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Translated teachings of Master Patana

Why are we constantly seeking improvement and advancement? Where is the ultimate goal? Or is there a purpose?

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We often find ourselves on an unending quest for improvement, always striving for advancement. It’s a curious phenomenon, isn’t it? We never seem to be satisfied. A new car, a faster car, a bigger house, a better job, a more advanced society – our desires always seem to be one step ahead of us. This ceaseless pursuit often feels like a marathon without a finish line. So, what is our ultimate goal? Where are we heading?

I have pondered these questions for a significant part of my life. Many spiritual masters propose that our relentless drive for improvement is fueled by our ego – that it’s the ego’s desire to be better, to assert superiority, that propels this pursuit. While this perspective isn’t entirely unfounded, it paints an incomplete picture. My contemplation has led me to a fresh understanding of why we are the way we are, and how this relentless drive is actually a necessary part of our spiritual journey.

In the grand scheme of spiritual awakening, there exist two distinct paths – the outer path, which is rooted in the external world (collective consciousness) , and the inner path, which is a journey inward. Regardless of the path chosen, the divine law ensures that we will reach our awakening, someday.

Consider this: the human mind, bound by its nature, tends to gravitate towards material possessions and ego-driven goals. Individuals who are primarily focused on these pursuits may not be inclined towards spirituality or even consider the inner path. That is, not until they experience a profound sense of fulfillment and recognize the futility of their pursuits.

For instance, an extremely wealthy person, who has the means to own anything they desire, might one day come to the realization that pursuing further material improvements is absurd and futile. This moment of profound understanding, this extreme exhaustion of material desires, paves the way for their journey inward, towards spirituality.

Similarly, an individual suffering extreme hardship, having exhausted all possible solutions, may find themselves at a point where they are ready to embark on the inner path. It seems that our minds need to reach a state of extreme exhaustion before we are ready to turn inwards. This, in essence, is the crux of the spiritual journey.

Now, you may wonder, why would anyone undisturbed by life’s trials be interested in spirituality? That’s an excellent question. Indeed, one must be disturbed mentally in some way to question the status quo and seek answers beyond the physical realm. This disturbance is an essential part of the divine law, nudging us towards our spiritual journey.

Even a materially successful individual who seems to have everything may experience this disturbance. Realizing the futility of continuous material accumulation may stir up questions about the purpose of existence and the pursuit of true happiness, leading them to the spiritual path.

This divine law, is also responsible for the creation of our ego and the conditioning of our minds. It serves a purpose – to drive us to the point of extreme mental exhaustion. It’s akin to participating in a relentless race, constantly accelerating until one day, we breakdown, and question the purpose of this mad dash. What are we racing towards? It’s at this moment of introspection, this realization of the absurdity of our ceaseless run, that we start our journey inward, seeking the true purpose of our existence.

This relentless pursuit, this seeming madness, is not as senseless as it first appears. In fact, it’s an essential part of our spiritual growth. As we find ourselves at the limits of what material wealth and physical comforts can offer, we naturally begin to question the very essence of our existence. “Is there more to life than this?” we ask ourselves. And thus, the seeds of spiritual inquiry are sown.

Consider this – a plant must first push through the hard shell of a seed, then struggle through the darkness of the soil before it can bask in the sunlight. Similarly, our minds must first endure the trials and tribulations of worldly pursuits before we can embrace the light of spiritual awareness.

Just as the seed has the potential to become a mighty tree, each one of us carries within ourselves the potential to reach spiritual enlightenment. However, we must first exhaust our worldly pursuits to fully comprehend their limitations. The divine law ensures this. The ego, often viewed as a hindrance to spiritual growth, is actually an essential part of this process. It propels us to exhaust all possible external pursuits until we are ready to seek the answers within.

On the outer path, the ego serves a significant role, but becomes an obstacle on the inner path.

