The Five Obstacles

by James Clair Lewis

There are five obstacles that you will have to overcome on The Path. The first four are obvious, because they are physical conditions. However, any of them is completely capable of derailing your progress, and consuming all of your time. They are :

A) Physical danger.
B) Poverty.
C) Hostile relationships.
D) Illness, and bad health.

The fifth may be the hardest of all to overcome, since it lies within you. The fifth obstacle is your own EGO, and in all likelihood, it is the cause of all of the other obstacles that you will have to deal with.

Illumination is attained when one overcomes the Five Obstacles. That people have been reaching this Divine State for thousands of years, shows that it can be done. That only a few in each generation have been doing it, shows that it is difficult.

The greatest obstacle is the EGO, because it sets up the conditions for the other four. The Grand Illusion of the material world, is that external conditions shape our fate. If a person develops an unshakeable conviction, that the circumstances around them determine who they are, and what is possible for them to accomplish in life, then they make that a fact. That is what most people have been doing, and consequently what happens to them in life, is largely determined by whatever Karma they have created in past lives. Believing that external conditions determine what you can do, and what you cannot do, binds you to the Wheel of Suffering, and the cycle of Birth & Death.

Those of us here who are old enough to remember the 50s & 60s, know that at that time, that most white people in America were racists. But then the Civil Rights Movement came along, and thousands of people developed the conviction that things could change, that all people should be equal under the law. It is the law of the land now, and while there are still racial incidents, and groups based upon racist beliefs, the truth is that most Americans no longer care one way or the other. Perhaps it is not perfect, but the difference is like night & day.

Back in the 60s the Hippies were an outgrowth of the Beatniks. Many Hippies spoke about getting "back to the land", and living in harmony with the environment. In 1970 there was a major Human Be-in known as Earth Day. From this sprang the Environmental Movement. Now while it is still true that there is much pollution, & destruction of habitat going on, it is also true that most people in America now try to recycle things that can be recycled, and many corporations have gone "Green". In the town where I live, we get three trash barrels. One is Green for yard waste. One is Blue for paper products & plastic bottles. The other is Gray for everything else. This would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, except that people got an idea of how things could be, and they took action towards making it real.

So here are two examples of people changing the world by the Power of Thought. They adopted an Ideal, and made it a Reality. They did not allow external conditions to sway them, but set a Goal, and proceeded to take action that changed the world around them. The Five Obstacles that the world must overcome, before establishing civilization on Earth, and much greater than those faced by any individual, and since even those things can be dealt with, it follows that an individual can overcome the Five Obstacles within themselves, and attain Enlightenment.

There are Seven Cosmic Laws that govern the manefestation of everything in the Macroscopic & Microscopic Universe. It is not only our actions that create Karma, but also our beliefs, attitudes, and mental habits. Moreover, the Law of Gravitation works to attune us to conditions & situations in the world that match our mindset. That is how Magick operates, and every living thing is doing this all of the time, regardless of whether they know it or not.

Things are the way they are, because we are what we are. You can change. You can learn & grow. You can adopt a mindset of heath, wealth, beauty, serenity, and harmony. Doing this will change your circumstances. Obstacles may arise, but you will adapt. Where most people may simply give up when faced with a problem, you must have Faith that you can solve it. It is that Faith that will keep your mind open to a solution, and without it, you might as well as give up.

You probably have heard stories of people who became wealthy, and then went broke, yet a few years later they were wealthy again. While they were broke, they did not have any more resources that anyone else who was broke, yet they managed to get out of it, in a fairly short amount of time. What they had was an absolute conviction that they were wealthy. They refused to accept within themselves the vibrational mindset of poverty, and consequently they went out, and discovered new ways of generating wealth.

Then there is the case of poor people who hit it big with the Lottery. Almost all of them end up broke again within two or three years. Besides not knowing how to manage money, they maintained the poverty mindset within themselves, and consequently found ways to get themselves broke again in short order. And that is really sad, because losing wealth after attaining it, is a very painful experience.

You hear people say that "Money is the root of all evil", and they say that rich people live very unhappy lives. That's all a lot of hooey. Those beliefs can only bind you into the condition of poverty. Having grown up in a working middle-class environment, having worked hard at a lot of different standard sort of jobs, having been totally broke, & lived on the streets, AND having inherited some wealth, & subsequently lost it, there are a few things I can tell you about money and its relationship to happiness.

First of all, poverty is the worst. When you are poor, you are always hemmed in by material limitations. You may work really hard at various jobs, but you will only barely make ends meet. Worst of all, poverty will consume all of your time, and leave you with nothing left over. In poverty, you are always struggling, and may have to face physical danger, and ill health on a regular basis. Poverty drains the Soul.

Extreme fantastic wealth, also brings some problems. There will be greedy people trying to get your money away from you, and they have no scruples. It really hurts to trust someone, only to find that they were nothing but a pack of lies. Moreover, maintaining extreme fantastic wealth, requires all of your time & effort. This keeps the individual focused soley upon material things. Nevertheless, the problems of extreme fantastic wealth are nothing compared with the problems of poverty. Note also, that when a person in poverty accumulates a small reserve of cash or a few nice things, that there will also be those greedy individuals who will try to take even that from them. The greed factor is a problem for both the rich & the poor alike.

By far the most comfortable, and easiest economic level to maintain, is somewhere in the middle. Here you can afford nice things, and live in a neighborhood that is safe from crime. A pretty house on a quiet street, with a nice garden, just might be the ultimate in what REAL wealth constitutes. Certainly, it is easier to attain Enlightenment in an environment where you are free from fear. I wonder if this was a part of what the Lord Budhha meant by "The Middle Way"...

There are certain things that you can do to get yourself into this lifestyle. Realise that unless your regular job is a highly-paid career job, that working for somebody else, is not going to make you rich. You'll have to start your own business... something that you can do on the side, (I believe that some of you are already doing this. hehehe). When you have your own business, there is a chance that it might fail, and put you back at Square One. Except that that wouldn't really be Square One, since you would have gained experience, and have a better idea of how to proceed the next time. Every person who has attained great wealth, has failed & gone broke a number of times. It didn't stop them, and it shouldn't stop you either.

The next principle is saving money. Almost nobody does this, except the rich. Most people will spend whatever comes in as fast as it comes in, and if they start to make more money, they just spend that just as quickly, AND they lock themselves in to having to spend that money all the time. Thus, they end up on a treadmill of debts that weigh them down Spiritually. Saving 10% of your income will create a resevoir that will attract more money to you. This 10% should never be touched. Over time it will accumulate to the extent that the interest from it will become another source of income for you. The money that you save, would have gone into silly frivolous stuff that could only please you for a day or a week, & then be forgotten. You don't need to collect that sort of junk. Possessing shabby things, puts out a vibration of shabbiness, and this contributes to the poverty mentality.

When you spend money, spend it on quality things that will give you pleasure for years. Gradually surround yourself with things of beauty & durability, and you will be creating an environment that resonates positive vibrations all around you. Do not go into debt to acquire these things. The interest on the debt can easily amount to considerably more than the purchase price doubled, so it is more prudent to create a second resevoir of savings, (besides the basic 10%), that is earmarked for these sort of purchases.

The next principle for acquiring wealth is Charity. Giving 1% of your income to services to your community is a Blessing. You want to be a Blessing, don't you? The Path is a Path of Service. We should never forget that. To distribute while accumulating, encourages the Gods to look favorably upon you.

One final note about money, is that you shouldn't talk about it. At best, bragging about what you have, will arouse jealousy, and at worst it will attract the attention of thieves. It should be obvious that you shouldn't want to have to deal with either of those conditions, so don't create the vibe that will invite them in the first place. Something you will notice after you have put these principles into practice for awhile, is that you will be living at a much higher standard of living than most other people at the same level of income. This is because your perception of your relationship with the Universe, has the power to change the conditions under which you live. So Mote It Be.

Adopting a strategic attitude, & practicing, puts you into a futureward motion of direction. Often we do not notice the progress that we are making. It is like being electrostaticly elevated in a Faraday Cage. Everything around you seems to be normal, even though millions of volts of electricity will be all around you. It is the same with Spiritual & Occult work. One may not immediately notice the great strides one is making towards Enlightenment, because it all seems normal. What actually is happening, is that one's perception of what is normal is evolving to a higher octave.

Now I've been speaking a lot about how our attitudes can inhibit or expand our horizons. As we progress on the Path, we become more & more aware of things on the higher planes. When one's thoughts are primarily focused upon the material plane, they have little power to effect changes. When one begins having more experiences on the Astral Plane, then ones thoughts effect your surroundings with a greater degree of power. This is even more true, when one begins to function more & more frequently on the higher planes above the Astral.

So I want you to be very careful about how you think about other people. If you assume that a certain person, or a peticular group of people, HAVE to think or behave in a negative way, then you are in effect putting out a binding spell, that will help to hold them in that condition. When you have to deal with people who have swamped themselves with a limiting mindset, try to see them as working their way out of it. You will be amazed, & quite pleased by the results...

When you have a problem on the Spiritual Plane, and don't deal with it, that problem will manefest on the Mental Plane. If you don't deal with it there, then it will drop down to the Astral Plane to confront you. If you fail to deal with it on the Astral Plane, then that problem will come to you on the Physical plane in some form, and then you really have to face it.

The higher the level on which you solve a problem, the easier it is to deal with in the long run. If you solve a problem manefesting on the Physical Plane, by comprehending the Principle you need to learn on the Spiritual Plane, that problem may vanish instantly, or go away all by itself. This of course, requires a supreme attunement to the Spiritual within yourself.

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