(Concluded from Part 3, yesterday.)
(3) Devote yourself to the Real.
We’ve developed our powers of discrimination and used them now to discern what is untrue and unreal. And we’ve detached ourselves from any attachment to these things.
Mentally, emotionally and spiritually we now devote ourselves to – in the case of lightworkers – the service of God. As long as we’re in form, that service is ultimately to the Divine Mother.
It’s the Mother who creates, preserves, and transforms. The Father is still and silent. The Mother is the facet of God that we have all contact with and whom we serve.
Eventually she’ll step aside and reveal the Father to us. That’s the last step in our fulfilment of the purpose of life. But until that time we know only the Mother aspect of God.
If we were forest-dwellers, we’d be removing ourselves from all distractions and focusing exclusively on “finding” God. We’d be devoting ourselves single-mindedly to Self-Realization.
But all of us have ascended before and we’ve set that aside at the Mother’s call to participate. Only people who had ascended before would have the “space” to support the Ascension of others; people who had not ascended would be preoccupied with their own ascent.
The Mother once said to me that the ancients believed it was necessary to fast for weeks before seeking a vision of her. But it wasn’t necessary.
Previously it was thought necessary for one to renounce worldly things to achieve a level of zealous yearning. Sri Ramakrishna tells us that that does not come until we exhaust our cravings:
“Yearning for God does not come until and unless a person has satisfied his cravings for mundane objects, renounced all attachment to lust and gold, and shunned worldly comforts and enjoyments like filth.” (1)
The karmic cycle is wrapping up now, energies are rising, and it isn’t as necessary to practice this level of renunciation. A simple letting go of our attachment to things, in my estimation (and I’m not an enlightened man), would suffice.
Sri Ramakrishna’s advice to his followers sounds extreme now, but it was fairly standard to serious seekers of his time:
“You must cultivate intense zeal for God. You must feel love for Him and be attracted to Him. … Yearning is all you need in order to realize Him.” (2)
“Cry to the Lord with an intensely-yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money. But who weeps for God?” (3)
“Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without yearning. … One should feel a yearning for God like the yearning of a man who has lost his job and is wandering from one office to another in search of work. If he is rejected at a certain place which has no vacancy, he goes there again the next day and inquires, ‘Is there any vacancy today?'” (4)
God, Sri Ramakrishna has said, cannot resist a devotee who loves her and comes running to him. Intense yearning was the key.
It isn’t only Hindus who advised their contemporary readers to desire only God and renounce everything else. Here’s Christian mystic Pseudo-Dionysius describing a similarly-strong longing for liberation:
“Intelligent beings … experience desire, but this has to be interpreted as a divine yearning for that immaterial reality which is beyond all reason and all intelligence.
“It is a strong and sure desire for the clear and impassible contemplation of the transcendent. It is a hunger for an unending, conceptual, and true communion with the spotless and sublime light, of clear and splendid beauty.
“Intemperance then will be an unfailing and unturning power, seen in the pure and unchanging yearning for divine beauty and in the total commitment to the real object of all desire.” (5)
Wow. Remember how Michael described peace as being like granite? Pseudo-Dionysius was a peaceful man. And look at the power in his words.
Thus, it isn’t a question of getting rid of all desire. It’s a question of changing what we desire and that has to come about naturally. It can’t be forced.
We want to let go of our attachment to distractions, sensory delights, material pleasures, the names are many. Put all the distractions aside and, in the space thus created, desire God. Desire a divine quality – love, truth, bliss, peace.
Krishna has said:
“I am all that a man may desire
The law of his nature.” (6)
The only thing we can want without creating karma as a result is God.
The game is rigged. It’s rigged so that everyone wins.
We’ve looked at a spiritual practice that can be summarized as “turning from the world to God.” We’ve also looked at the Hindu version of that theme: “Discriminate between the Real and the unreal; detach from the unreal; and devote yourself to the Real.”
By turning from the world to God, we mount the dimensional staircase to heaven, Jacob’s Ladder of consciousness. We’re moving towards realization of our true identity as That which cannot be named or described. That would be the ultimate Ascension or homecoming.
If we’re lightworkers, we do that by devoting ourselves to service. If we’re more attracted to “truth” or “love,” then we devote ourselves to those. All roads lead to God.
Whatever divine form or quality we devote ourselves to, God will appear in that form or as that quality. Meanwhile, our devotion to any form draws us closer and closer to the One.
These are generic statements. But they lie at the heart, I think, of most religions and practices and of the Perennial Philosophy or Ancient Wisdom.
(1) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Chetananda, They Lived with God. Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna. St. Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1989, 98.
(2) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 140.
(2) Ibid., 96.
(4) Ibid., 83.
(5) Pseudo-Dionysius in Cohn Luibheid, trans., Pseudo-Dionysus, His Complete Works. New York and Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1989, 151.
(6) Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 71.