Many people these days have are proud to acknowledge that they have 'hit the spiritual trail', they've taken up one or more of the various aspects of modern spirituality which are popularly available.

In these days of open acceptance and general tolerance of alternate spirituality practices, there are any number of people who, at any given time – are switching paths, or adding on new ones in their quest for comfort and closure.

  • Comfort: from personal problems; including career, health, and relationships.
  • Closure: due to the inability to answer Ramana Maharshi's favourite (supreme) question 'Who am I?', and the Christian failure to account for reincarnation, which results in the uncomfortable theology of eternal damnation in hell.

And there are many experts in spiritual fields who are more than willing to bring the seeker down their particular branch. Usually, it seems - they charge 'by the footstep' (or by the phone call, private consultation, or speaking engagement). To mention a few examples, there is the tarot, astrology, auras, channeling, psychic readings, and various self-empowerment techniques (hypnosis, ESP, creating abundance, manifesting dreams, etc.)

All of these fields are quite valid indeed, and dedicated practitioners are able to tap into the ethereal energy and achieve more or less the desired results. Past lives can be known, as can certain future events, ancestors contacted and communicated with, etc. They deserve the fees they charge, as the initiate is not likely to accomplish any of these goals without expert advice.

I will call these skills 'spiritual tools'. They are tools that anyone (with a mind) would seemingly have the potential to learn to use, given proper technique, diligence, and skill.

However, certain persons are born with these innate abilities, such as the psychic abilities (for example, clairvoyance, channeling, prophecy, etc.) or discover them and develop them to a fuller level of expression at some point in their present incarnation. Naturally, these people would seek to share their ability to use these tools, and generally to make a living at the same time.

Some spiritually gifted people sought out fortune and fame on this earth, others were uncomfortable with their gifts but were forewarned that to use them for profit or personal gratification would be illicit.

Examples of extraordinary people possessing spiritual gifts include saints of the Catholic Church (St. Teresa of Avila), Indian yogis (Paramahansa Yogananda), 'ordinary psychics and healers' such as Edgar Cayce, Madame Blavatsky, Alice A. Bailey, and best selling authors such as Sylvia Browne and Zak Martin who have been commercially successful.

There are a widespread number of people today who claim and demonstrate various psychic and spiritual gifts, tools, or abilities that were previously unknown, uncommon, or quite rare. They are only too happy to take on clients and readers of their books, tapes, etc. whose purpose is to increase wealth, develop psychic ability, control relationships, and so on.

But now let us ask the million dollar question. What place do these 'spiritual tools' have in the sincere seekers' strategy for getting to the ultimate level, full enlightenment and union with the creator?

It seems to me that as many times as the great yogis and other enlightened beings have warned about not being distracted by miracles, powers, and spiritual gifts that manifest as one purifies their consciousness through various techniques (meditation, prayer, fasting, devotion, etc.) this is the general atmosphere that pervades (and perverts) the true essence of spirituality in the new millennium.

It's time to set ourselves straight and align once again to the original purpose of the one guiding light, put our material desires for extraordinary comfort, excessive wealth, and control over others aside – and reach out for direct communion and a personal relationship with our creator.

These spiritual distractions, nuisances and petty trivialities belong in the lower worlds, the temporary material world of maya and the lower astral planes from whence various astral embodiments often seek to dispel their mischief upon mortals.

Make proper use of your spiritual gifts to harmonize with the life force and seek the straight and narrow. Seek ye always to aspire for the highest of the high, the mightiest of the mighty, the eternal and immortal power of love and creation.

Author's Bio: Expert Author, Ted Ollikkala developed an intense interest in the process of enlightenment and spirituality in 1981 when, at the age of 23 he was exposed to the writings of Alan Watts, Paramahansa Yogananda, Vernon Howard, and Ram Dass, the yoga practices of Richard Hittleman, the readings of Edgar Cayce, and Paul Bragg’s Miracle of Fasting. An avid traveler, interviewer and photojournalist, he has documented spiritual practices in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Bali, and Singapore.

A former engineer, early childhood education specialist, nursing assistant, holistic artifacts dealer and communication skills lecturer, Ted brings a wealth of experiences and a unique perspective to his writings on spirituality. He currently lives in Singapore and is the owner and main contributing author of