DUTY AS AN ACT OF LOVE
EVOLUTION AND ITS OPPOSITE INVOLUTION
There is no difference between the individual ego and individuality because it is the individuality that creates the ego, which in turn creates individuality. One’s ego or individuality is unique because each soul or mind has undergone different experiences throughout evolution. However, one must know that there are specific laws involved in evolution. There is a path that one has to follow, but what one encounters on the path is unique to that person. One might have different kinds of experiences, while another could have different kinds of experiences, yet they are all on the same path, on the path of evolution or unfoldment.
With evolution, there is one factor that is always forgotten, and that factor is involution. Evolution is on the relative level, so it has to have its opposite, involution. So, as a person evolves, there comes a time when he is involved, and that involution is the period of rest for the journeying soul. In that period, an excellent evaluation occurs whereby it starts growing again and becoming stronger and stronger, for evolution is always working in a spiral fashion. In his evolutionary process, a person sometimes reaches a plateau, and that plateau means that the person is now going through a period of involution. It is like the tree existing in an involved state in the form of the seed, and when the seed bursts, it is in the form of an evolved state; it is growing into a tree. Yet the entirety of the tree is existent in the seed.
When the seed bursts into the ground, the planter can do nothing about it. The planter cannot make the seed burst in the ground to grow. An explosion occurs in that seed so that it might succeed. This very process of explosion in the involution state is necessary for you to evolve because there would be no evolution if there were no involution. So, the journey through the tree’s life is to become the seed again. That means that after evolving into the tree, it produces itself in seed form again, where the entire tree’s essence is self-contained in that seed and comes to a state of stillness.
So, in the process of evolution, one tries to reach the seed that will never explode again. When the finality has been reached, when man has reached the totality of evolution, when man has become one with the universe, and the entire universe is encapsulated in that seed, then rebirth for evolution is not required.
LET DUTY BECOME A LABOUR OF LOVE
This applies so simply to the duties of life. What do we mean by duty? Firstly, is duty a chore that one has to do? A mother has to send off her children to school in the morning. She might feel like sleeping late, but she has to send her children to school, so she reluctantly makes an effort. And many mothers get up in the morning shouting, “Johnny, go brush your teeth, go wash your face. Go do this, go do that.” Because it is a duty, it becomes a stress; it becomes a strain upon the mother to do that, yet the mother loves the child. But she loves the child at her convenience, which is not love. But if the mother wakes up in the morning just because she loves the child and wants to send the child to school, not as a chore, then duty ceases. We do many things at the office or the factory, for example, as a duty to our boss. We do our best, but there is no love involved in that duty; it is just work, and that is why work is something people do not like. In the lives of many people who go to work, there is not a single day where they do not think, “Oh, when is the weekend coming so I do not have to work.”
That is a performance of duty, but real duty is where one does a thing so spontaneously that work does not seem to work anymore. This has now been incorporated into modern education systems, which is a perfect thing. I am deeply interested in various educational methods where the teaching becomes a play for the child. Those of you who are teachers know about this. So the “irk” is taken out of “work.” And then what is left is the “w”, which stands for wonderful wonderment. For what is more significant than wonderment? You go outside and wonder how these beautiful flowers and plants grow the breeze, and all the beauties of life. And all the most incredible things in life are supposed to be free. In these modern times, nothing is free. You even pay for the air you breathe in taxes.
DUTY AS AN ACT OF LOVE
So, there are times when one has to be dutiful and force oneself to preserve stability in the home and society. But how do you take the boredom out of duty? We can only stop pushing ourselves to do the duty and do it spontaneously by merging ourselves in the act to be performed. This mergence occurs when an identification can come about between the actor and the action. When the actor joins himself in the action or becomes the action, no duty is left at all. For you are then acting for the sake of acting.
For this mergence to take place, it requires spiritual stamina or the expression of the Spirit. The Spirit is contained within the action itself, and the same Spirit is within yourself. The only difference is that the Spirit within yourself manifests in the act. It finds expression in the act, which is one of humanity’s greatest gifts, for it is our nature forever to express ourselves in whatever way we are capable. Love is always trying to burst out. A person can never feel well if he cannot love, and a person does not feel well if they are not loved. So, there is a reciprocal action here, and yet a reciprocation is not a necessity when one works for the sake of work or loves for the sake of love. But in the beginning stages, this interchange is required. When you are loved, you can share or express your love more; when you express your love more, you get loved more. So, in the beginning stages, this becomes necessary until we reach the stage where we just love and are not concerned if we are loved in return.
Then duty becomes a labour of love. There is a significant difference that you can labour, but the labour would not even be noticed; it would become an expression of the love for the wife, the children, one’s occupation, or whatever. So, this is the process of evolution.
