By a Friend of Truth
The ultimate reward every spiritual seeker is pining for is the vision of God, the company of his Chosen Ideal. However, we all make the experience that God is apparently not very generous in this respect – how can we then keep our spirits up?

The worst solution to this problem is the easiest, and perhaps the most common one: Instead of trying harder to reach Him/Her, to correct our course of action, to understand His way of looking at things better and to do what pleases Him rather than us, we paradoxically do the exact opposite and use spiritual titbits to make us believe that we are already having some sort of God vision and are very close to Him.

For example, we could attribute our worldly success to our spiritual efforts. How foolish! As if God took the shape of money, name and fame to reveal Himself! Were the holy men who inspire us rich and popular; did they nicely stay within the confines of customs and anxiously fulfill the expectations of society? Before they got His vision, they certainly did not.

Since every mistake – if corrected – can bring us closer to God, there must be some grain of truth in this “worst case scenario” as well. When we carefully analyze “our” success, we notice that we never achieved it on our own, but had always profited from the help of many other people. Thus, it was never our own success. But it cannot simply be said to be other people’s success either, since they are just like me. Who is then to praise? If there is no one else, why not give the credit to God…


  1. If we are to credit our "success" to God's account only, where should we credit our failures?

  2. Credit of success goes to God and credit of failure goes to the faulty instrument( The Man – We ourselves). Our ego or our desire are hurdles that makes the instrument faulty.

  3. If that's too hard, we could also look for "small successes" in our failures or opportunities we did not make use of. Usually, we are also saved (we do not die, no matter how much we failed) and could thank God for that.

  4. That reminds me of the concept of "renunciation of the fruits of action" in the Gita. However, your argument is not coherent. First, you say one should not mistake worldly success for God vision, but then it turns out that it is the sign of His presence after all. What is the difference between the way of thinking you condemn so strongly and your own approach?

  5. I agree your sentiment from a devotional perspective: not to attribute any "blemish" on God. However, from a different perspective, one would rather say, both good or bad are acts of God OR one can take the other extreme in saying: God is just the witness and He/She/It does neither good nor bad (we interpret events as good/bad based on our own reading through mind).
    But your standpoint is psychologically more helpful as it will give an individual to remove one's own defects. In the other standpoint that I have proposed, the individual may question what is the need for effort in self-improvement if there God is the doer of all actions OR if there is neither good/bad (except for our reading through the prism of mind).

  6. The argument is coherent. I "condemned" that occasionally, people tend to be proud of their spiritual achievements, either by claiming their wordly success (fame, money etc.) to be a sign of their enlightenment or, on a more subtle level, by marvelling at the outstanding results of their meditation practice. There is a huge difference between wordly and spiritual success. Whereas the former makes me greater ("I achieved this and that, look what great chap I am!"), the latter makes me smaller and other people and God greater ("Oh mind, see how great all these people around me are, praise the Lord!"). This theoretical reasoning must now be put into practice, we must find a way to exchange our attachment to worldly success for genuine spiritual success. That is why I suggested that we should first of all stop treating the small success stories of our life as our own and give credit to other people and God instead.

  7. Thank you for the clarification. Perhaps, that's what Jesus meant to say when he asked the young man to sell all his possessions and follow him (Matthew 19:21).
    You yourself are apperently not seeing a lot of greatness in the people whose way of thinking you condemn. How do you solve this contradiction? (Being a "Friend of Truth", I hope you don't mind me probing a little bit. Don't you feel that this title is a rather grand statement?!)

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