Literary Exploration Series: Sadhana, the Realisation of Life – Ch.6

Sadhana cover

CHAPTER 6: Realisation In Action

Link to chapter: click here
Length of chapter reading: 30:37 minutes

This morning, I saw a man at work. This man was very special. I knew that he had agreed, a long time ago, to meet me in this exact place at this exact time to teach me what I was starting to forget. He sat at his desk, the same small space he fills each day, wearing the same uniform I imagined him preparing each evening for the following day. He worked very quickly, his hands very busy making notes and shuffling papers. Each time a patient approached him, he would look up and, from his serious demeanor, he would shed light on the face looking back at him with a warm and patient smile. He knew that he worked in a place where people were afraid to go. He also knew that he had the power to bring them peace, through his eyes, through his smile, and through the integrity with which he dedicated himself to his work. It is through him that I saw God this morning. It is through his nobility and his grace that I was able to remember myself. It is for this that I am grateful today.


“As some, under the idea that law is the opposite of joy, mistake intoxication for joy, so there are many in our country who imagine action to be the opposite of freedom. They think that activity, being in the material place, is restriction of the free spirit of the soul, but we must remember that as joy expresses itself in law, so the soul finds its freedom in action. It is because joy cannot find expression in itself alone that it desires the law which is outside. Likewise, it is because the soul cannot find freedom within itself that it wants external action. The soul of man is ever-freeing itself from its own folds by its activity. Had it be otherwise, it could not have done any voluntary work. The more man acts and makes actual what is latent in him, the nearer does he bring the event yet to be. In that actualization, man is ever-making himself more and yet more distinct and seeing himself clearly under newer and newer aspects in the midst of his varied activities, in the state, in society. This vision makes for freedom.”

I read something about myself recently that has had an impact upon the way that I identify my ‘character’ is the roles it plays. Because of a number of things, including tools provided to us through astrology (the date and time of my birth) and numerology (my name and the place of my birth), I read that I am destined to have many different jobs in this life. My first thought was one of isolation – with so many different roles, I’ll have to attempt to enter into many different tribes, some that will accept me, and some that won’t. The isolation comes from my perception of my fleetingness, the transitory nature of my journey, going from one place to another, fulfilling my role, and then moving on to where my purpose takes me next.

I have already started to realize this destiny. I have identified the distinct transitions from one role to another and I have begun to understand how to see the beauty and richness in what sometimes feels like quite lonely work. It is actually quite a magical dynamic because in one sense, it is isolating – you sense that the experience will be temporary, yet much important work needs to be done. But during that short period of intense service, intimate connections are made between souls, there is a recognition of the higher essence amongst the souls who are connected through these acts of service.

Why have I written about this self-realisation? Because it is through action within this physical world that I learn such great lessons and experience thoroughly hopeful moments of connection and divine recognition – through others of my Self.

Our journey is not one of systematic predictability. We are not meant to follow the path discovered by out neighbor because we know where it will lead. Our journeys are of a much greater purpose. By having the courage to follow a path that we create with each choice we make, we learn who we are. We get to know our Selves. We rediscover the consciousness that we were when we were planning this life; the consciousness that we are underneath the physical vehicle; the consciousness that is in each breath we take. Action is the process through which to rediscover our Selves. And when we rediscover the truth about our Selves, there is no more a need for fear. That is where freedom comes in.


“…the ideas in our minds are constantly seeking opportunities to take on outward form…”

Action is also the greatest desire of our thoughts, but not in the way that many people think. Thoughts are living beings. We can create thoughts. We feed them into life. When a thought ‘comes into’ your mind, it is literally a foreign entity seeking a source of life. If you choose to invest energy into contemplating the thought, repeatedly going back in your mind and thinking about the thought, expanding on it and playing with what it would look like, it beings to grow. The more you invest in feeding it with energy, the more it acquires a life of its own, until one day, it has the power to physically manifest. This is a very powerful area of esoterica. If you are interested in learning more about it, perhaps you would enjoy The Magus of Strovolos by Kyriacos C. Markides.

“The Upanishad says, ‘In the midst of activity alone wilt thou desire to live a hundred years‘. It is the saying of those who have amply tasted of the joy of the soul. Those who have fully realized the soul have never talked in mournful accents of the sorrowfulness of life, or of the bondage of action. They are not like weakling flowers who’s stem-hold is so light that it drops away before attaining fruition. They hold onto life with all their might, and say, ‘Never will we let go ’til the fruit is ripe!’ They desire in their joy to express themselves strenuously in their life and in their work. Pain and sorrow dismay them not. They are not bowed down to the dust by the weight of their own heart. With the erect head of the victorious hero, they march through life seeing themselves and showing themselves in increasing resplendence of soul through both joys and sorrows. The joy of their life keeps step with the joy of that energy which is playing at building and breaking throughout the universe.”

Some of us will receive the gift of coming face to face with one of these joyous souls that live each moment so nobly and to such a full extent that we forget maya’s hold on us and realise the true opportunity we have been given in this life. It is so easy, so very easy to dwell in the sorrow, and the pain, and the misfortune, and the unfairness of this world. These are tools that are meant to confuse us and to distract us from our true power and our true purpose.

I don’t have an inspirational story to share with this quote, but rather one of shame. For you see, I have been caught up in the throws of maya lately, forgetting all about the beauty and glory of this life, and dwelling instead on the suffering. I have forgotten, until now, as I listened to Tagore’s reminder, that there are SO MANY souls waiting in line just to be chosen to come into embodiment. “Why?” you may ask. Well, it simple. ‘Up there’, we prepare. We study, and reflect, and we get ready for the moment when we will be able to come back into this, or a similar world and apply our new knowledge so that we can discover a little bit more about your true Selves. It is through experiences that we create together here that we can get closer to our true Selves. Some of us have seemingly charmed lives, and others suffer the pain that only heroes could endure. It is not for us to judge why. It is not for us to even question whether we are worthy, for that has been decided long ago. All that is left for us to do is to make each moment count. There is joy in every moment. Find it and you will remember why you are here.


“He who thinks to reach God by running away from the world, when and where does he expect to meet Him? How far can he fly? Can he fly and fly and fly until he flies into nothingness itself? No, the coward who would fly can no where find Him. We must be brave enough to say, “We are reaching Him here, in this very spot, now, at this very moment. We must be able to assure ourselves that, as in our actions we are realizing our Selves, so in our Selves we are realizing him who is the SELF of Self. We must earn the right to say so unhesitatingly by clearing away, with our own effort, all obstruction, all disorder, all discords from our path of activity. We must be able to say, “In my work is my joy, and in that joy does the joy of my joy abide.”

Hahaha! This made me laugh. If I had a nickel for all the times I would have wanted to avoid the physical world and escape into the comforts of the metaphysical, I would certainly get a few free coffees by now! It is very tempting not to want to do ‘the work’ and to call our avoidance an act of purification or, alternatively, a quest for pleasure. I’ve heard both arguments, and they’re both equally colorful!

I don’t think ‘killing time’ is a sin if, by this, you mean spending time doing something that is fun, without stress and brimming with pleasurable. It is, however, a great loss if, by ‘killing time’, you are attempting to numb the pain of a life devoid of inspiration and passion. The work of Sir Ken Robinson is certainly a testament to the power of following your passion. His latest book entitled The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, will help many people awaken to this truth. Makes you wonder, once our work truly becomes a manifestation of our passions, what are we going to do with all our days off?! Haha!

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