“The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.” – Sengtsan, Hsin Hsin Ming.
“If you wear shoe leather, the whole world is covered with leather. If you think on God, the whole world is God.”
“All evil vanishes from life for him who keeps the sun in his heart.”
We tend to find ourselves faced with the next most important thing all the time. We deal with something important and almost instantly, the next most important thing is there. Is it more important than the last? Was it always the most important but you didn’t see its importance until you deal with what you thought was most important? Was the last thing more important but now this thing is because the last thing is dealt with? Are these things equally important as one another? Or are they both equally unimportant yet their comparative unimportance makes them appear to be more important than they actually are?
When dealing with one important thing, finishing with it and subsequently being faced with the next most important thing… Sooner or later you get to a point where you ask “Where are these things coming from?” Why are these things so important? Then we list of all the reasons we think we have for stressing about them. Are these things really as important as they seem? Is it possible that importance is not a value inherent in the nature of these things? Is it possible that the stakes really aren’t that high? Is it possible that the stakes appear to be high because you, or I, or anyone else, have found ourselves equating our happiness to the resolution of a particular situation? “I’ll be happy when…”
“I’ll be happy when I have nothing to worry about.” – Ego
The thing with “I’ll be happy when…” is that there is always the next big thing ready to become some obstacle that postpones your peace of mind and happiness for a little bit longer. So what is the common factor here? If we are always worrying about something yet solutions to problems are consistently being discovered and implemented, then where are these worries really coming from? There is always the next important thing waiting to happen because there is always one common factor. Mind. The way that we interpret things by and large causes some degree of unnecessary drama. Most of the drama comes out of mind-made stories – projections about what might, could, should, shouldn’t happen and so on. I’ve seen it a million and one times now in others and in myself. Something – anything – happens and it’s from zero to sixty in a matter of milliseconds. Someone tells you something and you misunderstand and go into defence mode. You’re waiting for a bus or a coach or a taxi – or you’re booking an important flight – and there’s an unexpected change of plan. Suddenly the world is crashing down around you and you don’t know which way the sky is.
It seems to me that there are two main reasons that this occurs:
1. Investment in and subsequent clinging to form.
Something we are all familiar with by now is that “all life is dukkha” as the Buddha taught. The suffering of life which is generated as a result of the pain (dukkha) occurs because of the ‘clinging of mind’. We make up ideas in our minds (or are taught them) and then attempt to impose them on the world in the form of beliefs then when life doesn’t match up with them we get all upset or annoyed with things. The regular closed-circle of thought of the ego-mind proceeds thereafter to attempt to manipulate circumstances and events in order to have the world line up with these beliefs. The thing is, no matter what we do or what we believe in, the flow does as it does and life seems to unfold as it unfolds. As such, most if not all of the clinging of mind is some sort of denial of reality. When we deny reality, we become deluded. It seems that delusion like this leads us to more and more suffering. So, if we want to relieve suffering, we must destroy our own delusions. We must destroy our delusions until all that is left is the delusion that we are the one who is destroying them. Then as this dissolves, it is observed…
The reason that we worry is because we indulge too much in our thoughts. We cling to ideas also which are the prerequisites of the thoughts we indulge in. So if we want to worry less, we must surrender our beliefs about how things should or shouldn’t be. Surrender all clinging to preference and recognise all preference to be – as one of the many elements of what is. This is true too of emotions. Some are horrible house guests but the heart does not prefer one to another. Heart welcomes all in without obsession with preference. In this way, we can become less burdened by our difficulties. If we can surrender ourselves to what is – accept what ever befalls us and realise that if it was not necessary it would not have happened – then the enjoyment of what is will arise naturally. If we fight with our apparent realities then we will only ever be satisfied temporarily and this satisfaction comes in spite of suffering not through it. As such, this satisfaction is brittle and hollow and will make one lazy.
2. Above all, clinging to the idea that we are alone in all we do – the feeling that it is us against the world.
When we have not allowed ourselves to see God in everything then we find ourselves faced with difficulties that we feel we must overcome in order to sustain ourselves. Now, it is true that I cannot impart some intellectual concept or belief to you about everything being God without wasting everyone’s time. As such, I won’t even attempt to. It seems that everybody would be served much more so by recognising the value of the discovery of God in all things. This is because when we are always thinking that God is someone else (as Mooji says) you will not find God. And when we deny God point-blank from the go then we turn away from any chance of revealing ones faith. So, if we embrace the finding of God in all things then recognise God in the word and in our selves, we reveal our inherent faith or trust in God. If we are busy looking for God elsewhere, without also acknowledging the God within then we will also miss God in others.
(A brief disclaimer on my use of the word “God”. I don’t mean it in the religious or conceptual sense. I don’t use it to refer to a figure or person or deity as much as to point towards the formless nothing that is simultaneously everything. Space, Love, Joy, Peace, Grace. These are also good synonyms for this. Though we have our attachments to the proper places of these words. The words, experiences and feelings of God, space, love, joy, peace and grace seem to all be evidence of God. As such, God seems to be most appropriate term here.)