This relentless quest for improvement and advancement serves a deeper purpose than what meets the eye. It’s not just about acquiring more wealth, status, or power. It’s about pushing our minds to their limits, to the point of exhaustion, where we finally understand the futility of our material pursuits. It’s about reaching a point of saturation where we finally ask ourselves, “What’s next?” It’s about stirring up a deep yearning within us to explore the mysteries of our existence.

At the end of the day, our journey, whether it’s filled with material pursuits or spiritual quests, is a journey towards self-discovery. It’s about understanding who we truly are, beyond our physical existence. It’s about transcending the limitations of our minds and realizing our true potential. It’s about understanding that our worth is not defined by our material possessions, but by the richness of our inner world.

So, the next time you find yourself questioning the purpose of your relentless pursuit for improvement and advancement, remember this – you are not running a pointless race. Instead, you are on a transformative journey, guided by the divine law, towards self-realization and spiritual enlightenment. Be patient with yourself, and embrace the journey. For it’s not the destination, but the journey itself that truly matters.

In the distant past, life was an arduous struggle for many, as basic necessities were hard to come by. Improvement was a pressing need and a relentless pursuit, for it meant a shift from mere survival to a state of relative comfort. We sought advancement to ensure a more secure and comfortable life for ourselves and our loved ones. This was an essential stage in our collective evolution, a necessary journey we had to embark on.

However, the landscape of our existence has vastly transformed since then. We have reached an era where, for the majority of us, the essentials for a comfortable life are readily available. We have shelter, we have food, we have clothing, we have access to education and healthcare – we have, in essence, all that we need to lead a comfortable life.

Indeed, there are still corners of our world where people suffer from homelessness and poverty. This is a reality we cannot ignore, and it is our collective responsibility to address these disparities. However, it’s crucial to note that for most of us, the fundamental requirements of life are within reach.

And yet, despite having our basic needs met, we often find ourselves caught in a constant cycle of wanting more. We yearn for a bigger house, a better car, a higher position. But in the midst of this endless chase, we often overlook a simple yet profound truth – we already have what we need.

Understanding this truth is not merely about appreciating what we have. It’s about realizing that we are, right now, in a position to embark on a greater journey – the inner journey. This is a journey not of external acquisition, but of internal discovery, a journey that leads us towards understanding our true selves and our place in the cosmos.

Consider the shelter over your head, for instance. Does it truly matter if it’s rented or owned, humble or grand? The essential function is the same – it offers us a place of rest, a space for tranquility, a sanctuary from the elements. Recognizing that we have adequate shelter is an important step towards freeing ourselves from unnecessary desires and focusing on the inner journey.

Now, I wish to impart a realization – this shift from the external to the internal path need not be a long, arduous journey spanning centuries or multiple lifetimes. It need not be a path walked in darkness until exhaustion and despair push us towards the light. No, this shift can be a conscious choice, a decision made in the light of understanding and awareness.

Knowing now that the ultimate purpose of our spiritual journey is to steer us towards the inner path, why wait for exhaustion to guide us? Why wait for the ego to reach its saturation point? Instead, we can choose to turn inwards right now. We can begin our inward journey without waiting for the unconscious to lead us through more karmic lessons.

Imagine, if you will, being lost in a vast forest. You could wander aimlessly until exhaustion leads you to a path out, or you could use a compass to guide you towards the right direction. The spiritual teachings and guidance from a master serve as that compass, steering you clear of unnecessary wanderings.

By making a conscious decision to embark on the inner path, we can accelerate our spiritual evolution. The outer path, while necessary for some, can be a long and winding road, often spanning multiple lifetimes. But with conscious awareness and guidance, we can choose to embark on the inner path in this very lifetime.

In essence, our spiritual journey is about moving from unconscious existence to conscious living. It’s about understanding our mind’s conditioning, the role of the ego, and realizing the futility of our material pursuits. And the beauty of it is that this journey need not be postponed until we are pushed to the brink of despair or exhaustion. We can choose to embark on this journey right now.

So, with this newfound understanding, why not turn inward now? Why not begin this exciting journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening today? The path is ready, the guidance available, and all it requires is your conscious choice. Are you ready to embark on this journey?



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