If we lose faith in our potential to improve, we court cowardice and malice

Suppose a patient loses faith in the potential of any treatment to cure them. They will become sicker and soon die.

What applies to our physical health applies much more to our moral and spiritual health. Why much more? Because when we become morally and spiritually sick, we can hurt not just ourselves but also others.

Let’s backtrack to better understand this inner dynamic.

We all sometimes resolve to improve ourselves. Unfortunately, some inner self-destructive force thwarts our resolutions. Being repeatedly frustrated, we may give up and start justifying our status quo: “This is just the way I am.”

However, even if we stop trying to improve, the inner self-destructive force won’t allow us to stay where we are; it will attack us with greater force and drag us down to actions of depravity and even brutality. The Bhagavad-gita (03.37) states that the inner self-destructive force degrades us till it devours completely everything we hold sacred.

Thankfully, Gita wisdom assures that our potential to improve is never lost. It is intrinsic to who we are: pure souls, parts of the all-pure source of everything.

Still, if we somehow lose faith in our potential to improve, we unwittingly embrace cowardice and malice. Cowardice because we are chickening out of an inner war just because we have been bruised and battered earlier. Malice because this inner enemy will make us deride, even destroy, anyone who triggers our resentment: “When I have it so bad, why should they have it so good?”

If we don’t want to become cowardly or malicious, we need to unsentimentally understand that in our inner war, we can’t stay on neutral ground. Committing ourselves to resisting our inner enemy, we seriously seek inner empowerment, thereby increasing our receptivity to spiritual insights and practices.

Think it over:

  • Why can’t we maintain the status quo in the inner war?
  • How does losing faith in our potential lead to cowardice and malice?
  • Why is our potential to improve never lost?


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