For ages upon ages now, we have been caught in this idea that there’s this good thing and this bad thing and that one is better than the other. The mind seems to be most comfortable when it has something to fight against or defend. Religions propagate notions of some God opposed by a malicious devil. Society generates and upholds ideas of the “right way” to look, act, think, work and so on. Even our media is built on this dualistic approach. Even the so-called “new age” movement have themselves ensnared in ideas of some “vibrational frequencies” being “closer to God” or “source”. (I got caught up in that one for a while myself – I stopped to smell the pretty flowers). As I said above, I will not attempt to convince you of something I cannot put into words. All I can do is outline the benefits and encourage you to explore it for yourself.
It seems to me that when we have not yet (or refuse to) recognise God in everything, then we will always feel like we are fighting something. We find that we end up trying to change elements of our experience to better fit our preferences. And this always leads us to suffering in the end. Whether we end up liking what we’re looking at or not, if we draw a sense of satisfaction from the conditions in our environment then this satisfaction – however nice – will always dissipate in time. Without some recognition of God – without awareness that all is God – the mind jumps into its “efficiency” mode. In so doing, it treats any and all ideas as fact and subsequently attempts to react to them as if they were actually happening. Worries duplicate and triplicate and so on and so on until we become a nervous wreck. This is the minds attempt to protect against an apparently hostile world in which ones only means of survival is investigating every possible angle and developing strategies for every single movement. It treats any potential difficulties or unpleasant situations as battles or war zones.
When one sees God in everything, the necessity for the pseudo-efficiency of the mind is reduced significantly and in time all but eradicated. When one sees God in everything, there is a tremendous faith in the experience of all things existing as they are and all experiences unfolding as they do. It seems that one only worries for so long as to really know that God is in even the worst of pain. We only seek to escape to this pseudo-efficiency of proper conduct or the “right way” for as long as it takes for us to realise that one can never escape God.
It is when we see God in every thing that we begin to experience the seemingly effortless selflessly-intended cultivation of this limitless respect and unconditional love for all that is. No longer do we find evil in what we see. No longer to we find any particular pervading conceptual idea of properness or any real idea of how we feel we “should” be doing things. Simply, things unfold as they do. Peace pervades. Joy pervades. And all is recognised as life – the evidence of God. Not As some grand creator but as what is and what is not alike. Following this, all action becomes devotional. We show up in any situation to serve the supreme mother. We love all as our mother and embrace it as our child. Love is natural.
“It’s better to see God in everything than to try to figure it out.” – Maharaji
In the past two years, in travelling halfway around the world to be with my now-wife, facing the seemingly impossible odds many, many times over, both my wife and I have come to the following unavoidably true realisations:
- Worry is pointless except only to hinder ones enjoyment of the present moment.
- If you just surrender you will see that everything will be okay – and in fact, always is.
- Love; all that is false will fall away.
- Throw your self into the depth of the experience and watch it be torn to shreds by circumstance and expectation. Then realise you watched it happen. Nothing is thrown and nothing is lost save delusion.
Many more realisations have become obvious along the way though these above have been most relevant of late. Something my wife often says, which I feel is beautiful:”There is a force which sustains planets, solar systems, galaxies and constellations… There is a force which sustains this whole universe and this planet is just one tiny speck of many. My body, mind and story is one tiny speck of many on this planet alone. If this force can sustain universes across and beyond known space… Then it can certainly sustain me.”
We have come recently into the recognition that we are all in the hands of God (for lack of a better term). The difference is that we are either squirming to get off or we are peaceful, grateful and surrendered to where we are. There is nowhere else to go, no matter how hard we try. So we can either surrender and be or we can keep fighting. Neither will change where we are but it will change how long we feel we are here for.
All of this is of course subject to the illusion of free will and personal choice. Both of which, when you recognise that all is God, are evidently illusory. As I was saying to a friend in Satsang last week, if it is not acknowledged that all is God then when I give someone a TV it seems that the TV that was with me is now with them. As such, it appears to be the case that I no longer have something and they have gained something. Yet, when it is recognised that all is God, it is clear that both I and the other are God and the TV too is God. So, nothing is lost. Moreover, the space between all these forms is God too… And so, has anything really changed? Has anything even moved? Is movement really possible except through the apparent experience of our senses? The truth is always a paradox when it comes down to it. This is both complex and very simple.
On a personal level, if each of us wishes to suffer less and experience greater levels of joy then we should first see God in all things. This brings peace. If we do not first find peace then being sure of anything is insanity. It seems to me that the antidote to worry, is God. But then, is God not the antidote to all suffering? Is god not suffering too?
I have faith this will serve you well.
Live, love and play.