Life's Experiences Accelerate Our Evolution
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2012-04-22
Most of us need interaction with other people to challenge us, to make spiritual progress. The more we focus on personalities and differences the harder it is to get along with others. Remember the perfection inside of us. If we feel a sense of disappointment we're looking in the wrong direction. Our inner nature is always perfect; it can't disappoint us. Master Course Lesson 10.
This is from today's Merging with Siva lesson:
"The more experiences we can have during a lifetime and approach those experiences in a positive way, the more we begin to crush out the instinctive elements, the more we begin to mold the intellect so it is like the superconscious mind rather than being like the instinctive area of the mind, the more we can begin to mold the physical atoms so that they become closer attuned to the spiritual forces emanating from the soul body. The more experiences we can have and face those experiences positively, the faster we evolve. The fewer experiences we have, the slower we evolve.
"The knowing of how to handle each experience that comes to us in our lifetime comes from the soul. It's our superconscious self."
As we've mentioned before, the popular concept is: I need a really quiet place to go within and be peaceful. Maybe nobody else around. Then I can really be peaceful and make spiritual progress. That's because I'm so distracted by all the people around me and by all the experiences I go through and the challenges I face. I mean, how can I make any spiritual progress with so much going on?
Natural way to think. Definitely, when we find a quiet place and sit there it's easy to find some peace but it's easy to not move forward spiritually. In other words, if we just sat there in that peaceful place we would perpetuate the attainment we had already achieved. There's nothing to catalyze us to move forward, to develop the qualities that Gurudeva is outlining here: Molding the intellect so it's like the superconscious mind rather than like the instinctive area of the mind; Mold the physical atoms to be more attuned to the spiritual focus; Facing experiences positively.
With this paragraph in mind, it's easy to understand why Gurudeva recommends interacting regularly with other people. You're not supposed to just be a hermit up on a mountain. Get five years worth of supplies and live up there so peacefully. Most people wouldn't make any spiritual progress living five years as a hermit. There are those who would but they're the exception. Most of us need the interaction with other people to challenge us.
As I jokingly say: Stress makes us strong if we survive it. Meaning, in the midst of it, it certainly seems difficult. It certainly seems the opposite of what we need to be peaceful and make spiritual progress. But, it's not the opposite. Why? Because it forces us to mold the intellect to be more like the superconscious and less like the instinctive mind. Meaning we have to control our emotions. We have to control the human tendency to want to retaliate, to get angry, to get depressed, to get discouraged. All the emotions we go through when we face a difficult situation that we don't face if we're sitting quietly by ourselves in a cabin in the mountains.
We have to learn to harness them better, control them better. And what does that do? That gives us spiritual maturity; it matures the soul body.
"The spiritual body of you, which is permanent, has always remained constant. It has always been constant because it's directly in tune with the constant central source of all energy of the universe. This one source of energy feeds through your spiritual body and out through the intellectual sheath, the astral or emotional sheath, and the physical body. So identify yourself as the inner being. Never see yourself as an outer being. Then experience won't be reacted to. It will be understood from a mountaintop consciousness. Then experience won't be sought for for the enjoyment of the experience. The Self will be sought for, and the experience will be part of the path to you."
Definitely, interactions with other people become more difficult the more we focus on personalities. Oh, I don't like this person because he's that way, and that person, oh they're really terrible cause they're that way. And you know, I don't get along with this grandchild but I get along with that one. The more we focus on personalities and differences, the harder it is to get along with others.
The more we go inside ourselves and see the divinity in us, allows us to see the divinity in others. If we can't see the divinity in us we can't see it in others. If we're focused on our own faults, guess what we'll see in others. We won't see their divinity. So, that's the point is: The spiritual body of you is permanent. Identify with it. When we identify with our spiritual nature inside, then, we're a little more forgiving about our outer mistakes. Otherwise, we tend to think we're supposed to be perfect and when we're not we get discouraged.
I made a mistake again today. I wasn't perfect. It was the wrong attitude. There's nothing wrong with making a mistake as long as we learn from it and try not to make it again. But we tend to think, we look for perfection in the wrong place. In other words, we're looking at our outer nature and thinking it should be perfect and it's constantly disappointing us. Whereas, if we look at our inner nature, it's always perfect and it can't disappoint us. So we're just, we're looking in the wrong direction if we feel a sense of disappointment.
"Each experience that we have is a good experience because it molds us."
Okay, that's a good one. How many experiences do you think that you had that aren't good ones? One, two, five, ten? The point is, we tend to label some experiences we've had as not good. This shouldn't have happened. If I were to live my life again I wouldn't do that. We don't think it's a good experience. But, it's good because it's in our pattern; we only attract experiences to us that aren't necessary; somehow it's necessary. We created it. We attracted to us and it molded us. It changed us. And therefore, it's a positive experience if we can be molded positively by it and not simply react or think it shouldn't have happened.
" From an ugly hunk of clay can emerge a divine being, molded by the artist. In that same way, the experiences of life, even those that boomerang back on us and those we think are terrible, mold us. But they only mold us quickly and benefit us tremendously if we hold our perspective as the inner man, the timeless man, the immortal being. Only in this way can this happen."
So we have to remember the perfection inside of us. It's there. That's Gurudeva's point. And then the molding takes place of our outer nature in the right way.
One last thought here:
"The good-and-bad concept should be thrown out with a lot of other things, including the up-and-down concept. There is no good; there is no bad. (Meaning, all experiences can benefit us.) You don't raise your consciousness nor do you lower it. These are just concepts that have come in by various philosophers who tried to explain these deeper teachings the very best that they could. What is bad is good, and what is good is good. And a higher state of consciousness and a lower state of consciousness, they don't exist at all. We simply hold a certain perspective of awareness, and we look out, and we go in."
Thank you very much. Have a good day.