Many people end up in the state of mind that we should be doing something else. Accept reincarnation in all of our mind to avoid the frustrations of the western view that there is only one lifetime to experience. Challenge yourself even with simple tasks. Don't withdraw from life; advance spiritually. Hold the view that the world is an ashram. Master Course, Lesson 317
Reading from this morning. From Merging with Siva, the daily lesson, called:
"Four Stages Of Evolution
"Let me begin with something that may at first come as a surprise to you. All men and women on the Earth are doing exactly as they should and must do. People complain, ' I wish I were rich. I wish I lived somewhere else. I really should be a doctor. If only things were different.' But in the final analysis, we are all doing exactly as we want, as we must, doing what is next on our personal path of evolution. Nothing is wrong. Nothing should be that is not. Even the drunk, even the thief, is part of the cosmic dance of God Siva. Not that you should ever think of being a thief, for there is much difficult karma there. Just realize that he, too, is evolving. He, too, is Siva's creation, and what he does is, for him, somehow necessary."
Of course, it sounds very good but it's hard to apply. Easy to end up in a state of consciousness where we're dissatisfied with our situation. As we say: The grass is always greener in the other pasture, right? The one we're not in. But always tempted to hold the view that if we were doing something different we'd be happier. Something was different in our lives, it would be better.
If we can avoid that state of mind it's certainly ideal. Why is that? Well one of the problems with that state of mind is we're never 100% committed to what we're doing. Part of us is always thinking we should be doing something else. If we're thinking we should be doing something else then that part of us isn't committed to what we are doing; we're holding back. So, we're not giving our best effort to what we're actually doing. We're kind of a divided mind. So, that's an ordinary state of consciousness that many people end up in at least now and then, sometimes permanently.
Gurudeva's trying to give us a perspective that helps us avoid that state of mind by saying: Where we are in life is where we're supposed to be in life. Maybe it's not where we thought we would be in life when we were sixteen or eighteen but it's where we're supposed to be in life. It's the natural place. We all end up in a place that's natural.
Another aspect of that is we need to really to accept reincarnation. If part of us holds the western viewpoint that there's really only one life then that is another source of frustration. If it's very hard to accept certain limitations we face in our own life. Feel things should be different cause there's only one life. We should be able to have all these experiences packed into one lifetime. But, of course, that's not the Hindu point of view. All of us accepts the Hindu point of view, meaning all of our mind, 100% of our mind accepts it, then we avoid that frustration as well. That feeling of trying to pack every single possible experience there is into one lifetime.
There's an interesting perspective given by Gurudeva in the beginning of each of the Master Course Trilogy books. The last page of the introduction on the Master Course. And it says: When you get serious about spiritual life, one of the first common reactions is to withdraw from life, a bit. Why is that? Well because life is so worldly. The world is a worldly place, just so unspiritual. All the people at work, they're just totally unspiritual. Really shouldn't have that much to do with them. It's a natural reaction. But, it's not the reaction that Gurudeva encourages. He says: Don't withdraw from life, put even more energy in to it. Remember that? Put even more energy in to what you find yourself doing in life.
In another place, when he's talking about willpower, he expresses it in terms of: Finish every job you start and do it to the best of your ability and even a little better. Challenge yourself even with the simple tasks in life. Even with washing dishes, sweeping the floor. You know, do a good job at it. Engage your willpower. Why is that? When we're doing our best, putting full energy into a task, then we are strengthening our willpower, our ability to accomplish tasks -- willpower. Ability to do what we want to do. The example I always give is of the student who wants to get up early in the morning and study but always sleeps in. Therefore, he doesn't do that well in school. Why? Well the student's willpower is weak. Wants to do something but doesn't have the follow-through, the strength of will to do it.
Well, how do we strengthen our willpower? By what Gurudeva suggests: Put full effort into even the simple tasks. Don't withdraw from life because it seems unspiritual. All the tasks that come to us in life are opportunities to advance spiritually if we look at them that way. And, putting full energy, doing a good job, being creative in tasks, strengthens our willpower, brings through creativity. And that helps us spiritually.
Our Paramaguru, Yogaswami, referred to the world as an ashram. Meaning: We can make spiritual progress when we're out in the world. Doesn't have to be a worldly place. It's only a worldly place if we allow ourselves to hold the consciousness that worldly people hold. But if we maintain our spiritual consciousness then it's an opportunity to make spiritual progress. We know how to do that. And that's a lot of what Gurudeva's Master Course teaches us -- how we can make spiritual progress in various ways through how we live in the world.
It's a good test when you come home at night and ask yourself: Did I hold the viewpoint that the world is an ashram today or did I just get caught up in all the mundane activities and office gossip and whatever else that's going on. Or did I maintain a direction that I was out there making progress, spiritual progress? We can do that if we study the tools that Gurudeva gives to us in the Master Course Trilogy.
Have a wonderful day.