Modern culture is big on goal setting, the best career path, and making a contribution—all important things, no doubt! However, the idea of perfection—what to speak of anything spiritual—is not in the general vocabulary. People's vocabulary is important to consider since it reveals their education, awareness, values and what they are absorbed in.
The word "absorbed" makes me smile. Why? I worked in a warehouse as an hourly worker for 12 years. My co-workers generally only had a high school education at best—I had just a few years of college myself which is why I worked there. More importantly they certainly didn't have any type of spiritual education or understanding of the soul and God, though perhaps a religious orientation.
Having a house and land requires doing continual upkeep and regular hours of doing small essential things that make up the big picture of a well maintained home and garden. Though I love to read and write it’s always good to get outside and work hard keeping an awareness of Krishna as the source of everything.
The reason this is important is because we live in a time when the way many companies make money is to get the population obsessed with their technological or unique gadgets—supposedly to make life better, but actually they make life more complicated and people less satisfied. This is outlined in a book I have titled, “When More is Less—the paradox of choice” in which having more choices, although valued, actually makes life more confusing, complex, and just plain convoluted.
In visiting with my mom in her last days I revisited my very poor original dealings with her when I first took up the path of Bhakti or Krishna consciousness. In those days the devotees were almost all very young and inexperienced. We had no balanced elders to show us the way through their wisdom of having gone through many stages of life and various mistakes and blunders. Therefore our application of the philosophy was often very fanatical and short sighted. At least for many of us including myself, “tact” was not in our vocabulary, and we had no ability to think long term or to really understand that we can’t give people everything at once. We have to be sensitive to the receptivity of our audience, and not speak “at” them but to them based on our relationship and their nature. People will be more inclined to hear from a friend than an adversary.
I noticed Hari Priya mentioning this the other day in the forums. It's something I wrote a year ago there. It's an essential point in Krishna consciousness and applies to every aspect of it. Therefore, I am re-posting it here.
This post is about loving other devotees. Please understand how many "other devotees" there are in relation to Krishna. Devotees in the scripture, devotees that we know, the entire planet of devotees who don't know they are devotees yet.
I've been really disturbed lately by all the "grey areas" that I see in the movement these days.
Therefore, I've been working really hard on clearing out grey areas from my life and my consciousness.
The problem I'm having is that grey areas are so insidious. Just when I think I've removed them all, I find more to remove. I guess they are like Maya is, insidious and ever-more sublte. In fact, I think it would be quite realistic to say that grey areas are Maya.
It's exhausting work, and the conclusion I've come to is that I can't clear them all out. It's just not possible.
The Power Of Krishna's Name
āpannaḥ saḿsṛtiḿ ghorāḿ
yan-nāma vivaśo gṛṇan
tataḥ sadyo vimucyeta
yad bibheti svayaḿ bhayam
āpannaḥ — being entangled; saḿsṛtim — in the hurdle of birth and death; ghorām — too complicated; yat — what; nāma — the absolute name; vivaśaḥ — unconsciously; gṛṇan — chanting; tataḥ — from that; sadyaḥ — at once; vimucyeta — gets freedom; yat — that which; bibheti — fears; svayam — personally; bhayam — fear itself.