The spiritual path is sometimes mistaken to be this perfect path where you have finally been able to let go and to embrace peace, compassion, all qualities thought to be virtuous. And if you find yourself ensnared by temptation, well then somehow spirituality eluded you. I find that to be far from the truth. I find the spiritual path to not be some sort of safe haven, but rather a deep immersion into experience, into our nature just as it is. And it can be a very unsettling space at times. It is the whole of this experience and our nature that takes us onto a path of understanding. It allows us to know our strengths, our weaknesses, our love, our hate, our gratitude, our resentment, our truth and our lies and it allows us to hold a space for one as much as the other. And to begin to observe cause and effect. To understand what has affected this thought and this action, and to begin to understand how this thought & action may affect the next. And as we play out this cycle of experience, our hope is to journey toward our hearts, to move into that place that is most unsettling, to soften our ego, to embrace vulnerability and to connect with our humanity and that of others in a more compassionate way.
Here is a passage from Siddartha (by Hermann Hesse) that builds on this:
The world is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment; every sin already carries grace within it. … It seems to be that everything that exists is good, death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary. … I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it, and be glad to belong to it.