Continuous attentiveness will only come with long practice. If you are truly watchful, each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears. But to reach this level of disassociation you must have no attachments at all. If you have the slightest interest in any particular thought, it will evade your attentiveness, connect with other thoughts, and take over your mind for a few seconds. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to reacting emotionally to a particular thought.
— Swami Annamalai – Living by the Words of Bhagavan (David Godman, p. 342–43)
The modern era is steeped in restlessness as man is tossed between conflicting ideals. Like mounds in a sandy desert, intellectual knowledge is mounting up without provision for the expression of the heart, which is so vitally necessary to quench the need of the spirit.
It is lack of this that has checkmated man’s achievements, in spite of himself and his enormous advancements in the fields of science. Unhappiness and insecurity, emotional or otherwise, are the dominant notes of the age, and mankind is engulfed in the darkness of wars, hate and fear.
Yet I say, “Have hope.”
Selfishness and lust for power tend to drag man towards brutality, which he has inherited from his evolutionary ancestry or acquired during erroneous searching through his incarnations. But there is within man the inextinguishable light of Truth, because he is essentially divine in origin and being.
Those who cleanse their hearts of the embittering poison of selfishness, hate and greed shall find God as their own true Self. When you find and realize God, the problem of selfishness and its numerous expressions melts away like mist before the sun. In God and as God, all life reveals itself as being really one and indivisible, and all separateness created by identification with human or sub-human forms is seen to be illusory.
The Truth of divine life is not a hope but a reality. It is the only reality, and all else is illusion. Have faith and you will be redeemed. Have love and you will conquer the lower and limited self of cravings that veil your own true being as God. Not through desperate self-seeking, but through constant self-giving is it possible to find the Self of all selves.
— Meher Baba – Life at its Best (p. 41)
I watch people in the world
Throw away their lives lusting after things,
Never able to satisfy their desires,
Falling into deeper despair
And torturing themselves.
Even if they get what they want
How long will they be able to enjoy it?
For one heavenly pleasure
They suffer ten torments of hell,
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone.
Such people are like monkeys
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water
And then falling into a whirlpool.
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer.
Despite myself, I fret over them all night
And cannot staunch my flow of tears.
“The craving to become causes fear; to be, to achieve, and so to depend engenders fear. The state of non-fear is not negation, it is not the opposite of fear nor is it courage. In understanding the cause of fear there is its cessation, not the becoming courageous, for in all becoming there is the seed of fear. Dependence on things, on people or on ideas breeds fear; dependence arises from ignorance, from the lack of self-knowledge, from inward poverty; fear causes uncertainty of mind-heart, preventing communication and understanding. Through self-awareness we begin to discover and so comprehend the cause of fear, not only the superficial but the deep causal and accumulative fears. Fear is both inborn and acquired; it is related to the past and to free thought-feeling from it the past must be comprehended through the present. The past is ever awaiting to give birth to the present which becomes the identifying memory of the ‘me’ and the ‘mine’, the ‘I’. The self is the root of all fear. To inhibit or suppress fear is not to transcend it; its cause must be self-discovered and so understood and dissolved. In becoming aware of craving and its dependence, in observing with kindly detachment its ways and actions, fear yields to understanding.”
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Mirror of Relationship (1944)