From the Finite to the Infinite
One really does not have to look too far to find examples of incidents which can be viewed by many diverse perspectives. More often than not, it proves to be a pointless discussion trying to convince another to appreciate a particular point of view when the listener has preregistered an explanation based on his conditioned perspective.
For example, consider the numerous cases that have been recorded where the same breed of dog has been known to protect and also attack infants entrusted in their company. Ask someone in the profession for insight, and they may question the mental state of some of the dogs. Perhaps some may have been insecure and felt threatened; hence prone to attacking, while others may be protective by nature. Talk to a learned or wise person, and the karma theory may be the likely explanation. Similarly, there are other different schools of thought. While each hypothesis may be valid in its own right, one cannot help but ask the question, is there one single answer that can be taken as the absolute truth in every instance?
“Thy will be done,” is the mystics’ universal answer. All that happens, happens according to the Lord’s will. The divine plan has been ordained for each soul in all of creation. But who understands it? Or, does it even need to be understood?
Man, positioned at the top rung of creation’s ladder, enjoys the unique privilege of intellect and sense of discrimination – both lacking in the lower species. Empowered with the ability to think, we go through life making all our decisions based on educated reasoning. Those who influence us – our parents, teachers, counsellors and even the governing bodies – have all placed a significant amount of importance on the power of choice in our life. However, when it becomes obvious, we will realize that we are a blessed and yet powerless living paradox – equipped on the one hand with intellect, able to make choices that can impact us and those around, while on the other hand we stand weak, unable to even turn a leaf unless the Lord has willed it.
Hazur often said, “Potentially every soul is God.” Other saints have said that it is just a matter of realization. What is it then that makes us different from the god-men? Perspective. The mystics’ perspective is aligned with that of the Lord’s will, while that of others’ is clouded by the conditioning of the mind. Given the ability to rationalize, we have not only differentiated ourselves from the rest of the lower life-forms, but in the process also crafted a distinct self-identity by turning our social observations and experiences into a projection of the self. Having developed ‘character’ and individuality, we now identify with this proxy and its ‘conditioned’ perspective.
We continually ask questions like why a loved one is combating a terminal illness, or why the loss of so many lives in a natural calamity. If not aloud, then questions alike do reside somewhere deep in our inner most recesses. We forget that what we see is only a freeze-frame along a vast spectrum of time. With no recollection of the past, and no idea of the future, we judge and become victims of our own emotion.
Limited by our short-sighted perception and mental interpretation, our outlook too remains limited. It may not be important for us to understand the will of the Lord, for the mechanics of the God-will far exceed the capacity of the human brain. But, what is important is the awakening of consciousness. The spiritual path, the mystics tell us, does just that – eradicate the proxy self by shattering our tinted lenses to broaden our parameters that we may eventually mature from finite to infinite.
Perfect Masters are examples of the ultimate human being. They are above and beyond all limitations of time. Not bound by any mental or social blocks, they love all of creation, judging no one, and they teach others to be the same. Through meditation under their guidance, one eventually learns to let go and gradually align with the divine will.
In surrender lies the secret. The moment of epiphany might just be in the uncovering of our paradox about choice – that we can actively choose to put aside the ordinary so that the extraordinary may surface. Then, in any given instance, we know it is not my will, but Thy will be done.
In self-surrender to the Master’s will
And utterly contented with your lot,
Remember the Master always, friend.
Whatever he may do, consider it
To be of truest benefit to you;
And always treasure in your heart
Whatever word he utters.
Soami Ji, as quoted in Divine Light