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Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.

 
Defects
 

How God Can Be Cognized/Defects


Defects

The spiritual Path is never easy, because it is, first and foremost, a struggle against one’s own imperfections which prevent one from approaching the Creator.

And it happens quite often that it is impossible to see these defects without assistance. It is helpful when there is a good friend nearby who can help you with this.

One also needs to always be open to the “blows” given by God-the-Teacher and be able to withstand these “blows”.

Vladimir knows how to precisely show you your imperfections right in that moment when you are “mature” enough to comprehend it and accept it.

Here are some examples of what he said to me about my defects in the past:

“Olga, why did you come to us with such a face, the face of a housewife tired out by life?

“We should become spiritual leaders, and this means that we do not have a right to lose the states of joy and love! Otherwise, no one will follow us!

“People have enough afflictions and problems...

“We should lead them! We should not be ‘sterile flowers’!

“We should live in continuously growing love for God and in permanent happiness because of this, no matter how bad the body feels.

Sat-Chit-Ananda* is not a mantra or a slogan. We should live in bliss even if the body is being cut, quartered, or burned. Let’s imagine that the body has been greatly, but not completely, burned down and feels great pain... Or let’s imagine the attacks of devils... Pain and troubles on the material plane must ‘drive’ us deeper into the Mergence with God, into the Bliss of this Mergence! This is their predestination for us!

“What does our activity consist in? If we are earning money, communicating with idle friends, watching television every evening, nursing a husband, serving him, etc., and apart from all this we have a hobby for weekends that consists in playing spiritual games, pleasing ourselves with this (in the same way as people, for example, go to church on Sundays to put a candle there, thinking that by doing this, they carry out their duty before God, thinking that if they light a candle for God, He will take them to paradise)... But this is a lie, a whopping lie! No paradise comes from such deeds!

“We should live with a permanent and strong aspiration for transforming ourselves! Only such correctly directed aspiration brings us closer to God! We do not approach Him only by the mere fact that we have rotated a tetrahedron [13] or visited a place of power... Not exercises themselves are significant here! But we should build our personal relationship with God! We should establish and develop a personal relationship with Him! During the years of practice, the establishment and development of such relationships result in our Mergence with Him!

“Thanks to the intensity of the struggle with oneself — the bliss of interaction with Him grows day after day, year after year!

“Also, no one should think that he or she will be brought to the Abode of the Creator on a leash, like a dog!

Sathya Sai Baba says very well that there should be no intermediaries between a person and God! In other words, everyone should personally develop his or her relationship with Him! In Agni Yoga there are also words that everyday perception of oneself before God is the hardest but most indispensable condition for success on the spiritual Path.

“You have not developed a personal relationship with God; therefore, any serious spiritual work is still a dream for you... Right now I directly set this task before you! The problem exists, and you need to fix it!

“In my words, however, there is not even the slightest allusion that you are so wrong that we have to say goodbye to each other... No, on the contrary, God confidently marked you out as His promising disciple. However, there is a problem, and this problem should be solved!

“Look, all of you, being away from us, have gotten ‘pinched’ during the time that we have not seen each other! You all became ten years older during the last winter! What did you do all this time? You visited places of power, stood there with gloomy faces, believed that spiritual work was advancing, right? But you did not come closer to God during this time! This is a fact!

“Maybe, you have grown as consciousnesses, but I repeat that we do not approach God just because we stand on a place of power. The growth of love is what brings us closer to God! He is Love, and we also have to become Love! If Love disappears in us, we move away from God! We — as spiritual hearts — must grow, grow, and grow!... However, the spiritual heart is not some kind of balloon! It is the consciousness in the state of Love! And you did not develop it...

“What did not allow you, Olga, to live as a spiritual heart all this time?

“Understand that I want to change this situation positively, I want to get it off the ground. I love you! And you also should love God, all the Divine Teachers, and everything! The growth of Love has not happened in you during all this time; on the contrary, its quantity decreased! The anahata inside your body has not become joyful after all this time!

“There is no doubt that we will overcome these difficulties, but for this it is necessary to change something. Namely, it is necessary to change, first of all, your relationship with God! Maybe this summer you will have an opportunity to give classes. It also seems that you need to change your social environment in which you live. If you do not change it, nothing will turn out well! You need to decide by yourself if you want to change it. I do not insist on anything. However, you have to see your problem right now with my help. I should not harp on this, but I should pose the problem before you. You should understand that I am saying — with absolute goodwill — that something must be changed in your life, despite the fact that you are a very promising disciple. You yourself should solve this or, if you want, you may put your decisions before God for discussion, asking Him whether you are right thinking to act in this or that way.

