It is a commonly observed amongst those who have awakened to the spiritual path that once they have ceased to be selfish, they start thinking of ways to uplift the rest of the world. One may feel despondent at the chaos in society and seek some semblance of stability or some foothold on which a better future can be built. When we grapple with this intractable problem, we find ourselves psychologically evolving through successive stages of inner growth and along with us, the solution to our dilemma also evolves.
We know we are doing something wrong and yet, when the time comes, we are unable to stop ourselves. This can happen for very small things and also for things which have a crucial impact on our lives. When we are quiet, by ourselves, we feel that we will not indulge in wrong movements or repeat our mistakes. But as soon as the occasion arises, not only do we forget our resolutions, but even begin to find justifications and excuses for our indulgence. And the whole cycle repeats itself over and over again. We sometimes wonder why this is so. This article explores the way out of this psychological predicament.
At the risk of sounding like a crackpot, the topic indicated in the title deserves exploration because it is pertinent to the spiritual quest. Many spiritual aspirants, devoid of a living Guru, do at times wonder in one of their despondent moods if it is possible to receive spiritual guidance from Enlightened Masters who had lived before. This question is all the more relevant in an age where the thirst for something spiritual is abundant and so are the charlatans who masquerade as teachers. In this article, we speculate on the prospects with a few examples.
Human beings are creatures of habit. We seek refuge in an uncertain world by developing all kinds of humdrum routines – big and small. We impart stability and coherence to our life by staying plugged into some social network, eating at regular hours, engaging in small-talk with loved ones or even strangers, meticulously scheduling daily chores – all in the desperate desire to fill that void within. One of the object lessons that we gain from Castaneda’s books is the necessity of giving up attachment to such routines. That doesn’t necessarily imply that one must become erratic in conduct; it’s just that one must stop being an automaton.