Those who talk of blind obedience may appear to know many things, but they do not understand the doctrines of the gospel. There is an obedience that comes from a knowledge of the truth that transcends any external form of control. We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.
When I as a boy first started out in the ministry, I would frequently go out and ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, and showed me the truth, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, until he made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. He did not have to send an angel from the heavens to do this, nor did he have to speak with the trump of an archangel. By the whisperings of the still small voice of the Spirit of the living God, he gave to me the testimony I possess. And by this principle and power he will give to all the children of men a knowledge of the truth.
History and exact science he must learn by laborious reading. Colleges, in like manner, have their indispensable office -- to teach elements. But they can only searve us when they aim not to drill but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and, by the concentrated fires, set the hearts of their youth on flame.
A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions.
The material body can be likened to a computer/machine. Each person operates his own private computer/machine, and when he is finished using his machine, it no longer has any value because no one else can operate it. When the operator is present, the value of the computer certainly exceeds the net worth of its ingredients. Without an operator, however, a computer has no useful function, and is worth no more than the scrap value a junk dealer will pay for its component bits of plastic and metal.
When we are attracted to a person, what we are really attracted to is the particle of life, i.e., atma. Without the presence of this atma, without life, you see a body for what it really is: just a hunk of blood, guts, flesh, bones, teeth, stool, mucus, hair, urine, bile, and so on—a bag of chemicals. The monetary value of this bag of chemicals called the material body is about $9.
What is your essence? Is it matter - a mere collection of material atoms and molecules? Or is it something else?
The body is yours - but it is not you. The body is a garment that you are wearing, a machine that you are using, a vehicle that you are driving. The body is your possession. Just as a person does not identify himself as being the shirt he is wearing, he also should not identify himself with the body that he is wearing.
If you erroneously identify yourself with your body, you will conclude that your existence will end with the destruction of your body. But if you know that you are the eternal self within the body, you know that your existence will not end when your body dies.
This planet can be made a happier, more peaceful place to live, but the change will have to come from within the hearts of all of us living here
A person who tries to be a goswami is careful not to engage in those activities that are harmful to his spiritual development. For example, he refrains from taking intoxicants (including all sorts of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and so on); from having illicit sex; from gambling; and from eating meat, fish, and eggs.