Days Of The Week Exercise
Talking. Only what has sense and meaning should come from the lips of one striving for higher development. All talking for the sake of talking – to kill time – is in this sense harmful.
The usual kind of conversation, a disjointed medley of remarks, should be avoided. This does not mean shutting yourself off from intercourse with your fellows; it is precisely then that talk should gradually be led to significance.
Adopt a thoughtful attitude to every speech and answer taking all aspects into account.
Never talk without cause – be gladly silent. Try not to talk too much or too little. First listen quietly; then reflect on what has been said.
This exercise may be called: RIGHT WORD
Your external actions should not be disturbing for your fellow-men.
Where an occasion calls for action out of your inner being:
Deliberate carefully how you can best meet the occasion – for the good of the whole, the lasting happiness of man, the eternal.
Where you do things of your own accord, out of your own initiative:
Consider most thoroughly beforehand the effect of your actions.
This is called: RIGHT DEED.
The ordering of life.
- To live in accordance with Nature and Spirit.
- Not to be swamped by the external trivialities of life.
- To avoid all that brings unrest and haste into life.
- To hurry over nothing, but also not to be indolent.
- To look on life as a means for working towards higher development and to behave accordingly.
One speaks in this connection of: RIGHT STANDPOINT.
Let all the foregoing exercises become a habit.
Take care to do nothing that lies beyond your powers – but also, leave nothing undone which lies within them.
Look beyond the everyday, the momentary, and to set yourself aims and ideals connected with the highest duties of a human being. For instance, in the sense of the prescribed exercises, to try to develop yourself so that afterwards you may be able all the more to help and advise one’s fellow-men – though perhaps not in the immediate future.
This can be summed up as: LET ALL THE FOREGOING EXERCISES BECOME A HABIT.
Learn as much as possible from life.
Nothing goes by without giving you a chance to gain experiences that are useful for life. If you have done something wrongly or imperfectly, that becomes a motive for doing it rightly or more perfectly, later on.
If you see others doing something, you observe them with the like end in view (yet not coldly or heartlessly).
Do nothing without looking back to past experiences which can be of assistance in your decisions and achievements.
You can learn from everyone – even from children if one is attentive.
This exercise is called: RIGHT MEMORY. (Remembering what has been learnt from experiences).
Pay attention to your ideas.
Think only significant thoughts.
Learn, little by little, to separate in your thoughts:
- the essential from the nonessential
- the eternal from the transitory
- truth from mere opinion.
In listening to the talk of your fellow-men,
- try and become quite still inwardly
- foregoing all assent, and
- still more all unfavorable judgments (criticism, rejection), even in your thoughts and feelings.
This may be called: RIGHT OPINION.
Determine on even the most insignificant matter only after fully reasoned deliberation. All unthinking behavior, all meaningless actions, should be kept far away from the soul. You should always have well-weighed reasons for everything. And you should definitely abstain from doing anything for which there is no significant reason.
Once you are convinced of the rightness of a decision, you must hold fast to it, with inner steadfastness.
This may be called: RIGHT JUDGMENT having been formed independently of sympathies and antipathies.
From time to time, even if only for five minutes daily at the same time:
- Turn your gaze inwards
- Sink down into oneself
- Carefully take counsel with oneself
- Form and test one’s principles of life
- Run through in thought one’s knowledge – or lack of it
- Weigh up one’s duties
- Think over the contents and true purpose of life
- Feel genuinely pained by one’s own errors and imperfections.
In a word: labour to discover the essential, the enduring, and earnestly aim at goals in accord with it: for instance, virtues to be acquired.
Do not fall into the mistake of thinking that you have done something well, but always strive further towards the highest standards.
This exercise is called: RIGHT EXAMINATION.