“And right now, joy should arise in you just because of the fact that you know from this moment that you need to change! You should say yourself: ‘I will change myself!’

“... We can go to places of power, we can develop ourselves as consciousnesses with the help of some techniques... But if we do not communicate with God while doing this, if we do not seek Him, — there will not be much benefit from this. God will reject those aspirants who do not love Him!

“The most important thing is Love for God! Those believers who visit the church and beat their heads against the floor are closer to God than those who focus their attention on places of power — instead of on Living God! Remember this forever! The love of those who are still looking for God only in temples, even thought their love is imperfect, is more directed to God than it was directed in your case!

“‘I develop myself’ is a sport’s principle, but we deal with a religion. Our School is scientific and religious! But religion is, first of all, love for God!

“What sense does it make to develop the anahata if it does not function, if there is no function of Love in it? The structure and the function of this organ should be developed simultaneously! It is not with places of power that you should establish relationships but with God, with the Divine Teachers!

“Look, right here and now: we can embrace Jesus with the arms of our spiritual hearts! And He is stretching His Arms to us for this!

“Love Jesus, Krishna, Sathya Sai Baba, Babaji, Ptahhotep, Surya, Elisabeth Haich, and Others! Love Them all! We know so many Divine Teachers!

“Otherwise, if you ask yourself the question: ‘Whom do I love?’ how can you answer? ‘No one, because there is no one to love.’

“... One of the concrete manifestations of love is service to the One Whom we love. We do this for Him, not for ourselves!

“By the way, if one does not have concrete incarnate people to be loved, one should, probably, suffer from this! I myself suffer from this all the time, even though I have concrete people to whom I can manifest my love! However, I suffer from having so few of them! I would like to have more and more!

“... It is bad when anahatas are empty, not filled with love!

“Everything that you do — looks like sports training! There is no religiosity in this! It is a very serious methodological mistake! Spiritual work must not be similar to sports training! Religiosity is, first of all, love-aspiration for God!

“Yes, your anahata maintained its form, but it is empty! This organ of yours was developing without functioning correctly!

“What can we do to become truly religious? We need to read, think, talk about God, interact with Him by trying to perceive Him, embrace Him with the arms of our spiritual hearts, and serve Him.

“If there are no people whom we can help in a given moment, we can direct our love to other beings, for example, to plants, to animals. We can love everyone except for the inhabitants of hell.

“And it is not possible to merge with God without being in love with Him!

“... ‘Spiritual work’ that has turned into sport trainings can be very dangerous because it can lead to the growth of an ugly self.

“The relationship with God should not be developed only during leisure time. Let God take the place of highest importance in the life of a monk! This is what distinguishes monks from secular people!”

* * *

“You will definitely teach others.

“While working with disciples, you should always get feedback from them. In order to efficiently help a concrete person, it is necessary to know all the nuances of his or her spiritual development! It is essential to learn to take responsibility for the development of a disciple, for his or her upbringing. You must call the attention of a disciple to his or her defects! Otherwise, it is possible to create the illusion in the disciple that he or she is growing spiritually, while in fact this person degrades!

“When you do this, it is important to explain to the disciple how to become better — instead of saying how bad he or she is. In the latter case, this person only feels worse and moves away. You need to tell them how to become better with the exception of those special situations when it seems to a person that everything is alright, while in fact everything becomes only worse. In these cases, yes, you need to upbraid them!

“... The spiritual knowledge of our level should not be given to just anyone. You need to distinguish to whom you give it. We can speak about God, about the spiritual heart with everyone, but we must not give deeper stages to ethically immature people! This would be doing nothing but causing harm to them!

“... Do not harm! People who do not take the work on themselves seriously — should not be entertained.

“We also should not pull anyone towards God! To try to artificially ‘pump’ the interest of a person in spiritual work is harmful to this person, because he or she will not be able to cope with it.”

* * *

“Hesychia means inner calm. Even when your body is running, you need to maintain this calm.

“Your meditation now is the state of God. You yourself must cultivate the state of the Creator inside yourself.

“We should grow the consciousnesses in the subtlety of the Abode of the Creator. For this, we have to make unceasing efforts. It is not possible to achieve the growth of the consciousness by mere relaxation and staying in subtlety. However, we need to alternate efforts with relaxation in order to take a rest.”

* * *

“What is the difference between an orthodox granny and a Divine Teacher? A Divine Teacher thinks about all of humanity, while a typical orthodox granny concentrates only on her sins...”

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