Let’s first look at devotion. The first component of devotion is love. Love is primarily self-giving — giving yourself to your beloved through feelings, thoughts, and deeds. So, devotion involves giving of yourself, loyally and with deep affection.
The second principal component of devotion is humility — humbling yourself before your beloved. Devotion, in the sense of our special technique, is to love and consciously humble yourself before the beloved: Spirit.
A person practicing this form of devotion strives daily to let go of pride and arrogance — and give of the self. In pride and arrogance we are unable to give love. We are so engrossed in our own thoughts and attainments that we have no love to spare. Or, we can be so engrossed in our own frustrations and fears that we have no love to give. In either case, our attention is concentrated on our personal feelings.
Put Arrogance Aside
In using this practice of devotion we can, if we put away our arrogance, learn something from the consciousness, or spirit, dwelling within everyone. We can also, in an attitude of devotion, learn from the events of our lives. We can know our world more deeply, too. We can gaze more clearly into the heavens; we can see more wisely into the atom. There is much a humble person can learn looking out in any direction.
Indeed, most scientific discoveries have occurred when a dedicated human being put aside arrogance or the presumptions of archaic knowledge to behold more accurately than any man or woman before some basic truth of nature. Isaac Newton saw an apple falling and beheld the simple phenomenon with – he discovered the theory of gravity. It’s hard to believe he was the first man in thousands of years to see this common act of nature so penetratingly.
Copernicus and Galileo looked at the heavens with fascination — and without bias; they saw what the sun and earth were actually doing to one another. (The sun wasn’t going around the earth; the earth and other planets were, in fact, going around the sun — and Mars wasn’t really going backwards at times.)
Yoga masters often say, “Why do we try to rape Mother Nature, wresting gold and other valuable things from her, when, if we would just love her, she would readily show us her secrets?”
You will find a common thread moving through the lives of all our great creators, inventors, composers. While they may have various problems and hangups, at the time of creation they are as humble as young children — keenly receptive and extremely appreciative. And they give themselves devotedly to their work.
But devotion is only the first aspect of this great technique. The whole practice is called “devotion to the spirit in every form.” By spirit is meant conscious energy, the life principle, or the presence of God. All things that exist are infused with consciousness — some are greatly infused, some only slightly.
Devotion to the essence or spirit in everything is a marvelous way of life. Naturally, this practice is mainly directed toward appreciating the consciousness within people.
To practice this technique fully, put aside yesterday’s thoughts and feelings. Go about your day striving to see, and perceive in other ways, the essence and spiritual nature of everyone you meet.
Granted, some individuals easily manifest their spiritual natures. It’s easy to sense the power of good within them. Others create more of a challenge.
The project is to note that precious essence which all human beings find in common at the core of their beings. This great practice then becomes very exciting.
You are not only striving to have regular, normal relations with people you meet but you are also at the same time seeking out the true nature in back of their eyes, in back of their words and actions. In being humbly appreciative of each person’s life and essence, you become a friend of all. Even your enemies will respect you and take your word above that of their colleagues.
This practice tends to drive away loneliness and fear. You walk the earth in an enthusiastic manner, never feeling a stranger anywhere. You have found the key of life and the key to everyone’s heart.
Those who practice this technique also strive to value the life essence in animals and all the miraculous creations of nature. We human beings are but one part of nature’s great activities.
Delight In Devotion
May you see and feel what you have never known before! And may each day unfold much beauty and fellowship for you in this state of devotion.
In addition to the satisfactions of introspection and self-discipline, may you find delight in the renewal of your life through humble devotion to the spirit within others and yourself.
With these three great techniques faithfully applied, you are well on your way to the satisfaction of your every deep yearning. You are also fulfilling your search for your great potential.