The eagle, the mole, the fish and the crayfish

You may think that the whole question of spiritual work is now perfectly clear. In theory, yes, it is quite clear; but you will find that it is not quite so easy in practice. Each one of you has to find the best ways of manifesting yourself in the three worlds and learn to harmonize and unify them so that there is no contradiction between them.

Without this co-ordination each one of us is like the four animals that tried to carry a load together. A crayfish, a mole, an eagle and a fish all pulled the load in different directions; the eagle upwards, the mole downwards, the fish forwards and the crayfish backwards. And the load, of course, stayed where it was!

Our actions are often in conflict with our thoughts
When I meet people I am always very interested to know whether they have managed to co-ordinate their intellect, heart and will. And what is it that I often see? I see someone who wants to be a saint or a prophet, but who smokes and has other vices; their actions are in direct contradiction to their thoughts.

I see another who says, ‘Everybody always takes advantage of me. I have had enough of being a victim; I will never do anything for anyone again!’ And then, the very next day, their kind heart urges them to be generous; they do not want to be, but they cannot help themselves. They cannot stop being kind-hearted, fair and generous.

Getting all to pull in the same direction is the ideal of every true initiate
And then there are those who make up their minds every day not to embrace their sweetheart again, but the very next time they meet they give in to the temptation – and this goes on for years. We see examples of this every day; in fact, I am sure that you all know how it goes!

To be capable of unifying one’s heart, intellect and will and getting them all to pull in the same direction is a privilege that is very rarely given to mortal man. But those who achieve it have achieved the precept of Jesus to be ‘Perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ This is the ideal of every true initiate; he has no other ideal. He aspires to be perfect as his heavenly Father is perfect, and, having achieved this, to bring to earth the perfection that he has seen in heaven.

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

From a lecture given at The Bonfin, August 5, 1965

To be continued…

Complete Works Volume 18, Jnana Yoga Vol 2
Chapter 2, Spiritual Work

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