EVENING REVIEW ON ESSENTIALS AND NON-ESSENTIALS
The key to the spiritual life and to all the occult mysteries is contained in the following statement:
"The student of the Book of Life must distinguish between essentials and non-essentials."
In this review, look back over the day now ending, noting what use you made of emotion and of thought.
Apply the truth quoted above (that one must distinguish between essentials and non-essentials) as a touchstone to every problem and situation of an emotional nature, to every personality reaction, to every mental exertion. Apply it not (in this review) to the use of your time or to your physical plane active life.
Ask yourself and formulate clear unequivocal answers:
1. How much of my inner thought life today revolved around non-essentials? How much was consecrated to spiritual essentials and to matters of importance in the Larger Life?
2. Were my emotional reactions (either silent or expressed) concerned with spiritual essentials or personality non-essentials?
3. Were those comments that I made today, the discussion in which I engaged, concerned with spiritual essentials, or not? Did my words serve to emphasize the soul's role in my brother's life?
4. How often do my words feed and call attention to the non-essential and, therefore, the unnecessary?
Do not permit yourself to dawdle over the review. Do not indulge in emotionalism during the review. Do not waste time trying to re-live the day. Simply re-view it.
Faithful use of the evening review, carried forward systematically on the mental plane, from the position of the serene detached Observer, aids and steadies your unfoldment of consciousness in several ways. The benefits most noticeable to you, probably, will be:
(a) A better night's sleep. The mental discipline of the review at day's end ensures the transition from waking to sleeping via one of the higher centers, thus enabling you to move in consciousness directly form the waking hours of physical plane service activity onto the mental plane, there to engage in the night's training experience. The more firmly focussed you are on the mental plane while preparing for sleep, the less likely are you to waste the hours of sleep roaming about the astral plane. By regulating your sleep habits and arranging your sleeping quarters so that the hours from ten till five are given to learning, training, serving on the mental plane, you ensure the deep, sound sleep so refreshing to the physical vehicle, so cleansing to the astral body.
(b) Freedom from constant self-analysis, self-inspection, self-concern. A planned, purposeful review every evening should satisfy the normal need to oversee one's own life. At the same time, a close look, in a clear light, at regular frequency, should relieve any neurotic compulsion to stare continuously at the motions of one's own three bodies.
(c) Release from attachment to the Past. The morning meditation points your whole attention forward. The evening review, briefly, turns your attention backward. As a regular experience, day after day, year after year, the view ahead is by far more lovely, more inspiring, more ennobling, more joyous than the view backward. Once you have learned this (and it is one of the major spiritual truths) you will waste no more time and emotion upon the "dear dead past beyond recall". The future will then be served more energetically, more generously, and you will be a force for progress in your environment.