The joy of efforts
The most precious moment of the day is before the day overtakes you.
It becomes a science to preserve this moment for one's
Higher Self, to cultivate the moment into
presence. When something urgent comes up from the
many I's, something "important", one makes a conscious effort,
chooses the present and puts the 'I' to one side.
Making this kind of effort has an immediate reward; a heightened
sense of awareness, a balance between the turbulence of the mind and
calm in the heart, 'that serene place within where the desire to be
present originates'. Yet often the enthusiasm, the zeal for making
efforts dissipates. Life presses in upon us and making conscious
efforts becomes a taste that fades like a dream, rather than the
process of becoming more real. As one realizes the necessity of
making conscious efforts, one values them, as well as the moments of
presence they produce. An inner strength develops from making
efforts, like pushing weights internally. One finds the tenacity to
resist the wandering mind, to resist the fluttering of attention
from subject to subject. And one's identity becomes simpler, more
pure compared to the many I's as the experience of reality. We find
joy in making efforts; 'Come!' Omar Khayyam tells us, 'Seize one
moment passing, joyfully.'
Conscious efforts become more natural to us; we realize that this is
the beginning of a new, inner being. This is the esoteric meaning of
the strength displayed by legendary heroes, a symbol of the
certainty and confidence that develops from conscious work. When one
separates for a moment of eternity from the 3 dimensions of time and
space, it is a heroic effort, more real than we realize. Eventually,
consistent efforts evoke a response from something higher in us, a
more permanent and lasting experience of the Higher Self. There is a
parallel between prayer as a call to God, and conscious effort as a
call to one's Higher Self. An English mystic advises us, knowing
that it is a labor, 'Dig in thine own field for this Pearl of
Eternity that lies hidden in it; it cannot cost you too much, nor
can you buy it too dear; for it is all; and when you have found it,
you will know, that all that you have sold or given away for it, is
as a mere nothing as a bubble upon the water.'
Egyptian Text: To the full of my endeavor, with a
willing heart forever, I have acted unto you, and to you, great God,
Philokalia, Neilos the Ascetic: Only few have the strength
to rise above the turmoil of the world.
Hindu Texts, Bhagavad Gita: Arjuna said: 'My Lord! The
mind is turbulent... extremely difficult as the wind to control.' Lord
Krishna replied: 'Doubtless, O Mighty One! The mind is fickle and
exceedingly difficult to restrain, but with practice and renunciation it
can be done.'
Philokalia, Theophan the Recluse: Stand firm, inspired by
the certainty that this storm will soon be over.
Rumi: During these brief days that you have strength, be
quick and spare no effort of your wings.
Bernard of Clairvaux: The wandering mind is always rushing
about in empty effort among the deceptive delights of the world.
Egyptian statue of Khufu and falcon.
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