SATISFACTION AND DISSATISFACTION
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, April 26, 2011
1. The most base of all feelings is that of self-satisfaction. Any feeling has its consequences, but self-satisfaction brings only death. It is not easy to think of self-criticism as a blessing, but one can train oneself to persevere on this endless road to achievement.
If you imagine your highest attainment, even it will be ugly when compared with perfection. Our labors primarily have dissatisfaction at their base, it is the impetus for Our searching. But to the newcomer the most difficult question will be, “Brother, can you contain eternal dissatisfaction?”
Agni Yoga, 484
2. Satisfaction is not welcome in Our house. Who among Us could ever be satisfied? The onrushing task of world creation cries out against satisfaction. Can there be joy in completion? We gain impetus from the joy of new beginnings. This is not an abstraction. Beginnings correspond to motion, whose line of continuation is determined by inertia. The stroke of the beginning is Our bell. If We were to take back from the world all that We have begun, the greater part of the world's texture would crumble.
Agni Yoga, 463
3. The student of Yoga must become accustomed to one thing--the inevitable suspicion in other people. One should not blame them for this attitude…
Happily, he who has entered upon the path of Agni Yoga does not worry himself about suspicion. He labors, devoting himself entirely to the cause of evolution. He walks without doubting, knowing that satisfaction is not his lot.
Agni Yoga, 505
4. You, conceited ones, accept Our advice: To blow the trumpet of self-satisfaction forever is unwise. Remember the dark side, and do not reject the Hand that points to the better destiny!
Agni Yoga, 636
5. The process toward perfection can lead humanity to higher worlds. For this, it is necessary to affirm the understanding of non-transitoriness. When the focus of knowledge will be widened into new angles and a way will be found to transform the nets into spatial fires, then the world of new forms will be unlimited. Transitoriness reigns in the planetary consciousness, and humanity expounds the conception of a termination of all that exists. Why shorten the activity of Cosmos, when the Universe continues into Infinity? The cosmic fires burn vividly. Distinct is the call of Space; one has only to desire to hear it. Dissatisfaction and anguish often are a response to the call of Space. Dissatisfaction indicates the realization of the process of perfecting. Striving affirms the right step toward Infinity.
Infinity I, 78
6. Dissatisfaction is a quality of the subtle World. In it can be discerned eternal motion, for without this motion it is impossible to advance in the higher worlds. One can satisfy and satiate the stomach and muscle, but what will satiate the heart? Even contemplation of the Highest Light will transport one but not surfeit one. Flaming heart, insatiable heart, only the very pain of the world will impel thee! The fog that clouds glutted eyes will turn into the flame of a kindled heart. Thus, let us guard the fiery treasure. Let us explain to the peoples the precious heart. Thus let us call to mind all the milestones needed for the path. Let us not forget the wise saying, “And this too, will pass.” For an impetuous motion will never bring one back to the same spot.
7. The lack of observation among people is shocking! Try to fill a room gradually with smoke and observe who of those present will first notice it. Usually the state of self-satisfaction is immediately transformed into despair. The horror lies in that the despair is replaced by self-satisfaction. Thus, regard the chief misfortune as lying in non-rhythmical oscillations. With Us, attention is paid primarily to observation that contributes to the harmonization of the centers.
8. An aviator, having attained a record altitude, is still filled with dissatisfaction. He then resolves to try for greater heights. Dissatisfaction is the gateway to Infinity. Dissatisfaction should be valued to the full extent. Pleasure is neighbor to contentment, whereas joy is wings to Infinity. The fiery Teaching must preserve each kindling of the fires and guard against all extinguishers. Satisfaction is the sign of mediocrity and ignorance. Not satisfaction, but joy in eternal labor is the destiny of the great and ascending one. Nowadays fools may laugh when We speak of eternal ascent. Even the grave will not spare the fool from Eternity. Only a puerile brain could fail to understand that the earthly garment is not consummation. The fires summon to the uncognized, and even the blind see these lights. Do not fail to ask the blind about the fires. Some of them see fiery signs and understand their connection with the heart. Thus, the calls of dissatisfaction lead to the Fiery World.
Fiery World I, 385
9. Amidst the wrestlings of the spirit there should be especially noted the feeling of dissatisfaction. The spirit which possesses a synthesis can, of course, affirm its strength. But precisely these fiery receivers do not know the feeling of satisfaction. Thus, one may often observe in life that conventionality precludes acceptance of the Bearers of Synthesis. The multitude always evaluates evidence alone. One may only regret that people so limit themselves by creating such narrow boundaries. One may pity those who are unwilling to understand the creativeness of thought.
