I have always wanted to know the exact date that I would become Self-realized just as we would all love to know the exact date the coronavirus lockdown is going to go away.
This made me come up with a delightful analogy:
If we think of Self-realization as the ending of the BIG lockdown — the soul being locked up in ego-consciousness — then there is an exact correspondence between the advice of the Great Ones for ending the BIG lockdown, and the advice of the medical experts for ending the coronavirus lockdown:
The spiritual experts (the Masters) are unanimous in answering the question, “When will the BIG lockdown end?” in the following way. The Masters –
- DO NOT tell us the exact date when the BIG lockdown will end — the guru seldom tells the disciple in advance the exact date of Self-realization! In fact, Paramhansa Yogananda and Lahiri Mahasaya weren’t told until the last moment!
- DO say that the ending of the BIG lockdown is inevitable — Self-realization is our destiny and it cannot be avoided.
- DO say that we can end the BIG lockdown sooner if we follow their guidelines, but we can delay it for a really long time if we don’t — How soon we become Self-realized is determined by our efforts.
The medical experts are also unanimous in answering the question, “When will the coronavirus lockdown end?” in the same way. The medical experts –
- DO NOT give us an exact date when the lockdown will end — not a single medical expert has so far given an exact date for a return to normalcy.
- DO say with 100% certainty that the ending of the lockdown and a return to normalcy is inevitable — the lockdown cannot go on forever, as recovery from past pandemics show.
- DO say that with 100% certainty that the lockdown will end sooner if we follow their guidelines, but we can delay the end for a really long time if we don’t.
It seems that there are many kinds of journeys in life.
On one end of the spectrum is the kind of journey where you know in advance the exact time you will arrive at the destination. On the other is the kind of journey where you do not know if you will ever arrive at the destination.
Somewhere in between these two extremes is a category to which both of these lockdowns seem to belong – where the successful arrival at the destination is guaranteed but the timing of the arrival is held in suspense until the final moment. Yet we can hasten the arrival of the destination’s final moment through our own diligent efforts.
I sometimes wish God had not made life have so many twists and turns, ups and downs, joys and sorrows. If life were like playing a video game, I would want the “player difficulty level” to be set at medium or low, rather than difficult or super-difficult or, as it currently seems to be set for many people, at the seriously-you-gotta-be-kidding-me level.
I am, however, glad that the dice are loaded — a victory at the end is guaranteed, not only for me but for everybody! I am also glad that the Great Ones come to help us navigate this journey in the shortest time possible, and give us the strength and their company when we need it the most.
In summary, I raise my cup of chai in a toast to the Master Writer of this suspenseful novel called Life. As they say in the South — Bless Your heart!