Consciousness is a gift designed to help us see beyond what is evident, delve into the hidden meanings of the obvious, and extract the essence of what we are pondering. The deepest meaning available to us becomes apparent with meditation, which allows us to transcend the purely physical, enter the realm of the spirit, and discover the reality of things. Through conscious reflection, we gain second sight, our “power of insight,” or illumination.

We cannot search for truth to live by without conscious effort. If we are satisfied with what has been handed down to us, we will remain complacent, probably even inert. If we continually seek the unknown and make it known, new knowledge, especially lasting and meaningful, will guide our way to the perennial truth of oneness.

This search for truth is a key principle of a timeless wisdom that recognizes the individual soul as a reflection of divine Reality. Once the life of the spirit, or the quest of the soul, has begun, it is never without fulfillment. Spiritual discernment, development, and search always bring us closer to the Creator.

The world’s religions agree upon this. Every sacred tradition expresses some form of the familiar “Seek and ye shall find.” From Judaism, “If from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him…;” or, as in Islam, “He who approaches near to Me one span, I will approach near to him one cubit… and whoever approaches Me walking, I will come to him running.”

Shankara’s Hindu/Buddhist Vedanta perspective also makes the individual effort required very evident: “The nature of the one Reality must be known by one’s own clear spiritual perception; it cannot be known through a pundit (learned man). Similarly, the form of the moon can only be known through one’s own eyes. How can it be known through others?”

In our time, the investigation of reality has been made a primary spiritual principle by Baha’u’llah. This involves discovering truth for ourselves, not following blindly, but seeing with our own eyes, hearing with our own ears, and utilizing the power of our own mind. If we use the power of our own spirit, an emanation of the Divine spirit, and if we “investigate the religions to discover the principles underlying their foundations we will find they agree, for the fundamental reality of them is one and not multiple…All the prophets have been the promoters of these principles.”