In the spiritual life, there is no standing still. Our consciousness is never static: we are forever rising or falling, ascending on the wings of aspiration or descending into the clutches of desire and attachment, striding towards a better future or lapsing into deplorable habits of our past.

It is up to us to keep the curve of our aspiration ever rising, always looking forwards and upwards. If we lower our gaze and allow our aspiration-curve to flatten, then gravity and inertia will inevitably drag it downwards.

The muscles of the fittest athlete will atrophy if not exercised. Daily-polished woodwork shines: left alone for a week, its sheen surrenders to dust. If we neglect our daily meditation, we can lose all the hard-earned benefits of years of spiritual discipline.

We embody all the forces of the universe: which of these forces guide us, power us and shape our destiny depends on our conscious and continuous choices. At every moment we are choosing positive or negative, light or darkness, action or inertia, expansion or contraction, selfless or selfish, progress or regress. Like an object suspended in space, which will fall if not supported by a force stronger than gravity – unless we consciously make each positive choice, the default course of our human nature will always be to sink back into our known and familiar ways, however painful, depressing and destructive that path may be.

Only when a rocket has shot completely beyond the earth’s atmosphere is it free from the edict of gravity: only once total illumination, liberation and God-realisation are achieved are we safe from crashing back down to the quagmire of our desire-bound, dissatisfied, unfulfilled and unfulfillable lives and selves.

Never flatten your spiritual progress-curve: polish your aspiration always, so it shines and rises ever.