For most people, virtue or discipline means control, and this control is usually imported from another person, even if not actually imposed by him. This control has a motive – to attain “enlightenment” or to protect one’s reputation. The fact that discipline needs a source in another person shows the whole of the being does not see the need for it! The intellect, with its own motive, sees that the “discipline” suggested by someone else is profitable, though the “heart” still clings to the opposite – namely pleasure or profit. This split in the personality makes a mockery of the discipline – self-control becomes self-deception.
There is no harmony within. Instead there is conflict between the head and the heart. Intellectually we assent to a spiritual truth, proclaimed by someone else, but the heart is elsewhere.
How can we heal this split? Not by subduing one or the other. The subdued or suppressed person or feeling turns into an enemy! We can neither suppress this conflict nor can we allow it to pollute our lives.
But when we give the problem all our attention, the ego, realizing its helplessness, dissolves – and with it the conflict. Then there is order, which has no use for “control”.