The religious man aims at 'freedom'. Freedom from what? From everything that thwarts, limits or pains him. We may paraphrase it thus: He aspires to move from fear to fearlessness, from weakness to strength, from ignorance to wisdom, from sorrow to bliss, from a sense of being finite to a habitual communion with the Cosmic Self. To employ a term used by many now-a-days, he seeks ' evolution'. He wants progress on all fronts, and that too, quickly.
What is the use of waiting lazily and of looking on while the rest of the world is steadily on the march? What we want is speed, - to march abreast of others, if not literally to outstrip them. And what does this speed imply? Overcoming more resistances, cultivating more virtues, developing more goodwill, doing more service and achieving more inward stability within a given time than ever before. The formula may even be put as: 'greater unfoldment within less time '..
But then what is 'time'? What is the most advantageous way of looking at it from the standpoint of a spiritual aspirant? For ordinary purposes we estimate 'time' by observing the arms of a watch. A little reflection will show us that the watch is just imitating the movement of the sun in the Sky.
'God Himself appears as Time' says one scripture. It is He who appears as 'our life- time', as year after year, as month after month, as day after day, and naturally as , second' after 'second'. Indeed, what we ordinarily call ' our mind' is really God's own outstretched hands, and every 'second' is His unrecognized request to us: ' What will you place here?' Not seeing this, we look elsewhere, react wrongly, and place in His hands our thoughts of hatred, malice and self- aggrandisement! Just for a 'second' only. He drops such harmful thought, as it were, and stretches forth His hands again, that is another 'second', a fresh opportunity to put the correct, holy thought. If this is the truth, when is it that we can afford to indulge in an unholy thought?