Don’t just push the mind towards the spiritual – let the spiritual pull the mind too

Suppose we were pushing a heavy trolley uphill. It would be a demanding exertion. If we became lax even for a moment, the trolley would start rolling back downwards. If someone ahead were also pulling the trolley up, then moving it becomes much easier.

A similar dynamic applies to our attempts to push our mind from the material level of consciousness upwards the spiritual level. When we understand start practicing spiritual life, we know that we need to fix the mind on spiritual reality instead of material things. Such a redirection of the mind can seem a laborious pushing exercise because the mind has a default attraction towards material things akin to the force of gravity.

If our conception of the spiritual is attractive, then it exerts its own pull on the mind, making the ascent of our consciousness easier. However, if our conception of the spiritual is largely a negation of the material, then it exerts little if any pull, making the ascent of our consciousness dependent entirely on our own pushing capacity. Aptly, the Bhagavad-gita (12.05) warns that those who hold on to impersonal conceptions of the spiritual make their spiritual journey troublesome.

In contrast, the next verses (12.06-07) declare that for those who fix their mind on the personal absolute Krishna, he lifts them up and delivers them swiftly. Krishna is the all-attractive supreme person having unlimited auspicious qualities. These qualities in and of themselves attract increasingly the purified mind, thereby exerting an upward pull on it towards the spiritual. And due to the most pertinent among these qualities – mercifulness – Krishna himself lifts us up too by his benevolent omnipotence.

By refining our conception of the spiritual from impersonal to personal, we can make our spiritual progress speedier and sweeter.

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