Engineering Spiritual Growth

One of the problems people encounter when they discover "spiritual growth," and first fully realize they are on a spiritual journey (is that) they start to think that they can direct it. They think if they go off to a monastery for a weekend retreat or take some classes in Zen meditation, or take up some Sufi dancing, or attend an EST workshop, then they’ll reach nirvana. Unfortunately, that is not the way it works. It works only when God is doing the directing. And people can get into a certain kind of trouble if they think they can do it on their own.

If you think you can plan your spiritual growth, it ain’t going to happen. I don’t mean to discount workshops or other forms of self-inquiry – they can be valuable. Do what you feel called to do, but also be prepared to accept that you don’t necessarily know what you’re going to learn. Be willing to be surprised by forces beyond your control, and realize that a major learning on the journey is the art of surrender.

M Scott Peck, Further Along the Road Less Traveled