In many years of counseling people, I’ve realized that they always know what they need to do. But they aren’t always willing to do it.
You don’t have to tell people what’s right – because they know. And the only thing we can do is help them overcome the negative force that tries to prevent them from doing the right thing.
Call it passion, desire, or maya – perhaps the best word is Desire. In its essence, it’s the force that tries to convince us that we don’t want to be good.
There was a woman in our community who had a very difficult relationship with a very difficult man. She finally wrote a letter to Swami Kriyananda, describing how impossible he was.
Swamiji wrote back, “He just wants to be your friend.”
She answered, “Well I don’t want to be his friend.”
It was an honest statement. “I know what I should do, but I’m not going to do it. I want to experience the pleasure of being bad, and also the pain and suffering that comes with it, because I’m not finished with this lesson, and I need to keep learning.
It’s important to play our part in life well. But the most important question is, “What does it mean to play our part well?”
Playing our life’s role skillfully requires, above all, that we remember why we are here.
This life is about consciousness, nothing else. It makes no difference how much we gain from the world outwardly. When you return to heaven, the angels won’t say, “Wow! He has a PhD from IIT!” The only thing God will ask is, “How much did you love?”
Who knows why we were born? Let the great ones come and tell us what life is, and the purpose for which we were made. Ever and again, the enlightened ones come and tell us the answer: we are here for Self-awareness, and for understanding the grand pattern of life.
This life is an experiment. This world is a laboratory where we can discover many wonderful things and see what works and what doesn’t, until we can finally face God in all humility and answer the question, “How much did you love?”
Swamiji said to a dear friend who lay dying, “This world is so ephemeral. The astral world has so much more reality by comparison.”
We are projected from that heavenly world. God sends out for a short time on an errand. And then we die and come back closer to the light and remember who we are. We come out and the material world tries to persuade us that it is real, that we are limited beings, small, egoic, and in pain. And all the while God is saying, “No, my child. You are the infinite Spirit. You are love itself. Be an instrument for that love.”
That’s the only reason we are born. And God is with us in our long journey. God is amused by our foolishness, and He weeps when we weep. It isn’t God who punishes us when we act against our nature. We punish ourselves, by driving nails into our hearts. We put ourselves into tiny boxes and then suffer because we feel so desperately confined. And God invites us to be infinite and free.
Swami Kriyananda said so sweetly, “You’re going to get it right sooner or later. Why waste a few million years?”
Say yes now to whatever God is asking of you, and you’ll find more fulfillment than you ever thought was possible. Nothing is impossible, if we will unite our consciousness to the great bliss of God.