The more I think I know about true spirituality, the more I become easily aggravated by the behavior of others, especially when I hear someone make an obviously false (spiritually) statement, or I observe inconsistent behavior. I sense that part of my anger is seeing the inconsistency and false behavior in myself. What is the right way for me to handle these moments?
Stay with yourself. Don't put yourself into what you observe. It doesn't matter what anyone anywhere is doing or saying relative to your potential for inner development. The expression "The buck stops here" is valuable as long as we understand it to mean that these recurring blasts of unconscious energy we experience in moments such as these are to remain conscious within ourselves. We must not attribute their cause to someone or anything else outside of us. When we work with this truth and its instruction, then we begin to die to the blame-casting nature.
I know someone who drives me crazy, and I want to help him by sharing the truths I am learning. Without using interfering tactics, how can we help others to come awake to themselves?
One of the most difficult aspects of our work is learning to bear the unpleasant manifestations of people around us. But this can also help us grow quickly. If by interfering tactics you mean, "make someone see the light," it is impossible. But if we will do our work, which often requires waiting out our own unpleasantness before speaking, then not only can we lend someone a helpful word or action, but they will see that we are behaving differently. This willingness on our part to inwardly accept the weight of our own burdens first is really the best invitation to others to become interested in this Work.
I have great trouble dealing with friends and loved ones who ask me how I am doing with "the Lord" -- especially when they then commence to teach me the error of my ways! How can I better deal with these moments than by just getting mad?
We must each learn what it means to "lay down our lives for our brothers." The inner meaning of this is that it takes great interior patience, understanding, and eventually compassion to bear the unpleasant and often arrogant manifestations of people around us who, asleep in their unconscious righteousness, believe they are doing what is right. In this instance, you can use these individuals and any such encounters as a "spiritual springboard." What does this mean? Use your irritation to come awake to yourself. Consider the beam in your eye. Leave the others alone. If you'll try this, you'll begin to break free from the wrong parts of yourself that make you feel righteous in judging others. They will never know the sacrifice you are making, but you will, and freedom follows.
Should we try to help someone with their spiritual development, or must they be "receptive"? What mistake can there be in presenting a few truths to others with the hope that the ideas strike a right chord within them?
There are laws that govern all things, including our own development as well as that of others. Sometimes the most difficult, yet most true, thing we can do in the moment is to let others learn what is true for themselves. Sometimes we attempt to "help others" because we are unconsciously trying to change them according to our own ideas of what they should be like. When we do this, it not only creates resistance in the person we address, but it keeps us asleep to our own interior and misguided ambitions. We must all learn to be awake around others so that we can learn to feel whether or not what that person asks is arising from a genuine wish to know.