If a student wants to learn, he must make himself ready to learn. Before he learns, there are lots of things he should do. He must:
1. Clean his body
2. Get rid of his negative way of feeling
3. Exercise control over his mouth
4. Make his mind disciplined and clear
After these things are achieved, one can impart higher knowledge to him. Before this he will either distort any higher knowledge and use it for self-interest, which means against his true progress, or he will not be able to receive any higher knowledge although he will think he is receiving it. In the latter case, the “higher knowledge” will give him deep disappointment during the time of real need or test.
If a teacher imparts higher knowledge before the student is ready, the student's consciousness will not grow, but his personality will puff up. This will create an imbalance in his system while the consciousness remains empty.
One of the steps of readiness is that the student must realize that he does not know. He must see his emptiness. Sometimes it takes fifty or sixty years to come to this realization. Vanity is a heavy fog. When it descends upon the consciousness of a person, it stays a long time, affecting all his relationships.
The next step that the student must take is to find a real Teacher and surrender himself to him. Here he has two problems to overcome: He must have an instinctual discrimination and real humility. Discrimination is the ability to make right choices. Humility is the ability to overcome one's vanity or one's false belief that he knows.
One may ask, what if someone finds a real book in which higher knowledge is given; if he buys it and begins to study it, he will not need to resign his vanity, develop humility, and surrender himself to a Teacher. The answer to such a question is that unreadiness, vanity, and blindness (or absence of discrimination) are elements which make the understanding of the book impossible. If one tries to understand the book, his unreadiness, blindness, and vanity will produce in his mind those conditions in which the knowledge will increase his unreadiness, blindness, and vanity. It will also make him a very dangerous person in the world – a source of distortion, a bad example, an impostor, and a person who manipulates people for his own self-interest.
Then one may ask, why does a good Teacher, knowing all these things, write such a book? The answer is: Those who search must find. Those who search for their own interest must also meet their interest. The Sun shines upon all. Every life-form takes light and nourishment according to its nature. Some grow to increase poison; others grow to give fruits. The gardener knows what to do with them. Some plants are cared for; others are burned away.
Consciousness grows and expands because of two elements: first – true, real knowledge, and second – psychic energy. If these two elements do not mix together, the consciousness cannot expand. You must receive knowledge, and the psychic energy must help you to assimilate it. Without psychic energy, knowledge remains in your consciousness like unassimilated food in your stomach which you eventually vomit.
Psychic energy cannot operate if traces of vanity, blindness, and self-interest exist because psychic energy is a conscious Entity in all Its actions, in all locations, and in relation to everything. It is the all-pervading Holy Spirit. It operates like a fire: If you put it in a wrong container, it burns the container to ashes, but if you provide a proper container, it serves you in many ways. _______________________________________________