Speaker: What is ‘hope’?
First of all, it is an obvious matter to see, that hope is always located in the future. And hope is always related to the expectation of – getting something, or not losing something.
So something good will happen in the future – this is what you call as ‘hope’. Something good will happen in the future, this is what you call as ‘hope’. In other words, when the mind, shifts goodness, into time, that is called ‘hope’.
Mind wishes itself well. Mind wants to come to a full stop, a point of peace. But this ‘point of peace’, is somehow, never located by the mind, in the present, in its immediate vicinity, never. It’s quite funny. Mind wants good things to happen to it. Good things like:
“I will get ample love,”
“All the troubles in the life, will be resolved, and life will become simple, free-flowing,”
“There will be no sadness and troubles, problems will be taken care of. There would be only simple Joy,”
“There would be need of any cunningness, directness will be sufficient. Such lightness in living.”
So, mind knows of all these goodies. Mind knows that these are precious things: Lightness, Directness, Simplicity, Love. Mind knows. Pretty intelligent fellow it is, right? It knows. But strange, it never wants them, right now. That it never wants.
On one hand it is willing to toil as much in time, as can be demanded of it. “I will toil all my life.” And what does it mean by ‘toiling all my life’? Toiling in…(prompting the listeners)
Listener 1: Future.
Speaker: Toiling in time, in future.
“I will toil all my life. I am prepared for that. See, how committed I am. See, how I am willing to pay the highest price. But, one simple price I will never pay.” Which is..? To get all that, right now, specially when it is easily available right now.
So, mind says, “No, it is not easily available right now. Right now there are only problems, and complications, obstacles. The world is a bad place. Tomorrow will be better. And tomorrow will be better, with ‘my’ efforts” – that is hope.
So ‘hope’ is to postpone that, which is available, today. ‘Hope’ is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting.
You look at the situation of the mind. It is a very peculiar situation. On one hand, it knows, that nothing less than the Total, the Ultimate, the Final, can bring Peace to it. It knows that. On the other hand, it also knows that the Total, the Ultimate, and the Final, mean the death of mind, as it has known itself. In the form it has known itself, it will be no more.
The mind is stuck.
You want something so desperately, that if you don’t have it, life is not worth living. You want something so desperately, that if you don’t have it, life is not worth living, but what you want can be had only by, sacrificing life for it. Now you have to decide – whether you want to give up life, or whether you continue living without having that, which makes life worth living.
Rock, and a hard place – choose. What to do you want? Without love, life is dry. To get love, stop living. What to choose? The good news is – when you stop living in the way you have lived so far, it does not mean ‘death’. It only means – a life of the beyond, a life of the quality such that you have never known.
Ordinarily, in our dualistic world, when we say, “I shall be no more,” it means death, it means annihilation. But In the spiritual sense, in the real sense, when one dissolves, when one surrenders, when one is no more, then it is not a matter of sadness, rather it is a matter of great celebration. Because it does not mean that you have died, it means that you have come upon ‘Real’ life.
Now this is a little too fine, for the gross mind to understand. This much it understands that – “I am stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea,” as we said, “A rock, and a hard place.” This much it understands. But the solution is quite fine, subtle. That solution is understood only by a fine mind, only by a subtle mind. And the solution is that, “Poor kid, there is actually no trade-off involved. Why are you thinking that you have to choose between this and that? You can have the best of both worlds. You can have Love, and a fresh life as well.”
How about that?
The mind is thinking, assuming, that it is very stringent trade-off. Hmm? “If I get the Ultimate, then I will have to lose the world.”
“If I earn the blessings of the beyond, then I have to leave the comforts of this world.”
The truth is different. You get the Total. And ‘Total’ means everything, not ‘this or that’, not ‘A or B’. No choosing is needed. To get That, is to get the totality of everything. The choice should be very obvious. That’s the fun of this world.
Nobody seems to be making such an obvious choice. Nobody seems to be accepting, this fabulous offer that life is giving. (Smilingly) Everybody seems to be in two minds, twenty minds, twenty-thousand minds. Everybody seems to be cursing their luck.
“Yes, it’s a great thing on offer, but you know, they are extracting such a high price. Yes I understand. Yes, yes, yes. The product is beautiful. The service that they are offering is immaculate, ultimate, but they are asking me to pay with my blood. They are literally fleecing me. Now, you know, neither can I go away, because the thing is so tempting, neither can I pay the price because the price is so high. And you know, everybody is just standing outside, wondering, and cursing.”
The product is actually free. The service is out of love. The price that you are paying, is not a ‘price’ at all. If the doctor is taking away your disease, if a friend is taking away your nightmares, is he extracting a price? Will you say that you are poorer for the bargain?
Whatever you can hope for, something higher than that is already given to you. And it is the most difficult thing to accept, because the mind has been trained in living purposefully. If you accept that the Highest has been just being gifted to you, then what do you live for? So it is very-very difficult to accept. Man lives on hope, man lives on feeling of incompleteness. And man feels grateful that there is hope, which is such a stupid thing to do, but it happens all the time.
You know, to project something is one thing – I throw a ball up, and I know that it is going to come down. Now I can project, yes. Having gone up, it will come down. I go to the railway station, in a sense I hope that it will come on time. All these things are alright. And as far as such petty matters are concerned, one can hope. The trouble starts, as we said in the beginning, when the basic goodness of life, when the basic essence, the juice of life, is turned into a matter of hope.
“I will gain fulfillment tomorrow.” Now this is problematic. “The flight will land tomorrow,” is alright. “I expect the results to be declared tomorrow,” is alright. But, “I expect bliss and joy tomorrow,” is problematic.
Do you understand the difference?
Do not live as if you are in a waiting room, waiting for some train, that actually never arrives for mankind. Do not live, as if you are in a waiting room. And even if you are in a waiting room, do not live, as if the next train will bring to you, the love of your life. Sometimes, one is, in fact, in a waiting room. Even if you are in a waiting room, you should actually be, beyond waiting.
“Whether or not, I catch the train, one thing is certain – I am not missing on life. I may miss the train, but I will never miss on…”
Speaker: Life. And missing the train is alright. We are all entitled to our stupidities, and mistakes, and games. Once in a while, one can miss a train, or a flight. It is alright. But to wait for a train, thinking that you are missing on life, and the train will bring life to you, is a gross mistake. Do not commit that mistake.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: To hope is to postpone the good, and embrace the waiting