Think about this for a second:
God (being God), having Infinite Knowledge,
Not only knew your every thought and action
Your life would ever experience
(Even before you were born)
But He also, being the Divine Creator,
Has etched every moment of your existence
With His own hand
With the precision and care
No artist ever could.
Hafiz, The Gift, as rendered by Daniel Ladinsky
First of all, Hafiz asks us to think. We human beings are the top of the creation. We have the power of discrimination; we can distinguish between right and wrong. Being at the top of creation, we have the capacity to go higher and reach our Creator, or we can slip down back to the creation, maybe back to lower species. So Hafiz asks us to think.
What do we do with this precious gift – our capacity to choose. The Masters tell us that we use it to divide; we use it to strengthen our ego; we use it for personal gratification. Instead of expanding, we limit ourselves. Instead of freeing ourselves, we chain ourselves. Instead of thinking clearly, we are confused. Instead of finding answers, we only create more questions.
Hafiz tells us in another poem in the same book: “Through the stairway of existence we have come to God’s Door … because Love is the soul’s life, Love is simply creation’s greatest joy.”
We have come to God’s door! Aren’t we desperate for love, his love? Love is the only thing worth possessing and so it could be at the root of everything we do, of our every action and our every thought.
We must think clearly about the question of taking refuge in God. Hafiz says that God is all-knowing, so he knows what is bothering us. He knows the grooves on our minds, our problems, our mental blocks, our likes and dislikes. If we want to take refuge in God, then we need to accept cheerfully whatever happens to us in this lifetime, because it is his will.
But the present Master keeps telling us that “God”, “Master”, “divinity” and so on are just concepts. Until we have had experience, they will remain concepts for us. We want desperately to believe in them, but we are far from knowing their reality. We may have intellectual knowledge, but we lack the real understanding which comes from experience. Such understanding comes from within; it is a natural outcome of higher consciousness.
We all know life is not perfect and that we ourselves are not perfect. We all know there are ups and downs in life. Do we have any control over these events? We like to think so; we like to be in the driver’s seat. A good decision to us may mean one that leads to gratification of the senses; a bad decision may mean one that leads to suffering and pain. We may even try to grab hold of pleasures for ourselves at the expense of others.
Let’s go a little deeper into this phenomenon of clear thinking. Maharaj Jagat Singh tells us in The Science of the Soul:
Satsangis should form the habit of ‘thinking’ – clear thinking. Very few people ‘think’. Why do we lose our temper? Because we do not reflect.Why do people fall prey to the attack of lust? Because they do not think. Why does a mother weep at the death of her son? Why do people commit suicide at the loss of property or wealth? Because they do not think. ‘Vichar’ (clear thinking) is ninety percent ‘Abhyas’ (spiritual exercise).Clear thinking is a blessing. It can easily be attained by a little practice.
So, according to the Master, whenever we are in turmoil, whenever we make poor choices, it is because we are not thinking clearly. The only solution to this problem is meditation.
Maharaj Charan Singh in Divine Light adds:
Nothing is bad in this world. It is our own attachment to the world and its objects that is the cause of trouble. It is just as easy to be happy and smiling as it is to fret and frown. Only a little clear thinking is needed.
This is a wonderful creation in which, the Masters tell us, everything has its beauty, everything has its place. Troubles, pain and problems can protect our spiritual endeavours, just as the thorn protects the rose.
We all have our thorns: slander, unhappy relationships, power struggles, impossible children or parents, sickness, depression, lack of self-esteem or self-acceptance; we may have very deep mental grooves. We all experience desires and pleadings: if only we were rich, or young, or successful, or had another wife or husband. We all want to eliminate our particular thorn, forgetting that another thorn might appear, even bigger and nastier.
There must be something wrong with our clear thinking. We are too focused on the thorn, we have a limited perspective, and we do not see the global picture. For example, if there are three hundred people in a room there will probably be three hundred different sets of priorities or viewpoints. Most of us act with the best of intentions, wanting to do the right thing, but sometimes we get it wrong because we forget that our viewpoint is distorted due to our own interpretations. We try to behave as good satsangis, even quoting the Master to prove us right, but we may behave differently from the way he asks us to. Maharaj Charan Singh writes in a letter: “I do not doubt your sincerity and good intentions, but such a notion is merely the outcome of confused reasoning instead of clear thinking.” Good intentions are no guarantee of clear thinking.
In another letter in Divine Light he says:
Doing everything in the Master’s Name, implies that we should take our self out of everything. Our ego and selfishness should not control our actions.
When one is perplexed and wonders just which is the right and which is the wrong thing to do, he already has the answer within himself, if he will be quiet and reflect on the matter. We are endowed with a conscience which enables us to determine right from wrong.
Real clarity is achieved when the thoughts settle, when one has actually met the Master within. But in the meantime, let us remember the words of Hafiz: “He has etched every moment of your existence with His own hands.” Maybe this will help us to accept our destiny. Hafiz continues:
Think about this for a moment.…
There seems to be a great reward
For clear thinking:
All existence is a pawn in the Friend’s hands.
Look, one gets wings and gifts to the world …
When one can surrender the illusion, the crutch,
of Free will.
Here again Hafiz points out that all is God’s doing, so there is no point in feeling guilty for who we are, or for what we may have done in the past. We are all part of this divine play: some are serious and others full of laughter; some intelligent and others not; some strong and others weak; some good and others bad. There is no point in taking sides. The world is what it is, and the results of our actions in the world are what they are. Our Master knows what he is doing, and if we could realize that, we would experience music and light every morning: we would be mad with love.
We have no say in this game. Our Master has made things very easy for us; we cannot help acting even though the results are always in his hands. All existence is a pawn in his hands. Why worry? Is he not our divine Father; is he not divine love?
How can we make these words a reality? Hafiz tells us to let go of the illusion, the crutch of identifying ourselves with our ego, which means living in illusion. If we can just take our little ‘self’ out of everything, we will find that the whole universe radiates love and everything is beautiful. Thinking clearly helps!
Our spiritual heritage is there for the taking. The more we focus our attention at the eye centre, the more we will intuitively know what is right and what is wrong for our spiritual uplift. We will become more and more sensitive to the needs of our soul until, one day, we will see only him. On that day, we will clearly see this world for the illusion that it is. Then we will clearly see that it was only a dream.