The Need for Energy in Our Lives


What was Jesus' point in Revelation 3:15-16 "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth." It seems weird for a spiritual guide to tell followers either be evil or good, believer or atheist, but not in between. Why would he encourage them to be atheist for instance, unless I misunderstood the verse? Thanks :)

—David, Spain


Dear David,

You’ve chosen a most unusual quote but a very interesting one, too. Fortunately for me, I think “I get it.” :-)

One of the core insights that stem from Yogananda’s teachings, and one that our founder, Swami Kriyananda (trained by Yogananda) made special emphasis upon, is the concept of energy! Jesus made another curious and related statement to the one you quote. So let me start with that, okay?

In Matt. 13:12: Jesus said For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

I used to joke that this quote sounded like a platform from the Republican Party. While just a joke, no offense intended, this is an illustration of the principle of energy. To those devotees who sincerely walk the spiritual path with dedication and intensity, they will gain the grace and the transforming, redeeming power of a divine response “in spades.” To those indifferent to God’s love, to spiritual growth and reality, what little interest they have will wane for lack of nurturing. Do you see?

And so it is with the quote you give from Revelations. Those who are lukewarm to God’s presence, grace and truth, and further, to that presence, grace and truth through the guru (in this case, Jesus Christ), they will be “spit out” from the magnetic vortex of grace. But those who, for a time, are energetic enough to be transgressors and sinner, they at least have the energy with which they can be redeemed once they change direction.

India’s famous epic, the Ramayana, is said to have been written by a saint (Valmiki) who was once a highway robber, even a murderer, I believe. Consider: most people are not “bad,” but only because they don’t have enough energy to be bothered. Let them win the lottery (meaning with no effort on their part), and watch what they do with the money!

So “energy” is what Jesus is talking about. Yogananda’s most advanced disciple was a self-made millionaire (billionaire nowadays). It takes that kind of energy, creativity, skill and talent which, once turned “heavenward,” to achieve soul liberation. Make sense?

Thank you very much for an interesting and fruitful question!

Nayaswami Hriman