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The Spiritual Status of Help

By Karmayogi

The impulse of help makes one human. The phrase Good Samaritan is age-old. One offers to help another because the impulse of Selflessness is active. Society exists because of such help, which is often mutual help. Before the society created a government and its departments like police, justice and fire service, society existed as a collective because of the individual and collective impulse to help one another. If help is not there, there will be no society, no family and nothing worth living for. As everything else, the helping tendency has its other side. Man is endowed with ego. He is run by his ego. That too has good as well as bad sides. One important thing about the ego is that it is extremely clever. Man is a perennial victim to his ego’s artifices.

Whatever we want to do for our progress or soul’s progress, which is to blunt and dissolve ego, the ego has the ability to come forward and offer to do it itself. When we want to appoint a storekeeper, someone comes forward to do it. We are thankful to him, but do not realise that he has done so to steal without being observed. Generally, such tricks never come to the surface. We often hear people say during a discussion on surrender to the Divine, ‘‘Explain it to me clearly, I can then follow it.’’ The point is that when he RIGHTLY understands and follows it, he follows his own understanding, not the Guru to whom he must surrender. It is a subtle camouflage, very difficult to see through. When I want to surrender to the Divine, I never see that my ego comes into the picture and offers to do the surrender on my behalf. I am unaware of it as I am identified with my ego. To the end, I won’t be able to discover that my ego got the better of me. When we genuinely wish to help another, the ego enters the picture in a subtle fashion and offers the help. We miss seeing it. It is an invariable rule in human relationships - with very rare exceptions - that the beneficiary never fails to offend the benefactor. Inside the family and close friends group, ALL the problems arise ONLY from this rule. If one does his duty pleasantly without fail within the limits of the other person’s good will, such an aberration is avoided. In intimate relationships, the idea of generosity is strong. One wants to give rather than take. Once it crosses the limits, the horrible rule I now described comes into operation.
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