by Norman Paulsen • [photo: Paramahansa Yogananda instructing Norman Paulsen in a yoga technique] To walk the spiritual path, the utmost discipline is required. Threefold development must be pursued: physical, mental, and spiritual. Many begin, but fail to make the continuous effort. The attainment of a virtuous life is the crowning achievement to be realized by the spiritual athlete.
Helping you to achieve this goal of virtue is Spirit, I Am That I Am, the pure Self existing within your soul. Yes, we all have this divine energy centered deep within. It has to be identified and brought forth.
If the beginning seeker or practiced adept is to make any progress at all, it is an absolute requirement to walk the paths of right living in this life while practicing virtue. By actively practicing virtue every day, and beginning to walk the path of service, you bring forth the pure Self within, Christ consciousness. This is Self-realization as described by my teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda.
Realization of the pure Self within your soul eliminates the functions of the false self, the selfish self. The awakening soul takes on its true image of discerning, joy filled Christ consciousness. The ego-centered consciousness must abdicate the throne to the Christ, the now illumined soul within you.
No matter how many times we stumble and fall, God is always there with us, and we have to get up and keep going. That’s what our Creator wants to see, the will to never give up. It takes discipline. God does require discipline from us, but discipline, we find, is salvation.
Disciplining our lives, meditating when we don’t feel like it, serving and helping others when we’re tired and worn out, we do these things because the heart of God beats within each one of us. The soul of God is in each of us right now, blessing each one of us right now. God is here with us.
Mental discipline arises from commitment to the vision you seek: knowing what you want and dedicating your life to bringing it forth into being. It is unwise for anyone to think that they can attain any true level of realization without a life of self-discipline. True discipline is never a restriction. It’s a liberation!