Need to be wide awake to lead a spiritual life

If one wants to lead the spiritual life, one must not be three-fourths asleep. It is necessary to be wide awake and very attentive, otherwise you are like a little boat upon a river or a great sea with terrible currents, and if you are not alert, if you do not pay close heed to these currents, if you relax, relax your vigilance, all of a sudden you find that you are at the other end from where you wanted to go! You are carried away, just like that, quite naturally. “Why, yes, I wanted to go there and I find myself here!”
That’s how it is.

In ordinary life this happens all the time. Only, you know, in ordinary life one says, “It is circumstances, it is fate, it’s my bad luck, it is their fault”, or else, “I have no luck.” That is very, very, very convenient. One veils everything and expects… yes, one has happy moments and then bad ones, and finally—ah, well, finally one falls into a hole, for everybody tumbles over, and expects to, sooner or later. So, one does not worry, or worries all the time—which comes to the same thing. That is, one is unconscious, one lives unconsciously and puts all the blame for what happens on others and on the circumstances but never tells oneself: “Why! It is my own fault.”… It needs a sufficiently vast consciousness to begin. Even among those who profess to be conscious, there are not many who see clearly enough to become aware that all that happens to them comes from what they are and from nothing else. They always say, “He is wrong; circumstances are unfavourable; oh! Why was that done?”—If you were not what you are, it would not happen in this way. It would happen differently.

Ref: Questions and Answers 1954