We have to risk going too far to know how far we can go
Suppose we are seeking something that requires effort and involves risk. When we start stretching ourselves, others may caution us, “You are going too far now. Better be careful.”
While caution is desirable, letting caution stop us from action is undesirable. To achieve anything worthwhile, we need to dedicate ourselves, which often equates with going too far in the world’s estimate. Only when we stretch ourselves do we discover the layers of strength and stamina that lie hidden within us. During life’s normal course, we don’t even bother to test the possible existence of such layers — and we deprive ourselves of higher happiness. For attaining any happiness that is meaningful and fulfilling, we sometimes need to go beyond our comfort zone, that is, we need to go too far. For such higher joys in the mode of goodness, the underlying principle is stated in the Bhagavad-gita (18.37); they taste like poison initially and like nectar eventually.
This principle applies especially to our spiritual pursuit. If we want to realize the ultimate spiritual reality and relish the highest transcendental joy, we need to offer our body, mind, soul, our everything, to our spiritual quest. Pertinently, the Gita states that those on the spiritual path are single-pointed in their determination (02.41).
When we thus strive to go too far, endeavoring to go beyond the worldly consciousness that is our comfort zone, we start relishing glimpses of love for Krishna, which is the zenith of all spiritual joys. Thus, we realize that, by divine grace, we can contribute toward creating a life that is far more meaningful and fulfilling than what we thought was ever possible.
Think it over:
- How does any worthwhile achievement require us to go too far?
- How does the spiritual quest require us to go too far?
- Have you ever stretched yourself and thereby discovered hidden capacities? How can you apply that remembrance to your spiritual quest?
18.37 That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.
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