We were discussing an average person’s life. For clarity, you may want to read previous posting, 33, first
Soon, both men and women, start a family. All of one’s energy, is spent on earning a living, and taking care of the family. Sexual desires occupy most of one’s time during adolescence and early manhood. Other desires, later, enter into the picture. Ambition becomes a driving force in the life of most persons; to have more money, to have more amenities of life (house, car, etc), to succeed in job, to acquire position of power, to have fame. You get the picture
In Western society, situation is not much different, although ambitions may be different and priorities may be different, but the desires are almost completely worldly.
Where is the time for God?
Once the desires are fulfilled, or the person ceases to care for them, usually in forties or fifties, some of us reflect on the drama of one’s life. What was this all about? Was this all there was to life? Was I born only for this?
Some individuals try to find answers. They turn to religion and philosophy. If the answers supplied by religious dogma and rational thinking, do not satisfy them, their search leads them to the only other untapped source of answers; the infinitely extending spiritual current. But how to contact this current? This leads to the paths, which I have discussed earlier (postings 26-31). They enter into the second stage.
As I have already mentioned (8. Why do they travel? ), not all seekers come this way. Please read that posting again. Preselected persons are a separate category. Three alive travelers, that I personally know, entered due to three different motives. One person, wanted the answers to eternal questions, second, wanted to attain supernatural powers, to satisfy his ego, and the third was devotional by nature and often visited holy places and persons. Nancy Mayorga wanted to expand her consciousness,and to learn the meaning of life (see sidebar, "hunger of the soul”)
I know of a young man who came upon a book ('My India', by Jim Corbett). The book was about episodes in the life of the author, who is famous for books on hunting tigers. But this book was not about hunting. The author narrated his own good deeds, and noble acts of other persons. That book had a profound effect on the young man; he wept for hours, and wanted to become like Corbett. That book was read by a dozen other persons, but had no affect on anybody else.
I narrate the incident to make a point; some have the receptor in them, others don’t.
Second and third stages. These are the stages of actual pursuit of one’s aim of God-realization, by taking concrete, practical steps. Not everyone in the first stage enters the second stage. Directions are given either by a teacher, who has traversed this path, or the person takes the matters in his own hands, and starts meditation or mental chanting, after consulting spiritual books.
It is said that a teacher is necessary. The teacher points you to the proper path and keeps you at the right path. However many famous mystics realized God on their own. I think, they must be born with mind attuned towards God. They did not need any help from others.
It is also mentioned in spiritual literature that if you do not have a teacher, but want to reach God, God Himself will initiate you.
The first day, the person sits in meditation or marakba, is a historical day. If he/she has the two requisite qualities of patience and perseverance, without which nobody can succeed in spiritual quest, his/her life changes forever. The changes are irreversible. He/she will never be the same person again.
To be continued