“As you march along the twisting and branching pathways of life, seek foremost to discover the path that leads to God. In the time-tested methods of India’s illumined riches, the universal way has been shown how to conquer uncertainty and ignorance by following the trail of light divine they have blazed, straight to the Supreme Goal. …
It is only in God-consciousness that we attain ultimate freedom, complete redemption. As such, we must try our utmost until we receive from the hands of heaven the certificate of our Heavenly Father’s acknowledgment, with which He gives us victory over all things. This world is only a testing place of God wherein He is trying us to see whether we will develop the limitless spiritual power within us or limit ourselves to material attractions. He has remained silent, and it is up to us to choose. …
While the world rushes along, knowing not where, waste not your time in shortsighted pursuits. Why chase after a little money or a little health? These are blind alleys. We appear to be so weak: something goes wrong and we collapse. But behind every bone and fiber, behind our every thought and volition, is the infinite spirit of God. Seek Him, and you shall attain complete victory. You will smile at the world with a smile from within, showing that you have found something far greater than material treasures.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda from To Be Victorious in Life
Welcome to our fourth Note on one of Yogananda’s little books/booklets.
We started with How to Be a Success and The Law of Success. Then we covered Living Fearlessly. Each of those is packed with some potent (!) PRACTICAL spirituality.
As I immerse myself in Yogananda’s wisdom, it’s been fascinating to see the remarkable clarity and consistent coherence of his perspective AND the force with which he communicates it.
With each book I read, it’s also become more clear why Steve Jobs was such a big fan. Yogananda’s SPIRITUALITY is astonishingly PRACTICAL. The most paradoxically practical message of his and any true spiritual teaching?
In short: We need to START by focusing our Energy on connecting with God (or whatever you call that power that is infinitely larger than we are). THEN... We place our attention on the “practical” matters of the world. When we do it in THAT order, we win the ultimate game—attaining what he would call the “Supreme Good” and what Aristotle would call the “summum bonum.” AND.. Bonus! As we do that, we give ourselves the best shot at winning the other wonderful, smaller games of this breathtakingly brief life of ours.
That’s the essence of Yogananda’s practical spirituality and what he called “Self-realization.” <- With a capital S where the “Self” is, essentially, what we’d call our “Daimon”!
Before we jump in, know this: The great modern (practical!) spiritual teacher Eric Butterworth says the EXACT same thing. In Spiritual Economics he tells us: “The goal should not be to make money or acquire things, but to achieve the consciousness through which the substance will flow forth when and as you need it.”
And now... It’s time to enjoy some of my favorite Big Ideas from this great little booklet. Let’s jump straight in!
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