Real progress: Willing
a New Year in 2007
by Durga Ahlund
Around this time, each year I consider what it will take, for
this year, to be the one of real progress. For real progress,
I mean, the year of eliminating all the mixture of Ignorance &
Knowledge. For real progress, I mean any action I take must be
without conscious or unconscious friction, without any force that
welcomes strife (inner or outer). For real progress, all actions
I take must be in harmony with my mind, heart and body and taken
cheerfully and without any self-serving motivation.
Is real progress attainable
this year? This year's resolution is in a nutshell: to consistently
act compassionately, both in significant and insignificant actions,
wholly from a mind and heart of equanimity.
Is it possible to do this and
take life seriously? I seriously doubt it. Seriousness is certainly
a quality of my ego. When I am serious, in the lower levels of
my being, in my heart, body and life, there is some disquiet,
some disturbance, a resistance due to mental, emotional or physical
strife, friction, or frustration, regardless of what is happening
around me. And conversely, whenever I am feeling playful there
no disquiet in my being, regardless of what is said or occurs.
Perhaps the only way I can maintain equanimity in this New Year
is to take life as a playfully as I can, as a game, and not take
anything too seriously.
Due to seriousness, the same
phenomenon occurs and recurs, on a more or less intense scale,
from year to year. Seriousness refuses change, refusing light,
calm, joy, refusing equanimity. Seriousness must be seriously
out of touch with our highest intelligence, with our highest self.
Being deadly serious is one of the obstacles to spiritual progress.
I am sure of that. Out of seriousness we become filled with inflexible
concepts, attitudes and dogma. Our serious beliefs, concepts,
ideas about things form a powerful force of resistance that may
refuse descending Light & Inspiration or take a shape that perversely
deforms the light, in order to suit preconceived ideas of our
own Ignorance. Out of seriousness, we fear some inequity occurring
in our life, or fear that someone else will make a mistake that
we must somehow correct. Fear of getting what we don't want can
negatively affect our nervous system and physical health. The
nervous system links the physical body and the subtle body. Even
an underlying fear that something "bad" might happen can pervert
the whole of our awareness. By unconsciously agreeing to identify
with fear, we can find ourselves suffering greatly from it, even
though it may have absolutely no substance in reality. It is out
of seriousness that we open our self to fear and block the vital
energy that carries joy and calmness and fearlessness.
What is more serious than my
emotions, passions, impulses, and vital needs? These are all habits
of the lower Nature and are what confuse and mix ignorance and
knowledge. It is my seriousness that allows the vital to work
against me and blind me and bind me to the responses that come
from my most obstinate and self assertive side. I know I must
inhibit the revolt of the lower nature against the Light. I know
the obstacles that I personally most need to purify and eliminate
in my spiritual pursuit of a Divine life. But, I also know that
I cannot successfully fight all the adversaries, all the opposition
to the force of Light. All I can do is to take refuge in the force
of Light. And the force of light is always "light;" it is joyful,
open and accepting, selfless and equal-minded, regardless of what
is happening around me.
For love, compassion and equanimity
to permeate every single thought and action I must learn how to
take refuge in that force itself. What is required for that descent
is a quiet nature. I must remain composed and tranquil, controlled,
or at least passive, until I have achieved a complete silence
of the mind and heart and body. I must take life lightly enough
to have positive thoughts, cheerful feelings and great clarity
regardless of what is going on around me. Cheerfulness can bring
my body and mind into harmony; I can sense it immediately. It
can remove the friction and anxiety that keeps fear and confusion
alive and my entire being out of balance. The subtle body is subject
to the will, so I can "will" my self to become cheerful and to
When we change the basic underlying
substance of our life by willing ourselves to be positive, cheerful,
compassionate and equal-minded, we can gradually cleanse the subtle
body for a higher thinking and purer acting. This purification
also allows us to become quickly aware whenever ego arises and
we begin to resist higher forces. Thus, we can initiate a deep
change in attitude as long as we continue to "will" higher thoughts
and feelings to feed us. The subtle body will always reflect the
thoughts and feelings it is being fed.
Through mantra and through austerity
of thought there is a purification of the fine matter of the subtle
body, and regulation of the breath and purification of the mind.
We know that to refine the mind we must refine the prana as the
mind and prana are two sides of the same thing. Our emotions are
vibrations contained within the subtle body, and the subtle body
contains and distributes the vital force of prana. Our emotions
must remain calm and content. The prana is directed by the mind
and vitalizes whatever the mind thinks about. Attention directs
prana. We send life force to whatever we give our attention to.
Whenever we think about anything, we are directing the prana into
those thought forms. A thought is not just something confined
to the brain. A thought is projected out and reflected in life.
If a thought become habitual and stimulate emotional responses,
it becomes a very powerful force of creation. We create our own
life situations, whether we realize it or not. Let go of all negative
expressions of mind and the Self shines through. Fed with the
love, peace and fearlessness of the Self, our consciousness gets
the truth, that all bodies are pervaded and animated by the same
vital energy and by the same consciousness as that within our
own. That is real progress. And that, is what is required to eliminate
the mixture of ignorance and knowledge.
Copyright: M. Govindan Satchidananda,
Return to Articles
Babaji's Kriya Yoga