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Self Development vs. Self Realization

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:32 am
by backtohome
Question: Self Development vs. Self Realization

Before becoming Krishna conscious I attended a self-development course where you learn to connect with your inner self and reveal your unique powers such as being a psychic in order to help other people. At that time it was called Silva Ultra Mind ESP. They teach us these powers to change our bad karma into good karma and to change our negative perspective upon our past, present and future to a positive one. But also to change the life of others in a positive direction. It's mostly focused upon helping others. All this happens through silent meditation where you connect with your inner self and ask for guidance.

They say that when you connect with your inner self you can travel within any planet, universe or galaxy as you like, but only if it is for the benefit of others. They don't believe in God but believe that their powers are given by a higher intelligence. The thing is that they are really good people, and what they teach actually works! They have helped many many people with depression, to stop using drugs etc.

When I met them again I wanted to share Krishna with them, trying to tell about self-realization, which is transcendental to self-development. But they challenged by saying it's all the same, all for a greater good. I got bewildered. But I know there's nothing higher than loving and serving Krishna. So I ask you to clarify a few things for me.

What's the true difference between self-development and self-realization? Is there a difference? Is self-development in their perspective transcendental? Why is self-realization better than self-development? Is this kind of self-realization a sort of impersonalism without belief in God?

I believe that many find special powers and love (void) to be the highest platform of spirituality. But how can we tell people about the most perfect kind of love which is to love and serve Lord Krishna? How can I tell about Him so that others will understand?

I.K.


Answer: Without Knowing the Self How Can One Develop It?

We have never seen something impersonal that possesses intelligence. For example, do we have any experience of an intelligent rock? So their idea that there is higher intelligence without a higher level being to possess it if fallacious. Since the philosophical foundation of their system is fallacious we seriously doubt how much permanent value we can gain from their so-called self development system.

There are many counselors and therapists who can advise someone how to have a more cheerful outlook on life and how to become from drugs. But practically no one is teaching how to become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. This is what distinguishes the genuine self-realization system from the many so-called self development systems that are popularly being marketed to the general population nowadays. It is foolish to spend one's energy on temporary relief when one can get permanent relief instead by becoming perfect in self-realization.

Unless one realizes the actual identity of the self as the eternal spirit-soul servant of God he cannot realize or develop the self. One may develop ones mind, body, or financial status. But without knowledge of the actual self there is no actual self realization or self development and no permanent relief from the miseries of material existence.

Love is not void. Have you ever tried to love a void? Real love exists between two persons. And the supreme love is experienced in a loving relationship with the Supreme Person.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari