticism allures me. Then I see the Hindu deities and think, ah! They’re so brilliant and creative, so vivid!

Either way, making a formal commitment to an organized religion is difficult when you’re suddenly tossed in a different direction.

That is the essence of the path, though. You cannot escape it, not really. Or perhaps you can; perhaps there are indeed people who do not go through so much as trouble as I. Ms. Tweedie certainly went through far more trouble, as you can read in her diary, Daughter of Fire. Her trouble was of a different sort, not nearly as intellectual in nature.

To my knowledge, I have never met my so-called “Guru” or “Teacher” in this life, not in a physical sense. Energetically, I seem to have been connected to a Teacher at some point in time, who is perhaps actually my own inner Guru teaching me. Of these things, I cannot be sure at this moment, and with that, I am fine. I have faith that later on, things will be explained and revealed, and I’ll be able to see what was going on in retrospect.

And the path spirals onward.