Yogi Bhajan Lecture:
Individual consciousness will refine you. Group consciousness will expand you, and Universal Consciousness will redeem you to Infinity.
Happiness and mastery of the spiritual facet of human life is a simple and direct practice. The problem is that we have never trained our minds to know our origin as Infinity. Instead we run and hide under rituals. All places of worship were meant to create group consciousness. Spiritual awakening starts with individual consciousness, then progresses to group consciousness. When group consciousness is established, where you care for others, then you can progress to Universal Consciousness.
Religious places were designed so that all the people who believe in some way could join together to praise the Lord and to feel elevated. In most places, this original purpose and practice to gather and experience the elevation of group consciousness is forgotten, diluted, or simply gone. With that factor of our life neglected and undeveloped, we have become confused.
Take care of the spiritual factor of your life by joining with others to experience and elevate yourself, the group, and the Universe. When a person does not have and develop the strength of the individual consciousness toward group consciousness, he cannot attain the final experience of the Universal Consciousness.
Barriers will always exist. Lack of knowledge, lack of a teacher, ego, fear, and karma are all barriers. These barriers keep a person limited. The development of group consciousness into the experience of Infinity is the bridge to Universal Consciousness. It releases the unlimited self and fulfills the spiritual longing.
~The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, from The Aquarian Teacher, p. 224