One of the most destructive ways we can work against ourselves is to expect instant gratification on the spiritual path, or any path, really.

Healers of all stripes know this pattern well. Patient (or client) comes to you with ten years of health issues (or two years, or whatever) for a first appointment. They report back to you one day later, or at the next appointment, that nothing has changed. What is especially funny about this pattern is that, very likely, something has changed. They just haven’t had 100 percent turn-around, the miracle cure they were looking for.

There is so much information out there, so many products, so many healers, so many deities and archangels and saints and spiritual paths that most people never achieve any depth. We also, due to cultural conditioning and a general sleeper state, love the idea of instant gratification. We live in a world where we can shop on the Internet and have our goods delivered next day, and if that doesn’t happen some of us may be upset.

Most of us live in a sleeper state, in an unawakened state where we are still given the myth that instant gratification is an actual thing… and that we should be able to heal in an instant.

But the interesting thing here is that some people can. They just aren’t the types looking for instant gratification. The people who can receive what they ask for in this world are the ones that are in a state of balance, a state of flow, and they have no need for this illusion of instant gratification.

But the people looking for this instant gratification are the imbalanced ones– the ones that want to be healed in one session of ten years of issues, the ones that will call down saint after saint, angel after angel, god after god, never thinking about the fact that if they just stuck to one, even for a little while, they might actually see some sort of result.

Most people hop from spirituality to spirituality, healer to healer, teacher to teacher, book to book, never finding what they are looking for. 

What they are never likely to realize is that the issue is them, not the spiritual paths, not the angels, not the healers, not the books.

An interesting thing happens with people. While there is all sorts of b.s. out there in terms of the above, a person may be ready to find what they are looking for. And they do. Or on some level they are ready. They find the right teacher, they find the right book, they find exactly the understandings that they need… the exact spiritual teacher comes through for them (in spirit form)…. they find exactly the right healing modality for them… and they don’t allow it to work.

They self-sabotage. Because that part of their brain that wants things to remain the same is ever-vigilant. It won’t allow for them to process the material, it won’t allow for them to understand that they may need more than one session for ten years of issues. Due to cultural conditioning, we also have the constraint and ideology that healing comes from the outside, and we are not willing to take personal responsibility for anything. In a sleeper state we are not willing to do any sort of work for our own healing. We expect others to do it for us, even when it comes to our spiritual paths. We go to workshop after workshop, never getting what we need, never quieting that spiritual hunger, expecting that the external teachings will fill our internal spiritual abyss.

This is why you will go to a spiritual workshop and someone who has been following around a teacher for ten years, or who has taken all of the spiritual intensive programs and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands) will be stuck in a state of spiritual immaturity, and someone who goes to a workshop once will be completely transformed. One was stuck in illusion, in ego, and in patterning… and the other was open and ready to change, willing to look and go beyond the self-sabotaging aspects of themselves to actually transform. They made the internal decision to do so, and did.

Most of us do not have this capability- we are too stuck in patterning, too focused on our comfortable illusions, and have been, by the societal layers of conditioned reality, fed the illusion that we just need more– more workshops, the next book, the next spiritual path– to fill that internal abyss we feel. Instead, if we were to actually work on ourselves, instead of going outer… if we were to take personal responsibility for the aspects of ourselves that wish to remain in comfortable illusion (even if our constructed reality is filled with pain… at least we know what to expect) and simply surrender… we could not only find the right path, the right book, meditation, teacher… but we could actually process this material and transform our worlds and our lives with the depth we hunger for.

If we go beyond the mental illusions we have constructed of our worlds, and the sort of stranglehold our minds have on us, we will realize that to achieve depth, or to achieve anything that will allow for us to heal or move forward in our lives, it will take more than an instant.

It will take more than one session, more than one try at a meditation, more than one book about a specific spiritual path. But we do not allow for ourselves to achieve this depth. Because doing anything other than in an instant gratification way may mean that we move forward in our lives. And despite our best efforts, it is the rare person that actually wants this. Because our minds want us to remain stuck, they want us to stay who we are.

I had an interesting conversation on a radio show recently, where I was talking about new-age spirituality. We were specifically talking about the movie The Matrix and how many people viewed it as an allegory of spiritual awakening. While I do think that in some ways this is true, we specifically began talking about the different “pills” that were being offered in the movie.

Faced with a choice between a comfortable illusion and staying exactly where you are (one pill) – even if this illusion is causing you health issues, mental issues, and you hunger spiritually for something more— versus another pill– which is pure, true flow, moving forward powerfully and achieving depth—- a solid 99.5 percent of people will choose the comfortable illusion.

The myth of instant gratification allows for us to stay exactly where we are, and exactly who we are in this world. 

When I used to participate in occult and spiritual communities it is not surprising how many of them take a “whatever works” mentality- leading to a random hodgepodge of deities, “power animals”, and spiritual paths that no longer had any power or meaning to them. It was a rare person in those communities that had achieved any depth– everyone else was still a beginner, some despite decades of work.

It is interesting how we stop ourselves from progressing. It is interesting how we want this instant gratification, and will go from one thing to the next when we do not receive it.

Anything worth having in this world, anything worth doing, any relationship we have (spiritual or not), any teaching that we come across, any exercise, meditation, healing modality (and so forth) deserves depth. 

It is so easy to participate in this sleeper state– even when we are interested in spiritual “things”. It is so easy to participate in this merry-go-round of different spiritual ideas, teachings, and paths slapped together on a surface level by people that have achieved no more depth than we have. It is so easy to go from path to path, book to book, teacher to teacher, when it would be a lot less expensive, a lot more worthy of our time, and we can finally find what we are looking for if we just achieved depth with what we have already found. 

It is so easy to transcend this pattern– you just do. You take whatever you are interested in and study it. You work with it for longer than a few days, longer than a length of a book, longer than a week or two. You work with your path for years, constantly questioning if you could achieve more depth with it.

You do the same with healers, with spiritual meditations/exercises, and with spiritual relationships. If you call down Archangel Michael once, then a saint, then work with something else…jumping from one to another you never form a relationship with anything spiritually. If you try out a meditation for a few days, or a week, and then go on to the next one, you will not achieve depth. If you go to a healer once and expect ten years of medical, emotional, and spiritual issues to completely disappear overnight that is your issue, not theirs.

It is so easy whatever spiritual path you take these days to be on the surface level for your entire life. To not achieve any sort of depth. To be faced with any sort of depth and again return to the comfortable illusion. The illusion of instant gratification allows for us to do this. It allows for our brains to tell us that since we have been trying something for a solid day, or a solid week (or a solid year) that it is time to move on to the next thing. And it may be exactly that time. But, chances are, it may also not be… and you were just starting to understand something… just starting to achieve depth and change your life… and your brain shut you down and you sabotaged yourself.

In closing, I will say that I do have compassion for people. People are doing the best that they can, or the best that they think that they can. It is not their fault that they expect instant gratification– they have been indoctrinated by it and it has created a safety net for them so they do not progress in their lives in any real way. But if you are at a point where you are looking for depth, for real meaning, for real healing, understanding that you can go beyond this merry-go-round of stopping yourself from progressing, from stopping yourself from changing, by simply diving in more deeply (or taking a single step into the depths) and to question yourself the next time that you learn something and question why you have not received instant gratification from it, you can move beyond this layer of self-sabotage and actually find what you are looking for in this world.