Home Spiritmails
293ste Spiritmail

All or Nothing

Thursday September 16 2004 09:16 IST

By Karmayogi

All the time we live the truths or secrets of life, but we never learn them. One such truth or truism is until you cross a certain borderline, you can lose all that you have painstakingly earned. Once the line is crossed, one is safe. It does not matter that both of you are partners for a decade or two, but ONE single doubt, justified or not, can wreck the partnership. The confidence in your party leader is fragile like that. Gandhiji lost the confidence of Nehru and Patel when Mountbatten arrived on the scene. No man who has lost his wife's affection can regain it, not to speak of the wife in such a situation. Reliability is never lost, but when lost, it is totally lost. Life exists in layers. When one lives on one level or layer and makes progress within it, one is never sure that it will last. Until one reaches the dividing line and crosses over, he is never safe.

Human affections and loyalty are that brittle. Until the die is cast, they will remain so. A black teacher in London East End was harassed by the white ruffian students. By heroic efforts, by a VOW not to lose his temper, by a resourcefulness that is more than human, by treating them as grownup adults, his myriad strategies gradually won them over, though precariously. His success was near total. A white student's mother died. Her husband was black. The children wanted to send a wreath. The teacher suggested they could take it to the funeral. The class demurred, and spoke of gossip, as it was a black man's house and they were white children. They hastened to mollify him, saying they had nothing against him. He was unable to restrain himself to advance rational arguments. The class became sour. Their angry looks settled down to suspicious resentment. The teacher was not willing to proceed with his arguments, nor would his impulse consent to give up. At that crucial moment, he was reminded of this truth of life that his long, patient work could be lost by one strategic misstep.

As long as man is centred in his mind, this dilemma haunts him. The black teacher went back to a deeper emotional truth that good work will not be lost. It is to move from mind to the Spirit. He fell silent and told his students they must decide for themselves, as they are ADULTS. To rely on the other man's good sense, to offer him freedom to decide, is to be spiritual. On the day of the funeral, the teacher went there with his bouquet. To his pleasant surprise, he found the entire class there, while he had wished for only one student to carry the wreath. The mind plods along. Its progress may be steady, but precarious, until it matures. The Spirit starts with steady steps, and never wavers. Its gains are not lost. Values in life are spiritual skills. By resorting to them, one moves from the Mind to the Spirit.
Contact: info [@] sriaurobindo.nl