look at why you do things

Today we ask that you be very honest about your motives, when you undertake any action.

It is always best when someone does something with a pure heart.

That is to say, it is good to act in ways that create the receiving and giving of love.

It is good, also, to take risks in such endeavors — in the giving of love, and the receiving of love.

So the pure-hearted motive is defined by the giving and receiving of love.

There is another kind of motive, which can be called the “egoic motive.”

Egoic motives have to do with dominance, profit, and status.  Egoic motives have a calculating quality.  “The bottom line” is an egoic motive.  Love does not factor into such calculations.  Fear always does.

Most actions are neither totally pure-hearted, nor totally egoic, but rather a muddled mixture of the two.

A common example is: “I am going to engage in work I don’t love, and may even cause harm to people, but I am doing it because I love my family and want to make money to support them.”

So there it is part love, part calculation.  Fear is very present in this action.  (Also, one should note that the person is giving love, but very blocked about receiving love.)

The result in these cases will often be mixed and muddled.  The person will attain some measure of wealth and status for his family.  But typically, there will be strain in the marriage, and problems in the relationships with the children as they get older.  Or the person may suffer from health problems.  

In any case, mixed motives always lead to mixed results.

That is why it is very important to closely examine your motives.

When the motive is truly rooted in the desire simply to give and receive love (and it is important to do both), generally things will work out.  This is not to say there won’t be challenges.  There is almost always a measure of challenge around healthy life experiences.  But there will be a deep well of faith to draw from.  Friends and allies will appear.  Energy will coalesce to support all actions undertaken to give and receive love.

Calculating egoic actions, conversely, may appear to be much easier and less challenging, in the short term.  Often with such choices there is the sense of “an easy solution.”  This is never the case, in truth.  When one engages in fear-based, calculating, status-driven action, any “easy solution” has a terribly high cost, which will be experienced as long-term suffering.

In general, always be wary when something presents itself as: “The Easy Solution to All Your Problems.”

That is not by any means to suggest that life must be a struggle.  That is not so!

When acting out of love, life is challenging, but in a good-feeling way.  The way going for a hike is challenging, or taking a pottery class is challenging, or establishing a regular meditation practice is challenging.

But there isn’t a miserable, despairing feeling associated with such endeavors.

The real misery and despair comes with actions that may appear to be easy, or the path of least resistance — like taking a job you don’t believe in, or spending your days engaged in meaningless activity for a steady paycheck.  Or allowing environmental ruin for short-term gain.  

Even if you are doing these things “for the good of your family,” what message do you think you are teaching your children?  You are teaching them to make the same kinds of fear-driven choices.  That is why cheating has become so commonplace in schools.  Children are taught that every activity is a means to a particular end: good grades, good colleges, status, money.  It is a very joyless, empty way to live.

This world often teaches that doing things for love is a form of madness, and that all sensible people need to make decisions from a place of fear and calculation.

But this is a terrible lie, and truly insane.

Follow your heart.  Examine your motives.  Do things that allow you to give love, and receive love.  Everything else may give you short-term gain, but will backfire in the end.