The way we live can be understood by the questions we ask ourselves.
Often times, the questions asked are not on a conscious level. But, for example, if you ever notice your human pet wandering through the kitchen sampling every little morsel available (as this pet did quite recently) – one could assess that the question being asked is,”What is there to snack on?” or “What is there to eat? What fun and excitement can be had from the treats around this place?” or even, “How can I procrastinate right now? What can I do that would not be productive and possible annoy my dear ones if they knew I was doing such a thing?” or perhaps…”What can I do right now so I can feel sorry for myself later?” The list goes on! It is clear that even though the action might look the same – snacking on snacks – many questions can lead to such actions – and really one might say that all the questions lead back to the fundamental question: “Where is happiness? How can I experience happiness right now? What is happiness?”
According to Dr. David R. Hawkins, one of the primary errors the human makes is operating under the illusion that happiness is something to be found externally. Happiness is something outside of ourselves that we have to ‘get’ – that is the error. In reality, as Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is Within you.” The kingdom of happiness is within you! When we reach a certain level of consciousness, it becomes clear that nothing outside of us can give us happiness. Happiness is within us all the time. Yet, perhaps we confuse short-term, temporary, fleeting sensory pleasure with long-term, fulfilling, eternal happiness. Pleasure, sure that can be experienced through the senses and engaging with the world of name and form, but unconditional happiness is a reality that exists beyond any of the conditions in the physical world. Of course, please do not take my word for this – but rather seek to verify this spiritual truth directly via your own experience. As the Buddha said, “Put no head above your own.”
It’s been said there are 3 great gifts: a human birth, a desire to know the Truth, and a teacher to show you the way. If you are reading this, the chances you have definitely received the great gift of a human birth, and you probably even have some inkling of a desire if not a burning desire to know the Truth, and perhaps you’ve come across some teachers to point the way. So, congratulations! We are well on the way 🙂
Human birth is an incredible gift because we have the ability to know the truth directly. We can become more of less conscious, depending on our intention. If we intend to evolve spiritually and grow in lovingness toward all of life in all of its expressions, that can happen. “Motive matters supremely.” Intention is supreme! With an intention to grow, growth happens. With an intention for enlightenment, the enlightened state reveals itself.
What is enlightenment?
Think Freedom. Absolute Freedom. Total Fearlessness. Why? Because you are completely established in the Truth, as the Truth. You realize your true identity is far beyond the world of name and form. You are not something that is born and dies, but you are births and deathless. You are actually something that is unseen and invisible. You cannot be pointed at!
Okay – maybe that was a tangent but it seemed appropriate.
As a step along the path to higher consciousness, complete liberation, and enlightenment, you can think of it as being free from selfishness. Selfishness is not enjoyable. Selfishness arises from the illusion of separation and the false identification with something that is impermanent (the human body). When we realize we are not the human body, but that the body is more like a karmic wind up toy, or a top spinning thanks to God pulling the string, we relax and let go of our concern over the fate of the body. The body is like a lovable pet that we can care for and take good care of, and its highest use is that of communication, not necessarily via words but via its presence. Established in the truth, the most powerful communication happens on an unseen level. Truth is Love, so when one realizes that one is Love Itself, then that Love radiates from the human form and it is nearly palpable.
Imagine being freed from the great burden of thinking you are a limited body and mind. Suddenly you wake up to the reality that you are infinite and eternal. There is nothing to fear, and also there is nothing to do, because there is no doer. You realize you are not the doer that functions through the human body. You become the watcher and witness of the human without identifying with it. You watch it go about its business, realizing that what you are is unseen and infinite. With this awareness, selfishness dissolves because the identity expands to include everyone and everything, so what remains to act selfishly about?
Aha! I remember where this is all going now. Back to the title of the post…
What serves the Highest Good?
“What serves the Highest Good?” is a refreshing question to ask. And to care more about what serves the Highest Good than just about what serves the good of the little human animal that you often refer to as ‘you’ is totally liberating. Instead of focusing on a minute corner of creation, you expand your awareness to concern over serving the whole in the best way that you can. You ask, “What serves the Highest Good?”
As you ask the question, you may become aware that as a supposedly separated, limited, individual human being with finite experiences, you don’t possess the adequate information to know what serves the highest good. Yet, just to be able to ask the question suggests that there is a part of us that is capable of not only knowing the answer, but also answering the question through our direct experience in a moment to moment basis. This is a method of meditation.
You ask, “What serves the Highest Good?” then you relax into that Supreme Essence that abides with you, in you, and as you always. After asking the question, you might add, “Whatever serves the Highest Good, I offer that now.” And just by merely asking the question and aligning with the truth of the answer, that in and of itself does actually serve the Highest Good.
