Dear Friend,

Several decades ago, Swami Kriyananda created a slide show entitled, Different Worlds. The slide show is composed of people from all walks of life from around the world. More importantly, he shows people with varying types of consciousness. In a recent talk of Swami’s I remember him saying, “your level of consciousness determines your personal reality.” Think about that statement for a minute. It is a very important concept to understand on the spiritual path.

Swami then wrote the musical piece, Life is the Quest for Joy to accompany the slide show. He refined the melody and wrote variations on the central theme about 15 years later. He then had some friends record a CD of the “suite” of melodies using violin and cello. It is a beautiful and fascinating musical work.

On the surface, it has a sad tone, denoting the sadness that does accompany life. Yet the underpinnings of the work denote a calm joy. If you listen closely to the piece, you can feel the joy in the melodies. This is so much like life. On the surface, there can be much sadness in life. Yet underneath, there remains a constant current of joy within, if you choose to tune into that joy.

I have just re-released the slide show Different Worlds with Swami narrating the piece, and with the music of Life is the Quest for Joy playing in the background. Watch the slide show carefully with careful attention to the consciousness reflected in the faces of the people.

I have a friend that I have corresponded with for a number of years. He, like so many people in this world, pretty much defines his world by what he does not have. He never has enough money. In all the years I have known him he has had a steady job, but it has never been enough. His underlying reality is one of fear—a constant sense of lacking what he thinks he really needs. We all live with varying degrees of this type of reality.

If we look back at the statement Swami made earlier, “your level of consciousness determines your personal reality,” we see that there is the very real possibility that we can affect our “self-imposed reality” by changing our consciousness. Regular meditation, devotion, selfless service, mixing with people with high ideals, all these actions raise your consciousness.

When you receive your paycheck, what is your first thought? Where is your consciousness? If you habitually think of God first, and not your own needs, you will live a much happier life. This is the value of regular tithing. At this point in your life, you may only be able to offer one dollar to God. The importance is that you think of Him first, and not your own needs. If you practice this regularly, tithing will help bring you a consciousness of contentment with what you have already in life, and God in turn, will support you with what you really need.

Joy to you!

Dave Bingham
“Thank You, God”

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