The Shocking Truth
The Master keeps telling us that this world is not really our true home, but we keep right along planning everything as though we will be here forever. It is only when we are shocked at the loss of a person near us, or by some natural catastrophe, that we stop to think how very fragile our existence here is. The work of a lifetime can be lost in the blink of an eye. All our hopes can be shattered in a moment. The Master, like a loving parent, keeps whispering in our ear that we should wake up, we cannot stay here, we have an important journey to make. We have to go home.
We would love to get rid of our troubles. But we must first be clear about what direction we should take, and then act on our decision. Building up our hopes and attachments in the world is very easy, but it never brings us much peace of mind. Even the best worldly moments quickly turn into frustration and dissatisfaction. Shabd and Nam are the only reality that can give us peace and strength. But sometimes it takes big shocks in the world to make us realize this.
The Master’s mission is to uproot us from this world. But think how lovingly he administers even the rude shocks of life. Is there not always a sense of his caring presence when we undergo real difficulties? The Great Master said that when a child has a fever he may ask for sweets, but because his mother cannot bear to see him suffer anymore she would instead give him bitter quinine for his fever. The Master too cannot bear to see us suffer anymore. We have been wandering too long, exhausted and dispirited in this world. He is definitely helping us. He is very actively uprooting us, leading us out of this half-life into a place where we can really experience love and joy.
The Master has committed himself to take us home: we just have to keep waking ourselves up to this reality. The journey, which will surely be the most exciting adventure we have ever experienced, has already begun. We are like travellers who leave home before dawn and so cannot see the progress they are making through the unlit streets. We can at first barely sense that we are moving. But as the dawn inevitably comes, we see – faintly at first, then more clearly and beautifully – the landscape moving past us. The Master wields the power of the Creator. His love is the most powerful force in existence. It is directed to each of us individually. Like a powerful sun shining on tiny dewdrops, how can we avoid dissolving and rising upwards under his influence?
Urging us inwards
Everything seems so important to us in this world, and it is a terrible struggle to turn our attention inwards towards that inner light, which we cannot yet see brightly enough for it to exert a constant attraction. But the Master is always urging us inwards. The shocks and troubles of this world are a powerful cure for our inertia: they help to dissolve our sense of security in a world of worthless, shifting values. We should use these moments to reassess our link to the Master, try to put our lives into perspective, and put our emphasis where it should be – on spiritual wealth and security, rather than on worldly things that are bound to let us down in the end.
Even if events seem hard and cruel, we can always find a little inner strength with which to face things. Sometimes our worldly losses actually come as something of a relief. The value we place on the people and things around us in this world often just creates stress in us. We are in truth yearning to be free, and when things go badly it can sometimes help us to get a sense of that freedom. It is an opportunity to practise the spiritual approach to life, to accept a simpler lifestyle and to return to the natural desire for the Lord. It is the breaking of another of the chains that bind us.
The Master pours such love on us, even when we are being quite indifferent to him. He has the wonderful ability to love even the most hardened heart. He is always ready to embrace us, even when we have just been behaving in a manner far from spiritual. It is our awakening that he desires: to see us look to him for help and comfort rather than looking to this dreadful world, which has done nothing but tempt and trouble us for so many ages. When our faces look up towards the Master, those tears of ours are sweet to him. He brushes them away without a thought and fills us with a measure of his own love. Each step, each interaction with the Master builds a little more strength, a little more love in our hearts. It opens up the window of light and makes the show of the world appear that much paler by comparison.
Why prolong the agony?
Definitely we should be trying to struggle to get out of this mess we are in. Why prolong the agony? We should make a real effort to help the Master help us out of here. Every move the Master makes is love, pure love, awakening us from the limitation of our dreams. We have to learn the steps to the Master’s dance. But surely it will come easily in the end, because every step we take towards the Master brings us closer and closer in harmony with him.
We will definitely arrive at that state of loving acceptance, which is real freedom from our cares. It is just that today, and every day, we should try as hard as we can to do things with him in mind. Put him first. Be as courageous as we can. Forget our troubles and be thankful that we have such a wonderful friend working on our behalf. After all, how long are we going to be staying here? Something wonderful has already begun.