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Answer to the War in Europe: We strengthen our Soul
Dear Agni Yogis,
in the last two Broadcastings we said: The answer to the terrible war in Europe is to create a New Man and a New World.
The disciple interjects: "Yes, that was once again rather high-flying and hardly to be realised in everyday life for a normal person like me."
Well, then let us approach the problem more simply, from the bottom up: Even more important than stopping the actual killing is:
We must prevent such a disaster from happening again in the future!
If we succeed in this, suffering and death will have a meaning.
He who recognizes imperfection must begin with perfection. (Community 226)
So, you ask yourself, and we all ask ourselves: If we were ordered today to take part as soldiers in an unjust war of aggression:
Would we have the strength of the soul to refuse military service, even if that might cost us our lives?
Most of us, being honest, would come to this answer:
"I for one am not capable of such a feat."
So we have to admit:
The same terrible things that are currently happening in Europe can occur again at any time in any other place in the world.
"Why is that so?"
Because we humans are not mature enough yet to live according to ethical principles.
The animal within us is still too strong and the divine too weak.
We are still far from fulfilling one of the most important directives of the Mahatmas:
The Living Ethics [Agni Yoga] must first of all be expressed in ethics of daily actions. (Fiery World III, 135)
1. We strengthen our Soul
Our practical response to the war in Europe is therefore:
We strengthen our soul!
Then we help our fellow men to strengthen their souls!
So that our Eternal Individuality may grow so great that we do only that what we have recognised as good and right, without regard to the impending consequences.
The more people think and act like this, the better the world will become!
2. Spiritual Exercise
"How can we achieve this?"
Strengthening the soul is a spiritual exercise!
It starts with very simple things: Did you get up as early as you intended? Did you eat too much or too heavy? Did you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes again, despite your resolutions to the contrary? Did you give in to your tendency to irritability, dejection or aggression?
"My dear Tsong, that's rather petty! We are talking about a tragedy and how to prevent World War III! And now you come again with the rules about nutrition and such things!"
Well, just a moment ago you were complaining that I was advocating too loftily a New Man and a New World. Now I am addressing everyday matters, and you are not pleased either.
One should begin checking the most trivial matters. Have you slept too long? How have you spoken with those around you? Have you deferred an urgent task? Have you told false dates? Have you forgotten solicitude about the Common Good? (Community 213)
But joking apart! The crucial point is another: We want to strengthen our soul to such an extent that one day it will be capable of the heroic deed of risking the life (of the body) for your ideals. This project we cannot start anywhere else but in one single place:
In the middle of our normal earthly everyday life!
All great things start small, with the individual.
It is not so important where you begin to raise your soul, whether with eating or with other bigger or smaller challenges. What is decisive is that you start this exercise in the first place and progress steadily step by step.
3. Realising the Ideal in everyday Life
"How exactly should I proceed practically in order to strengthen my soul?"
Basically it is quite simple:
You make a resolution and put it into practice in your daily life.
For example, you set about to get rid of a bad quality or habit. This is possible for anyone at any time in any circumstances.
Just by constantly working on this project, your soul will grow stronger; even if success is slow to come or not yet foreseeable at all.
Every applied thought will bring growth to the spirit. (Infinity II, 377 )
Start with the small things to improve, refine and spiritualise your normal, everyday life. Set yourself tasks that you are able to solve. When you have successfully completed one undertaking, move on to the next. In this way your soul will grow step by step.
Man himself is fully aware when he does something unworthy. He must develop within himself a persistent striving toward the Highest and practise this by means of the smallest daily examples. (Supermundane 431)
If you do not learn to act according to higher principles in everyday life, you will certainly not be able to do so during a war!
You have unlimited time at your disposal. In the next life you can continue to build on the achievements you have accumulated in this life, and to pursue further what you have not yet been able to attain in the present incarnation.
This is the eternal path, the Spiritual Path! This is how you slowly but surely reach the high level of a hero, a spiritual warrior and a king of the spirit. (Selvarajan Yesudian "On the Way to the Summit")
In this way you acquire the strength of the soul to reveal your higher nature only and to fight unswervingly to establish the rule of truth, justice, beauty and love.
You see: The salvation of the world is actually a rather simple, everyday matter!
"Why does it nevertheless succeed so little?"
Because people prefer to wallow in abstract ideas rather than to change their way of life.
Heroism begins in everyday life!
A hero, a Great Soul (a Mahatma) is the one who, whatever the cost, stands up for his ideals; no matter whether they are great (defence of the homeland) or seemingly small (ethics of everyday life).
