Spiritual progress is not other than the progressive revealing of ever present truth. The outer reality mirrors the inner reality because they are one and the same. The earthly self is the daily cycle of change, day and night, good and bad, happiness and sadness, the struggle for survival, sleep and wakefulness. The earthly self is reality as we most commonly perceive it, life on earth, cities, nature, our body, our minds thoughts, emotions and experiences, time and space. Entirely surrounding and giving light to the Earthly self is the Solar self, the source of light that illuminates the world. The solar self only shines, is constant, ever present, has no day and no night, no right and no wrong. It is pure being, luminous and blissful. Yet, as the Cosmos contains the Sun , so the Solar self is contained within a higher order, the Cosmic self. The Cosmic self is beyond light, beyond definition, it is all that is, was and will be. The Cosmic self gives birth to the Solar self, gives birth to Light, yet it itself is neither light nor dark, being beyond them. We can say that the Cosmic self is that in which light and consciousness have their existence.
However,The Divine Self is pure and total understanding and power. It is both unfathomably beyond and completely within all of existence. Whatever we see, think or feel, it is that, beyond consciousness, beyond light, beyond what can be put into words, it is the ultimate mystery of all, yet at the same time it is clear and precise as a snow flake, or a mathematical equation. It is the only one of the Selves that has any Reality, the others are merely stages of ignorance or partial view.
This world is so configured to allow access to understanding of all of the selves to a realization of the only true Self. Everything points to that, all paths lead to that, at the same time everything is that, all paths are that, they lead no where except to realization of what already is, who you already are.
Life is a mirror, the more you polish it the more it reveals, but what it reveals is always there.