How can those who suffer from worry, resentment, fear, concern over what other people think -- making desperate attempts to accumulate things and experiencing angst over how they will appear in their own eyes -- how can those with such absolute suffering be so arrogant at the same time? It's possible because they've become so turned around that they take psychological suffering as being natural.
Where has the relationship with the higher life gone that would bring us true self-understanding? I ask this because it's possible for us -- it's given to us -- to be in a conscious relationship with everything that we have grabbed onto in our mistaken understanding. Even as we cling to everything within us that is not inherently right and righteous, a part of us can be conscious of the suffering that this wrong relationship produces. There is no one for whom this is not so. And yet it's extraordinary that a person will think nothing of spending years and years refining the art of making money, trying to impress others, and won't take twenty minutes a day to refine their ability to touch what is essentially spiritual in themselves.
We can and must begin to understand the spiritual life before we can live it. But we can't begin to understand something that is above us until we begin to see it.
There was a time when men and women understood that without a relationship with something higher, they didn't have a real life. There was a time, not so terribly long ago, when these things didn't have to be explained -- when men and women met each other with an understanding that beneath and above this physical world there existed a much broader kind of life. Their lives were built on the understanding that they were working, growing, developing. They may have had jobs and families, but their lives were based in a completely different relationship with life -- a relationship that is all but gone today.
Not so long ago, men and women understood that they needed the Divine in their lives. They weren't brainwashed that the spiritual life was a pathway to riches or to some heaven. They understood the essential need to be new, to be reborn, to become a whole human being. Today, human beings think that whatever they name as something that will fulfill them is the key to finding real happiness. They have no idea that their hearts and minds are being dragged into identifying with ideas that are counter-productive to the development of their lives. All their efforts go to pushing away from consciousness the fact that they suffer, and in doing so they have pushed away the knowledge that their lives are devoted to pursuits that interfere with their inherent relationship with something higher.
It is a rare human being who accepts these new facts and begins to place the wish to understand life before the wish to obtain things in life. It's really so simple. How different would your life be if every moment, regardless of what you were doing, your first wish were to study and understand life -- to be able to see all of the movement happening outside of you and within you? And not by judging, but by being present in the moment where all of this is taking place, and allowing that special part of your self to see, interact with, and know the moment as opposed to trying to extract something from it. How different a life that would be!
First you understand how empty the life is that has to do with trying to extract something from it. Then by that very discovery, which comes by the grace of God, you begin to see that there is a natural death and a natural rebirth. The death is of this self that believes this world is nothing but a giant candy bag from which things can be taken. The rebirth is of the part of you that understands there is a sweetness inherent within you that God has put there for you to discover.