Question: You say there is one, basic choice to make in life - what is that choice?
It is up to you to think of yourself as the body or as the soul. If you think of yourself as the body and do not aspire, then in the spiritual life you are already dead. But if you think of yourself as the soul, that means you have already developed an inner connection with God.
Question: What is it that one needs to look for in choosing a spiritual Master?
What you need is inner guidance and outer assurance; you need somebody to guide you and constantly give you encouragement, inspiration and aspiration so that you can march along according to your soul's highest inner cry. Keep up your inner intense cry for a teacher. Then tomorrow or a few days later, you will find him. You should not miss any opportunity to go and see spiritual Masters when they give talks and hold meditations. Whoever gives you inner joy and satisfaction is your teacher.
Question: Are you saying that joy is the most important factor in choosing a Guru or Master?
The Guru who gives you boundless joy is your Master. Suppose four persons are walking down the street and you see all four of them. One will immediately attract your attention and you do not know why. The others are there, but your soul has an inner affinity with one in particular. Similarly, you may go to a spiritual Master and when you look at him, you may feel that he is someone you knew before. You may feel that something is telling you from within, "I know this man."