the Basica

  Do not worry for what may come after this life. You need not wait until you die to go to heaven. If you can bring one person joy or alleviate one person's suffering, even for a moment, heaven is in that moment. If you can appreciate those around you and all that you have, you have reached heaven in that moment. You also need not wait until death to go to hell. If you care for someone and cannot be of help or service in that person's time of need, hell is in that moment. If you dwell in resentment or in self recrimination, you have found hell.

  There is no separation from God. If you close yourself, you will suffer. But you cannot be away from God, and God will suffer with you.

  We cannot afford to stand idly by while others are in pain and sorrow. We cannot afford judgmentalism. We cannot afford a lack of love and joy.

  Accept people as they are, to the extent that you can, and meet them where they are in each moment. Where there is good reason, assist them in change to the extent that they are interested and able. Aside from that, let them be. You cannot force them to change. They are as they are, and you are as you are.

  When you aid someone, do not be angry with yourself because you cannot do more than you are able. A person will soar who will soar; a person will fall who will fall. This is not destiny, but your part is both larger and smaller than you think. Do what you can, and let your help be what it is.

  Beware of seeking reward either in this life or after. If you do right and then turn to look for a prize, you begin by causing something that you hope to be of value to occur and end by proclaiming, "I am the special one who has done this thing." While it matters to yourself and others both what you do and that it is you doing it, be careful not to allow your motives to become jaded.

  You will find the potential for both pleasure and pain as a result of whatever you do, whether it be that which is right or that which wrong, and whether your intentions be good or ill. And so you may feel rewarded or punished, whether fairly or unfairly. Because this is so widely known, it has been said there is no true altruism. But note the difference between the reward of an act and its merit. While any action may potentially produce reward, of one sort or another, good for the right reasons holds its own worth. The farther one strays from this, the more one must seek reward, for merit in the act itself is lost. Where reward comes, accept it graciously. Handle less pleasant consequences with equal dignity. But let the merit of an act guide you.

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