Do you sometimes wish you could understand understand life better? Unanswered questions about the deeper why’s of life can come up at the most unexpected time and places, creating sudden disturbances in your mind.

Anything that disturbs your mind makes you unhappy. You immediately want to get rid of the disturbance so that you can regain some inner peace. What are some fundamental spiritual truths to live by for your peace of mind?

4 Spiritual truths to live by for your peace of mind

#1 Oneness is the fundamental principle.

If you are on the spiritual path, it’s important to cultivate virtues within yourself like truthfulness, humility, generosity, compassion, acceptance, kindness and so on.

Why? This is because all virtues are based on the fundamental spiritual principle of oneness.

What this means is that there is one divine essence in all things and beings in creation that also expresses as all.

Oneness is the reason why we have been taught to live by the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

If all beings are essentially (not outwardly) one with me, why would I lie, be arrogant, miserly, judge, steal or cheat others? They are not different from me. I would never think of behaving this way with myself.

When we go against this principle of oneness and we harbour negative thoughts or feelings for others, we tend to speak and behave harshly. For example, think about how you feel when you are impatient, annoyed, or angry with someone. What happens to the state of your mind and body? Your muscles become tense, your breathing and heart rates go up and it’s hard to contain the emotions without expressing them in some way.

On the other hand, when you choose to be sincere, kind, honest, patient and let go of the small annoying things that happen or things that people do, you create peace in your mind.

Peace is a choice. We don’t always choose it because reacting or retaliating in a negative way can bring a sense of immediate satisfaction. But unfortunately, it leaves mental disturbances and a tendency to repeat our performance.

If we are trying to grow spiritually, developing these virtues will align our thoughts, words and actions with the principle of oneness.

Oneness is the first and most important spiritual truth to live by.

#2. You are not the ego

The ego makes you believe that your body, mind, personality, possessions, wealth, relationships, profession and professional qualifications make you who you are.

For example, it makes you believe that your physical, emotional and intellectual makeup define you. It tells you that you are what you possess materially, the roles that you play every day (husband, wife, son, daughter, employee, boss, etc.), and convinces you that you are different and separate from others. The ego believes in limitation and lack, making you fearful of losing what you think belongs to you.

But all this is not true from the standpoint of your higher, spiritual identity or the Self. You, the Self are the blissful, inner observer who is expressing through a human form and personality. The Self is your real identity while the ego is who you think you are.

Spirit or the Self is that oneness that is present in and expressing as all things and beings in creation.

The ego’s sense of separateness, division and individuality is false. How can we prove this fact?

The ego is centred in “I”, “me” and “mine”. It gains its sense of satisfaction from asserting these concepts. Think about how you feel when you assert your “I”, protect “me” and preserve what you feel is “mine” from others. This kind of behaviour is always accompanied by some mental agitation.

Even though we often feel good about giving in to the ego’s promptings at the time, the sense of satisfaction is precarious and short-lived. It is never an enduring peace because the ego soon churns up another mentally agitating idea to prop itself up and feel better than others.

We are all driven by a desire to gain peace of mind and be happy. But following the ego’s lead only takes us further and further away from what we really want —permanent happiness.

Happiness always comes when there is peace of mind. In fact, peace of mind is happiness.

Peace is a spiritual truth to live byPeace is our natural state. In fact, peace or bliss is the nature of our true Self.

If peace was not our natural state, we would be happy being unhappy and mentally agitated. But we know that’s not the case.

Since taking the ego’s lead brings mental agitation, which we are anxious to get rid of, the ego’s sense of separateness, division and individuality is false.

The Self is peace; it is bliss. It is merely a witness of the ego and its activities.

Unconsciously, we are seeking the Self, the source of happiness. But, not knowing that it is to be found within, we seek that happiness (unsuccessfully) in the outer world.

Where there is ego, there are always conflicts—both inner and outer. As we grow spiritually, we gradually dilute the ego and mature inwardly.

Rumi, a 13th century Persian spiritual teacher, was once asked this question, “What is spiritual maturity?” He answered, It’s when we:

  • stop trying to change others and focus on changing ourselves.
  • accept people as they are.
  • understand that everyone is correct according to their own perspective.
  • learn to let go.
  • are able to not have expectations in a relationship, and we give of ourselves for the pleasure of giving.
  • understand that what we do, we do for our own peace.
  • stop showing the world how smart we are.
  • stop seeking approval from others.
  • stop comparing ourselves to others.
  • are at peace with ourselves.
  • are able to distinguish between “need” and “want” and we are able to let go of that want.
  • Spiritual maturity is gained when we stop attaching “happiness” to material things!

You are not your ego is the second spiritual truth to live by.

#3. The world you experience is a mirror of your mind

Woman looking at her reflection symbolising the world you experience is a mirror of your mind is a spiritual truth to live byThe third spiritual truth to live by for your peace of mind is an empowering principle— the world that you experience is a mirror of your own mind.

When we have an experience, how we think and feel about it creates unconscious tendencies that prompt us to create and attract similar experiences in the future.

For example, let’s say you attend an art class for the very first time because a friend invited you. You’ve never painted before and decide to give it a try. You are surprised to see how much you enjoy the class.  You sign up for a series of classes.

