What I'm getting at is this:
Whatever you put first in your life that's what you ultimately become.
If you think your work is number one because that's what supports you, you're looking at this thing the wrong way. What supports you is the Self. Work is only one of the channels of the Self. If you know the Self you will always be taken care of because the Self is self-contained harmony and bliss. Therefore I should think your first obligation should be toward finding your Self or finding out who you really are.
What about vacations, holidays? Wherever you go you've got to take yourself with you. If you are a miserable person you're going to take your misery wherever you go. The first day or so may seem as though you were taking a break from your everyday experiences. But soon you will find fault with the hotel you're staying in, with the restaurant, with the food, with everybody because that is what you do when you are here.
It seems to me that if a person really wants to awaken they will put the teaching first. Now it makes no difference to me. I'm not saying this because I want to see you here all the time. As you know you've got the freedom to do what you like. I'd be the last one to tell you where to go or what to do. Sometimes I'd like to tell certain people where to go. But you're free to do what you like.
You have to come to the conclusion of what I'm talking about by yourself. Something within you has to be so strong, you've always got spiritual life on your mind. Why do have to go anywhere? You are the universe. There is no place for you to go. After all you remember that the whole universe is an emanation of your own mind. You are creating the universe. Where do you have to go?
If you're looking for happiness and peace, it's right within you. If you're looking for a change of environment, it's right within you. Whatever you need is within you. There is no where you have to go for anything.
You have to ask yourself, how badly do I wish to awaken? And this will determine what you do.
When some of us are experiencing good karma, so-to-speak and we have the pleasures of life in this world, sometimes we go further away from spiritual life because we assume we're happy. Since we have the so called good things of life. We have forgotten that everything is subject to change. Your fortune can end tomorrow. And even if it doesn't you still become earth bound. So the next time around you will probably be a homeless person.
The universe is a cosmic joke. It plays games with you. It wants you to become attached to things. Your mind appears to be very strong. It will tell you all sorts of things to keep you attached. There are very few people who break out of it. In the Bhagavad-Gita it tells you, out of a thousand people, one searches for God. Out of a thousand who search one finds him. They are referring to the Self.
You cannot possibly find yourself when you are engrossed in the world. I'm not advocating that you become a hermit or a recluse. I'm simply saying, first things first. Focus your attention on the Self, your body will take care of itself. Something will take care of your so called body. It will not starve. This something can take care of your body better than you can ever hope to. So you do not have to keep thinking about your affairs and your body and the world most of the time.
You must begin to understand that you are the only one who can dissolve the maya and awaken to the truth of your being.
You can tell where you're at by what you do all day long.
Just think about today, since you woke up this morning.
How often did you think about your higher Self.
How often did you practice self-inquiry.
How often did you surrender completely.
Not too much, you identified yourself with the worldly situation.
You identified with maya.
With things, with persons, with places and then you tell me I want to awaken.
I want to become self-realized.
Of course the truth is that you're already self-realized, you know that, but those are just words.
What are you doing to prove it?
When you worry you're moving away from self-realization. Even though you may believe that you've got something to worry about. It may appear very important to you, but from a higher standpoint there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Absolutely nothing to worry about. No matter how it may appear to you, at least realize that it is an appearance and that is how you see it from your viewpoint. Rise above it by asking, "To whom does it come? Who is experiencing this?"
When you have fear. Fear of any kind, you are pushing yourself away from liberation. What can you possibly fear, consciousness is all there is, consciousness is bliss. There is nothing else. The mind has invented the rest and causes you to fear. Hate, revenge, all these traits and even the good things, they're two sides of the same coin.
I want to remind you that you are not trying to change bad human hood into good human hood. What you are trying to do is to transcend both. Everything will be all right if you stick to your sadhana. If you take time out to practice self-inquiry, or surrender, or just to sit in the silence. You can do these things while you are working. You really do not have to meditate formally.
How Bad Do You Want To Awaken? - May 23, 1991