“Broken hearts show us we’ve grown out of one stage, by ripping us wide open for the next. We’re forced to choose what we do with all that pain: turn it against ourselves, aim it at someone else, or tap all that power and reach higher.” ― Edward Fahey
Long ago, in the distant past, there ruled over Iran a great king whose name was Vishtasp. Vishtasp had immense wealth and many victories to his name. One day Vishtasp was returning to his capital from a visit to the provinces, when his entourage passed by an orchard of exceptional beauty. The land around the orchard was desolate. It was clear to the eye that preparing the land for cultivation would have been a task beyond the abilities of most people. The people tending the orchard must have worked with great foresight, wisdom, dedication and diligence. Within the grounds, Vishtasp noticed a group of people engaged in earnest discussion. Vishtasp turned to a minister traveling with him and enquired about the orchard and the people. The minister told the king that this was the renowned sage Zoroaster’s garden. The king had heard of this wise man and his growing fame. He decided to invite Zoroaster to his palace to answer questions which the King’s many advisors had not been able to answer to his satisfaction. When Zoroaster was brought before the king, the king invited Zoroaster to his palace to discuss how a person could gain wisdom. Zoroaster asked the king to excuse him since his work in the orchard could not be neglected. However, Zoroaster reached in to his satchel and gave the king a grain of wheat. Zoroaster told the king the grain had been his teacher and had answers to many questions. At first the king felt annoyed with Zoroaster response. He nevertheless returned to his palace with the grain. On the chance the grain had some magically properties, the king placed the grain securely in a gold box. Everyday he opened the gold box and looked at the grain hoping to find the answers to his questions. Everyday he was none the wiser. After some months of frustrated waiting, the king decided to visit the sage once more. The king showed Zoroaster the grain in the gold box, and asked him what lesson the grain was supposed to teach. Whereupon Zoroaster asked the king what would have happened if instead of placing the grain in a gold box, the king had planted the grain so that it could receive food and water. Together they reflected on the many lessons they could learn from that simple act. First, in order to grow and transform, the grain would need to be removed from the gold box and grounded in the earth. As with the grain, the king realized he needed to step out of his comfortable surroundings. Then, in the same way the innumerable forces of nature would flow towards the grain to nurture its growth, so would he be nurtured with knowledge and understanding. The grain was only as apt to teach, as the king was ready to learn. The answers to the many questions he had, lay around him. The ability to understand them and grow in wisdom lay within him. Instead of just seeing, he would observe; instead of hearing, he would listen; instead of demanding answers from others, he would develop his own mind and seek answers through insight.
Christian inspiration is a little-studied topic and yet can have an enormous impact on our effectiveness as Christians. Many times we study how to do things faster and better but we skip the essential step of inspiration. When we are inspired by the Holy Spirit we have a wealth of ability with which to work. When we are empowered by Christian inspiration we “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us” (Phil. 4:13, KJV). We read in Job: “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” (Job 32:8, KJV)
One of the most important things to remember as we study Christian inspiration is that when we are inspired we must use our inspiration for the glory of God and to do His will. Jesus tells us: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33, KJV) We must first seek His righteousness and His will before we will be able to use His inspiration for both His glory and our growth and benefit.
There are 4 steps to achieving success through Christian inspiration:
1. Recognize that everything we have is from God and that everything we do should be to glorify the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God gives us His Spirit and His inspiration to be used for His glory. Job says of God (the Ancient): “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.” (Job 12:12-13, KJV) God holds all the wisdom in the earth and only He can dispense of it.
2. Ask God for the inspiration that you need. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7, KJV) Before we can be given the wisdom of God and His inspiration, we must first ask Him for it. James tells us: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5, KJV)
3. Purpose to use the wisdom and Christian inspiration He gives you for His glory and His purpose. Once we are given wisdom and inspiration, we have a tremendous responsibility to use it prudently. Jesus Himself tells us: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Lk. 12:48b, KJV).
4. Practice using Christian inspiration. Once you have Christian inspiration, you must practice using it. So often we are given a gift and we do not use it. Just like any skill we might learn, Christian inspiration is most effectively used long-term when we daily accept it. When you are inspired or have an inspired thought about something you have been struggling with, write it down, or immediately put it into action. When you use the Christian inspiration you are given, you likely place yourself in an ideal position to receive future inspiration.
Now you have 4 basic steps to Christian inspiration. When you consistently apply these four steps, and spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself on a daily basis, you will be able to tap into a nearly limitless supply of inspiration. Take the time to study the accompanying Bible verses in this article, and meditate on the Word of God daily.
“The search after Truth is the one thing by which the shape of human life should be determined.
Genuine desire itself opens the road to fulfilment.”
Sri Anandamayi Ma
From The Science of Yoga by I.K. Taimni
“Dealing with the habits and tendencies which interfere with the practice of Yoga.”
Sadhana Pada, Verse 33
33. When the mind is disturbed by improper thoughts constant pondering over the opposites (is the remedy).
In dealing with the subject of Yama-Niyama, Patañjali has given two Sūtras which are of great help to the practical student of Yoga. The first of these which is being considered gives an effective method of dealing with the habits and tendencies which interfere with the practice of Yama-Niyama. The student who tries to practise Yama-Niyama brings with him the momentum of all kinds of tendencies from previous lives, and in spite of his resolve, the undesirable habits and tendencies in which he has indulged assert themselves strongly and force him to act, feel and think in ways which go against his ideals. What is he to do under these circumstances?
He should ponder constantly over the opposites of the undesirable tendencies when these latter trouble him. In this Sūtra the author has given one of the most important laws of character-building, a law which modern psychology recognizes and recommends in dealing with problems of self-culture. The rationale of this technique for overcoming bad habits and undesirable tendencies, whether they relate to action, feeling or thinking lies in the fact that all evil tendencies are rooted in wrong habits of thought and attitudes and, therefore, the only effective means of removing them completely and permanently is to attack the trouble at its source and alter the thoughts and attitudes which underlie the undesirable manifestations.
As is well known, an undesirable mental habit can be changed only by replacing it by a mental habit of an exactly opposite kind— hatred by love, dishonesty by uprightness. New and desirable mental channels are created by the new thoughts in which mental energy begins to flow in ever increasing measure, starving and gradually replacing the undesirable habits of thoughts and the wrong attitudes which are derived from them. The amount of mental energy required and the time taken will depend naturally upon the strength of the undesirable habit and the willpower of the Sādhaka, but if he puts his heart into the work and perseveres the thing can be done
“As mystics we do everything that we can to cultivate and maintain four primary virtues, and thus warrant being called a mystic: understanding, service, compassion, and love. These virtues all flow into one another, and end up merging into a perfect unity and forming one entity, thus moving us closer to the “Rose-Croix” state. But the road is long, and the ascent an arduous one, with its tests like so many stones on the path. Willpower, perseverance, and trust are three further virtues that need to be manifested, if we wish to achieve our spiritual elevation. We can do this together under the aegis of the sacred symbol of the Rose-Cross, and thanks to all the experiences – pleasant and unpleasant – that we have already lived through, and will continue to live through. This choice is ours, for we have our free will.”