The state of compulsive living is so painful, and its loneliness is so great that we that we do everything we can to escape it through dreams of it being otherwise – through entertainments, through self-gratification, through seeking in spiritual circles the love that we do not feel for ourselves. If we could just be, we would be able to relax from the anxiety of becoming something that we are not, getting something we don’t have, and trying to shape reality according to our own desires.
Too often we do not want to change, but instead want the pain to go away and allow us to remain the same with all our desires and with our image of ourselves being intact. We will not be successful running to anything, because we cannot run away from ourselves. And yet what we most need is what we already are; our essential Self. There is no escape; there is only coming home.
-Kabir Helminski, The Living Presence.
Paramhansa Yogananda said: “The path to the Divine is not a circus.” Progress in meditation manifests as both the deepening and expansion of consciousness, as well as the purification and correction of the mind. Real meditation is basically the cultivation of spirit-consciousness, the knowledge of our true Self.
Without devoting a great deal of time to meditation very little benefit can be obtained. Nor can anything be attained if the practice is not exactly correct.
Furthermore, unless a person observes purity in thought, action, and diet, nothing can be attained in any practice.
The Yoga Life is absolutely necessary for success in yoga. If you have not already done so, I urge you to carefully read How To Be A Yogi, paying special attention to chapter three: The Foundations of Yoga.
The great Master Dogen said, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self,
to study the self is to forget the self,
and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.”
To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize
the unity of the self and the ten thousand things.
i thank God for my handicaps, for through them, i have found myself, my work and my God – helen keller
According to Kurt Goldstein’s book The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man, self-actualization is “the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, [the organism’s] individual capacities” in the world. The tendency toward self-actualization is “the only drive by which the life of an organism is determined.” Goldstein defined self-actualization as a driving life force that will ultimately lead to maximizing one’s abilities and determine the path of one’s life; compare will to power.
The First Valley
If the travelers seek after the goal of the Intended One (maqsúd), this station appertaineth to the self—but that self which is “The Self of God standing within Him with laws.” 1
On this plane, the self is not rejected but beloved; it is well-pleasing and not to be shunned. Although at the beginning, this plane is the realm of conflict, yet it endeth in attainment to the throne of splendor. As they have said: “O Abraham of this day, O Friend Abraham of the Spirit! Kill these four birds of prey,” 2 that after death the riddle of life may be unraveled.
This is the plane of the soul who is pleasing unto God. Refer to the verse:
O thou soul who art well assured,
Return to thy Lord, well-pleased, and pleasing unto Him. 3
Enter thou among My servants,
And enter thou My paradise. 4 51
This station hath many signs, unnumbered proofs. Hence it is said: “Hereafter We will show them Our signs in the regions of the earth, and in themselves, until it become manifest unto them that it is the truth,” 5 and that there is no God save Him.
One must, then, read the book of his own self, rather than some treatise on rhetoric. Wherefore He hath said, “Read thy Book: There needeth none but thyself to make out an account against thee this day.” 6
The story is told of a mystic knower, who went on a journey with a learned grammarian as his companion. They came to the shore of the Sea of Grandeur. The knower straightway flung himself into the waves, but the grammarian stood lost in his reasonings, which were as words that are written on water. The knower called out to him, “Why dost thou not follow?” The grammarian answered, “O Brother, I dare not advance. I must needs go back again.” Then the knower cried, “Forget what thou didst read in the books of Síbávayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajíb and Ibn-i-Málik, 7 and cross the water.” 52
The death of self is needed here, not rhetoric:
Be nothing, then, and walk upon the waves. 8
Likewise is it written, “And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves. These are the wicked doers.” 9
1. Hadíth. [ Back To Reference]
2. The Mathnaví. Here Rúmí tells a story of four evil birds which, when put to death, changed into four birds of goodness. The allegory refers to subduing evil qualities and replacing them with good. [Back To Reference]
3. Qur’án 89:27–30. [ Back To Reference]
4. Qur’án 89:27–30. [ Back To Reference]
5. Qur’án 41:53. [ Back To Reference]
6. Qur’án 17:15. [ Back To Reference]
7. Famed writers on grammar and rhetoric. [ Back To Reference]
8. The Mathnaví. [ Back To Reference]
9. Qur’án 59:19. [ Back To Reference]