Enthusiasm is a wonderful mental state, right? With heart and soul, we can passionately pursue something. We then feel in our element and supercharged. Important in the word ‘enthusiasm’ is the term thou, which comes from the Greek Theos, meaning God. Originally, ‘enthusiasm’ means ‘to be inspired by God’ (ἔνθεος / entheos, translates to ‘filled with God’). Knowing that this ‘God’ essentially represents the highest within ourselves, this blissful state means we are connected to the highest within us. Enthusiasm, always stemming from essential desires, ensures we are devoted and give our best: we then have complete attention, interest, and sensitivity for ‘that which is’. Through enthusiasm, we are devoted to ourselves and our current action: there is unity between ourselves and the action. As a child, this was a given for us, like the yoga-child in the picture, so why often not now, when we’re older?

Become enthusiastic like a child!When it comes to our personal inner development, enthusiasm is the connection between ourselves and our goal: inner freedom. No enthusiasm? No inspiration and connection to oneself and development becomes hard to achieve. Our own Self is the only authority we answer to. Nobody else will ask for our progress or wait for our ‘advancements’. We can only choose to become and follow our own teacher in all we do. Ideally, we willingly follow this inner teacher with enthusiasm! We simply follow what the best within us, our own inner wisdom, shows us. That’s discipline because discipline comes from the Latin disciplina, which means education, control, and following.

Discipline, naturally arising from enthusiasm, is our inner drive to follow with full commitment what is necessary, to learn and to master, and what’s necessary is determined by our own awake discernment. This applies to our inner development, but also to our development in terms of expression, flourishing, and craftsmanship. Discipline is in a sense synonymous with enthusiasm: we ‘follow’ from a unity between ourselves and ‘what is’. Duality disappears and we have an ‘a-dvaita’ experience, a non-dual experience, the experience where duality (me + something else) in our perception dissolves from a pure essential identification.

We then do what’s ‘necessary’, i.e., what the universe asks of us out of unconditional love for ‘what is’. We come to full bloom in whatever we do. We no longer act by ‘doing’ but by ‘not doing’, by following. We are completely in the world and no longer of the world.

Doing What is Necessary

You enthusiastically tackle everything that comes your way that promotes your growth. You don’t avoid anything. Any reluctance disappears. You follow the directions that your discernment (Buddhi) shows you and undertake the effort that is necessary. As mentioned, discipline is an enthusiastic following of what your own discernment tells you at that moment. Whether those are ‘higher’ matters like spiritual development and creating a masterpiece, skills like playing music or football, or regular household chores like washing dishes or shopping, it makes no difference. You simply do it with full attention, and this naturally fuels your enthusiasm again. This way, we are fully present in doing or not-doing. In self-remembrance. This way, we become our own teacher (even if we have good teachers) and fully determine our own progress. Reluctance is increasingly rare. Studying and doing regular tasks become fulfilling and can feel like a celebration.


© Michiel Koperdraat