Be a Gentleman or Gentlewoman
Before you can become a spiritual man or woman, you must become a gentleman or a gentlewoman, in the real sense of the term. Only gentlemen and gentlewomen can become spiritual men and women. I always tell people again and again : before becoming a devotee, before even thinking of taking up spiritual life, see that you become a gentleman or a gentlewoman. And the devotee is able to be a gentleman or a gentlewoman when he or she is established, at least to some extent, in the preliminary practices leading to spiritual life.
Sometimes people remain ill-mannered and undignified all their life, because they are not able to have the right adjustment, the right attitude. It is the after-effect of a faulty childhood. It is the result of stunted growth. I often advise people to read Dale Carnegie’s books, How to win friends and Influence People and How to Stop worrying and Start Living, before they begin spiritual life.
Your Mind is Everything
Psychologists are continually revealing to us, how emotions play tricks on us, and bring about physical and mental illness of different kinds. On the other hand, proper direction and control of our emotions contribute to health and stability.
Dr. Flanders Dunbar, in her book, ‘Mind and Body’, tells of a Psychiatrist, who had a woman patient, suffering from pain, which suggested appendicitis; there were also some indications, that the disorder might be psychological. While trying to find out the cause through Psycho-analysis, the doctor remembered a similar case of a colleague, whose patient had died of a ruptured appendix. He therefore rushed his own patient to the hospital, and had her operated on, and as it turned out, just on time.
Now, the doctor himself became disturbed. The incident took place, during the Christmas season, and was still fresh in his mind, when he was invited to a family party, to which he had no inclination to go. He developed a severe abdominal pain. A Doctor-friend examined him, and recommended an immediate operation. But now, the Psychiatrist hesitated. As a Mental Health Healer, he began to trace the cause of his pain, and soon came to the conclusion, that the worry over the narrow escape had given him the idea of appendicitis. Moreover, he had had a recent talk with his mother, who had described, how his father had died of appendicitis. All of these strengthened the perception, that his pain was psychological, and that perhaps, the unwillingness to join the party had brought about an unconscious desire to spend the Christmas Day in the hospital. As soon as the man discovered its cause, the pain left him. He went to the party and enjoyed it.