They say one can reach God on four paths: Knowledge (jnana), action (karma), devotion (bhakthi) and meditation/channeling our life energies (kriya). Quite frankly, up to recently, this meant very little to me. I started out thinking that knowledge might be my path, but you cannot help concluding that God is beyond thoughts, so the intellect seemed of little use. Action is often led astray by the ego. Bhakthi is easier said that than done. God has to be held above everything in this world. OK, but what if you do not feel that way. Lastly, meditation just never worked for me. Most spiritual fellow travelers just asked me in amazement, what do you mean it does not work? I just did not work because my thoughts were always in the way. A lost cause one might conclude.
Recently it struck me that the Fantastic Four are actually surprisingly intertwined. As you progress along one, all other avenues suddenly appear as well. Karma and knowledge are two faces of the same coin. If you manage to overcome your ego in your work, suddenly amazing insights about yourself, others and the spiritual path become available to you. It is possible to work selflessly, it requires attention and concentration, but it can be done. By the way, an easy trick is creativity. When you are creative you focus on your project, your baby, the ego is naturally pushed into the background. As your awareness about yourself and others rises you will feel things on a much deeper level - your emotional dimension opens up - the requirement for Bhakthi. Meditation becomes easier as well. By living a more selfless life and gaining spiritual insights along the way your mind becomes less cluttered. Lastly, at least in my case, this period coincided with a resurgence of life energies. It was as if suddenly new pipes opened up in my body.
Will this path lead me to liberation? I do not know, but I was encouraged when I read this story in Sadhguru's Mystic Musings: One day, one Jnana Yogi, one Bhakthi Yogi, one Karma Yogi and one Kriya Yogi were walking together. Usually these four people can never be together, because a thinking person has complete disdain for everybody else. A bhakthi yogi, full of emotion and love, thinks that jnana, karma and kriya yoga is just a waste of time. Just love God and it will happen. The karma yogi thinks that everybody else is just lazy. One must work and work and work. The kriya yogi just laughs at everything. The whole existence is energy. If you don't channel your energies nothing is going to happen. Then it started to rain and they all ran looking for shelter, they found an ancient temple. As the storm grew more and more furious they all moved closer to each other inside the temple. Suddenly they felt a huge presence. Lord Shiva Himself was there. They all cried out together, why now, we have pursued you for years and nothing happened. Lord Shiva replied, at last the four of you got together. I have been waiting for this for a long time.