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The Stairway of Selves, Part 3: Modes of the Spiritual Realm

By Steve D’Annunzio

This is part three of a three-part series. Read part one here, and part two here.

Breaking through the ceiling of the mental realm and into the spiritual realm comes through acceptance. Acceptance appears to be a very unreasonable mode to the mind, which is why this step is so difficult for most people.

In acceptance mode, a person lives the natural laws of the universe to the degree where they are able to say in all situations, “I remember you God, and you never send me anything that isn’t for my highest good. I don’t have to like it but I accept it.”

At this mode comes the realization that there are no accidents in the universe; the universe is exactly as it should be.

In the mental realm, when “bad” things happen to people, many reason that it’s because they are being punished by God.

God doesn’t punish, however; human beings punish. When God sends us something to encounter, if we resist it, then we’re the problem, not Him. The moment we can accept it is the moment we can experience a monumental breakthrough in consciousness.

The minute we accept the lesson, it discontinues. On the other hand, that which we resist persists.

To enter the spiritual realm, learn to deal with things that you perceive as negative by asking yourself what you are to learn from the experience.

Ask God questions like, “What does this mean? What is this supposed to teach me? How can I be grateful for this experience?”

Discontentment and pain are perhaps the greatest gifts that we have received from God, if we can arrive at acceptance mode and view them through those enlightened eyes.

The degree to which we can begin to love the things that give us pain and frustration is the degree to which they will disappear.

One critical step in this process is to stop taking anything personally. Imagine if no one were ever able to make you angry or hurt your feelings again. Imagine if no one ever had permission to make you feel guilty, or get you to take rejection personally. How powerful would that be?

In many respects, the spiritual realm may seem completely opposite of the mental realm, and may appear to be unreasonable.

Yet this is true simply because of the extreme limitations of the mental realm; the eye cannot see and perceive so many of the critical, empowering truths of the universe. They must be perceived and acted upon on a higher plan, a higher level of conscious awareness.

When a person is in Central Park in New York City, they don’t know the city, and they’re trying to find Broadway and 5th Avenue, it’s difficult because of the altitude. But if that same person were to look down on the city from a high perspective, the task would become infinitely simpler because of the increased perspective.

Furthermore, attitude corresponds with altitude; the higher the altitude the better the attitude.

Our perspective changes as we climb higher on the Stairway of Selves. Each step contains an encyclopedic volume of different thoughts, beliefs, inventions, insights, possibilities, and relevant questions.

The higher we climb, the better questions we ask God and the universe. When “negative” things happen on the lower levels, we ask “Why me?”; when the same things happen to us on the higher levels we ask “What does this mean, God, and what am I to learn from it?”

We awaken to our Godself and begin shedding the egoself. We begin accessing the healing forces of the universe.

The discontentment that occurs in acceptance mode is the fact that, in this mode, there are still unsolicited thoughts that roll through the mind that we are largely unable to control.

Have you ever lain awake at night, unable to sleep because the mind is so noisy and you can’t seem to turn it off?

The reason why you are unable to turn it off is because you are not the mind. You have a mind — just like you’re not the body; you have a body, but your body is not your essential Self.

When you eat breakfast, the body digests the food without any commands from you. You don’t need to sit there and command, “Body: process spatial intuitive process, process logical analytical function, digest the food, make sure my heart beats, make sure I continue breathing,” etc.

The body does it of its own accord because it’s subject to higher programming.

The same applies to the mind: it functions with or without commands from you. You are not your mind; you are a spirit in a body that has a mind.

Renee Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” This is precisely opposite of the truth. The truth is actually, “I am, therefore I think.” Just like money, the mind makes a terrible master and a fabulous servant.

In acceptance mode, the mind is still, to a certain degree, running the show. The spiritual discipline needed to transcend this discontentment and break through to the next mode is the surrendering of your personal will and dedicating your life to the service and will of the Divine.

Submission leads us from acceptance to wisdom mode. In acceptance mode, a person honors their thinking above their Godself because they identify themselves with their thoughts, with their mind. This is not so in wisdom mode; in wisdom mode, the mind becomes silent and still.

When we create from a higher context or point of potential, it always occurs by creating a space in which it can develop. Without space for something new to operate and grow, it is impossible to transcend to higher levels; the first step of transcendence is to create a new space for the higher level to operate.

This is the purpose of discontentment; when handled appropriately it aids us in creating space for the next level of consciousness to emerge.

