It’s a great mistake to try to reduce stress and tension by avoiding challenges and difficulties. There are some people who never do anything, and they’re always relaxed. Such lives may be pleasant, but they don’t advance you spiritually.
The Jewish people, at the time of Christ, had arrived at a karmic crossroads. In their decision to live by high principles, the Jews, as a people, were far ahead of most peoples of their time. They had taken the next step, also, of recognizing that living for God is the highest principle.
I’ve often reflected that those great composers and other artists who achieved so little fame during their lifetimes may have been more fortunate in their obscurity than most people realize. Public acclaim can place limitations on a person’s talents, even by so simple an act as defining them.
For many householders, the greatest obstacle to living more spiritually lies in the simple thought, “But what can I do that is all that spiritual?” The difficulty lies in the thought that spirituality demands doing things that are commonly labeled “spiritual.”
The teachings relating to health tend to focus on foods that will strengthen the body or on removing toxins that block the flow of energy in the body. These teachings are an important part of the picture so long as you haven’t reached a certain level of spiritual realization.
One would think, in reading about Paramhansa Yogananda’s amazingly successful career in America, that he more or less slid down an easy slope to victory by simply loving everyone, and by his joyful, positive attitude of service to all. The truth, however, must be told: He faced constant, determined opposition.
Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar is quoted in Autobiography of a Yogi as making the statement, “So long as you breathe the free air of earth, you are under obligation to render grateful service.” One naturally asks, why be grateful without reason?
Many people accept the common equation of material success with monetary profit, but monetary profit, without corresponding inner satisfaction, is a hollow victory. Material success means nothing if, in the act of seeking it, we lose our peace of mind.
Human problems have their roots deep in human nature. Their only possible solution lies quite outside the political arena—in a broad shift of consciousness. Governments cannot set the moral tone for an age. They can only reflect back what the populace already perceives as true and is willing to accept.