Contemplating Eternal Truths Makes Us Well Again
The growth of interest in all types of meditation and other reflective practices is a sign of our need to restore balance between our inner and outer worlds. We are happiest when expressing positive attributes such as kindness and wisdom, and seeing those qualities in the lives of others. But today the currency of kindness is in increasingly short supply. When this is reflected in our actions, much suffering results.
An over-demanding ego makes us chase after illusory goals, of name or fame. If we meet those goals, the ego grows bigger and demands more. Then, to meet those fresh demands, we may find ourselves hardening our hearts to the harm we are causing to others, as well as to ourselves. When we fail to meet these ever-increasing expectations, as we ultimately must, a painful breakdown in our self-respect is likely, perhaps accompanied by a heart attack or other catastrophic illness.
With renewed awareness of the inner being, we become able to instruct the mind to let go, even briefly, of temporary, everyday interests and concerns. Meditation enables us to bypass stress-filled thoughts, feelings and perceptions that the brain puts before us, without recourse to drugs or austere religious practices. As we recover our true sense of identity, as souls or “conscious agents”, we loosen the hold of the limited ego. The more we die to the ego’s demands for transient “kicks”, pleasures and shortlived success, the better our chances of restoring a sense of the peace, love, integrity, compassion and fulfilment that are intrinsic to the inner being. We are at our happiest when experiencing and expressing these profound qualities in our work and relationships, and seeing the same in the lives of others.
Both science and spirituality are showing us that the immortal soul is not just a belief or concept, but a truth to be realised and lived. Every human spirit begins its journey with this inheritance of strength – the attributes that make us most human. We don’t have to try to become something we are not, but rather, to find ways of removing the accumulation of dust that prevents us from seeing clearly who we are.
From ‘Journey into Inner Space’, published by BK Publications, London (www. inspiredstillness.com).
Neville Hodgkinson is a UK-based author and journalist, and a long-time student of Rajyoga.