The lower our consciousness, the lesser is our contribution
When we live in a fast-paced activity-centered culture, we may wonder whether we are wasting our time by practicing spiritual life, wherein we don’t do anything practical; we just sit and meditate.
Actually, our spiritual activities are potent means for raising our consciousness and thereby maximizing our contribution.
Our consciousness goes up and down because of the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. When we are situated in the elevated mode of goodness, knowledge illumines us (Gita 14.11), thus making our actions contemplative and contributive. When we are situated in passion (14.12), we are impelled towards actions driven by selfish desire, especially greed. Amidst such action, we focus not on contribution, but on consumption. Though we may do a lot, we remain obsessed with what we will get out of what we do, not what we are giving.
When our consciousness is in the lowest mode of ignorance, we are stripped of our capacities for both illumination and action – we are afflicted by a delusion that induces paralysis. We sink into ourselves, daydreaming about doing hundreds of things but not doing even one of them. We may even withdraw into some alternate reality through TV or video games, imagining ourselves to be big heroes shooting images on a screen. When we do act while being driven by ignorance, our actions are not contributive, but destructive.
As our contemporary culture is largely in the modes of passion and ignorance, we are constantly susceptible to be caught by those modes, thus undermining our higher purpose and our bigger contribution. When we invest time in spiritual practices such as meditation and scriptural study, we become empowered to raise our consciousness and become enriched with the capacities for clear illumination and purposeful action, thereby maximizing our contributions.
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