Lesson 39: What Is Expected

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As the confrontation between Savitri and Death intensifies, I want to speak about what is expected.

Human ignorance is a by-product of the human mind whose primary focus is the act of survival. Your mind is not particularly intent on being happy or fulfilled because if it was, it wouldn’t think or do half of the things you think or do. It sees all events through limitation. But in other ways, you are not disillusioned at all about life because you don’t expect a Honda to perform like a Porsche. You know the two cannot be rationally compared.

Using your past behavior as a strong indicator of your future behavior and using your present life circumstances as an example, unlocking the power of your mind would not necessarily make things any better and in fact, could lead to disastrous consequences, not better ones. It would fair to say that your old mind has done the best it can with what it knows. In other words, you know what to expect.

The key that goes into your Honda powers all of the systems related to that design and that design only. The same is true about you. A single thought, the key, powers all of your mental, physical and emotional responses with great habituation, predictability and accuracy because that’s what it’s designed to do. Self-imposed and unconsciously repeated for decades, the limitations, whatever they may be, have been embedded throughout the cells in your body, practiced with unconscious precision and have become the you that you are. You know what to expect.

But imagine receiving a new key and sending a new signal into the cells of your mind and body. Imagine. And soon as you begin, you are met with a familiar and convincing voice. The dark shadow does not give up easily.

“A fragile miracle of thinking clay.
Armed with illusions walks the child of Time.
To feel the void around he feels and dreads,
The void he came from and to which he goes,
He magnifies his self and names it God,
He calls the heavens to help his suffering hopes.
He sees above him with a longing heart
Bare spaces more unconscious than himself
That have not even his privilege of mind
And empty of all but their unreal blue,
And peoples them with bright and merciful powers.
For the sea roars around him and earth quakes
Beneath his steps, and fire is at his doors,
And death prowls baying through the woods of life.
Moved by the presences with which he yearns,
He offers in implacable shrines his soul
And clothes all with the beauty of his dreams.
The gods who watch the earth with sleepless eyes
And guide its giant stumblings through the void,
Have given to man the burden of his mind;
In his unwilling heart they have lit their fires
And sown in it incurable unrest.
His mind is a hunter upon tracks unknown;
Amusing time with vain discovery,
He deepens with thought the mystery of his fate
And turns to song his laughter and his tears.
His mortality vexing with the immortal’s dreams,
Troubling his transience with the infinite’s breath,
They gave him hungers which no food can fill;
He is the cattle of the shepherd gods,
His body the tether with which he is tied,
They cast for fodder grief and hope and joy;
His pasture ground they have fenced with Ignorance.
Into his fragile undefended breast
They have breathed a courage that is met by death,
They have given a wisdom that is mocked by night,
They have traced a journey that foresees no goal.
Aimless man toils in an uncertain world,
Lulled by inconstant pauses of his pain,
Scourged like a beast by the infinite desire,
Bound to the chariot of the dreadful gods.
But if thou still canst hope and still wouldst love,
Return to thy body’s shell, thy tie to earth,
And with thy heart’s little remnants try to live.
Hope not to win back to thee Satyavan.”

And now insert the new key. Let the cells know that a new signal is coming. Be patient. Regardless of the circumstances, say to the mind and body, “You are not expected to behave this way any longer. It is not your obligation to ______. What you are expected to think, to sense, to feel, to do, is ______.” And explain to the mind and body what is expected now.

Savitri answers to the dark immensity.
“I bow not to thee, O huge mask of death,
Black lie of night to the cowed soul man,
Unreal, inescapable end of things,
Thou grim jest played with the immortal spirit.
Conscious of immortality I walk,
A victor spirit conscious of my force,
Not as a suppliant to thy gates I came:
Unslain I have survived the clutch of Night.
My first strong grief moves not my seated mind;
My unwept tears have turned to pearls of strength:
I have transformed my ill shaped brittle clay
Into the hardness of a statute soul.
Now in the wrestling of the splendid gods
My spirit shall be obstinate and strong
Against the vast refusal of the world.
I stoop not with the subject mob of minds
Who run to glean with eager satisfied hands
And pick from its mire mid many trampling feet
Its scornful small concessions to the weak,
Mine is the labour of the battling gods:
Imposing on the slow reluctant years
The flaming will that reigns beyond the stars,
They lay the law of Mind on Matter’s works
And win the soul’s wish from Earth’s inconscient Force.”

In the face of the adversity, do not give in. Do not bow to the ancient voices of loss and pain in your mind. Insert the key. Insert a new signal. Expect a new response. Explain to the mind and body what is expected now. And then again. And then again until the cells begin to awaken.