Two things that hinder our progress

B.K. Sheilu

Two major defects hinder our efforts towards self-improvement: arrogance and ignorance.

Arrogance can be very subtle. It makes us intolerant of even the most innocuous suggestion offered by someone for our progress. Any such suggestion leads to the thought: “Why did this one say this?” This is subtle arrogance.

When someone gives us a suggestion for our own good, it should be seen as a means for our progress not just in the present but also in future. It is in our interest to accept the suggestion and put it into practice. But when arrogance stops us from doing so, there is upheaval in our minds and a chain of thoughts begins: “Why did this happen? How did this happen?”

When someone appreciates or praises us, we have a loving attitude towards that person, but if someone gives us well-meaning but unsolicited advice, do we have the same feeling of love and consider that person to be our well-wisher? We will do so if we have an elevated awareness, otherwise our arrogance will stop us from doing so. This is also the reason why we are not able to tolerate any insult.

We also become ignorant and are deceived in many ways. Some people pretend to be ignorant in order to save themselves, while some others are really ignorant.

To end arrogance and ignorance we need to have self-respect and humility. When we have a sense of self-respect in our thoughts and humility in our words and behaviour, arrogance will end.

It is one thing to be a philosopher and quite another to be spiritual. Those who remain aware of being a soul are called spiritual. In the absence of this awareness one is just a philosopher, and such individuals have little spiritual power.

Those who are spiritual attain success in every thought and deed. Success means attainment. Simply acquiring knowledge and repeating those words is known as philosophy, which has a temporary effect on others. In contrast, spirituality makes a lasting impact. Being ignorant means not using in our daily lives the knowledge we have.

A worthy teacher is one who teaches through the example of their life and is an embodiment of what they teach. Their behaviour will be a lesson to others.

Teaching others through instruction is common, but now people want to learn by experience. We can uplift such souls with the power of our elevated thoughts and deeds.