Truth Is Stranger than Science Fiction
In many science fiction stories, there are people living light-years away from their true home who come from a galaxy far, far away and have been lost for eons. As they explore space and meet others like themselves, they come to realize they have lived as strangers in a strange land.
Spiritual teachers throughout time have told us a similar story about our state here on earth: this world is not our true home and we have been lost and wandering for countless lifetimes. We have been given a human body and a mind to function in this world, just as an astronaut is provided a space suit so he can walk on the moon. But we are not this body nor are we this mind, any more than an astronaut is his space suit.
Our true being, our soul, existed before our birth into this physical creation and will exist after our bodily death. Our true self is far beyond anything that we can imagine. Presently, we can’t remember anything except what we have seen, felt, heard, and experienced physically and mentally in this lifetime. But we have actually been here for millions of lifetimes in one form or another. And now we have been gifted a precious human form. Why is it so precious? Well, this is the part of the teachings that really sounds like science fiction. The human form is a launching pad for the soul to the higher planes beyond the mental and physical. It is the only form from which we can launch our true selves out of this world of illusion on to this mystical journey that will take us back to our true home with the Lord.
Only by turning inward through meditation are we able to withdraw from what we experience outside so that we may catch the inner light and sound. This light and sound slowly and slowly become unimaginable in strength, with an intensity unlike anything we have ever experienced in the physical creation. This light and sound, known as the Shabd, emanate from the Supreme Lord of the creation. Like a wormhole in space that transports a spaceship beyond time and space, the Shabd is our means to travel beyond this material, mental plane to beyond the beyond.
From the human form, we embark on the ultimate phase of our journey through the countless forms of existence. One past saint said that he started out as rock then he became a plant. He moved on to become a fish, a bird, a cow, and finally a human. Although the human form is rare and difficult to obtain, we probably take it for granted since we can’t remember anything else. The saints tell us that this human birth is a precious gift that most of us waste.
Intuitively, however, we think that there has to be something else going on that can ultimately satisfy us. Spiritual teachers confirm this feeling when they tell us that there is something much greater and more everlasting that awaits us. But there is a catch. To find it we have to detach ourselves from everything outside. We have to let go of the false concept of paradise in this world to which we have devoted our lives so that we can find the real paradise that is within us. The things to which we have devoted our lives – beauty, wealth, possessions, fame, relationships – will all leave us one day. They are like a dream.
To achieve true happiness, we have to detach ourselves from everything outside and go inside. Outside, everything we find is temporary. Inside we find the eternal. This does not mean that we should ignore our worldly responsibilities and live a solitary life in a cave. Nor does this mean that we should leave our near and dear ones. We continue to act in the play of our lives, playing our part to the best of our ability. However, our attitude shifts from one of attachment to one of detachment. By following the teachings of the saints, we learn to control our mind through meditation. No longer are we dragged around by the mind through lust, anger, greed, attachment, and ego.
We all want to find happiness, peace of mind, contentment, and bliss that is never ending. So far, everything else that we have tried is just an idea that hasn’t worked. The great spiritual teachers show us the way to find eternal life and bliss that never ends. They show us how to achieve God-realization by turning our attention inward to fulfil the true purpose of our life.
Our journey back to our true home is better than any science fiction adventure. We can burst the bubble of our limited human perspective and experience the infinite reality when we follow the instructions of our Master and learn to go within. For then we start our journey on the royal highway of Shabd, that eternal power of light and sound that will take our soul – our real self – back to our true home.