To serve the Highest Good, nothing needs to be done physically. If there is any doing, the doing occurs on an internal level. The doing has to do with aligning with the pure intention of even asking the question. The answer to the question follows as an internal knowingness and surrender to the truth flowing through you. The body may move, but the movement itself isn’t the service. The service is in the awareness. The service is in the being, in the presence.
In spiritual work, the emphasis is not on what is done, but how it is done. As Gandhi said, “Do it with joy or not at all.” We could feed thousands and build temples all over the world, but without love in our hearts, what is the use?
Motive matters supremely! What motivates you?
The Dalai Lama said, “The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.”
If you haven’t tried it, I certainly encourage you to align with love and be motivated by love, even affirm, “I am motivated by love!” and feel the freedom and fearlessness that follows.
What serves the Highest Good? Asking this question frees us from petty-mindedness and selfishness and awakens us to the truth of oneness and service and goodwill to all. All of Creation is worthy of kindness and love. Trees, plants, little black beatles – all of it is worthy of unconditional love. If we look closely enough, we can see beauty in all of it. If we look closely, even a wide shines forth as a divine sculpture. A kleenex popping out of a tissue box reveals its own beauty if we allow it to be perfectly as it is – without objectifying it. The key to allow this beauty to shine forth is what you might call divine stupidity. Let go of the labels, the opinions, the judgments, the objectification, and allow creation to be as it is. Just look around you. Look at your human pet. Look at the shape it takes now. How adorable! It is such an innocent little pet, doing the best it can. If it knew better, it would do better.
We need not look far for miracles. We need not read all the spiritual texts from all the world traditions to know the truth. A single word is enough, and whatever word it is doesn’t even matter that much. Whatever word you choose, just practice it all the time, no matter what, unconditionally, in all circumstances. Spiritual Reality is always present. Nothing externally has to change for one to realize the truth. The shift and growth is internal.
To grow spiritually, just be.
No human is responsible to go about labelling and judging everything. The world has gotten along for millions of years without us and our opinions. Let them go. Let go of the commenting and editorializing over the passing parade of phenomena in the world of form.
Just pick one practice and stick to it. Pick one thought and let go of all the rest. The Glory of God will soon shine forth.
Kindness, forgiveness, patience, lovingness, gentleness, whatever it is – instead of just talking about it – live it! Become it. That is the greatest service anyone can provide for all humanity.
So, what serves the Highest Good?
Be that Truth 🙂
Of course, ‘this human’ currently typing these words has been caught in the classic trap of ‘preaching/teaching.’ What about just ‘Being that Truth?’
As mentioned previously, internally, the question arises, “What serves the Highest Good?” The awareness follows that effectively serves the Highest Good, and then whatever ‘doing’ happens in the world is secondary. So, being aligned with “What serves the Highest Good?” the whole gambit of human activity is at one’s disposal, yet at the same time it is not really a conscious choice. To elaborate, one wouldn’t ask the question and then say, “I think I’m going to go get drunk and drive,” or even “I think I’ll go read a book.” The point is, once the question is asked, and as long as one remains aligned with the question and the pure energy field that accompanies it, one is no longer the decider of what is done. Asking the question opens one to be a channel for the answer to flow freely and effortlessly through. You don’t have to use your personal will to answer the question -and you don’t have to use your intellect to try to answer the question. The answer to the question is far beyond the reaches of the intellect. It is like saying, “Thy Will Be Done.” The human mind cannot know God’s Will, but it can let go and allow for God’s Will to express itself through the human.
Spiritual practice is a matter of allowing. Instead of doing things, allow things to happen. Allow, allow, allow. And, when in doubt, generally, stop. If you’re ever doubting whether it is divine will or your personal will, just stop, maybe ask the question again, “What serves the Highest Good?” and be for a moment or twenty, depending on what reveals itself to be natural and effortless.
No need to force anything! The most important part of the spiritual journey is to simply be on the journey. Whenever the final liberation happens isn’t really up to us – but just to stay on the path and remain loving and peaceful is an incredible service that benefits all of humanity. The entire creation benefits from a single act of kindness.
For the record, the above teachings are primarily from Dr. David R. Hawkins and Sri Swami Satchidananda, both great teachers of the truth! I certainly take no credit for anything written. And thankfully, the whole process seemed effortless and aligned enough that personal will didn’t seem too present.
Also, if there are any requests for topics to write on, please let me know. I’ve spent the past few years studying various spiritual scriptures and teachers, practicing meditation, and living at an ashram – so there hasn’t been much external engagement with the world at large – but certainly open to serving however asked.
Please remember, it is all for fun 😉
In all conditions – no matter what –
Infinite Love and Peace 🙂
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!