Having a high aim in life improves the quality of our thoughts and actions. As is our awareness, so is our state of being. This is the easy method of self-improvement: keep an image of what you want to be like in front of you and that will remind you of what you need to do – how you should think, speak and act. Your elevated self-image will constantly guide and motivate you.
In addition, we need to reflect on what we learn. We may hear a lot of inspiring and informative things and even tell others about them, but in spite of that we find that we often do not practise what we preach. We just parrot information without having experienced the truth of it ourselves.
How much confidence or authority will we have when we are explaining concepts that we have heard or read about but never tested ourselves? On the other hand, if we reflect on those concepts and apply them in life to see whether or not they work, we will become wiser by the experience.
Without the understanding that comes from deep reflection, or the experience gained from practical application of principles, we do not realise the value of those principles and may find them too lofty or idealistic.
Just as it is essential for the body to digest food in order to draw strength from it, reflection on knowledge is necessary for the soul to become wiser and stronger. Reflection, and the insights it brings, turn theoretical information into a personal asset which can be used at the right time in the right manner.
Digestion assimilates food into the body in the form of blood and other tissue, and the food no longer remains something separate from the body. Similarly, reflecting on knowledge turns it into a source of strength.
For instance, we are told that we are souls, masters of our body. We will not acquire the mastery by just hearing this. But when we reflect on this repeatedly and grasp all the implications of this fact, we become increasingly aware, and accepting, of our spiritual identity, which ultimately leads to mastery over matter. This is spiritual might.
The ability to reflect on knowledge is a special power of the soul. It is the most important tool for turning knowledge into experience, which brings strength in the form of confidence and authority.
Those who are experienced have the authority of experience. They are neither easily deceived nor shaken by adversity or upset by hearsay. One word from an experienced person counts for more than a commentary from someone else.
Lack of reflection and experience leaves the soul weak, just as a lack of vitamins can lead to physical ailments. To restore physical health, we first check which vitamin the body is lacking. Similarly, we need to check what experience we need to gain to become powerful. Is it the experience of being a soul, or of connecting with the Divine, or of the intricacies of the law of karma, or the subtle understanding needed for harmonious relationships?
We do not become powerful by listening to or giving lectures. To become an embodiment of knowledge one has to apply it and experience the results. Reflecting deeply helps in this, as it increases our understanding of the subject. Once we develop a habit of immersing ourselves in such reflection, the insights we acquire make us unshakeably strong.
B.K. Sheilu is a senior Rajyoga teacher at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.