Over the past few weeks we have been posting the 7 supporting ascension attitudes that make up a life of spiritual mastery, together with the 3 primary ascension attitudes of love, praise and gratitude. Today we will finish this series with the last supporting attitude – generosity.
If there is one thing that characterizes nature perhaps more than anything else, it is abundance. Spring does not just bring one flower, the pine tree does not produce just one seed and everywhere we look, teeming life speaks of the generous abundance within the natural world.
Generosity is the allowing of this natural abundance to use us as a vehicle. It is therefore simply life giving to itself. The person of vision will realize that to withhold is not an option. For the minute we close ourselves to the flow of life, we not only close ourselves to giving but also to receiving and stagnation and atrophy occur. To illustrate this:
Two little ponds nestled side by side on the mountain top. “I wonder what’s over the edge”, said one little pond. “Perhaps I ought to take a look.” “Don’t do it!”, said the other little pond in alarm. “Save your water in case you dry up.”
But the first little pond edged towards the cliff and seeing the wonderful world below poured itself over the side of the mountain. He tumbled down as a waterfall and flowed into a small stream where cows drank and children played and where flowers grew along the banks. He went all the way to the ocean and saw whales, dolphins and boats. He evaporated into the clouds where seagulls flew and saw even more. Finally, when the clouds swept up the side of the mountain, he rained down next to the second little pond.
“Whee!” he said. “That was fun! I’m going again!” As he got ready to tumble over the edge again, he looked back and saw that a thin layer of slime had formed on his friend.
Generosity is life-affirming and inclusive. It helps others build rather than keeping them on the treadmill. To give and give again but find that instead of advancing, we have just perpetuated the status quo, does not serve the evolution of awareness. The gift must be proportionate to the need, however. We cannot give a homeless, jobless, hungry man $1 and not expect him to need again the following day. At the same time, supplying all his needs but not assisting him to remedy the lack of perception that caused his dilemma, is not really meeting his needs at all.
Can one really thrust perception onto another just because his hunger needs to be assuaged? Is there any assurance that this is not exactly the life he desires or was destined for? The answer to both questions must be “No”. Generosity means giving at the level another is prepared to receive.
Generosity requires sensitivity; not only the sensitivity to gauge our fellow man’s readiness (not worthiness, for everyone who lives and breathes is but a part of us) to receive, but also the sensitivity to assess the level at which he is capable of receiving.
Giving that is done to compensate for our own inadequacies (e.g., we do not feel lovable, so we settle for feeling needed), is a barren gift devoid of spirit. Let us therefore give like nature, “For to withhold is to perish”, asking neither for recognition nor gratitude or even self-satisfaction to sanction the deed, but because we are heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven and all that the Father has is ours.
“There are those who give little of the much
which they have–and they give it for recognition and
their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life,
and their coffer is never empty…”
Giving, by Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)