Hardships may come and hardships may go, but the greatest hardship of all is developing and maintaining the right attitude throughout life. With the right attitude, nothing is truly a hardship. With the right attitude, that which is troubling becomes just another part of the journey. With the right attitude firmly in place, life and all its mysteries become welcome events and experiences to be addressed with an attitude of acceptance yet quickly dispensed of with an attitude of humility and a gratefulness that understands that everything that happens in life is an opportunity to live it to the fullest.
When something ends it signals the beginning of something new, a change about to happen, a new phase about to begin. An ending is a new springboard, an offering of a next step, the next fork in the road. Look forward to endings as much as you look forward to beginnings because they are as full of hope and promise, pointing the way to something new. Revel in the mysteries of life as much as you do the clarities, for in the mysteries lie the lessons, the discoveries, the roads to enlightenment. Allow yourself to bask in the freedom of change, for isn’t that what life is really all about, change? See each day for what it is, the next new step on your journey through life, pointing you toward your next answer, your next big awakening; another opportunity to do things differently. May love and kindness both follow you and guide you always, on each new step of your journey.
When I was a young child, I was confronted many times with what I came to call the buzz, an intense vibratory experience I’d abruptly awaken to in the night. Generally, my body was paralyzed and, as the frequency and rapidity of the vibrations intensified, it took all I had to hold onto life as I felt my consciousness begin to disintegrate and be swallowed up by this all-pervasive energy.
Eventually, I learned to visualize myself in a race car with no brakes, as I gripped and turned the steering wheel around a circular race course to match the speed of the high-frequency vibrations I was experiencing. These images and actions provided me with a shield to preserve a cohesive sense of self, as I waited for the vibrations to pass and my body to reconstitute into solid physical form. Never again could I rest only in the security of everyday life. I knew there was more.
The outer world, in this time we live in, is in obvious energetic free fall. All are confronted with the disintegrating impact of, as the band R.E.M. once put it, “the end of the world as we know it.” The world itself is not ending, but the solidity of the predictable world we once knew is being shattered at an exponential rate. This is indeed a deeper energetic encounter that requires a shield to maintain cohesion and to safely navigate this cosmic maelstrom. Our world is on a journey beyond the known, as we venture deeper into human possibility.
Don Juan Matus recommended that warriors fashion a shield from their path of heart, to hold together in such uncertain times of evolutionary change. By path of heart, he refers to one’s deepest values, that which lends spirited meaning to one’s life. Regardless of the calamity of events that befall one from the outer world, one can always find respite and sanctuary where ego-Soul meets with High SOUL on one’s path of heart.
Aurobindo’s spiritual partner, The Mother, goes so far as to suggest that if one’s ego-Soul is truly aligned with one’s High SOUL, on one’s path of heart, one will remain completely unscathed, regardless of the calamities one must traverse through. This was certainly the message of the final scene in The Matrix, where bullets themselves could not penetrate the enlightened Neo.
Immediately following the most recent US presidential election, I consulted the I Ching for guidance. The message was clear. Keep the candle burning in the inner cavern of one’s path of heart. Nothing can forestall the coming breakdown of the world as we know it, but keep the focus on that inner light, kindle it, and wait patiently for the time when it will serve to re-enlighten the world.
This time of waiting is not one of idleness, nor ruminating upon the losses and breakdown of all that one holds sacred. To the contrary, one must keep the focus on one’s path of heart, with every thought and action one takes each day. To drown in bad news is energetic wastefulness. In fact, bad news is purposely orchestrated to sap the energy from one’s deeply convicted path of heart.
Victor Frankl gave us the legacy of keeping focused on one’s path of heart when all else has been robbed from us, with the guidance that nothing can take away the attitude that one will take toward one’s life. That attitude is the touch of the spirit of one’s High SOUL upon one’s ego-Soul, invigorating every moment with meaning, regardless of circumstance. Nothing can take away one’s free exercise of imagination, a viable channel to the spirit of the High SOUL.
Michael Talbot, in his short life, gave us the gift of The Holographic Universe that reassures us that all of the universe is within us, and, therefore, our own ability to remain steady on our path of heart deeply contributes to the world finding its own way to its path of heart. When outer influence is denied, stay the course within; it matters deeply to the ultimate course without.
Finally, there is Jung’s Rainmaker story; of the Taoist priest who resolved a drought by sitting alone in deep meditation in an isolated hut, restoring himself to the Tao. It takes but one heart to restore the Tao. As within, so without.
Embrace the shield of your own path of heart, as we all journey on this rollercoaster time of great transition. All will be well when this era is done. But live this era with the gusto of one’s true path of heart, filled to the brim with love.
“If, in the presence of circumstances that are about to take place, you can take the highest attitude possible—that is, if you put your consciousness in contact with the highest consciousness within reach, you can be absolutely sure that in that case it is the best that can happen to you. But as soon as you fall from this consciousness into a lower state, then it is evidently not the best that can happen, for the simple reason that you are not in your very best consciousness. I, even go so far as to affirm that in the zone of immediate influence of each one, the right attitude not only has the power to turn every circumstance to advantage but can change the very circumstance itself. For instance, when a man comes to kill you, if you remain in the ordinary consciousness and get frightened out of your wits, he will most probably succeed in doing what he came for; if you rise a little higher and though full of fear call for the divine help, he may just miss you, doing you a slight injury; if, however, you have the right attitude and the full consciousness of the divine presence everywhere around you, he will not be able to lift a finger against you…
“I have innumerable examples of the power of right attitude. I have seen crowds saved from catastrophes by one single person keeping the right attitude. But it must be an attitude that does not remain somewhere very high and leaves the body to its usual reactions. If you remain high up like that, saying, “Let God’s will be done,” you may get killed all the same. For your body may be quite undivine, shivering with fear: the thing is to hold the true consciousness in the body itself and not have the least fear and be full of the divine peace. Then indeed there is no danger. Not only can attacks of men be warded off, but beasts also and even the elements can be affected.”
-From Powers Within, Selections for the Works of SRI AUROBINDO and THE MOTHER, pp. 65-66
The glory in each day comes in how you choose to live it, in what attitude you take, in what perspective you decide to adopt. These are the things in your control that will bring you the happiness you seek, the longed for change, and a sense of well being. They are the catalysts to new experiences. If you take control of your choices, your attitude, and your perspective in a new and positive way your entire experience will change. These are your powers. Don’t let them go to waste.