As you progress, you continue taking more and more classes. You get to know other people who love painting and meet them often. You learn more about various forms of art from books, art shows, museums, the internet and live events.

Very soon, you become immersed in art.  Your circle of friends and contacts and activities become art-centred. Art is all around you. That becomes your world.

You can take this example and apply to any field and area of interest, career or endeavour such as golf, hobby, medicine, dentistry, business field, law, politics and so on.

Once you create a particular field for yourself, that is reflected back as your world. If you have no interest in antiques, for instance, you will not be in touch with people and news in that field.

This principle of the world around you mirroring your mind also applies to how you think and feel when meeting a disappointing, unsuccessful or unhappy situation. You may generate thoughts of lack and not being deserving. When these thoughts and feelings are repeated in future experiences, they become your reality—your world. You may say, “I’m lousy at sports”, “I’m always broke”, “I can’t have a partner in my life’ and so on.

Similarly, if you generate positive thoughts and feelings in a situation, they get impressed into your subconscious and you see that manifest in your life. “I always have money when I need it”, “I always get good parking spots”, “I have good friends and family”, or “I am very blessed”.

If you’d like to see things improve in your outer world, you must first ensure that the thoughts you think and words you speak are in alignment with what you want. These thoughts and feelings create the matching circumstances and people in your life.

Once this principle is understood well, you will take charge of your life, be more aware of your thoughts and responses and create a world that you feel good being in.

#4. Inner growth is the purpose of your life

Inner growth is the purpose of your life is the fourth spiritual truth to live by.

We take great pains to acquire wealth, possessions, skills, professional accomplishments and nurture relationships only to leave everything behind when we die. Surely, there must be a higher purpose underlying all these outer gains and losses of life.

When a person dies, we say he or she has passed away, or is dead and gone. Intuitively we know that the owner of the body has left and gone somewhere else.

Using the example of computers, we can say that the body is the hardware, and the personality is the software. The personality is made up of the mental and emotional makeup of a person.

The software remains even when the hardware breaks down. The software can be inserted into a new device, and it will run the same programming as before.

This is similar to what happens when our bodies die. The spiritual masters of Vedanta teach us that the individual occupying a body continues to live after death. It takes on another body to fulfill the lessons that were not completed in the previous body.

Each individual has different lessons to learn. But through all these lessons, the mind is purified and made single-pointed (the software is upgraded). Through this process, the ego is gradually dissolved until it disappears completely and it achieves oneness with the Self in meditation.

When oneness with the Self is realised, the oneness of all creation is realised. This is said to be Self-realisation or enlightenment. Yes, that is our lofty goal. That is the ultimate goal of human life.

Life is funny—we get the experience first, and then learn the lesson. This learning often isn’t easy. We can learn from the mistakes and wisdom of others to some extent, but unfortunately, we learn the best when the lessons are internalised as our own experience.

The circumstances and people in your life right now are the perfect ones to help you grow inwardly. Resisting, complaining and trying to change something that cannot be changed is like telling the universe that has infinite intelligence that you know what is better for you.

The universe is not concerned about your outer comfort and ease. It is only concerned about your inner evolution. And it is relentless. The lessons will keep presenting themselves in different forms until you learn and grow from them.

In chapter 12 of his book, Many lives, many masters, Dr. Brian Weiss shares that we take on new bodies after death to learn how to overcome particular negative traits. He gives greed as an example. You must overcome this in that lifetime. If you do not, when you return, you will have to carry that trait, as well as another one, into your next life. The burdens will become greater.

Life is like a game of Snakes and Ladders. Not learning a lesson is like landing on a square with the mouth of a snake—we slide down to a lower level and have to start progressing upwards all over again. But when we do learn a lesson, we climb the ladder and jump ahead to a higher level.

What you cannot change is here for your inner growth. It is an evolution, a metamorphosis where once a lesson is learned, you don’t go back to an earlier stage of learning. We are here to “upgrade our software”. It is a journey to achieving the realisation of the spiritual truth of oneness.

And we have come full circle back to oneness, the first spiritual truth to live by.

Towards greater peace of mind and happiness

Consciously being on the spiritual path, accepting the four spiritual truths and purposefully advancing your inner growth, takes time, patience and faith. It’s not something anyone can avoid. There isn’t really any other game in town.

This is not to make you feel frustrated or depressed. In fact, having a spiritual focus on life helps to keep your mind healthy and happy.

In one of his talks, Swami Sarvapriyananda says, The true roots of mental illness are ultimately in philosophical confusion and spiritual darkness.

Philosophical confusion is having unanswered questions about the deeper why’s of life. These can be questions such as, “What’s the purpose of life?”, “Why was I born?”, “How can I be really happy?” “What happens after death?” “Can we evade our karma?” As mentioned at the start of this article, these questions can create mental disturbances.

Once clarity on the higher purpose of life is gained and we live life with greater knowledge and understanding, depression, dejection, a sense of emptiness or purposelessness go away. You gain greater peace of mind and happiness.

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "Your Spiritual Journey" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counseling sessions on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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