LESSON 18: WHERE IS JOY?
I am certain that many people see surrender as giving up or giving in and of course, surrender is neither. My personal experience taught me that my ability to surrender was directly proportional to my ability to understand ahead of time the outcome of that surrender. If I did not understand the outcome of surrender, then my actions could not be surrender but only a form of hope, of wishing things to turn out a certain way. But that’s not surrender.
Aurobindo stated, “Faith is law recognized.” What this means is your internal peace, your certainty, your joy is a very natural outcome of understanding how things work, of understanding the laws of life. In understanding how things work, you see the evolving perfection of not only your life but the lives of others. You see the certainty of the Divine in all things, even the pain. You get to see through the physical and understand the metaphysical. Your life is no longer based on what happens outside of you but what happens on the inside of you. Understood in these terms, faith is not necessary. Faith is not certainty. Faith is hope but you don’t need hope if you’re certain! You don’t even need faith. Faith is a form of fear in disguise.
Here, show yourself something. All I am asking you to do is to temporarily accept the following statement. You don’t have to believe it…just for a moment, pretend it’s true. Here it is: You only see two things. You see stuff. And you see stuff moving. That’s all. Everything else is what you made up. Now, just watch the stuff sitting still and the stuff moving around and let go of everything else you made up about both. I mean everything. Watch the traffic, the busyness of life, the gnawing and thrashing about, the living and the dying, just watch it. Just watch the victory and defeat, the gain and the loss. But let go of everything you have ever attached to it. As all the stuff you made up begins to empty out, even if it takes years, what starts happening? What begins to fill the emptiness?
“Meeting and turning to the best the worst,
It healed the bitter cruelties of earth,
Transforming all experiences to delight;
Intervening in the sorrowful paths of birth
It rocked the cradle of the cosmic Child
And stilled all weeping with its hand of joy;
It led things evil towards their secret good,
It turned racked falsehood into happy truth;
Its power was to reveal divinity.
Infinite, coeval with the mind of God,
It bore within itself a seed, a flame,
A seed from which the Eternal is new-born,
A flame that cancels death in mortal things.
All grew to all kindred and self and near;
The intimacy of God was everywhere,
No veil was felt, no brute barrier inert,
Distance could not divide, Time could not change
A fire of passion burned in spirit-depths,
A constant touch of sweetness linked all hearts,
The throb of one adoration’s single bliss
In a rapt ether of undying love.
An inner happiness abode in all,
A sense of universal harmonies,
A measureless secure eternity
Of truth and beauty and good and joy made one.
Here was the welling core of finite life;
A formless spirit became the soul of form.”
Oh, my. Would you prefer to hold onto your stuff or would you be willing to let it go in order to have this? For world and self are one. You can only see “out there” what you see “in here.” You can only believe about them what you believe about you. In even a second of surrender, the silence and emptiness will begin to be replaced with a sense of redemption, a breath of eternal love and a certainty of safety and balance.
Where is your joy? Where it has always been.