Overcoming apathy


I love God, practice Kriya Yoga and work intensely but sometimes i feel a strong sense of apathy somehow.

It feels as if suddenly any motivation to act outwardly is taken away.

What is the best way to keep one motivated to act in this world?

Thank you

with love

—Sascha, USA


I think this is something that many people have to work through on the spiritual path. Deep meditation helps us to see that this world is a dream, and it can also dissolve many of the desires that used to motivate us to act in the world. It often raises the question then, “Why act?”

As long as we still have karma, we must act in some way. The sanskrit word for ‘karma’ has the same root as ‘kriya’, which is ‘to act’. As Sri Yukteswar so wryly put it to Paramhansa Yogananda, “Those who are too good for this world are adorning some other. So long as you breathe the free air of earth, you are under obligation to render grateful service. He alone who has fully mastered the breathless state is freed from cosmic imperatives. I will not fail to let you know when you have attained the final perfection.”

If one could deeply meditate all day long, in the breathless state, there would be no need to act. Until then, we should try and act by selflessly serving God and serving God in others. Interestingly, the vow that Yogananda gave to those who are renouncing the world included the phrase, “In carrying out Thy wishes, I will be ambitious”! So, acting with energy and creativity is something that will help us become free, when it’s done with the right motivation.

When we are no longer motivated to act for ourselves, but still are compelled to act, then our motivation can be to please God and to help others.