To the yogi, all experience is seen as one, as a means to help him cultivate devotion. All experiences have equal meaning and value. (154)
Religious devotion is for the individual. Character is for all. There is no loss if there is no devotion. Everything is lost if there is no character.
MEDITATION & DEVOTION Most of our life issues and psychological problems occur from a lack of love and devotion. We are searching for love outside of ourselves. We are seeking to be loved, rather than to give love. A criteria of spiritual maturity is when we begin to give love, rather than to ask for love. Through developing love and devotion, we learn to love all beings. We develop our inner being, the meditative quality within, the inner source of love and truth, the divine source inside ourselves, through which we can let love flow through us, not only to benefit ourselves, but for the good of all.
Philip wasn't the sort of man to make a friend of a woman. He wanted devotion. I gave him that. I did, you know. But I couldn't stand being made a fool of. I couldn;t stand being put on probation, like an office-boy, to see if I was good enough to be condescended to. I quite thought he was honest when he said he didn't believe in marriage -- and then it turned out that it was a test, to see whether my devotion was abject enough. Well, it wasn't. I didn't like having matrimony offered as a bad-conduct prize.
For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.
Every organized religion holds that certain behaviors, rituals, personalities, places, and/or books are sacred. These organized teachings are proper in their own place, but they are mere options for the one infused with devotion. To such a one, God is direct and spontaneous, providing him with an immediate source of guidance and direction. His relationship with God is not mediated through anyone or anything. (104)
Nothing could replace the feeling of total devotion from another person.
Peace and supreme joy may seem like end-states to practitioners on more difficult spiritual paths, but the path of devotion should be filled with peace and joy from the very beginning. Their absence is an indication that something is amiss. (125)
Spiritual literature can be a great aid to an aspirant, or it can be a terrible hindrance. If it is used to inspire practice, motivate compassion, ad nourish devotion, it serves a very valuable purpose. If scriptural study is used for mere intellectual understanding, for pride of accomplishment, or as a substitute for actual practice, then one is taking in too much mental food, which is sure to result in intellectual indigestion. (152)
Attention is the beginning of devotion.