The whole man1In all walks of life — especially in the athletic world — from the spiritual point of view the whole man represents perfection; the whole man represents satisfaction: perfection for satisfaction and satisfaction in perfection.
Present-day human life, unfortunately, is a far cry from perfection for satisfaction and satisfaction in perfection. Indeed, it offers us a most deplorable picture. Man the body is ignorance. Man the vital is arrogance. Man the mind is doubt. Man the heart is insecurity. But there is also man the soul. The soul, which is inside the body yet far beyond the earth-bound body-consciousness, is the direct representative of our Inner Pilot. Man the soul is aspiration-flight. And finally, man the God is Satisfaction-Delight.
Here we are all seeker-athletes. All athletes, without fail, are potentially great and good. A great athlete is a little man tirelessly inspired. A good athlete is a simple life sleeplessly awakened. The great athlete in us seeks excellence. The good athlete in us seeks transcendence. Excellence quite often arrives at a dead end. Transcendence always reaches an ever-new beginning and an ever-new dawn. Excellence is success and transcendence is progress. The athlete in us is the discoverer of success and the inventor of progress. The outer world is success-thirst. The inner world is progress-hunger.
What about the poor and ill-fated athlete in us? O poor, ill-fated athlete, your prayer will one day change your attitude towards God’s Will. Your ultimate oneness with God’s Will will give you infinitely more happiness than the supremely successful athlete can ever hope to achieve.
There are two worlds: the outer world and the inner world. Even so, there are two competitions: the outer competition and the inner competition. The outer competition begins and ends. The inner competition has a beginningless start and an endless finish. In the outer competition, we compete with the rest of the world. In the inner competition, we compete with our fear, doubt, anxiety, worry and so forth. In the inner competition, we compete with our ignorance of millennia.
Just because time and again we have had deplorable defeats and failures, we must not retire from the athletic world. No, only we have to aspire more soulfully, more devotedly and more unreservedly. We are the connecting link between our aspiration and our inspiration. Aspiration we are; inspiration we offer.
Our aspiration-longing is our ultimate becoming. Because we long for something, eventually we become that very thing. Our longing is our self-transcendence. Transcendence always will lead us far beyond the domain of cancerous fear and poisonous doubt. Freed from fear, we become great. Freed from doubt, we become good. Greatness influences the outer man. Goodness inspires the inner man. Greatness, no doubt, eventually triumphs; but goodness eternally reigns supreme in the heart of aspiring mankind. Greatness haughtily and incorrectly says, “I have everything, I am everything.” Goodness humbly and soulfully says, “My Beloved Lord Supreme is all Compassion for me. Out of His infinite Bounty, at His choice Hour, He will grant me what He has and what He is.”
Let us all aspire. To aspire is to widen our horizons. Our eternal journey’s eternal cry is man the God. Our infinite Goal’s infinite Smile is God the man. Let us share this unparalleled wisdom with the rest of the world and thus liberate bondage, radiate love, lengthen peace and strengthen oneness. Oneness manifests fulness, and fulness is the whole man. Since we are primarily dealing with the athletic world, let us go to its source: the Olympics. The Olympics is an unprecedented, auspicious, glorious and precious Greece-Vision. And what is this Vision? This Vision is nothing other than world-happiness. Happiness is love bubbling forth into the newness and fulness of true life, illumining life and fulfilling life.
The Olympics towers above all man-made differences. It is infinitely bigger than race. It is eternally brighter than colour. It is supremely better than religion. It is not only constantly one with the evolution-hunger of aspiring mankind but it is also humanity’s satisfaction-meal and perfection-nourishment.
The human athlete in us clings to great expectation. The divine athlete in us clings to an existence — life which is surrendered to God’s Will, Him to please in His own Way. The Supreme Athlete in us is God. God the Supreme Athlete has three members in His immediate family who walk in His Footsteps: His son, Speed; His daughter, Skill; and His son, Strength. Skill helps her brother, Speed, and this way Speed achieves supreme victory and supreme glory. When necessity demands, Skill also helps her brother, Strength, and Strength achieves boundless glory and boundless victory. Again, when it is necessary, the sister helps both the brothers together to achieve supreme victory and supreme glory. Meanwhile, all the time the Father watches. While watching, He blesses His daughter, Skill, inside the gratitude-hearts of His sons, and the three children, in return, offer to the Father their victory’s breathless silence and deathless sound.
EHWM 76. Lake Placid School of Art; Lake Placid, NY, USA, 3 December 1978↩