Astrophysicists tell us the universe started with the “Big Bang” which occurred at some point in space and has spread out from there. I read about another astrophysicist who stated the “Big Bang” did indeed happen, but he could not explain how it happened everywhere at the same time in an infinite universe. Paramhansa Yogananda stated that God was “center everywhere, circumference nowhere.” It sounds to me as if Yogananda and that astrophysicist were saying the same thing. God’s consciousness is at the center of every thing in creation. Our thoughts are part of His consciousness. It is He who thinks, prays, serves and gives through us. When we tithe, it is God giving to God.
For most of us the road to permanent joy in God is a path of meditation, service and right attitude. Paramhansa Yogananda continually worked with his disciples on their attitude. If we have a habit of anger, fear, etc. this limits our ability to perceive God. We all come into this world with certain psychological imperfections. As human beings we can be fearful or angry about literally anything. Just listen to the television and radio talk shows! We have thousands of little “buttons” which, when pushed, elicit an angry or fearful response. In this life we can give into these emotions and make them worse or work to rid our consciousness of them forever. It is our choice.
A contractive attitude surrounding money is a common occurrence. We have all felt this to a greater or lesser extent. If the thought of tithing elicits a contractive emotion, it is a signal that one of our psychological “buttons” are being pushed. As disciples, if we really want to attain our goal of self-realization, ultimately we need to rid ourselves of every vestige of emotion that causes our heart to contract. If we aren’t tithing regularly to some good work that inspires us, we are missing a huge opportunity for growth and being happy.
I read an article by a physician entitled: “Boost Your Health With a Dose of Gratitude.”
“Thousands of years of literature talk about the benefits of cultivating gratefulness as a virtue,” says a University of California Davis psychology professor. “Throughout history, philosophers and religious leaders have extolled gratitude as a virtue integral to health and well-being. Now, through a recent movement called positive psychology, mental health professionals are taking a close look at how virtues such as gratitude can benefit our health. And they’re reaping some promising results. Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress. Gratitude in the aftermath of 9/11 helped buffer people against the negative effects of stress, making them less likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.”
The positive effects of giving and being grateful seem to be built into our DNA. After all, God did make us in His image. When we give we feel more joy. When we think mostly of ourselves we suffer. The people of the United States are so divided now. We are all the same, being made from God’s unifying consciousness. During this time of disharmony, let us all be more generous and open our hearts to ideas that seem to conflict with our own. Let us join in that unifying stream of consciousness when we give our all to something we deeply believe in.
Joy to you!
For Ananda’s “Thank You, God” tithing