This article is a chapter from the book Seek The Beyond.
Sometimes a seeker will ask themselves a question: Why is it that a spiritual seeker seems to be plagued with so many vexing problems, obstacles, hurdles and various complicated situations that do not seem to be present in the life of a normal human being going about his secular vocation? He may have some problems with income tax or getting his child admitted in a proper school, but he does not have too many deep problems and complications in the inner dimension of his subjective life.
The answer is because spiritual life is going against the stream of life. It is like the difference between a person swimming downstream, going along with the current and a person swimming upstream against the current. So naturally the person swimming upstream has a great deal of counter-force to overcome, whereas the person going downstream need not make much effort. They take the means of least resistance, so flow along.
This is an explanation of why you have these problems. You have set yourself a great goal, and to move towards it with the minimum of difficulty, one method is to walk in the footsteps of the great ones who have gone before. They went the same way, lived the same life, encountered many difficulties and attained the goal. Follow the steps they took to overcome everything until they reached the goal.
So contemplate the lives of saints. Keep them as your ideal, see their life and draw inspiration. Be guided by their wisdom teachings also. They have given their life as an ideal, and they have left valuable pointers through their own personal teaching and words of advice. We get all these things from the lives of saints. So keeping the life of some ideal saint as your inspiration and guidance is the wise method of progressing upon this path.
A second method of sometimes dissolving what appears to be a big difficulty, a hurdle on the way, is to look at it with a different angle of vision. Say: “No, this is not a problem. This situation is necessary for me. God knows my degree of evolution, where I stand. At this point in my spiritual evolution, this is what I require in order to learn many insights and to put forth my inner resources so that I may progress further.”
This, therefore, is another way of looking at a problem. Welcome it! “This is necessary for me, therefore, it is coming. Otherwise, it would not come. If I go into a higher dimension or plane of evolution, then such things will not come because I have already gone beyond them. I don’t need them.”
Thus, we take the problem not as a problem, but as an opportunity, an occasion, to manifest whatever inner resources we have developed up till now through our spiritual life and spiritual sadhana and practice–our dispassion, whatever we have learned. Now we have to test it in the field. Therefore, the situation, the seeming problem is giving us just that opportunity to test how far we are well established in our progress. We take it as a challenge, an opportunity to convince ourselves that we are well established in whatever we have gained thus far–we are not standing on a foundation of sand, but of rock.
So, take everything in a creative attitude, in a positive and constructive attitude. This is the way to keep up enthusiasm and thus thrive in your spiritual life. See the inner value of these situations; know that they are important and necessary and that we can gain from them! May God bless us all!