Knowing what to do and doing it go hand in hand. If there is a disconnect between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’, we are living in unreality. Unreality is self-deception. When we deceive ourselves we become deluded. Self-delusion is born of Ignorance–it arises when we ignore what we know and don’t do what we know we should do. People who constantly ignore doing what they know they need to do become delusional.
Self-delusion is prevalent in all walks of life, but I will talk about self-delusion on the spiritual path.
The ‘spiritual path’ is supposed to be the way to Self-Realization (Enlightenment, At-one-ment, Nirvana, Moksha, etc.). But it is impossible to actually realize the Truth without practicing it. To reach one’s destination one must walk in the right direction. If we take a wrong turn along the way and don’t correct ourselves, we will not reach our destination, we will not end up where we really want to go. Unfortunately, this is the situation with many people who search for the Truth.
It is easy to delude ourselves into thinking we are knowers of truth. There are people who think they know everything, but until we realize that we know nothing it is impossible to become truly wise. There are many so-called spiritual masters who are presumably experienced guides on the spiritual path, and yet few of them have truly trodden that path. There are many people who are wise in their own eyes, even though they remain spiritually blind.
It is easy to preach but difficult to practice what you preach. How can you teach others if you haven’t learned your own lessons? There are people who profess to know the truth, and yet they live untruthful lives and continue to delude themselves. We are untruthful to ourselves if we compromise our principles to please our ego or gratify the selfish whims of our mind. If the mind hasn’t been purified, we will continue to live in the putrid feelings of our small self. Decorating our mind with images of unreality will not remove the stench of our self-centered habits and gross persona.
There is only one path to the Truth and that is the ‘path within’. The ‘path within’ means we need to be self-contained and zealously avoid self-contamination. We need to restrain our ego and purify the mind. This is done through our daily actions. It is not accomplished by merely reading a book, going to so-called places of worship, or attending a self-help seminar or spiritual discourse.
If we don’t know what we need to do, then we need to find out what that is. Once we know what we need to do, we need to practice it. When our practice becomes perfect (which means, ‘when we remove all our excuses’), then our ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ will be in concord, and that harmony will resonate in our whole being, and we will have attained the highest state of Consciousness. OM