Lesson 49: The Calm Established Things
I watched a child throwing rocks in the Nantahala River and momentarily, was lost in thought. It was as though my thinking was able to slow down and I watched the impact of the rock displace the water in order to make room for itself.
Such is personal growth and transformation. For something new to occupy the mind, something old must go. In order to run your cosmos, you must be willing to remove those old shoes in order for the new cosmos to run smoothly. But the mind will resist. Your psychological biology and patterns will cry out against being silenced. But if you won't do it, the universe will do it for you. When you experience periods and conditions of pressure and compression in your life, this is the universe pointing out to you what needs to go, what needs to be let go of...fear, worry, anger, etc. Pressure is the rock hitting the water.
But as Death reminds Savitri, "Respect the calm of great established things." Just accept that your life is the way it is and it's not going to change very much. Follow the herd without thinking for yourself into the slaughterhouse, respecting the chains and arguing for it the entire way. Don't see anything other than what your eyes see. Don't believe anything other than what you have been taught. Don't trust anything other than what your sensations are revealing to you. Continue to use the past as your major reference point. Keep thinking that the pursuit of materialism is the goal and that safety is found in having money. Keep thinking that you need someone to love you and who wants to be with you. Keep thinking that death is real and that religion can teach you what God is. Keep thinking that your mind is the center of truth and that right, wrong, morality and justice are real. Embrace limitation as reality and the way of life. Keep thinking your freedom will be found by remaining imprisoned. "Respect the calm of great established things."
Savitri does not accept his.
"Well is the unconscious rule for the animal breeds
Content to live beneath the immutable yoke,
Man turns to a nobler walk, a master path.
I trample on thy law with living feet;
For to arise in freedom I was born.
If I am mighty let my force be unveiled
Equal compassion of the dateless powers
Or else let my frustrated soul sink down
Unworthy of Godhead in the original sleep.
I claim from Time my will's eternity,
God from his moments."
And Death fights back.
"Why should the noble and immortal will
Stoop to the petty works of transient earth,
freedom forgotten and the Eternal's path?
Or is this the high use of strength and thought,
To struggle with the bonds of death and time
And spend the labor that might earn the gods
And battle and bear the agony of wounds
To grasp the trivial joys that earth can guard
In her small treasure-chest of passing things?"
Why should the calm, established things relinquish their stronghold? Why should your ancient mind give up the insanity it has learned so meticulously and painfully, tear by tear? For the calm, established things are all it knows. And if that is not enough, Death provides more rational to his mandate.
"Truth has no home in earth's irrational breast:
Yet without reason life is a tangle of dreams,
But reason is poised above a dim abyss
And stands at last upon a plank of doubt.
Eternal truth lives not with mortal men.
But here are only facts and steel-bound Law.
This truth I know that Satyavan is dead
And even thy sweetness cannot lure him back.
No magic Truth can bring the dead to life.
No power of earth cancel the thing once done.
No joy of the heart can last surviving death,
No bliss persuade the past to live again.
But Life alone can solace the mute Void
And fill with thought the emptiness of Time.
Leave then thy dead, O Savitri, and live."
Rise. Do not break. Do not yield. And for the moment, let the light come in, let a dream of heaven envelope you, and let the Godhead that lies in you become visible. Let the calm established things in your mind dissipate like a cloud being burned off by the morning sun. Let the rock smash the water, making room for a new world and a new life.