"Life is a journey from impurity to purity, from hatred to cosmic love, from death to immortality, from imperfection to perfection, from slavery to freedom, from diversity to unity, from ignorance to eternal wisdom, from pain to eternal bliss, from weakness to infinite strength." ~ H.H. Swami Sivananda
from fear to fearlessness... and peace.
We are all searching for "happiness ever after", like in the fairy tale ending. We do not want just a little bit of happiness for this does not satisfy. We want absolute happiness, and we want it all of the time.
We strive variously for position, money, relationships, fame and power, or perhaps to "make a difference". We have no end of thoughts of what will provide happiness or peace. Sometimes the thought is about gaining something and sometimes it is about losing something (like people that disagree with us, believe in a different religion, vote differently from us, look different, etc). Whenever we achieve what we want and have a taste of happiness we desire to hold on to it and to have more of it. We think that the thing, or the experience, is what will provide our happiness. Alas, as we all learn, this does not work. We never achieve happiness ever after by pursuing our likes or avoiding our aversions. In this entire world there is no experience, no relationship, no thing that is forever, and even as we are gaining it the experience or thing is changing. Things and people change constantly, as do our thoughts, emotions and desires, so soon enough our fleeting happiness is again gone.
Our life becomes frantic in this pursuit, and we are dominated by fear, stress, grief and anger. Always the happiness we want seems just beyond our reach.
The state of fear (of not gaining what we want or losing what we have) is completely debilitating. Fear prevents us from being fully present in the moment and from fully experiencing our life. It shields our vision and clouds every engagement. It leads us into great anger and resentment and even paralyzing grief. At a deeper level it is a thick veil preventing us from seeing the truth of us and of this beautiful world.
If we closely examine fear we can see that it is not even real. Only a tiny percentage of the time is fear based upon a current experience (such as a wild bear standing in front of us right now). It is instead rooted almost entirely in our imagination. Our fear today is in the "what if". What if I don't get this job, what if my husband leaves me, what if I don't get paid next week, what if so and so is elected to office, what if.... There is no end of possibilities so our "what if" machine is always engaged. Caution is always of benefit, and yet this imaginary fear is never beneficial. Living this way is misery, it leads us not to the happiness we want, it leads us to depression and desires of suicide.
In the grasp of fear, stress, grief and anger we break down physically and mentally. We overeat, our mind becomes dull and nonresponsive, our interactions become conditioned and unfulfilling, our digestion stops working properly, our vision is blurred and our organs even begin to shut down. In fact, the top selling prescription medications in the west today show this situation very clearly. We spend billions upon billions of dollars to treat:
We live a life of dissipation in the grasp of fear and its relatives, not truly alive at all. This is our condition today. It is truly a disaster, a terrible waste of our vital life force.
And yet there is hope for each and every one of us. Our issue is simply that we do not know our own Self. Truly it is this simple. We have the cure to our problems within us, and through our own hard work we can be our own physician and be cured. No one else can do it for us, but the good news for us is that we also need no one else in order to be cured. Within us, each of us, is the cure to all that ails us. Within us is the very peace and happiness for which we strive.
The seeming secret, and the ultimate teaching of all of the great traditions, is that our own true nature is peace, knowledge, love and bliss.
Our universal journey is to find the fountain of incredible strength, wisdom and joy that resides within us. We are not looking for something outside, we are searching for our very own Self, free of all of the lower forces that hide it from us. We are to come into alignment with our own true nature and to wake up from this horrible dream of separation. Our journey is from darkness (the idea of separation) to waking up in the light (of innate divinity and unity).
"Psychologists are of the opinion that there cannot be absolute fearlessness, and that only determined effort can be made to conquer fear. This is incorrect. Psychologists have no transcendental experience. A perfect sage who has Knowledge of the Absolute is completely fearless. The Upanishads declare in a thundering voice, "The Knower of the fearless Absolute Truth himself becomes absolutely fearless." ~ Swami Sivananda
We are not alone on our path from fear to peace. We are given theory, practices, and divine support in the form of teachers. We are given examples and inspiration.
Step by step you can conquer your fear and come alive. You can overcome all of your stress and pain. Classical Yoga, as taught for thousands of years, provides the tools and all of the traditions can help us to find the Truth of us. Yoga life teaches us about the nature of our conditioning and the higher light within, it guides us with lifestyle choices such as the "Five Points of Yoga" (as taught by Swami Vishnudevananda):
These all work together, along with practices that we can adopt from the four great paths of Yoga:
You can indeed find the happiness ever after for which you search. You are not alone in your struggle for this, and you do not need the world to change even one little bit in order to find it. You can drop your old harmful habits and take on new beneficial ones. You can transcend the mundane and unite with your amazing highest potential.
This is your purpose, your mission in this school called earth. The mission that I have embarked upon is about encouraging and supporting you along the way. There is nothing wrong with you. Focus, devote and strive my dear friend, and you will be happy. Point yourself towards the highest light within you, serve only that devotedly, and you will be free.
Blessings on your journey, I strive to serve and support you on your way. Om Shanti and Prem. (Translation: Peace (complete) and Love (unconditional, devotional) in the Absolute Truth. This is my wish for you, for all. May all know Peace