Having made pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat the same, engage yourself in battle for the sake of battle; thus you shall not incur sin.
—Bhagavad Gita 2.38
Pleasure and pain are not real. These are just notions of the mind. Without this realization the mind is always busy running after something that it thinks would be pleasurable or running away from things it finds painful. With the mind running here and there we won’t be able to perform any meaningful work. Besides, our understanding gets clouded, we lose our priorities and all immoral acts proceed from the ignorance of the fact that pleasure and pain exist only in the mind, not in the thing outside.
So when you rise above pleasure and pain, you won’t do anything inappropriate or sinful. There is no question of acting out of selfishness. No harming someone else just for the sake of gaining pleasure or losing pain because you know pleasure and pain don’t exist outside. When selfishness gets out of the way, all work you do would be for the greater good of the world. And the mind remains calm, there is no pleasure to run after, there is no pain to run away from, the mind is always focused on the work on hand. A calm and focused mind just does what needs to be done irrespective of chances of success or failure. Such a mind that works for work’s sake always turns out high quality work.
Know that all healing forces are within, not without! The applications from without are merely to create within a coordinating mental and spiritual force.
Remember, the body does gradually renew itself constantly. … Hold to that KNOWLEDGE- and don’t think of it as just therapy-that the body CAN, the body DOES, renew itself!
Which of my aptitudes should I follow for the greatest success in life, financially?
Forget the financial angle and consider rather which is the best outlet for the greatest contribution you can make towards making the world a better place in which to live. Efforts should never be expended purely for mercenary reasons. Pecuniary gains should come as a result of the entity’s using his abilities in the direction of being helpful.
Please give a detailed account as to how I can best serve humanity.
In those ways that open to you day by day. It isn’t always the individual that plans to accomplish some great deed that does the most. It is the one who meets the opportunities and privileges which are accorded it day by day. As such opportunities are used, there are better ways opened. For what we use in the way of helpfulness to others, increases in itself. Begin with what you are!
Where is the safest place to live?
Don’t worry so much where you live but how you live. Make the family of man [humanity] your family as well.
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you’ll be a success.
— Albert Schweitzer
In the true order of things one does not do something in order to be happy—one is happy and, hence, does something. One does not do some things in order to be compassionate, one is compassionate and, hence, acts in a certain way.
Your effort to smile and laugh is making you cry and weep. You are doing the opposite. There is nothing you need to do. Just smile and laugh. Life has no purpose, no mission. It is a game. It’s a play. Life has no message. Life itself, is an expression of joy.
Doing is a function of the body. Being is a function of the soul. The body is always doing something. Every minute of every day it’s up to something. It never stops, it never rests, it’s constantly doing something.
The soul is forever being. It is being what it is being, regardless of what the body is doing, not because of what it’s doing. If you think your life is about doingness, you do not understand what you are about.
— Conversations with God
So, don’t try to do something to make yourself happy. Just be happy, just Be, everything else follows.
In this world, whatever is gained is gained by only by self-effort; where failure is encountered, it is seen that there has been slackness in the effort. This is obvious, but what is called fate is fictitious, and is not seen. …
Self-effort is of two categories: that of past births and that of this birth. The latter effectively counteracts the former. Fate is none other than self-effort of a past incarnation. There is constant conflict between these two in this incarnation and that which is more powerful triumphs.
Self-effort which is not in accord with the scriptures is motivated by delusion. When there is obstruction in the fruition of self-effort one should examine it to see if there is such deluded action, and if there is it should be immediately corrected. There is no power greater than right action in the present. Hence, one should take recourse to self-effort, grinding one’s teeth, and one should overcome evil by good and fate by present effort.
… What is called fate or divine will is nothing other than the action or self-effort of the past. The present is infinitely more potent than the past. They are indeed fools who are satisfied with the fruits of their past effort (which they regard as divine will) and do not engage themselves in self-effort now.