Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

Of the opposites created by the human mind, the division between good and bad is spiritually most significant. It is based upon man's desire to be free from the limitation of all desires. Those experiences and actions that increase the fetters of desire are bad, and those experiences and actions that tend to emancipate the mind from limiting desires are good.

Since good experiences and actions also exist in relation to desire, they also bind in the same way as do bad experiences and actions. All binding can truly disappear only when all desires disappear. Therefore, true freedom comes when good and bad balance each other and become so merged into each other that they leave no room for any choice by the limited self of desire.

Although in humans consciousness is fully developed, one finds in it a preponderance of bad elements; since at the subhuman stages of evolution, consciousness has been chiefly operating under limiting tendencies like lust, greed, and anger. The experiences and actions created and sustained by such egocentric tendencies have left their imprints on the developing mind, and the mind has stored these imprints in the same manner as film records the movement of actors. It is therefore easy to be bad and difficult to be good.

Animal life, from which human consciousness emerges, is mostly determined by animal lust, animal greed, and animal anger — though some animals do at times develop the good qualities of self-sacrifice, love, and patience. If all the accumulated animal sanskaras had been bad and none good, the appearance of good tendencies in human consciousness would have been impossible.

Though some animal sanskaras are good, most are bad; so, at the start, human consciousness finds itself subject to a propelling force that is mostly bad. Right from the beginning of human evolution, the problem of emancipation consists in cultivating and developing good sanskaras so that they may overlap and annul the accumulated bad sanskaras.

The cultivation of good sanskaras is achieved by fostering experiences and actions opposite to those that predominate in animal life. The opposite of lust is love, the opposite of greed is generosity, and the opposite of anger is tolerance or patience. By trying to dwell in love, generosity, and tolerance, man can erase the tendencies of lust, greed, and anger.


DISCOURSES, 7th ed, pp. 61-62
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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