4. Many Trials
You have made up your mind to let your soul grow? Then you will be tested many times every single day to see whether you are strong enough to realise your resolution in earthly life.
You do not have to think of a war of aggression right away.
The Ukrainians are being tested on a very high level.
But in return they can achieve great things by setting an example to the whole world of how to fight against oppression and for freedom.
We, on the other hand, "only" have to face the much easier trials of the distractions, temptations and difficulties of normal everyday life:
Is your vibration high, or have you crashed? Have you remained true to yourself – to your Higher Self – and to your guiding idea? Are the artworks of the New Man and the New World firmly established, or have they collapsed? Are you keeping the meditation times? Are you working for the common good and for the welfare of your neighbour? (Nicholas Roerich "Higher than Mountains", "Lama", "Holy City". Coat of Arms of the Prince of Wales)
You welcome these tests joyfully. Because a passed examination, no matter whether it was difficult or easy, means another step towards strengthening your soul. You want to become so worthy that one day you may take part in a trial of world-wide significance, such as the one taking place in Ukraine today.
5. Many Battles
You have resolved to let your soul grow? Then you will have to fight many battles every single day of your life. Most of us not against a warlike aggressor, but rather against the resistance that other people and above all your own lower, animal nature put up against every attempt to realise a higher idea on the material plane.
You are a spiritual warrior after all! Every day you encounter evil, both within yourself and in the world. Do you fight it? Are you victorious? (Ernst Barlach "Spiritual Warrior". Nicholas Roerich "Gorynych")
It is not so important what kind of struggle you are being called to. What is crucial, however, is that you, in your place, take up the fight at all and do not capitulate, but continue it as long as it is necessary to end it victoriously.
You joyfully welcome these battles, for by the very fact that you are fighting, your soul already grows stronger; even if success is slow in coming or not yet even apparent.
This is the beauty of Agni Yoga:
Every personal advancement and every betterment of the world begins in everyday life.
Everything is imparted, practised and striven for with the only purpose to spiritualise and make more beautiful your day-to-day life. The real heroism is in the everyday. By mastering everyday life, we grow greater and greater. And the greater we become, the greater tasks will be entrusted to us, through which we can grow even further.
In the most everyday life are laid the foundations of the world’s grandeur. (Fiery World II, 97)
"So now, from the heights of the dream of a New World, we have happily fallen back to the lowlands of everyday life."
Yes, but your daily life, your efforts to strengthen your Eternal Individuality, are transfigured by the awareness:
You are not working for yourself, for your small, insignificant person, but for a better world without violence and war!
A yogi knows that self-perfectment is needed not only for him but also for the common good. How can we explain to people that they live for the success of evolution? (Supermundane 896)
As you strengthen your soul, you strengthen the Divine within you.
In doing so, you simultaneously strengthen the multitude of the Heavenly Host, the Divine Forces in the world! (Bruegel "Fall of the Rebellious Angels")
Spiritual ascent is the only way to individual attainment and to attainment of the Common Good. (Fiery World III, 247)
The growth of your spiritual strength is of world-wide importance!
Attain and conquer! You do not conquer for yourself; your victory is important for the General Good. (Agni Yoga 616)
We must not hope to build a better world without improving individuals. To this end, let each of us work at our own perfection, and thereby at the same time take upon ourselves a share of the general responsibility for the whole of humanity. (Marie Curie)
Nicholas Roerich "Castle in Ladakh"
"What are we striving for?"
For the reign of the good in the world.
May the good reign first within yourself and then in more and more other people. Thus, it will eventually rule the whole world as well.
For we humans are the force that governs this planet.
Once every individual, once you are victorious in your small sphere, you will with time become mature enough to participate in the solution of the great world tasks.
A youth asked a Sage to teach him how to be the ruler of a nation. The Sage said, “Willingly, but first you must become ruler of your heart; when you have mastered that kingdom, come to me.” (Supermundane 658)
Is not this reign of the good a goal worth every sacrifice and endeavour?
No effort is ever in vain. It benefits both the one who makes the sacrifice and humanity as a whole.
"Am I not supposed to do anything practical, tangible?"
Yes, of course you should. If you feel called upon to do so, donate money, house refugees or even take up arms yourself. But remember:
The inner transformation always comes first, working in the world is second only!
A warrior of light who fights the forces of darkness must be perfectly pure himself. (Guido Reni “Archangel Michael”)
People are longing for light, for spiritual food; but this food must be pure, and the robes of the new spiritual leaders must be truly snow-white. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 12.09.1934)