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Blogs contained here emanate from questions or responses to themes that arose in psychological and spiritual settings – sessions, groups, training workshops, etc. Please note that blog entries 64-166 are drawn from Richard Harvey’s articles page. This retrospective series of blogs spanned over 25 years; please remember when reading them that some of Richard’s thought and practice have evolved since. We hope you enjoy this blog and that you will carry on submitting your psycho-spiritual questions for Richard’s response, either through the form on our Contact Us page or in the ongoing video blog series. Thank you.

Three Great Masters

by Richard Harvey on 05/24/20

Among the great procession of spiritual adepts through history, three clearly stand out as, not only the founders of great world religions, but as the teachers of the principle ways to realization. They are Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha. Each of these three masters taught different paths to Truth and these different paths relate directly to our levels of spiritual autobiography.

The fundamental human dilemma is the antagonism between ego and God, the self-directed life and surrender, the delusion of separation and the spiritual Reality of Unity Consciousness. These are ways to summarize and describe human beings in their basic circumstance; this is what we have to deal with.

The great adepts, avatars, and spiritual masters appear in the world in larger numbers than we may think, but they are nonetheless rare. Their role is usually explicitly to help, through teaching the paths to wisdom. They teach without thought of gain, unmotivated by need or hope, and entirely without self-aggrandizement. In these ways alone, they are extraordinary. It is as if they are pointing to a parallel reality, urging us to see something we cannot, and that something is the state or condition they themselves model or appear in to us, the conditions of equanimity, contentment, and selflessness.

Equanimity, Contentment, and Selflessness

These three essential states represent paths to Truth and they are inherent in the teaching example of each of these three great masters. They offer us guidance and encouragement. They point us in the direction we as spiritual aspirants need to go. Equanimity is the antithesis of the ego-restless mind. Mind as we know is relentless, interminable, and full of turmoil and delusion. To placate the mind, to still the mind, to bring peace to the inner turmoil, a great path of realization is needed. Contentment is the state of desirelessness, not because nothing will be given and you cannot have all you need, but because paradoxically desire is its own saboteur. To be content we must see beyond the delusion that any object of desire can ever satisfy us and it is taught in one of the great spiritual traditions of the world. Selflessness is attained through, not only seeing past the lie of separation and division, but also by embracing and struggling with individuality and personality in the process of shedding self-identification. It is a most human route to realization and it is taught in one of the great world traditions.

Now each of these three corresponds to the first three levels of spiritual autobiography that we have been discussing, namely thought, action, and emotion—that is, mind, desire, and self.

The sacrifice of thought or mind, the enlightening way of Krishna, is the Hindu way to realize the Self. The sacrifice of action or desire, the way to end suffering taught by Buddha, is the Hindu revisionist way to annul the illusion of a separate self and realize the True Self. The sacrifice of emotion and self, the transcendent way of Jesus, is the Christ's way to liberation.


Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected].

Blog entry #190

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