IN THE STATE OF INVOLUTION, YOU ARE IN A STATE OF REST
While on the path of evolution, when one has to end up in that involved state, all the energies you have gathered, the consciousness you have become aware of at that particular point of evolution, is gathered up in that evolved state. You have become a hydrogen bomb. This is so important in spiritual practices when the time comes when you just gather into yourself, encapsulated, and encapsulating all those energies that are pushing you forward and giving you that necessary rest. Rest is a must in every facet of life. There is that element of rest in everything you can observe around you. Between two heartbeats, there is a gap. If you study the way the flower grows, if you learn the way the grass grows, if you study anything, there is always a little pause in between. That is the state where you are in the state of involution, drawing in, gathering unto yourself all the energies you are capable of, and when that is collected together, then you explode again and on the path you go.
THE BLACK HOLE IS A STATE OF INVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE
As this process happens in a human being, it also occurs in the universe because the very same laws that apply to you apply to the universe. That is why scientists have now discovered the black hole, where the universes collapse and enter into the black hole, into that density filled with energy, so dense that even light cannot come out of it.
Black hole. Scientists have only discovered this now, but the ancient sages of the East knew of this thousands of years ago when they described the goddess Kali. Goddess Kali is always black, and that is symbolically the black hole. The goddess Kali is known to be the goddess of destruction. There are many interpretations of this kind of destruction, where, in one way, she is interpreted as destroying the negativity within you so that positivity could shine out. But comparing that mythology or that belief, it would be this: she pulls into herself, as the black hole would, all the universes around there, and it becomes a void. The black hole becomes a void, which is a state of involution of the universe, for that very black hole into which everything is drawn will have to explode again.
EXPANSION OF THE HEART
In this dimension, space and time do not matter at all. Just as the tree becomes a seed again, just as experiences you have which you might not have noticed, when you go into a state of involution, gathering all those energies for it to explode, and this is what meditation does for you, where all your energies are in that stillness that you can achieve through meditation. You bring all your energies to the level of the Heart. And coming out of meditation, all that is gathered there, and the core, the essence of your personality, explodes to your mind and body. So, everything is a process of involution and evolution and involution and evolution.
When this process continues, and one through spiritual practices has developed the awareness, a vaster awareness of things, beings, and life itself, nothing is a duty. It is a duty; you have to do something. Do-it. Not duty.
Expanded awareness is accompanied by the expansion of the Heart, for the expansion of the Heart is the real awareness; expansion of the mind is but a cognition of the awareness of the Heart. Awareness is experienced first and then cognised. You see how it works. Honey is first made; it is sweet already, and only when it touches the various sectors of your tongue do you appreciate the sweetness. But when it goes lower down, where is the sweetness then? It is gone. So, it is momentary. The awareness of the mind is short and dependent upon the Heart’s expansion. When you eat some excellent food, what are you eating? Momentarily, you are satisfying the taste buds of your tongue. But once it goes down your gullet, the finest food is like a dry piece of bread; there is no difference. But that momentary taste in your mouth is giving your mind pleasure. So, you are doing first, and then the recognition comes. That is why when one has the awareness, to him, a king’s feast or a dry piece of bread means but the same; because he knows it is so momentary, it is just these few taste buds in the tongue or the palate giving me this pleasure. And too much of that pleasure can also provide you with indigestion.
WHEN DUTY BECOMES DUTILESS, YOU ACHIEVE THE MOST
Do not ever think that you are not evolving, for life is forever progressing. For even if you do not meditate, even if you do not do your spiritual practices, you are still growing. But that is a trial and error method; you are still going forward but on a rough road. The difference meditation makes is that your path becomes smoother because you are consciously applying yourself to meditation, wherein this expansion takes place, and the expansion is the bulldozer; it goes ahead of you, making your path smoother. And the best thing it does is that it brings you face-to-face with your weaknesses so that when they turn up, you are not in the whirlpool of the weakness, but you can stand apart and look at yourself and say, “Oh, these are my weaknesses.” And proper diagnosis is half the cure, as doctors will tell you. That is why when people meditate, they feel better and better because they can see their weaknesses and they can do something about it. It adds a new perspective to life and a new understanding of theory and practice.
When this understanding dawns, then there is no duty. It is an automatic action; it becomes a motor action where you do not exert yourself. That is how you can accomplish the most by doing the least. In a big business, who makes the most money? Not the chaps that battle hard in the factories and do this, that and the other. No, they are enslaved. They do not make the money. But the boss that sits on the top floor. You hardly see him. He sits with his legs on the desk, a long six-inch cigar. If you observe him, you will find that he develops a very dreamy look in his eyes. But he is not dreaming. His mind is functioning in that very dreamy look; he is planning. He is preparing this contract and that contract, and that contract, and what is the best way of achieving that contract and fulfilling it. And then he presses a button. That is all he does. He presses a button and on the other side, “Yes, sir?” “Miss Pippleto, I want you to send Stevens out to blah, blah, blah, and see that this is done and that is done, and that is done. And have the report ready for me on the desk tomorrow morning. Thank you.” Bang!
Who has performed the most significant action here? The boss. And yet doing the least. Those poor secretaries are typing out the reports, the man that makes the reports, and the chap that drives out 500 miles and negotiates and gets headaches and heartaches and all that, you know. So, when duty becomes dutiless, you achieve the most.
