We come into this world with nothing and we leave it with nothing, so it is pointless trying to acquire lots of material possessions while we are here – because there is no net gain. Our material balance sheet is always zero at Rishabh Bhola the start of our life and it is always zero at the end of our life, and no one is ever going to change that! But it is a different story with our spiritual balance sheet. If we end our life with a higher level of consciousness than we began with, we can claim success. Adding to our spiritual balance sheet by developing our consciousness is the one purpose that remains the same in each and every life, no matter who we are.
All living beings possess an inherent drive to evolve, to become the highest possible expression of life and to fully realize themselves. Personal development is the willful co-operation with this natural evolutionary process, but an understanding of the processes involved is required if it is to be truly effective. We only learn lessons and develop new faculties through direct experience; theoretical learning does not develop consciousness. For example, seeing the word “fear” in print is not the same as experiencing it firsthand – that is why we incarnate.
During the lower stages of human development, material ambitions and an egotistical nature are justified because they drive us onwards and upwards. But once we have progressed beyond the lower stages we no longer have any use for those motives and they are gradually eliminated from our being. Eventually we come to realize that nothing outside of us can bring lasting peace or satisfaction, and that the only way we can achieve these is to develop our consciousness.
Methods of Development
There are two main methods of self-development:
- Active: The “way of the student” involves actively working at your own development. Your level of consciousness is directly related to what you choose to focus your attention on. For example, a person who is nearing the end of the developed stage naturally focuses much of their attention on mental and intellectual interests, but if they are content to limit their thinking to intellectual issues they will not progress any further. They must actively decide to study abstract and conceptual material (such as esoterics) in order to attract the higher vibrations of causal matter and begin to develop subjective causal consciousness. Examples of active development are constant conscious awareness, living in the now, meditation and visualization exercises.