Each human being is a nation unto itself occupied by many different citizens. There are many qualities inside each person, some good and some bad. We need to learn to love our individual nations even though there are citizens residing there who are trying to undermine or destroy them.
In the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 6, verse 6) Krishna says:
For him whose (lower egoic) self has been conquered by the (higher, soul) Self, that Self is the friend of his (lower) self. The true Self, however, is not friendly to the false self, and (in many ways) is its enemy.
Krishna is saying very clearly that we should love only the good parts in ourselves. It is not possible to lift our lower selves if we hate ourselves. We can only lift ourselves up if there is a love for our desire to advance spiritually.
We must try to uplift the lower qualities in ourselves and also understand that the way to do this is to love our potential for goodness. Everyone is potentially a Christ. Everyone is potentially a Krishna. Everyone is potentially a God. Therefore, we should love the goodness that is such a vital part of us.
For example, if we tend to drink heavily, we should not love that tendency. We should, however, love the part of that tendency that gives us the aspiration to move upward. What is that particular tendency? It is the wish to escape the pain. People drink because they think that numbing the pain brings happiness but it doesn’t. There is the wish to escape the pain in some way. That is the part that we should love.
If we can reach a point where we have a chance to compare a lower pleasure with a higher pleasure, naturally we will choose the higher.
Help Your Lower Nature
We won’t help our lower self by hating it and by telling ourselves that we are no good. We can only be good friends to ourselves if we do not hate our lower qualities. We can be a friend if we keep trying to overcome our lower natures, have faith, and try to lift them up.
Remember that we are many individuals in one body. Each little quality we have is one trait. That one trait represents one citizen in our personal country on this planet earth.
If there is a quality in somebody that you like, it means that you resonate with that quality. Therefore, work on the quality and try to develop it in yourself. Likewise, if there is something that you dislike in yourself or someone else, this means there is something in yourself to overcome. If there is a quality that is detrimental to you, your higher self should not allow that quality to manifest.
Turn Towards the Light
We should befriend our whole nation and focus on the goodness in each citizen and their qualities. Each quality has two aspects just as when you are standing in the sunshine facing the sun – you are in the light and your back is in shadow.
Therefore, we should always turn toward the light, turn toward the sun, turn toward bliss, and turn toward God. Always seek the side facing the sun. Always seek the side that you can befriend and uplift. Avoid the shadow side that will only bring you down into maya (delusion).
We should always emphasize the positive side of ourselves and with every negative quality, befriend the positive side of that quality and that will help us to rise.
We have to direct each quality upward and embrace samadhi (oneness with God); embrace infinity as opposed to embracing the ego. We want to embrace the light to know the higher self, to know truth, and to know God.
There are good actions and bad actions. When our actions and energy are too outward, we need to gradually wean ourselves from these inclinations, outward expressions, and outward service and direct them inward.
We can move our energy inward, understanding that the real power to help other people is not our own. It is something that flows through us. The more we feel this energy flowing through us, the more we will feel to turn inward. When we are doing something for others, we should feel that we are in them – that we are helping their needs, not our own.
The Soul and God
“God is the ocean of Spirit, and human beings are like waves that rise and fall on the ocean’s surface. Can anyone ever escape his Creator? We are all a part of God, even as waves are a part of the ocean. Our separateness from Him is an appearance, merely.
“When people affirm their individuality, and thereby raise themselves up in vanity and pride, they crash aggressively against other ego-waves, whipped up, like them, by delusion’s storm. Like ocean waves in a tempest, they heave and toss about, conquering one minute, being conquered the next, in a ceaseless frenzy of conflict and competition.
“In a storm, the surface of the ocean knows no peace. Similarly, as long as the storm of delusion rages in the human mind, a person knows no peace, but only tension and anxiety.
“Peace comes when the storm is stilled, whether outwardly in Nature, or inwardly in a person’s consciousness. As the storm of maya subsides, the wave of the ego subsides also. As the devotee’s ego diminishes, he relaxes and accepts once again his connection with the infinite Spirit.”
– Paramhansa Yogananda
To learn more about how to connect with your higher consciousness, develop intuition, and help others, please join Nayaswami Diksha for this online training Spiritual Counseling, April 5–May 17, 2023.
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