ALL INSECURITY, INADEQUACY AND ADVERSITY DISAPPEAR IN THE LIGHT OF SELF-CONFIDENCE
That does not mean neglecting your duties. No, by all means not. You cannot do that, or you will ruin your home, society, environment and the lot. Many of us have to do duties by exerting ourselves, but we reach a stage where that exertion is no longer necessary. You just sit and think, and man has the power to think, and if his thoughts are infused with that inner quality, those thoughts become powerful, and things just happen. They just happen. The power of that inside force turns that very thought into power and faith. And that very faith is the blood brother of self-confidence. When one achieves self-confidence, then the feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and adversities all disappear in the light of self-confidence because you have that self-confidence.
IF YOU ARE IN TOUCH WITH THE SOURCE, YOU WILL LIGHT UP THE LIGHTS
That is not the end; there is still another step to go. With that confidence and that powerful thought, things are achieved. But those are mundane things. We still have to do everyday things, but from there, we reach another level on the spiral of evolution where we say, “I do not do, I have never done, and will never be able to do anything. He does through me.” That is how the unfoldment within becomes expedited. It becomes expedited that I am not the doer. The doer resides in me, as He resides everywhere else. And that current of electricity that is at this end of the wire is also at the other end of the wire. These streets you have in America, with millions and millions and millions of meters or yards of electrical wire, are so complex, like a computer. But it is the same electricity. The time is gone when we had lamplighters that used to go about on the streets at night, lighting the lamps individually. We start with that as a duty. We light the lamps one by one until, through our spiritual practices, we reach the stage of flicking one switch, and all the lights go on. Because now we are in touch with the source. We are in touch directly with the generator of the electricity. We are in touch directly with where that electricity comes from and reach that switch through spiritual practices.
As the Bible says, the birds do not toil the fields, yet food is there for them. It also says, “The lilies of the valley grow so beautiful that all Solomon’s treasures could never create that beauty.” Man has that in him; he has all of that in him. Why does the bird have his food ready for him? Because the bird is innocent and in touch with its source. We cannot sit still and say, “Oh, it will fall from the sky.” It will fall out from the sky if you are in touch with the source if you are at the main switch. You will light up all the lights.
WITH A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE, DUTY COULD BE AN ACT OF LOVE
But until then, of course, one has to go through lighting individual lamps, which might seem a struggle. So, what do we do with drudgery? That is the question until we have reached the source. We add a perspective. We look at the struggle from a different perspective. It is not the question of, every evening, I must go around lighting the lamps. No, you do not think that way. You start thinking ah, how beautiful, what an excellent opportunity that is given to me to go and light these lamps so that they could shed light on the street for others so that they do not stumble in the dark. You are doing the same thing but looking at it from a different perspective than here; it is a service I am performing—my service to my brother’s men. I light the lamps; I could sweep streets. I get the same money for it to buy my piece of bread. Or I could do something else: work in a mill grinding flour. I will still more or less get the same pay for my daily bread. But here, a new dimension is added: I am lighting the lamps not for myself but to light up the path for others who might pass through here.
When one changes the perspective, that love waiting to burst out bursts out. Then, the struggle, the suffering disappears, and suffering becomes an offering. That is how the ego is slowly, gradually refined. It is not destroyed but refined. Then, our duty does not become a chore but an expression of love. So, the mind is necessary. The mind could be the most cunning animal and the most significant aid in developing these perspectives. The soup could be lovely, a beautiful soup prepared, but it would not taste nice if we did not add that pinch of salt to it. And what pinch of salt do we need here in the soup that we are in, is the pinch of salt of love, which is the Spirit itself. Then the soup becomes nice, palatable, and tasty; we enjoy it. Are we enjoying the soup? No. We are enjoying the joy that the soup has provided. You see how even an ordinary vegetable soup offers itself to you. It gives its joy to you, so you are not enjoying the soup; you are enjoying the joy of the soup.
LIFE IS SHEER POETRY
We create our circumstances around us; we make everything around us. We get what we deserve all the time, so we start with conscious duty, which helps us to evolve, and then gradually, as we add on the spiritual side of ourselves, that aware duty becomes a spontaneous duty. And with that love that we draw from inside, that Spiritual Force, we become a magnet to attract the iron filings. We do not only attract the iron filings, but we give the scattered filings a form and shape. So even in that attraction, we are performing a service, and life becomes a service; it becomes an offering. Then we do not look for the exterior side of life, for the exterior could be so misleading.
The world will recognise your exterior but will not know your interior. There is nothing to be afraid of or discouraged about, for as long as you know how to keep adding that pinch of salt to the soup, you are okay. Do your duty until the duty becomes spontaneous, a spontaneous act of love, and you will evolve faster and faster. And as the awareness expands more and more, as the Heart opens more and more, then greater and greater love flows from you, overriding all that which is adverse to you, for you do not see the adversity. Look at the beautiful river flowing. You do not know the muck, the stones, or the dirt at the bottom of the river. You see the beauty of its flow. Life is sheer poetry from the mountains through the valleys and the hills. It is sheer poetry expressing all its beauty all the time. It is for us to observe, know, and realise life’s beauty. God does not paint pictures only; he writes poetry, too.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1980 – 16