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January 2007 · Vol 4, No 1
Awakening • Higher Centers • The Beloved • God

copyright Fellowship of Friends, Inc.

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.'

Related thoughts

Egyptian Text: To the full of my endeavor, with a willing heart forever, I have acted unto you, and to you, great God, I call.

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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