Self-Introspection and Man-Making
There are basically two stages to be gone through before the struggling disciple rises above body consciousness and begins to enjoy the Spiritual Disciplines and to firmly tread the Path of Spirituality. The first stage is where the disciples has little or no knowledge of self-introspection and is in a state of abysmal ignorance. The second stage is when the disciple begins to realise that he has innumerable faults and failings which must be corrected before he can hope to rise above body consciousness, at which state this Path really begins.
This second stage, which is for most a long drawn-out struggle with lower tendencies of the mind, is known as man-making. Spirituality, or rising from the lower realms of existence to higher realms of untold bliss and harmony, is not difficult. It is the man-making which is difficult. There is no specific time limit for this second stage. It all depends upon the disciple‘s aptitude for self-discipline, obedience to the commandments of the Master, and developing a Love for Him.
It is the self-assertive ego which is the last obstacle to be conquered, and this cannot be done until the soul begins to come into its own, has some glimmerings of its True Nature, which has the result of developing in the disciple a natural humility. This is not to be confused with an attitude of servility, mind you. True humility has strength, but is nevertheless not self-assertive.
Although the Gracious Master-Power is ever at hand to held the disciple in this struggle, it is something which the disciple must go through himself. Nobody can do this for him. You have been put on the way and have been given some capital to start with, which still exists with you. A seed has been planted in you which one day surely must fructify and you have as your constant companion the Master in His subtle form of Light and Sound. He is also quite capable of manifesting to you in His charming radiant form when you have learnt to rise above body consciousness. It is not reasonable to expect to attain to the higher planes without first perfecting yourself to a great degree. As in worldly studies, in which it is not unusual to spend twenty years or more to obtain the necessary qualifications to fit yourself for a career, so even greater is the time and effort that must be put in by the disciple before he can be made a fit vessel to receive the truths of his own soul and of God. It is a very odd outlook that some have: to expect self and God-realisation in a short time and with little labour, while the same people are willing to toil for years to obtain the pot of porridge that is all this world has to offer.
In no other expression but the human form can a soul realise God. The gods and goddesses are anxious to get the human form, and it means only that the human form is the highest in all creation due to its great Spiritual Possibilities.
I would stress the importance of self-introspection, for which the maintenance of the diary has been prescribed. A keen vigil and careful living is an essential helping factor for Inner Progress. A disciplined life by having complete control over the senses, which feed the mind, which in turn overpowers the soul, should be cherished.
The Inner Divine links of Light and Sound are most helpful for controlling the senses. If you will follow these Divine Principles, the Inner Change of life will follow automatically. Truth is above all, but higher still is True Living.
Adopt a righteous way of life and be content. You may have certain desires, but stop there; don‘t increase them. Then reconsider the desires and where they will take you. What lies ahead, and what will you take with you? We are hurrying, scurrying through life; we are not even conscious of what we are doing most of the time. So the Guru advises us to handle all our affairs with tranquil serenity. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and a danger foreseen is half-avoided. One who is forewarned, is forearmed.
Everything will be given to you in due course of time if you follow His behests and live up to what He says. Every day you are given tasks which are intended to help your Spiritual Growth. Unfortunately, most people look for a very special assignment to be given to them by the Master personally before they accept it as a task from the Master. They do not see that their day-to-day dealings and behaviour with other people in their work, the responsibilities they have to assume in their other mundane duties and how well they fulfil them, are all tasks given by the Master. If you watch closely your reaction to situations that confront you in life you cannot but be aware of how much you have grown spiritually. This is the most important part of Spirituality as far as the disciple is concerned. He must first complete his course in man-making with full honours before he can be given higher tasks to carry out.
Every thought, every word and every deed, good or bad, leaves an indelible imprint on the mind and has to be accounted for. Hence the necessity for tight thoughts, right aspirations and right conduct, all of which constitute the hedge around the tender sapling of Spirituality.
What constitutes desire? All conceptions in the mind are desires. So, be desireless. You will have noticed that when an obstacle blocks the achievement of one‘s desire, anger arises. Then there is pride – ‚I must have this, or do this, otherwise I will be belittled in the eyes of others.‘ One can accept pride as being the basis of all sins, for it turns into I-hood. He recommends us to leave off perversity, or stop being obstinate. Always be sure to listen to the other person‘s point of view – you may find that what he is saying is correct. Perversity just binds a person more; there is no room for expansion. Dogmatic knowledge of books, for instance, which might be right or wrong, should be discarded. It goes without saying that all attachments should be broken away – you must finish up the give and take – you must leave the body and all its environments. If an obstacle comes between you and your desire, it grows even stronger.
Just put a large rock in the middle of a fast flowing stream and you will create two things: froth and noise. When a man is angry he cannot speak softly, and finally he froths at the mouth. If you do get the thing you desire, it turns into attachment. There is only one cure for all this: Only after seeing your True Self can you realise the Lord. Millionaires will leave their millions behind, those who have mud huts will leave them, this body did not come with you and will not accompany you when you return. Yes, you will take your actions with you.
Is anything else required to become reunited with the Lord? Righteous living is most essential. The mind that is running amuck in bad outer influences must be brought to heel; only then can any real progress be achieved. Our greatest obstacle is that the soul is under the mind‘s control, and mind in turn is under the senses‘ control. So release from this bondage is hastened by living righteously. We receive impressions from outside through the eyes, ears, the tongue, by smelling and by touch. So we must have self restraint. Such a man only can progress from day to day, by regularity and also by self-introspection. This is most important. Your very soul, the outer expression of which is called attention or surat, if engaged outside, makes it impossible for you to see within.
With all this right understanding, what develops? Right thought, and furthermore right speech, and out of that right action will follow. If you can do this; if you can conquer the self and surrender it at the feet of the Master; if you can learn to see Him working through all things, if you can accept the fact of your own limited vision; if you can undertake a ceaseless and zealous watch over your thoughts and deeds, weeding out all evils and imperfections – then you shall not only win salvation yourselves but enable other to do likewise. Your example shall shine like a torch in the darkness, and men, even those who may first oppose you, will turn to you for guidance and help. You will find a new sense of peace surging through you, a peace that does not depend on the absence of outer disturbances, but is an Inner State of mind that stands unshaken even in the most tempestuous situations.
And this same quality shall enter not only your individual lives, but the larger life of the great Spiritual Movement of which you are a part.
Truth is above all, but higher still is True Living.