In this family of mankind, we are duty bound to raise our consciousness and the consciousness of all those whom we come in contact with (especially, our loved ones). ‘Raising consciousness’Â’ means becoming more and more aware. We should be aware of our own pitfalls and do something about it. We should be aware of our own ignorance and do something about removing it. We remove our ignorance by learning the lessons of life, and not just by remembering the stories. In the same way, it’s important that we help our loved ones learn their lessons too. We can only do this if we’ve learned our own. The problem is, too often we only memorize the stories of our life without really learning from them. This same error is evident in the field of religion, where preachers preach but don’Â’t practice, and where teachers teach without having learned the lessons. For example, there is so much ignorance propounded in the name of religion by religious proponents whose primary practice is the perfection of their own perplexing puzzle.

People, especially so-called ‘‘religious’ people, think they have everything all figured out. They put all the pieces together like a puzzle, and when all the pieces fit so nicely they feel absolutely positive that they themselves are the keepers of the Truth. They can quote various scriptures and connect all the dots, but THIS IS NOT THE TRUTH. The Truth is in our practices; the Truth is in our character; the Truth is in our behavior; the Truth is in ourselves and its expression is the art of living. ‘‘Connecting the dots’Â’ is not art. The Truth cannot be known by an empirical process; but neither is it known by blind faith. It is a matter of practice and direct experience.

When we practice being honest with ourselves, and don’Â’t hide behind the facade of ego and personality, our awareness expands and the horizon of our understanding is very beautiful. OM