The spiritual work should begin with studying and accepting the conception of the Path. Then follows initial ethic self-transformation, and only after one gets on one’s spiritual Path and starts walking it.
The word “spirituality” originates from the expression of Jesus Christ: “God is a Spirit”. That is to say that “spirituality” stands for association with or likeness to God-Spirit. And the spiritual Path is the Path of a gradual transformation of oneself into Him. This transformation is performed by growing and qualitatively changing one’s spiritual heart, primarily. Or, in other words, one’s spiritual growth is one’s growth as the spiritual heart.
I have written in books how one can become a spiritual heart and transmute oneself further [1-9]. Here I will only say that the criterion of the first success will be the undoubtful ability to look at the outer world from within the chest with the “eyes” of the soul (not in a figurative but in the very literal sense!). When we begin to experience ourselves not as bodies but as free consciousnesses then we begin to see with the eyesight of the soul. It is with this eyesight that unembodied spirits see. And with this eyesight God sees what happens to us in His Creation.
One can say also that the Creator is the Heart of God (in the aspect of the Absolute). This is why on can know Him and merge with Him only having become a perfect spiritual heart.
In one of the greatest spiritual scriptures — the Bhagavad Gita — there is an omission that led to a multitude of errors of people who tried in vain to attain Perfection without love, not through love. Namely, in the talk with Arjuna Krishna, pointing to his chest, said, that between these “eyebrows” one has to open an exit of the Atmic Divine Energy (it was a joke: He pointed to the hair on His male chest)... But His gesture was not mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, the joke was not understood by the readers and later many people were trying to “open the third eye” — the eye of the soul — not from the spiritual heart but from the one of the most coarse chakras — ajna. But the result were always sad: dramatic coarsening of consciousness and sometimes stresses and health disorders. (In some cases people acquired the ability to see the colors corresponding to various emotional states of other people but it had no value for the spiritual Path; it only “strengthened” this vicious tradition).
If you do not believe me now — you may ask Krishna, as I did. But first you should get close to His state and having become a developed spiritual heart learn to see Him as Divine Consciousness. (Otherwise you will hear anything from any demon who would call himself Krishna).