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Do you remember Aesop’s fable about Hercules, a mythical Greek hero known for his strength, and the wagoner?

A wagoner once drove a heavy load along a very muddy road. The horses pulled for all they were worth, but, no doubt about it, the wagon was stuck. The wagoner laid his whip to the horses without effect. But he disdained to get off and put his own shoulder to a wheel. Therefore, the wagon remained firmly mired in the mud. As a last resort, he prayed to Hercules the Strong for assistance.

Hercules duly appeared. “Listen,” he snapped, “get off and put your own shoulder to the wheel!”

That was one way of getting back to the basics of life. But there is another. The wagoner wanted Hercules to do the hard work, without lifting a finger to get out of his own mire. An ECKist, on the other hand, does absolutely all he can to remove himself from a difficulty, but then he takes the additional step of asking for the Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ’s aid.

It’s the best way of getting back to the basics of life.

I addressed this very same theme in a recent article to the RESAs, but at a higher spiritual level. You will profit greatly if you take it to heart. It reads:

People can test the very limits of your patience. And so often they do. That robs you of whatever peace and contentment you thought you had once gained.

So how do you get back to the basics of life? Go back to the big picture.

In The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Book Two, it says: “If a chela of ECK can have no peace within himself, it is written that he cannot bring peace to others. The mystery of peace is found only within one, and he has to distribute his state of selflessness to others to bring degrees of peace; that is, if they are ready and willing to accept this quality of God within themselves.”

Doesn’t that evoke the very picture of Peddar Zaskq in The Tiger’s Fang as he looks upon the warring worlds within him? Somehow, he had to learn to resolve that ruinous conflict within himself.

He did, and you can too.

Again, the Shariyat, Book Two, says this: “Those living in the state of selflessness will speak gently and carefully, selecting their words to give life to others.”

Now, this can only happen when you are at peace within yourself.

Remember the words of ECK Master Rebazar Tarzs to the seeker in Stranger by the River.

“Before you can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven,” he says, “it is necessary that you balance the scale of harmony within thyself.”

So everything begins with peace. Without it, there is no selflessness. No reaching a true seeker. No dealing effectively with the many people you run across in your everyday duties and responsibilities.

It is vitally important for you to periodically make a careful assessment of yourself. Who are you? Where are you? What are your spiritual goals? Have they inadvertently slipped from the lofty standards you had once set for yourself? Lots of questions, these.

The Shariyat, Book Two, puts it all into perspective. It’s a reminder about the power of the Spiritual Exercises of ECK. The stresses of daily living can cause us to forget.

It reads: “To the ordinary man the mantra would appear to be nonsensical, a sound which is only the response of the brain to a certain range of vibration transmitted by the air that surrounds him. But, nevertheless, it is a powerful instrument of love and detachment for that ECK chela who practices it regularly. He reaches out to people whom he will never know and changes the course of their lives from the Kal forces which might be gripping them to the ECK which will lead them to God.”

There’s a lot of wisdom here for you to get back to the basics of life.

—Sri Harold Klemp

What qualities of God are you willing to accept within yourself? Review this article for as many God qualities as you can find. There are several given—either directly or subtly.

Choose one quality as a focus in your spiritual exercise. Then pull that focus forward into your day. The Mᴀʜᴀɴᴛᴀ will provide reminders.