27 Nov 2012

“Some Practical Suggestions for Daily Life” by Madame Blavatsky


Here is an extract taken from an article “Some Practical Suggestions for Daily Life” by Madame Blavatsky. These suggestions are aimed to those who aspire to spiritualise their lives, and develop their personality.

“RISE early, as soon as you are awake, without lying idly in bed, half-waking and half-dreaming. Then earnestly pray that all mankind may be spiritually regenerated, that those who are struggling on the path of truth may be encouraged by your prayers and work more earnestly and successfully, and that you may be strengthened and not yield to the seductions of the senses. Picture before your mind the form of your Master as engaged in Samadhi. Fix it before you, fill in all the details, think of him with reverence, and pray that all mistakes of omission and commission may be forgiven. This will greatly facilitate concentration, purify your heart, and do much more. Or reflect upon the defects of your character: thoroughly realise their evils and the transient pleasures they give you, and firmly will that you shall try your best not to yield to them the next time. This self-analysis and bringing yourself before the bar of your own conscience facilitates, in a degree hitherto undreamt of, your spiritual progress. When you bathe, exercise during the whole time your will, that your moral impurities should be washed away with those of your body. In your relations with others observe the following rules.

1- Never do anything which you are not bound to do as your duty; that is, any unnecessary thing. Before you do a thing, think whether it is your duty to do it.

2- Never speak an unnecessary word. Think of the effects your words might produce before you give utterance to them. Never allow yourself to violate your principles by the force of your company.

3- Never allow any unnecessary or vain thought to occupy your mind. This is more easily said than done. You cannot make your mind a blank all at once. So in the beginning try to prevent evil or idle thoughts by occupying your mind with the analysis of your own faults, or the contemplation of the Perfect Ones.

4- During meals exercise your will, that your food should be properly digested and build for you a body in harmony with your spiritual aspirations, and not create evil passion and wicked thoughts. Eat only when you are hungry and drink when you are thirsty, and never otherwise. If some particular preparation attracts your palate, do not allow yourself to be seduced into taking it simply to gratify that craving. Remember that the pleasure you derive from it had no existence some seconds before, and that it will cease to exist some seconds afterwards; that it is a transit pleasure, that that which is a pleasure now will turn into pain if you take it in large quantities; that it gives pleasure only to the tongue; that if you are put to a great trouble to get that thing, and if you allow yourself to be seduced by it, you will not be ashamed at anything to get it; that while there is another object that can give you eternal bliss, this centering your affections on a transient thing is sheer folly; that you are neither the body nor the sense, and therefore the pleasure and the pains which these endure can never affect you really, and so on. Practice the same train of reasoning in the case of every other temptation, and, though you will often fail, yet you will achieve a surer success. Do no read much. If you read for ten minutes, reflect for as many hours. Habituate yourself to solitude, and to remain alone with your thoughts.

Accustom yourself to the thought that no one beside yourself can assist you, and wean away your affections from all things gradually. Before you sleep, pray as you did in the morning. Review the actions of the day, and see wherein you have failed, and resolve that you will not fail in them to-morrow.”

II

“LEARN that there is no cure for desire, no cure for the love of reward, no cure for the misery of longing, save in the fixing of the sight and hearing on that which is invisible and soundless.

A man must believe in his innate power of progress. A man must refuse to be terrified by his greater nature, and must not be drawn back by his lesser or material self.

All the past shows us that difficulty is no excuse for dejection, much less for despair, else the world would have been without the many wonders of civilization.

Strength to step forward is the primary need of him who has chosen his path. Where is this to be found? Looking round, it is not hard to see where other men find their strength. Its source is profound conviction.

Abstain because it is right to abstain, not that yourself shall be kept clean.

The man who wars against himself and wins the battle can do it only when he knows that in that war he is doing the one thing which is worth doing.

"Resist not evil," that is, do not complain of or feel anger against the inevitable disagreeables of life. Forget yourself (in working for others). If men revile, persecute, or wrong one, why resist? In the resistance we create greater evils.

The immediate work, whatever it may be, has the abstract claim of duty, and its relative importance or non-importance is not to be considered at all.

The best remedy for evil is not the suppression, but the elimination of desire, and this can best be accomplished by keeping the mind constantly steeped in things divine. The knowledge of the Higher Self is snatched away by engaging the mind in brooding over or contemplating with pleasure the objects which correspond to the unruly sense.

Our own nature is so base, proud, ambitious, and so full of its own appetites, judgments, and opinions, that if temptations restrained it not, it would be undone without remedy; therefore are we tempted to the end that we may know ourselves and be humble. Know that the greatest temptation is to be without temptation, wherefore be glad when it assaults thee, and with resignation, peace, and constancy resist it.

Feel that you have nothing to do for yourself, but that certain charges are laid upon you by the Deity, which you must fulfil. Desire God, and not anything that he can give. Whatever there is to do, has to be done, but not for the sake of enjoying the fruit of action. If all one's acts are performed with the full conviction that they are of no value to the actor, but are to be done simply because they have to be done – in other words, because it is in our nature to act- then the personality of egotism in us will grow weaker and weaker until it comes to rest, permitting the knowledge revealing the True Self to shine out in all its splendour.

One must not allow joy or pain to shake one from one's fixed purpose.

Until the master chooses you to come to him, be with humanity, and unselfishly work for its progress and advancement. This alone can bring true satisfaction.

Knowledge increases in proportion to its use- that is, the more we teach the more we learn. Therefore, Seeker after Truth, with the faith of a little child and the will of an Initiate, give of your store to him who hath not wherewithal to comfort him on his journey.

A disciple must fully recognize that the very thought of individual rights is only the outcome of the venomous quality of the snake of Self. He must never regard another man as a person who can be criticized or condemned, nor may he raise his voice in self-defense or excuse.

No man is your enemy, no man is your friend. All alike are your teachers.

One must no longer work for the gain of any benefit, temporal or spiritual, but to fulfil the law of being which is the righteous will of God. [ Bhagavad Gita - Introduction ]

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