THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 11, September, 1926
(Pages 509-510; Size: 7K)
[Part 10 of an 11-part series]Those who have spiritual discrimination call him wise whose undertakings are all free from desire, for his actions are consumed in the fire of knowledge. He abandoneth the desire to see a reward for his actions, is free, contented, and upon nothing dependeth, and although engaged in action he really doeth nothing: he is not solicitous of results, with mind and body subdued and being above enjoyment from objects, doing with the body alone the acts of the body, he does not subject himself to rebirth. He is contented with whatever he receives fortuitously, is free from the influence of "the pairs of opposites" and from envy, the same in success and failure; even though he act he is not bound by the bonds of action. All the actions of such a man who is free from self-interest, who is devoted, with heart set upon spiritual knowledge, and whose acts are sacrifices for the sake of the Supreme, are dissolved and left without effect on him. The Supreme Spirit is the act of offering, the Supreme Spirit is the sacrificial butter offered in the fire which is the Supreme Spirit, and unto the Supreme Spirit goeth he who maketh the Supreme Spirit the object of his meditation in performing his actions.--The Bhagavad-Gita.AT DIFFERENT stages of evolution our hearts are set on different things, and that is where pain and suffering come. When the heart is set on spiritual knowledge, it means the understanding of whatever condition we enter into at birth. Some people are born in a certain kind of environment, others in another; some with a great mass of knowledge, others with not any kind of knowledge whatever. But if the heart of anyone, whatever his condition, is set on the gaining of spiritual knowledge, from that results an understanding of his whole nature and environment, and that which is understood is the giver of happiness and killer of pain.
Spiritual knowledge is the source and the foundation which explains every event of life -- yes, every event of life without exception. Spiritual knowledge is the knowledge about the Supreme Spirit, the Universal Self, which is within each one of us; that which is always and always becoming, showing forth hidden powers. Whatever it shows forth in us is in accordance with the hidden desire of the heart. What our heart is set upon, that is the important thing for each one of us -- whatever his mode of life.
Now different people set their hearts on different things; some people think the affairs of the world -- business, money making, family concern, this, that, or the other thing -- that these are productive of peace, contentment, and wisdom. They are not. How will you find out for yourself that they are not? By a very simple rule. Ask any man if he is entirely contented and happy in himself, with his life, in whatever condition of life he is, and you will find the general answer is that he is not. He is trying to improve, wanting to be something different. The person whose heart is set on spiritual knowledge says, "Whatever is, is right, because I understand it"; to him the pursuit of his duty -- whatever the duty that is to be done -- brings joy and happiness.
So the heart is to be set on spiritual knowledge. Why not the mind? Why is it said that the heart should be set on spiritual knowledge? Mind-knowledge makes us understand the ways and methods of the lower material nature. If we want to understand matter, body, form, the lower aspect of things, mind shows how they are all different and conflicting, but the heart gives the spiritual knowledge and shows how all are related to the whole; all are embedded and rooted in the One Self. The man of Wisdom knows how every single individual thing has a value and how each is in its right place. The knowledge that enables us to value all things properly is Soul-Knowledge, for it is the Soul which knows and values. Let our hearts be set on knowledge; let the heart and then the mind value everything we contact.
Thus, whatever comes to us, we are able to understand and accord it its place in the spiritual scheme. This power does not come by the acquisition of many things, but by the understanding of things we possess, be they many or few; but remember, understanding them by the power of the heart. By our reactions to them, in our relationships to them, we value them correctly. Just as an experienced buyer or salesman in business knows the correct prices of all commodities, so the Soul, the Great Valuer, knows the right place and price of all the goods of the world.
Real spiritual growth or progress takes place by this method alone. All knowledge becomes spiritual the moment we employ this method. Therefore, every time ask the question, "What is the place of this particular thing, experience, event, in the great scheme of things spiritual?" The heart is to be set on nothing else but the finding, seeking, searching for the meaning of Life as it comes from within that heart. Thus is acquired not only Knowledge but Wisdom.
[Part 11 of an 11-part series]
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