by Mahadeva

Are you caught up in a negative relationship? Do you feel intimidated by your co-workers or boss? Are you constantly in a state of annoyance with your children or spouse? Do you have a bad habit that you know is hurting you and your loved ones, but you just can't seem to break it?

Do you feel like there is something missing in your life? Do you feel incomplete? Though you have acquired worldly knowledge and material resources, have you really found fulfillment and complete satisfaction in your relationships, environment, and material (and 'intellectual') objects? (The truth is that you cannot find permanent happiness in impermanent people, places, or things.)

Maybe you've tried to cope with your mind by diverting your attention to a hobby or some other pastime. Possibly you have tried to absorb yourself in your work, or maybe you just spend more time watching television or reading your favorite novel. But sooner or later, the same problems surface again and again until they are completely resolved.

You need to stop looking for answers outside of yourself. You need to stop placing blame on things outside yourself (and you need to stop blaming yourself too!). Be true to your Self and stop listening to the half-truth. The 'canned' knowledge is like canned food—it's packaged nicely but it is never fresh or refreshing.

Do you want to hear the Truth, straightforward and direct? Are you tired of listening to all the con-artists who have deceived themselves out of their own True Nature?

Then read on . . . . .

There are many fools in this world. If you search for one, you will find a thousand. But if you don't see your own foolishnessif you don't recognize that your own ego is the biggest fraud of all—you will always be a victim of self-deceit and will never know who your true well-wishers are.

Your true friend is the one who guides you away from the traps of your own ego and personality. The true guide is the one who befriends your True Self, the Real You. Nowadays, there are very few true teachers of humanity—there are very few people who will really encourage your true nature—most are out just to impress you and take you for a ride. The false teachers feed into your ego and personality, or they mislead you into believing that they themselves are God's specially appointed messengers. These people are totally lost, and anyone who follows them is ultimately a loser. The fact is that you make a fool of yourself first, then you fall prey to the wiles of others.

There are many wolves in sheep's clothing. They may be dressed in orange robes, or white robes, or black robes, or whatever—but most people's spirituality is only skin deep. The outer covering is seldom an indicator of what's behind it. There are persons who have one or two psychic experiences—or they might call them spiritual experiences—and suddenly they become authorities on the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, the Dhaamapada, Zen, healing, self-awareness, Yoga, or some other scripture or discipline. This is another case of the blind leading the blind. Nearly everyone is blinded by their own ego and personality. Some persons have become expert at convincing themselves and others of their own superiority, infallibility, and holiness--but very few people are really whole inside.

Most of those who claim, or portray, themselves to be highly evolved and advanced souls are not usually so. Rather, they are typically victims of self-delusion. In its advanced stages, the ego becomes very subtle—but it is just as much of an obstacle as ever. Immature souls, however, are easily swayed by it. Only those who abhor personal glory and adulation really become established in their True Self; whereas those who seek personal gratification, in the form of acceptance and recognition, become prisoners of their own glory and notoriety.

There are many people-pleasers, but very few people who really please the Lord. There are many intellectual rascals who will lord themselves over the ignorant and gullible, but there are very few truly wise human beings who will work with others to evolve in consciousness.

Most persons are unconscious of their real nature. They talk about God, about consciousness, about wellness, about healing and improving—but they remain asleep in ignorance of their real nature. There are many people who 'know better', but very few who are doing better, and very, VERY few who are doing their best. There are many 'pedantists' (or neo-vedantists) who can talk for hours and days and weeks and months on the nature of reality, and yet remain steeped in unreality.

Self-knowledge, self-realization, self-awareness, self-discovery, enlightenment, wellness, nirvana, the heavenly state of inner peace and joy—these are not things you can buy in the spiritual marketplace. To be totally conscious, totally aware, totally at peace with oneself is a whole life's effort. Going to the church or the synagogue, the temple or mosque, attending a seminar or retreat, or reading a book —all of these may help, but this is not enough.

To really realize our full potential we must buckle down with ourselves and dive deep within our own being. It has nothing to do with words or wishes or dreams. It's all a matter of practice, practice, and practice.

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