The wise know the following spiritual truth for the friend that it is, and cannot be tempted into forgetting it. Welcome it, keep it by your side at all times, and call upon its understanding in times of need:
There are parts of us that have no interest in reading or contemplating higher ideas, listening to truth talks, praying, or in simply being quiet enough to observe the self as it runs through its incessant and useless search for security.
This lower nature wants nothing to do with what is right, bright, and true. And not only will these parts of us never awaken to any form of being greater than themselves, they despise the light that reveals this fact about them.
If you have “ears to hear” this truth, then you also know exactly what needs to be done whenever you don’t “feel” like doing your interior work.
It isn’t enough to just learn the principles of wisdom. Studying wise principles without putting them into practice is like learning how to read music but never owning an instrument through which to experience the sound of those notes you know. True wisdom is not theory. It is the fruit of experience whose seed is action. The wise are not those most learned, but the best tempered by truths put to the test of life.
It is essential for any person intending to be more than a leaf in the wind of life to learn the truth of him or herself by boldly jumping into these very same winds. Life, as it is –and not as we’d wish it to be — is our school, teacher, and teaching. Each event and relationship therein is our own field, grain, thresher, oven, and bread, making our willingness to dive into life’s lessons the determining factor in whether we learn to rise above this world or remain ruled by it. The choice is ours, so the more knowledgeable we are about ourselves the fewer questions we will have about which path we choose.
Prove to yourself that just as the absence of self-understanding is the same as standing in darkness, new and true self-knowledge serves as the Light that lights the way. The ability to see, clearly, the way ahead of you is the same as being empowered to make those choices called determining your own destiny.
Over time our values have been subtly shifting away from the love of the wisdom of life to the excitement of striving to win at life, from the possibility of a self-renewing relationship with eternal forces to the promise of increasingly one-sided interactions with what amounts to little more than the pursuit of temporary possessions.
Only the ignorance of ourselves to what is possible for each of us to actually be, as opposed to what we hope to have — but never seem to secure — could allow such a meaningless state of self to persist and become self-perpetuating. Only self-ignorance would accept a mediocre life as the inescapable conclusion to the deep discontentment inherent in any direction supplied by self-ignorance.
What this proves, if we’ll agree to reflect upon the truth being presented, is that higher self-knowledge, real wisdom, represents the rudder we must have to correct the course of this drifting ship we call self. Why? Because the happy truth is that we are not so much lost in the sea of choices life offers us as we are just adrift amongst them; caught up in their ever-changing currents and unsure as to which shore is our homeland. So wisdom is not only the higher course, but our safe harbor as well… [to be continued]
The wish itself — to be a higher person — comes to you from a higher place and is received in its inner equivalent within you. This means there’s already an existing connection between the you that you want to be and the you that you presently are; between the new destiny you would have, and the fortunes you’ve known. All you have to do is stay on the royal road that has brought you up to this very point, for it leads directly to that higher destiny you seek. And now you’re about to begin another leg of your appointed journey.
There’s so much just ahead of you that’s new and exciting. But you must remember that the best views are always the higher ones, whose new heights take personal effort to achieve. To ensure you’ll make steady progress along this higher way, allow me to instruct and encourage you in two special ways.
First, as you proceed with these new life lessons about winning the higher life, you may come to certain moments where you have a disquieting feeling that you don’t understand what you’re doing or, for that matter, even why you’re doing it! But each time you get ready to throw your hands up in the air or toss in the towel, do your best to remember the following. For as strange as this may seem to you as you stand there, feeling oh-so uncertain, here’s the true perspective to be embraced: These are the good times, not the bad ones! In fact, all along you’ve been working toward just these moments.
How can this be possible? Your confusion indicates that you’ve reached a real inner threshold; you stand before the possibility of entering into something genuinely new to you. And this unthinkable place is the same as the doorway to a new destiny. So take heart!
Second, if you’ll simply persist with your journey, you’ll pass right through these times of trial. I guarantee it. Nothing can stop your sincere inquiry, including those thoughts and feelings telling you that you can’t go any further because you don’t understand how to take the next step. Take that step anyway. Then you’ll understand.
The light from one small moment of honest self-inquiry is more powerful than the accumulated darkness of a million years of doubt. So dare to proceed . . . and succeed!