Qualifications of the Aspirant: Readiness to Serve — Mistakes in worldly judgment

Just as the worldly-minded have a tendency to judge positive contributions in terms of magnitudes, they also make a similar mistake in judging obstacles, handicaps, and adversities. Thus, for most persons, the adversity of another must assume colossal proportions if it is to deserve notice. It is characteristic of the worldly to give more importance to things that take shape in external and tangible ways than to things that are silent elements of inner life. Devastating war, for example, is considered to be’a greater calamity than lingering lives filled with bitter hatred; though from the purely spiritual point of view, lives filled with bitter hatred are not in any way less evil than devastating wars. War assumes so much importance because of the many visual instances of cruelty, but hatred is equally unbeautiful even when it does not materialize itself into outward action. In the same way, epidemics, injuries, and the sufferings of the deathbed invite more attention from the worldly-minded than the agonies of the heart that is heavy with the burden of unquenchable desire.

-Discourses 7thEd, p362

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