“Master how can we differentiate between people who we meet”, a student who had recently joined the ashram asked in one of the Q&A sessions. “How can we know who are good people and who are not so good”.
Master looked towards the new convert understandingly and replied “You have asked a pertinent question. All of us who are associated with others need to differentiate between who to associate with and who to let go. Let me give you a rough guide in mentally segregating people.
All people are a play of two opposing forces: The Egoic and the Spiritual. The egoic force pushes you to identify with yourself as a physical being while the spiritual force makes you identify with your ethereal or transcendent being.
To clarify, lets say there is a bee in the beehive who is acutely aware of itself and its needs of food, safety and procreation. It is an individuated bee who is at the centre of its world. However there is also another bee who is acutely conscious of the entire hive community, principles of foraging, construction principles of the physical hive and as a result of all this expansive consciousness views itself as a small part of a much bigger system. Now you see there are two kinds of bees that result from these viewpoints: One who has dominant self consciousness while the second one has dominant system consciousness. We can say one is more egoic and second is more spiritually oriented.
Now, all people that you meet in your normal routine, are likewise a play of these two opposing forces: The centripetal force of ego or the centrifugal force of spirituality. What you need to determine when you meet them is thus simply: In most life decisions which is their dominant guiding force, egoic or spiritual.”
“But master how can we identify what is the ascendant trait when we meet them. What are the symptoms to identify each” the new recruit’s curiosity was not yet exhausted.
“That is simple to see. People who are more self centered, angry, pushy, comfort seeking, bodily decoration and pleasures oriented have larger egoic tendencies. While people who are community oriented, generous and helping of others, ruled by empathy and sympathies, are more spiritual oriented.”
“So master, people with egoic bent are bad and with spiritual leanings, good and once we identify them we should treat them accordingly”. The student wanted to clarify.
“No this is not so black and white”, master answered. “No one has only one or the other traits. All of us have both kinds of traits or we are hybrid beings in state of transition. To understand this gradient, let me give you an approximate spiritual scale.
Lets say, most people are at 20% spiritual level. This is where ego is at 100% level and Spiritual is at 20% level. As one continues on the path of spiritual practice of charity, community service, alignment with God, meditative practices; egoic consciousness starts to decrease and spiritual awareness starts to rise ( system awareness rises at the expense of elemental awareness). At 50% spiritual level, your ego drive might have fizzled to 60% and spiritual quotient risen to 50%. This means even now you will be moved by egoic considerations in lots of situations however you will now also be guided by spiritual choices in very many. At 70% spiritual level you turn into a saint where your personal considerations are almost superseded by your overall spiritual outlook.
People you meet are at various spiritual-egoic levels and you also have a certain level. Now you naturally gravitate towards people who are at a similar level as you. All your close friends, by a natural clustering process, thus,would be people at the same spiritual-egoic level.
As about when you get to make a choice between people to keep company; golden rule is to avoid people who are below you on the spiritual scale and seek those who are above you. This will help your own spiritual growth from your current egoic levels.” Master concluded.