The Five Stages In Spiritual Practice

An Autobiography

© 2015, By Prashant S. Shah



I took a walk in the street.
There was a large pothole.
I didn’t notice it in time, so I fell in.
Then I started to blame others.
I was upset, so I took time to come out.


I took a walk in the same street.
There was a large pothole.
I noticed it, but I didn’t act in time, so I fell in again.
I knew I shouldn’t have fallen in, but I still preferred to blame others.
I was upset, so I took time to come out.


I again took a walk in the same street.
The large pothole was still there.
This time I tried to walk around it, but still I fell in — it has become a habit.
I knew I shouldn’t have fallen in, so this time I accepted it as my fault.
I wasn’t upset, so I could get out quickly.


I still took a walk in the same street.
The large pothole was still there.
I was careful, so I could walk around it without falling in.


Now I take my walk in a different street.
There is no pothole.

Some Interesting Observations:

The narration of the five stages of improvement is SYMBOLIC. Read the observations by our readers:

By Ginger M:

What is so interesting about this ‘autobiography’? Well, it’s like a whack on the side of our head. It shows us what commonly happens as we try to improve ourselves! Our habits are rooted in the subconscious, and hence we are not sufficiently aware of how we act. We fall many times before we get things right.

By Frank Sanchez:

The chapters of this “Autobiography” are small, but they reveal a great truth. Here are my observations:
1. We can’t avoid what we don’t see. That is the beginner’s position. Hence, we blame other people for our misfortunes. Then our awareness does not lead us to make the necessary changes.
2. As we use our experience, we acknowledge our contribution to the making of our troubles. But still have to take the necessary action. Mere knowing does not change the reality. Hence, we keep on getting the same results.
3. In the next step we begin to make the necessary changes. However, we are so accustomed to doing things in our old ways that our patterns repeat. At this stage we know the real reason for our failure. Hence, we don’t blame others. We know what we have to do to overcome our problem.
4. Now we see the problem and we are able to overcome it.
5. Ultimately we become farsighted. Then we can avoid the problem from arising.

By Madanda Machayya:

The 1st line shows our habit.
The 2nd line shows the problems that awaits us in the outer world.
The 3rd line shows what usually happens as we try to change the habits. We keep on going back to it.
The 4th line speaks of our reaction or self-assessment as we make improvement.
The 5th line explains the extra difficulties we create for ourselves.

By Sanjeev Vaidya:

Initially all of us lack awareness. Hence, our habits rule us. Then we make mistakes; we blame others; and we suffer the reactions we generate! That is the human story. The autobiography illustrates the stages of improvement. The ultimate aim is to make the problem irrelevant!

If you find this article interesting, we invite you to read further; see our article/blog titled: The Magic of Quantum Learning, understanding the nature of the inner work in spiritual practice.

Published by

Prashant Shah

He was educated in science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) and University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC, USA). During his student days he learnt Mysticism from Shri Nyaya Sharma, a Master of Shiva Tantra Yoga. He offers Spiritual Guidance through Darshana Centre, a School of Yoga-Mysticism at Baroda, India. He learnt Homoeopathy from Post Graduate Homoeopathic Association, Bombay, has healing hands and uses Pranic Healing. He learnt entrepreneurial skills through EKS, an Advanced Management Diploma Program offered by ‘Mewes Systems’ of Frankfurt, Germany. He uses EKS and Vedic Astrology to do Counselling. He conducts ‘spiritual awareness workshops’ regularly in USA and from time to time in India. He is an Author of many self-help and spiritual books and a Speaker on related subjects. He writes and speaks clearly, in simple language, and from personal experience. He has written the books: The Crisis of Modern Humanity (1976); Essence of Hindu Astrology (1987); and his more recent publications are The Art of Awakening the Soul (2011), Healing without Drugs (2014), Solving the Problems of Life (2015), The Biochemic Prescriber (2016), and How to Restore your Health Naturally (2017). These are available from the Amazon and Kindle online bookstores.

3 thoughts on “The Five Stages In Spiritual Practice”

  1. Chapter-1: When an aspirant takes spiritual path, he is driven by the emotional nature. Pothole denotes his emotional nature.In the initial stage, due to lac of awareness he is swayed by the emotions easily. He justifies his emotions and blame others for that. He takes considerable time to accept his mistake.
    Chapter-2:Now the awareness is slightly improved, but emotional storm is more powerful. So he is again swayed by it.But still he blames others for his disturbed emotions and takes time to understand his fault.
    Chapter-3:-Awareness is further improved, which enables him to accept his fault and move out quickly.
    Chapter-4:- Now the observer is much improved so is able to avoid the pothole. But he is not detached from the emotions.
    Chapter-5:- The aspirant is free from the clutches of emotion. So there is no existence of pothole.Now he is free to enjoy the spiritual path.

  2. Further to above discussion, it can be said that this world is a big spiritual game, full of potholes. These potholes exist corresponding to our inner impurities. As our purification progresses these potholes start disappearing. They not only disappear, one gets shift in consciousness accordingly, similar to the video games where one gets additional power on crossing difficult hurdles and finally reaches the ultimate goal.

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