We live in a time when spirituality is easy access. Those seeking God don’t have to track down a Guru in a remote village in the Himalayas, beg to be made a student and then work and wait for long periods of time for the smallest morsels of instruction from your teacher. Everything you could possibly desire to know is all at your fingertips if you have a computer and an internet connection. While it appears that this wealth of information has been a benefit to humanity, it also comes with its own problem. You see, the spiritual aspirant who left everything behind to find his guru had already demonstrated a level of dedication. When the call comes, it is not easy to make the necessary changes in your life to heed that call. It always requires a certain level of sacrifice and it’s meant to; that sacrifice separates the wheat from the chaff. After all, many are called, but few are chosen.
Where is the sacrifice in today’s seeker? When you can jump into one form of spiritual teaching and then bounce to another, and yet another until you find the one that most closely fits “you,” where is the dedication? Where is the sacrifice? Where is the surrender? You expect God to hand you the keys to the Kingdom, yet you turn tail and run at the first sign of personal challenge. I can’t tell you how many people have come to one of my satsang sessions and have never returned, or came a few times and then left, or even came for a whole year and then left. Why? Because at some point it got too hard for them to be constantly pushed past their comfort zone, that’s why. Contrary to current popular bellief, spiritual work is not all “love and light.” If that was the case, you all would have ascended by now. True liberation requires fierce dedication and the willingness to challenge your own beliefs, feelings, thoughts….the very essence of who you believe yourself to be. And after that, it requires the courage and the will to consciously dismantle all of it. It can be absolutely gut-wrenching work and will bring you to the deepest levels of pain you have ever experienced. Your liberation, or salvation, is your reward for all that hard work. And by liberation, I don’t just mean that you get to be done with physicality at the end of this lifetime. As a liberated being, you get to live FREE in this world while you are still in form. As a free being, you live in complete inner peace and are capable of fully experiencing all the joys and pure magic of life! Nothing touches you anymore…regardless of outside appearances.
Dissolving the personal self is similar to the traditional way of breaking a horse. The mind fights back, over and over and over. It tries different tactics and it looks for ways to decieve and trick you. Eventually, it surrenders and remains calm, but it’s only after a lot of hard and very consistent effort by the trainer. The difference is that the horse is being pushed and trained by an outside source, while your mind has to do all this work to itself, which to those who prefer to live in denial seems rather masochistic and unsavory. Do you still think your redemption is easy? Do you still want to believe that if you just sit in meditation all the time and create your world around you so that it’s as stress-free as possible then it will all work out and you’ll be lifted in grace? Honestly, if you do, then you’re kidding yourself and you can swim in that denial as long as you want. As Jesus said in A Course in Miracles, “If you want to be like me, I will help you, knowing that we are alike. If you want to be different, I will wait until you change your mind. And you will change your mind.”
So, if you are serious about your desire to realize God in this lifetime, or even if it’s not that lofty and you just want to move past all the self-sabotaging and misery the personal self brings to the party, it’s time to seriously get to work. I will tell you this. It will be hard. Easy is not an option. The question is, how hard do you want to make it? It’s like removing a bandage. Do you want to take your time, subjecting yourself to every seemingly endless moment of discomfort, or is it better to just take a deep breath and rip it off? I know what I chose. What you will choose is your free will.
Your life itself is your spiritual work…all of it with no exceptions. To be lazy in your life is to be lazy in your spiritual work. What does it serve to continually enable lazy behaviors in your life? How you approach your life shows your level of inner character. Sorry to break it to you and burst your bubble of what “enlightenment” looks like, but the greater your level of mastery, the harder you work. True masters are very hard working people. Just look at this mess of a world! Do you honestly think that, with everything that needs to happen here, the masters just sit around in meditation and stroll in their gardens? You can’t begin to understand the immense amount of energy they expend in their work, on all levels.
You play around with spirituality because you are lazy and want everything to be easy. You say you want peace and love, but you have no stomach for sacrifice or discomfort. You remain victim to the world and you can cocoon yourself in your “love and light” bubble, but your fear and pain will remain underneath the surface, waiting patiently until you finally heed the call of your inner God-Self, telling you the time has come to return home. Who knows how many more lifetimes it will be before you muster up the courage to fight the ultimate battle, but fight it you must if you ever want this endless cycle of birth, death and forgetfullness to end.
You have eternity to get serious about walking the path, but why wait?