The selfishness I have blocks me from experiencing a love that will take me to God. I know I can’t practice love. Can I practice selflessness?.
That is what you can practice but how will you do it? This is a relative world, your mind is relative, life is relative. How will you judge what is selfish and what is selfless? You have to bring in a third point. Suppose we say A is selfish and B is selfless; you need a C point—God, the Goal, your true Self—in order to differentiate between A and B. If you only have A and B, you are bound to judge according to the ego or the lower self. But when you judge according to point C, what God would want or what your Master would want, you can see more clearly. If you are wishing underneath that God would not answer, this points to your selfishness, attachment, position-loving, or other cherished wish that He would expose. However, whenever you have confusion, if you ask first what your God or Master would do or like, you will never make a mistake.
Whatever situation arises in your life, you will easily get answers provided that you are honest. If you are not honest your discrimination will fail you, and then you will revert to selfishness. You have to be honest, and honesty is not something that I can teach you. There is no exercise for creating honesty, except that if you are not honest it will make you suffer, though this may take its own time. Honesty is needed at every step on the spiritual path, and so is sincerity. These are necessary human elements or virtues, not spiritual virtues, so I cannot teach you these things. You have to acquire them by yourself. You have to open up to be honest and sincere. Then if you apply discrimination, it simply works.
What is sincerity?
Sincerity is joined with truthfulness and faithfulness. It should be a part of your life. When you say you want God, you should mean it and not something else in the name of God. That will be insincere. For example, you come to me and I ask, “Why did you come?” “Oh, I just want to see you, I want to love you.” But after ten or twenty minutes, as I talk to you, your desires come out revealing that you came to me for those things, not just to see me. That means your first assertion was very insincere. It is the same when you pray to God. If you are praying, “I want to see You,” you should mean it. There should be no thoughts lurking behind: “If God comes, I will ask for these things.” That is not sincerity. These virtues are all joined together: honesty, sincerity, truthfulness, faithfulness. If you are truthful, you will be honest and sincere. Likewise, if you are insincere, you can also be untruthful.
Is intensity for the Goal a grace that’s given, or is it something we have to work for?
It could be given but grace demands certain qualifications. Unless you seek grace sincerely, you will not receive it. But before you receive grace you also have to be honest and humble. If those qualifications are there, grace will make you intense. Ask yourself: are you honest and sincere, or are you seeking grace to avoid the hard work? When you receive grace, you are pulled and that makes you intense after God. You also have to fulfill the conditions for grace without grumbling or complaining. This is a thorough, clean way. It should come from the bottom of your heart.
In seeking God, sometimes a feeling of arrogance comes up. How can we control that?
Arrogance comes up because it is within you. That garbage is yours, nobody else’s. When arrogance comes up, witness and observe, but see that you do not get identified with it. If you get identified with anything, physical or mental or vital, you are enhancing it, like adding fuel to the fire. When you do not identify with arrogance, it dies down eventually. You may fail in between, but keep practicing until you get successful in not being identified. The whole purpose of sadhana is to dissociate, which we call detachment or non-identification. That is not the Goal but for the time being, so your mind gets free from those things.
Is there a difference between that and fighting with yourself?
If you fight with yourself, you are creating more reactions and prolonging the battle. If you let go, you are not creating new karmas, only paying back old karmas. If you fight, that means you are still resistant and selfish. If the fighting were between two entities it would be valid, but your thoughts are fighting your thoughts, which means you are fighting with yourself. How can that ever resolve unless you let go? You have to resolve it, not fight with it. Resolve, dissolve, solve. Letting go does not mean being complacent, because unless you resolve it, it will catch you back. You cannot fool with it; you have to see it very honestly and resolve it, otherwise you will carry it in your mind. Resolution has to precede letting go. When you resolve, your mind gets relaxed—then you can let go.
Something I have been doing lately, when my negativities come up, is to say to myself: Just relax and be with Swamiji.
That is one way of resolving, by diverting it to your Goal, your Master, your God. It will take time though. In between you will have certain tussles, but that is a way to practice until it clears. If negativities continue, then be compassionate. You have to pay the price for everything. It does not mean that you are forgiven right away. Paying the price means that whatever is needed to change, God or Guru will provide for you. And there lies the whole thing. When we divert things to God, we take it for granted that God will take care of everything. But now God is dealing with you. This is what it means to pay the price, but the ultimate outcome is divine. See what you can resolve. What you cannot resolve leave up God, your Guru, or your Goal.
God never interferes with us, be sure. Your real Master will never interfere unless you bring the case to him. If you want to keep quiet and hide it, he also hides it. But that will create problems in your life. So, wherever you can resolve, you have a freedom to do so. Do not rely upon ego to save the situation. Do not be complacent about solving problems; it will create other problems. Resolve if you can, if not call God for that. If you cannot let go, be a quiet observer. Pause before you think or act. Then you will not be carried away or identified with the phenomena and get lost in them. This detached witnessing or un-identifying makes you gradually relax.
© 2018 Truth Consciousness. What Is Realization? (C-18), Symbolic Crucifixion and Resurrection (Q-17), and Light and Illumination (R-15). For further information on the audio Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti, please visit truthconsciousness.org.