There is a common phrase amongst many advanced students on the spiritual path, which is, “Do the next ‘right’ thing.” What this means is that when you feel conflicted and are not sure what move to make or which decision to choose, simply take a stand to “do the next right thing.” In other words, find your quiet center and then allow common sense to show what decision will most likely bring “the most good for the most people.” It also means to get off your butt and do something . . . anything, but do not become frozen and thus, without purpose or value.
What Level of Consciousness Are We Choosing?
There are three levels of consciousness from which we can live our lives:
- Average humans who are asleep on the path
- Students of spirituality who are now waking up and searching for a better life
- Living masters who are awake enough to take on a much more responsible role in their lives
Living masters are any of us who choose to “step up” and become more active participants in co-creating Heaven on Earth. But, this latter choice is one that involves inner strength and tenacity, as we must resist the calls of our ego to be less than the divine beings that we truly are. To be a living master means to do our best to manifest all that God is in every aspect of our lives.
Steer Your Chariot Toward Righteous Action
I have often referenced the story of Lord Krishna riding into battle in a chariot along with his friend, a gentle prince named Arjuna. Once again, we can use this ancient story as a metaphor to solve the problems of today. Although the battle was righteous by all human standards, as it was to defend Arjuna’s peace-loving kingdom from an evil, aggressive army, poor Arjuna still couldn’t decide if it was the “right” thing to do. In this story, Arjuna represents the part of us that is too airy-fairy, passive, and/or ungrounded, and therefore tends to get little accomplished, or even worse—takes the role of victim. So he begins to use his version of “spiritual values” to defend his doubt about going into battle.
Just as the battle is to begin, Arjuna (our weak, human nature) cries out to Krishna (symbolizing God) and asks him for guidance to resolve his inner conflict. With tears in his eyes, Arjuna says, “I see no value for going into battle. It seems wrong and against our religion—especially given that some of the invaders are our own family members.”
Well, Krishna would have none of this. He promptly scolds Arjuna and tells him, “The very idea that you are in conflict on this matter means you are not accessing your Divine Mind. Get it together and take notice that there is a battle before you. Stand up and be counted. An entire kingdom of people (who will surely be destroyed) is counting on you. Take control of the horses of your chariot (symbolizing the four chakras of the lower, human self) and steer your chariot (your soul) toward righteous actions. In bringing God to the battle, you are transforming the battle into a victory—win or lose. Yes, it would be great to be sitting in a serene setting enjoying peace and nature, but that’s not what’s happening right NOW. In this present moment, we have a battle to fight. So, get in your body, be a master, and get moving.”
Action Is Almost Always Better Than Passivity
Krishna goes on to say, “Taking action is nearly always better than inactivity—provided you remain out of judgment and unattached to the outcome of the action. Besides, there is nothing else like a righteous battle to teach you so much about yourself—as long as it is unprovoked. If you die or fail in a righteous battle, it matters not, because you will have achieved a bit of Heaven. Of course, if you succeed and arise victorious, you also will have gained a much better life while here on earth.”
As you might already have noticed, Arjuna’s plight is common among human beings—especially “New Agers.” We often hear, see, and experience men and women on the spiritual path who hide their preference for hyper-passivity behind their spirituality. Yes, of course, it’s great to be passive—as long as that is what the moment and the inspiration are calling for. But if you see a car accident, get out and help; if you see someone at the store who is short a few dollars to pay their bill, help them out if you can. Otherwise, you remain valueless and without respect for yourself or others.
The Battle Between Soul and Ego
The story of Krishna and Arjuna is a metaphor for the battle we all have to face between our soul (who wants to return to God) and our ego (who wants to remain in a state of separation). It also reflects a battle between our good and bad habits; forgiveness and anger; selfishness and unselfishness; faith and doubt; humbleness and pride. This metaphor reminds us that we will be confronted with numerous battles between our soul and ego but we must remain courageous, have faith in times of darkness, and follow our inspirations—even when dark forces would oppose us. This is the kind of Spiritual courage that filled Jesus at his trial and crucifixion, the Forefathers of our country when they were under threat of being hung for treason, Abraham Lincoln when he fought to free slaves and Martin Luther King who knew that his life was in danger if he pursued civil rights.
Such courage is not only found in great leaders. It’s also found in ordinary people who are choosing to be extra-ordinary. This can apply to the man who finds a way to feed his children—even though their mom passed away; it’s found in the woman who gets that divorce from her abusive husband—even though it means he’ll fight to keep her from getting any money; and it’s found in those who are willing to set clearer boundaries with family and/or friends (if necessary) for the sake of his or her spiritual pursuits; as well as in someone who has to fight a battle against depression to even get out of bed each day. In all such cases, the moral of the story is that we all need to practice getting clearer guidance and then develop the courage and skills to follow through and act upon that guidance. We also need to deal with the adversary in our doubt-filled minds that tells us to turn around and run the other way. We are all being called to grow up (spiritually), ready the horses (your personal power), focus on our goal (of love and self-worth), and then charge forward (and don’t look back).
The fight must be fought, if not today, then tomorrow. We can run but you can’t hide. These are our own fears and issues rising up to either defeat us OR to be defeated. If our fears defeat us, they give more power to our ego. If we defeat them, we take one step closer to discovering our true, divine identity. One thing is certain, we have all the Power of Heaven behind us, therefore, it’s inevitable that we will win the fight. But this cannot be accomplished when we don’t have the courage to show up. Finally, when we do arrive and fight our demons (personal issues of fear and lack), we will eventually heal and move forward into higher consciousness.
As we accomplish this, we’ll realize that there never was a battle, or an enemy. All along, the fight that we resisted, or hid from, was merely our “beliefs” that there was an enemy outside of ourselves. Yes, it’s ironic and a bit of a paradox, to say the least, but we will not see through the illusion and rise into an awakened state of consciousness until we go through all the complexities of doing battle with our foes that aren’t even there. It’s by going through the motions of being afraid and intimidated, and yet preparing for the battle, that our human weaknesses are brought up for healing so that our spiritual self can mature. Until then, our spirituality is merely a theory. Once we’ve fought “the good fight,” our spirituality shifts permanently (although a piece at a time) from being a myth to a reality.