Spiritual life is an invitation to opposites. It’s the acceptance of both matter and spirit, it’s the notion that less is more, it’s the experience of being in control and not.
Growing small is not about being small. It’s about recognizing our place in the great scheme of things, and that each day, and moments within them, add up to this thing called life. And within the short span of this life connecting with the ‘arc of life’ verse from the Gita: ‘Never was there a time that I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings. Nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.” BG 2.12
This verse awes me with it’s length and it’s breath. Krishna is telling us that we are always alive. That we are connected to Him in that way. That makes us both small and big. In the past, in the present and in the future. He is reminding Arjuna of that on the battlefield, reminding him of the bigger picture that gives us all access to and eligibility for our relationship with Krishna.
To reach inside and find this ‘I’ we need 3 things - a trust in the teachings (which we get by reading/ studying/ hearing), enthusiasm to follow the teachings (to take up the practice/ follow the guidelines with energy), and determination (to keep commitments, to hang in there).
Making spiritual advancement means working for change. Material energy pushes our ego, our sense of self, our pride, our ability to control - all the things that make us feel big. A good spiritual practice will soften all that. It allows us to feel a new identity and new sense of self - we don’t need to be right, to be better, to be first, even to be sure. We are safely held, in service and in love, as a small but significant part of an eternal universal story.