The power of wisdom mode is that it allows us a dramatically increased ability to create space for new and higher things to emerge in our lives. This is the mode where meditation becomes a real, tangible, effective, and powerful tool for us.

Wisdom mode allows us to clear our minds and be present in the moment, rather than letting our minds dominate our consciousness with fear, doubt, and worry.

The more clear, still, and present we are, the more we tap into the infinite, the Sacred Path, and our Soul Purpose. The possibilities of all these things begin erupting spontaneously as we clear away the debris of the physical and mental realms and uncover who and what we really are.

This is why creation is more a process of discovery than it is a process of development.

In the mental realm we push, we struggle, we push through with effort. The spiritual realm is the opposite; in the spiritual realm, we let go, we surrender, we relinquish, we accept. We surrender attachments, control, and a desire to get our way.

We are no longer attached to being right, and therefore, we no longer feel a need to make other people wrong. This is what is so powerful about the spiritual realm: it’s gentle, joyful, and powerful, because it’s effortless. We do not command the mind; we relinquish the noise of the mind to God.

At this point, the light of the Godself begins to shine through and we become a sort of “antenna” of wellness wherever we are.

Whereas in the past we may have prayed, now we both pray and meditate; prayer is speaking to God, meditation is listening to God. Now we are able to hear what was already there but we were prevented from hearing because of the physical and mental layers blocking our hearing.

The life results in wisdom mode are truly transcendent because we have surrendered our personal will to the Divine will, and so the Divine is able to use us as an instrument in the world. What have we transcended? The mind. The mental realm.

Strangely, there is also discontentment in wisdom mode. That discontentment is the fact that, because now we are in touch with the Divine, we know there’s something more, something higher, something greater.

Wisdom is the state of no mind, but there’s something missing in that state, and that is love. Wisdom is a state of emptiness; you’ve created positive space, yet now that space must be filled with something.

As that space is filled with love, we enter a whole new domain of revelation and of being. Love mode is surrounding yourself with other people and helping them through your Soul Purpose.

Love mode is epitomized by people such as Mother Theresa, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s characterized by such an intense form of being that it leads to effective action in the world. In love mode, we start seeing the world as perfect.

Even at love mode, however, there is still something higher. The small piece of discontentment that pushes us to the highest mode of consciousness — unconditional love — is that in love mode, we still find ourselves reserving love for people that earn it or deserve it.

When we are around negative people, we still feel a tinge of, “Why do they have to be so negative?”, which leads to us withholding our love from them. Loving the unlovable is difficult, and yet it is what can occur at the highest level of unconditional love.

A person will quickly find in love mode that they suffer by limiting their love, and then move to unconditional love mode. This does not mean that we want to be around those that are difficult to love, yet we still love them.

Desire mode sees the world as a trap; pride mode sees the world as a chessboard, the higher levels see the world as a school; and love mode sees the world as being perfect.

In unconditional love, we are able to feel, express, and show love for even the villains of the world, because we understand that they too have a purpose.

At the top of the Stairway of Selves is the God-self existing fully enlightened. Every single person in the world is fully enlightened right now, but most of them simply don’t realize it because of the obstacles in the way blocking their path.

The sun is always shining regardless of our ability to see it at any given moment. Our goal isn’t to develop into an enlightened being; our goal is to discover that our enlightened self exists right now.


Steve D’Annunzio is the founder of the Soul Purpose Institute, the author of The Prosperity Paradigm, and a productivity trainer and life success coach to Fortune 100 executives, professional athletes, and high-performance entrepreneurs. For twenty years, he has been helping people identify their passion, develop it into a business idea, and deliver it to the world.

A member of the Transformational Leadership Council, Steve has shared the stage with world-changers like Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, and Barbra-Marx Hubbard.

He uses principles of higher awareness to inspire others to be far greater versions of themselves than they ever knew to be possible. By combining scientific and spiritual truth, he co-creates inner transformations for people to experience more outer prosperity in their life.

He is an author and composer of many books, paradigms, and artistic projects that have the common theme of alleviating human suffering and enhancing joy.

Steve lives with his family in Rochester, New York.

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  1. Theresa Morgan says

    I just read stairway of shelves part III, very interesting!!! Me and my Husband have been struggling wjth spiritual warfare since August 2011 and has been very mentally exausting. We have been reading different books and praying but we go through our ups and downs. I do know that we has to do alot of spiritual housekeeping, however, this article really explained alot of things to me that i have not come across yet. I want to thank you for the information i received and i look forward to applying it to my life!

    Sincere Thanks, God Bless

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