My original goal with this post was to address political turmoil and global strife from a spiritual perspective. For example, Krishna told his foremost disciple, Arjuna: “Get away from My ocean of suffering and misery! Give thyself single-heartedly to Me and I will lift thee out of the sea of delusion.” Likewise, Jesus said, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Okay, fine; but not quite. We’re too confronted with the perils of this period to readily set aside the external drama so easily. That doesn’t make divine counsel wrong, however. Rather, we need to understand why such advice is pertinent in order to more skillfully manage being in a messy soup of a world. Since the subject emerged as a dream-nature-of-reality theme, I felt my unenlightened perspective could ring hollow. Accordingly, I opted to present excerpts of Self-Realized wisdom that, hopefully, shall provide a measure of comfort to offset the dose of “I can’t believe it!” we’re faced with daily.
“Man is still striving to prove to himself that this world is not an ocean of suffering, but he will never be able to do so. Sometimes we feel sure we have caught the butterfly of happiness, but in the next instant it has darted away from our hand. Why not concentrate on the soul bird-of-paradise that resides in the bodily cage? Nourish it a little bit every day with the only food by which it can live: devoted meditation.”
“Don’t expect to attain unalloyed peace and happiness from earthly life…no matter what your experiences are, enjoy them in an objective way, as you would a movie. You have to find true peace and happiness within yourself …..If you lose your inner balance that is just the time when you are vulnerable to worldly suffering.”
“If you are attached to human happiness, you are in for a lot of trouble, because nightmares are inevitable along with the beautiful dreams. But if you will think of a dream as a dream, whether it is enjoyable or dreadful, you will have peace. When you realize that life is a dream, then you are free…. Therefore, the masters say, “Awake from both the beautiful dreams and the nightmares.”
“The sages of India since ancient times have spoken of the universe as a materialization of the thought of God. It is easy to say, of course, that this universe is a dream. But the verisimilitude of “life” in our everyday experiences makes it nearly impossible for us to believe that the world is nothing more than a cosmic dream. It is necessary that we first develop mind power in order to be able to realize that the universe is actually made out of the thought of God and that, like a dream, it is structurally evanescent.”
“We know that thoughts are invisible. But in dreamland they may be made visible by the force of energy. So originally this whole universe—in the form of God’s thoughts—was invisible, hidden within the cosmic stream of consciousness. Only when those thoughts were crystallized by God’s cosmic intelligent vibration, or energy, did they become visible to us as the material universe. So, although it is difficult to realize that this cosmic dream universe is merely a dream, we should endeavor to think along this line..”
“…do not take your earth experiences too seriously. The root-cause of sorrow is in viewing the passing show with emotional involvement….ever affirm, “It is all a dream. It will soon pass.” Then no trouble can be a great trial to you…”
“This show has a purpose: that you learn how to play the various parts of the life movie without identifying your Self with your role…The best way to dissociate yourself from your difficulty is to be mentally detached, as if you were merely a spectator, while at the same time seeking a remedy.”
“Learn to laugh at difficulties by remembering that you are immortal:…Whether you are suffering in this life, or smiling with opulence and power, your consciousness should remain unchanged. If you can accomplish even-mindedness, nothing can ever hurt you. The lives of all great masters show that they have achieved this blessed state.”
“…In the midst of negative conditions, practice “opposition” by thinking and acting in a positive, constructive way. Practice titiksha, which means not to give in to unpleasant experiences, but to resist them without becoming upset mentally…Be unruffled in everything you do…”
“God-peace is never-ending. It is the only real state of happiness. Nothing else can make you happy because only the joy of His presence is real….Why become helplessly involved in an endless panorama of events in order to discover that nothing in this world can ever make you happy?….become anchored in That which is changeless. The only changeless principle in creation is God…”
“You and I seem so real, these bodies so substantial; the whole world appears to be quite permanent. Yet this seeming reality is nothing but condensed thoughts of the Cosmic Dreamer…The moment we put our minds on the Infinite, we begin to perceive the natural state of our souls as individualized expressions of the Cosmic Self. ….freedom of mind will come when you realize that solids, liquids, and all other forms of matter are expressions of God’s thought. The best way to find true freedom is to meditate deeply…”
The world is endlessly stimulating. We lurch from one catastrophe to another, vent about who is to blame, then hope things will get better. And on it goes. The diversity of drama is amazing, and, incredibly successful at detracting us from Spirit. And that is the trick: Don’t be tricked! It is all a big drama. Sickness, health, loves, wealth, poverty, tragedies, disasters; they’re all exquisitely crafted plots on the stage of life. We really need to learn how to see them as such, rectify suffering wherever we can, and simultaneously seek true happiness and divine realization within. There is no other way to ride this roller coaster without getting sucked into the cogwheels and ground up. So, take a beat; breathe deeply, meditate on God, and learn to be in the world but not of it.
Rev. Alan Pritz, Interfaith Minister and spiritual disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, has trained in and taught inner sciences for 40+ years. Author of award-winning book, Meditation as a Way of Life: Philosophy and Practice (Quest: 2014), his private practice in Minneapolis, MN, Awake In Life, provides meditation instruction and spiritual counseling-coaching for individuals, couples, and corporations. To learn more see: www.Awake-in-Life.com.