In a June 1895 letter, Swami Vivekananda wrote from Thousand Island Park in upstate New York to Mary Hale in Chicago( CW, 8. 344)
“ The further the tones around consolidate and the more the ends approach, the further one understands the true meaning of life, that it's a dream; and we begin to understand the failure of everyone to grasp it, for they only tried to get meaning out of meaninglessness Desire, ignorance, and inequality this is the trio of thrall. Denial of the will to live, knowledge, and samesightedness is the trio of emancipation. Freedom is the thing of the macrocosm. ”
This profound passage from Swamiji’s letter provides a good starting point to reflect on the confines of inner freedom. “ The tones around consolidate ” through age, but there’s no guarantee that, on its own, simply getting old will produce a deeper understanding of life. To understand “ the true meaning of life, ” what's demanded is maturity. Only a mature person sees life for what it truly is. Without maturity, neither the “ trio of thrall ” nor the “ trio of emancipation ” will make sense.
There are three kinds of maturity physical, cerebral, spiritual. The first two — physical and cerebral maturity — generally do with age, though not inescapably at the same speed and clearly the extent of maturity varies from person to person. But spiritual maturity is neither a function of age nor indeed of experience. It's possible to grow old physically and yet remain a baby spiritually. It's possible to have all feathers of gests and yet noway learn enough from them to grow spiritually. On the other hand, it's relatively possible to see amazing spiritual maturity in someone who's youthful and “ inexperienced ” in the eyes of the world.
What's necessary for spiritual maturity? At least four factors come to mind readily.
literacy to observe without judging
The first factor is the capability to observe effects without replying incontinently. It's easy to reply, but delicate to withhold judgment and response. When we reply to what's passing outdoors, we inescapably get involved in it. A detached substantiation sees effects else than someone who's involved in a situation. Sri Ramakrishna gave the illustration of people playing chess and others observing them. The spectators can frequently see effects that the players themselves do not.( Gospel, 439, 863)
Learning to let go of the pride
But the capability to oberve calmly and without replying can be acquired only when there's a substantial reduction of the pride, which is the alternate factor essential for spiritual maturity. When the pride is strong, it wants to get involved in everything. With involvement comes the loss of capacity to be a neutral substantiation and the incapability to put one’s gests in the right environment.
literacy to see the larger picture
The third demand, also, is the capability to place one’s compliances and gests in a larger picture, and see how they relate to one’s own place in life. The capability to step back from the details doesn't come fluently, but without it one can not view a situation on a broader compass. Micro-management isn't inescapably bad, but without amacro-view, it can lead to unintended and frequently unfortunate results.
Learning from experience
Eventually, for spiritual maturity we need the capability to learn from our gests . Swami Vivekananda used to say “ To learn is religion. ”( See Swami Atulananda, With the Swamis in America and India,p. 290.) It isn't enough to simply have different kinds of gests in life, we need the capability to learn the assignments that every experience brings. This can be a lifelong process. Sri Ramakrishna’s words come to mind “ As long as I live, so long do I learn. ”
These four factors, therefore, are pivotal for the development of spiritual maturity observation without replying, reduction of the pride, contextualizing one’s gests , and learning from them. It's only a spiritually mature mind that can understand the significance of the “ trio of thrall ” and the “ trio of freedom. ”