Lesson 11. Topic 1
Strangely enough, many people regard anxiety or mental dissatisfaction as the first step, as the prelude to seeking higher awareness or spiritual life. Actually there is a lot of truth in this belief, for it is only when one feels discontentment, emptiness and unhappiness that one seriously starts to look for something more meaningful in life. Often anxiety in the form of uncertainty of human existence is the driving or motivating force which impels people to seek higher states of consciousness, and eventually enlightenment. Without some form of anxiety, each person complacently wallows in the insecure world of ignorance. For most people, dissatisfaction is the incentive to try to find out the ‘truth’, if indeed it exists in the first place. Other people tread the path to higher awareness for a different reason, perhaps to remove physical problems, to develop greater self-control or whatever. But actually the cause is basically the same, namely dissatisfaction with the present conditions, the status quo, and aspiration towards something more. So in this sense mental disturbances can be considered in a positive manner as the motivating force that actually makes people leave their habitual patterns and seek new means of expression and a more joyous and knowledgeable way of life.
So your unhappiness or dissatisfaction, even if it is only a slight murmur in the background and hardly heard above the din and turmoil of daily life, is in a way doing you a favour. It is giving you a kick or a jolt out of habituated routines and patterns of thought and giving
you the incentive to direct your interest elsewhere. Most people drain away their energy and interest in excessive worldly pursuits. It is totally squandered when at least some of it could be channelled and used in more positive directions and by this we mean inner exploration and development. We certainly don’t say that you should not act in the world, for this is part of life. You must act your role on the world stage to the best of your ability, but at the same time each person should channel some of his or her energy towards the internal world. Half an hour of yoga practices every day is a beginning and is the way for you to directly contact your inner dormant potential and resources.