An aimless life is always a miserable life. Every one of you should have an aim. But do not forget that on the quality of your aim will depend the quality of your life. Your aim should be high and wide, generous and disinterested; this will make your life precious to yourself and to others.
The Mother, from “The Science of Living”
Since first coming across this passage slightly more than 40 years ago, I have always found this one of the most powerful guides to life – to every moment of life.
For example, writing this letter, what is my aim – to understand, or to impress, or to open to a greater Force and be a perfect instrument?
I am swinging a kettle bell for exercise, what is my aim? Do I even have an aim or am I just mindlessly, mechanically going through a process based on some poorly thought-out notion of ‘getting in shape’ or “improving health’?
Putting this into words, it perhaps sounds rather “analytic” or as if I’m engaged in “mentalizing.” In my experience, it’s like listening to the instruments of an orchestra:
Listening silently, I hear the first violin (my aspiration for opening to a greater Force). There are some trumpet sounds (the ego’s striving to look good) a somewhat dramatic bassoon melody (the vital’s desire to feel strong and vigorous) and the rather numbing sounds of a triangle being struck repeatedly in the percussion section (the mindless, mechanical repetition of a physical habit)
Once I “see” the mixture, based on my deepest aspiration, I can then choose to redirect attention away from the lower aims (ie “reject”), then redirect attention along the lines of the highest, deepest aim and open to the resulting guidance as the action continues.
To work for your perfection, the first step is to become conscious of yourself, of the different parts of your being and their respective activities. You must learn to distinguish these different parts one from another, so that you may become clearly aware of the origin of the movements that occur in you, the many impulses, reactions and conflicting wills that drive you to action. It is an assiduous study which demands much perseverance and sincerity