Fiery World III, 33
10. Amidst fiery struggles the spirit manifests anguish. Especially on the final step does the spirit know these struggles. Anguish is a manifestation of the Subtle World, and absence of self-satisfaction is knowledge of the future. During the division of the spirit this feeling is particularly strong.
Fiery World III, 34
11. The assumption of personal superiority is one of the most shameful manifestations of the imperfection of the spirit. It not only corrupts all the surroundings but it also remains as the greatest impediment to improvement. It is essential to counteract such an ailment with a powerful restorative. Thought about cooperation and Brotherhood will be salutary in guarding against such a dangerous ailment, and will call forth new strength.
In the Brotherhood there can be no assumption of personal superiority, just as there can be no self-satisfaction.
12. We would prefer to avoid repetition, but sometimes We are compelled to return to a previous subject. Pay attention to these repetitions; they are usually provoked either by a disciple's misunderstandings or by cosmic complications that demand special attention. For example, We must repeat about the proper attitude toward psychic energy. Of course psychic energy is always present, but it can become dormant, and then it will crystallize and become inactive. That soil will have to be turned again with the plow of self-sacrificing labor. Certainly, not a grain of psychic energy can ever be lost, but its accumulations must be stirred. That is why the Teaching so condemns immobile self-satisfaction and conceit. Truly, it is better to be aflame than to be dormant.
Agni Yoga, 528
14. Urusvati knows that rejoicing in the misfortunes of others is a malevolent trait. One can feel sadness or indignation, but to feel satisfaction is beneath human dignity. Besides, such rejoicing transfers to the one who feels joy a part of the karma of the one who is suffering the misfortunes. This should be remembered. There is little difference between taking joy in another’s suffering and slandering him. Everyone who does this will sooner or later experience the same attitude from others. People may err, or they may commit crimes, and thus deserve criticism or punishment, but one should not rejoice over their troubles.
Learning to understand human qualities is a part of the path of yoga. The contemplation of good and bad in man brings one closer to the gates of progress. We regularly point out those qualities that are worthy, and in this way We provide hints about Our Inner Life. One should not think that, having reached a certain level of spiritual development, one no longer needs to continue striving to improve one’s qualities. Each level requires further refinement of one’s nature. One should test oneself untiringly, and learn to love such tests. The testing of one’s armor is a sign of readiness for battle. The symbol of the battle is pointed out in all the ancient Teachings. The words of wisdom are uttered in the midst of battle. Let us not forget that the synthesis of wisdom and courage is a strong guarantee of success.
It is in the stream of life that one’s spiritual strivings and battles are merged.
The Thinker taught, “Look at the currents. Their design is complex, yet they rush onward. Nothing can stop them. And so, let the soul of man strive forward similarly.”
Supermundane III, 595
15. I cannot agree with you that no one can be blamed for anything. Indeed no, all are to blame, and for everything. Since the whole Universe is an endless chain of causes and effects, how can we, particles of this Universe, be excluded from this cosmic law? The predestination that you mention exists and materializes only because it is the result of causes. Therefore I cannot agree with the statement that after death and passing into the Subtle World people will immediately find there satisfaction, happiness, and the whole meaning of all they sought on Earth. This would be contradictory to the basic cosmic law just mentioned. Undoubtedly, those who sincerely seek for the meaning of earthly existence and who strive after the highest ideals will find them there, in full accordance with their striving and thoughts. There is no scale of justice more precise than that which man carries within himself; for his own aura, which is woven out of energies, motives, and thoughts, is that true scale. Precisely these energies carry his spirit to the level which he himself has built.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 7 October 1935
16. Urusvati knows the true meaning of self-criticism. For some it is like a millstone around the neck, for others it is a gateway to achievements. Let us not behave like slaves under the burden of the millstone, and impede our way into the Supermundane World!
One should not look back and thus stumble on the stony path. Only forward, untiringly forward! Let each mistake be a stepping stone to a new victory.
Supermundane IV, 878
17. It is necessary to manifest the power of spirit and to strive tirelessly to eradicate the persistent, heavy accumulations, as otherwise no refinement will be possible. Only refinement of all feelings brings the best possibilities.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 3 December 1930