Embrace the Pain
People have long debated the subject of happiness. Is it possible to achieve real happiness in this life or not? Many people strongly believe that it is indeed possible to achieve happiness in this world.
This presupposes that there is such a thing. We don’t have to go far to see evidence of unhappiness in this world. The hospitals are full of people who are sick and suffering, the prisons are full of people who have fallen foul of the law, many are stricken by poverty, and so on.
But is it actually possible to be happy? When we find ourselves less than satisfied with our lot in life what can we actually do? Generally we all do the same things. We pursue the gathering of wealth and possessions or we look for meaningful relationships and position and power. In short, we turn to the world.
But even when we are successful, sooner or later we return to feeling insecure, uneasy or unhappy with ourselves. Even when we have everything, we still feel something is lacking. Why do you suppose this is so?
The reason is that before we first incarnated here, throughout our descent from our original home, we retained a sense of connectedness with the Divine, but when we incarnated here on the material plane, the assault of the senses and the sensory experience so overwhelmed our consciousness that we turned our backs on the Lord and lost our sense of being connected to him.
Ever since then, no matter what we did, we felt lost and alone – we felt miserable. And in our ignorance we have turned to the world for consolation. But in so doing, we have bound ourselves to the faces, places and things of the world. We did not understand the principles of karma and attachment; we were driven by the dual motives of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. What we did not realize was the enormous price that we would have to pay for all these indulgences.
But now the Lord has seen fit to bestow his richest blessings on us. First among these is the gift of human birth. We cannot overstate what a privilege this is because, out of all the many forms into which a soul may incarnate, it is only in the human form that it may aspire to liberation. Only as a human being can the soul engage in spiritual practice and, in so doing, work its way out of the maze of mind and maya and return to the home it left so long ago.
Then we were fortunate to come into contact with a true living Master and to be receptive to his teachings. How many people live virtually on the Master’s doorstep, and to them he is just another Sikh admittedly with a large following.
Third, but by far the most important, is the inestimable blessing of the initiation that the Master has bestowed on us. This single fact has to all intents and purposes guaranteed us passage home to our beloved Father. All that we don’t know is how long it is going to take.
But has anything really changed in our lives? If we wish to go home we need to rise above the duality of pleasure and pain. We need to stop being a victim of the world’s agendas, reacting to every event that comes along and threatens to knock us off our perch. If we continue in this vein we will continue to be bound to the cycle of birth and death. If we want to go home, we need to stay focused on our goal.
Now here’s a statement that could seem somewhat surprising: The pain that you feel inside you, until and unless you have passed beyond the portal of the third eye, is the most real thing in your whole life. This pain is not something that you should be running away from; you should be embracing it! Why? Because this pain is the pain of the soul separated from its source – the pain of the soul longing to go home to where it truly belongs. This is the pain born of true love. This is our inner truth and our reality.
But what have we been doing instead? We have been running away from this pain with all the speed our legs can manage. We have been fleeing the pain of separation within us and have been running straight into the arms of Kal, the power that governs this world. We need to turn and face this pain. This pain will take us straight to the feet of the Master within, and it is only when we merge into the Master’s Radiant Form that this pain goes away and we re-establish our connection with the Divine, and in fact begin our journey back to our true home.
So when you find yourself alone in the dark of the night, don’t fight back the tears. Just turn to him and let go. Understand that he is the key to your happiness; it is his grace alone that will get you home. So let the tears flow, for it is through the flood of these tears that we will end our long separation and find ourselves at the feet of our Beloved. By his will, and by the fact of our initiation, our future is the eternal bliss of union.
The one to whom’s unveiled the mystery of love
Exists no longer, but is annihilated in love.
Place before the sun a burning candle,
See how its shining disappears before those lights:
The candle exists no longer, is transfigured into Light.
There are no more signs of it; it itself becomes a Sign.
Rumi, as rendered by Andrew Harvey in The Teachings of Rumi