Seeing the Marvel of Existence
In the first of 56 chapters of his metaphysical opus The Life Divine, Sri Aurobindo suggests something profound. He indicates that everything we encounter in life -- positive and negative, pleasurable and painful, good and evil -- serves the greater Good that is unfolding. He indicates that such dual pairs, which on the surface seem to be in contradiction, are really complements to one another -- necessary for the upward, progressive movement of each. In that way, every difficulty and problem that comes our way serves us just as well as positives circumstance -- perhaps more so. Moreover, that vision of things, that ability to perceive meaning and utility in everything we encounter, from the macro to the micro, from the positive to the negative is to see the Marvel of Existence.
Let me illustrate this principle with several examples from literature. In Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les Miserable, a fundamentally good man Jean Valjean has escaped prison and is being pursued by an extremely dedicated, almost fanatical police officer named Javert. Along the way, Valjean raises a beautiful adopted daughter Cossette who falls in love with a young man named Marius, who eventually joins a people’s fighting force barricading themselves against the reactionary government. At one point, the older, magnanimous Valjean gets involved in the battle himself, and in a startling, ironic moment saves Marius’ life. Interestingly, Valjean never tells him what he had done. In addition, Valjean and Marius over time are at odds with one another because the elder does not want to relinquish his beloved daughter to the young man. In fact, now that Valjean senses that he is losing Cosette to Marius, life begins to all lose meaning, and so he begins to wither away.
But then one day near the end of Valjean’s life, the evil Innkeeper Thenardier -- who once raised Cosette in squalor and did many appalling things along the way -- reveals to Marius that Valjean was in fact the one who saved his life. Stunned by Thenardier revelations, Marius and Cosette rush to Valjean’s deathbed and console him, thanking him for a lifetime of self-givingness. In essence, a very bad person has come forward and unwittingly helped resolve a knot between two good people, -- enabling reconciliation between Marius and Valjean, and the return of Cosette’s deep love and affection for Valjean, something he so desperately longed for. And so after a lifetime of kindness and generosity, Jean Valjean dies a very happy man.
It is said that great literature revels the deepest truth of life. The principle that not just the good, but the negative and evil too serve the greater Good is also evident in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. For example, at one critical point in the story, one of the five Bennet sisters, the wild, rambunctious Lydia, has eloped with the scoundrel Wickham, threatening the Bennet family with scandal and social ostracism. The elopement also threatens to ruin the relationship between the very wealthy Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
Now soon after the elopement ends with the marriage of Lydia and Wickham, Lydia foolishly blurts out that Darcy was the one who settled the accounts of her husband, resolving the situation. Lydia was instructed not to reveal this information. When Eliza hears this, she is thunderstruck because she now realizes how wrong she has been about Darcy. She saw him and arrogant and prideful, but instead, she now sees his very noble character. As a result, she falls in love with him, he proposes (again), and they marry. Without the verbal blunder from the negative Lydia, the marvelous outcome would never have occurred. I.e. Darcy and Eliza may not have fallen in love, married, found deep happiness, and thereby bring great wealth and social prestige to the Bennet family. That is the power the negative and false serve in manifesting the greater Good.
There is one other example of this principle in the novel. Late in the story, the aristocratic, wealthy, yet reactionary Lady Catherine tries to meddle in the relationship between Darcy and Eliza. When she does, it backfires on her, paving the way for the marriage of Darcy and Eliza. What happened was that when Lady Catherine got wind of the budding relationship, she stormed in the Bennet home, met with Eliza, and insisted that the relationship cease. Eliza of course refused. Most importantly however, when Lady Catherine returned home, Darcy learned of the meeting between his aunt and Eliza and realized from the discussion that Eliza had not ruled out a romance and marriage between him. Startled that this was the case, Darcy then went ahead and met Eliza, who then accepted his second proposal of marriage. In other words, without Lady Catherine’s negative intervention, the entire resolution of the story would not have come about! Her harmful attempt to block their relationship had the opposite effect of spurring them to come together.
Once again, we see how falsehood and evil play critical roles in movements of progress and greater accomplishment. It is to perceive that every thing -- good or bad, positive or negative, pleasurable or painful, -- serves a purpose in the great unfolding. It is an ultimate perspective and vision of life. It is to see the Marvel of Existence.
Life Moving Towards You
The other day I had an extraordinary experience. One after another, life responded with a series of powerful positive events. It was as if I were on a magic carpet ride, but rather than being carried aloft, life was coming to me with one wonderful benefit after another. First, I had a superb meeting that far exceeded my expectations. Then a financial discussion unfolded so wonderfully and speedily for my benefit, I could hardly believe it. Then a computer operation went far quicker than I would have imagined. And so forth for nearly two hours. I was left breathless by the stunning chain of events.
It was at that point that I grasped something truly profound. I understood clearly for the first time in my life that the only thing that matters is whether life is moving towards you. Effort, skill, knowledge, aspiration, strength, action, decision, etc are all fine, but they mean nothing if life isn’t moving toward you bringing it bounty on its own. I also realized once more that life is alive and conscious, and constantly responding to the state of our consciousness within.
In fact, life bringing you results on its own without need for outer action is proof that you are rightly disposed psychologically. More often than not, it is an indication that you have made a shift toward a more positive attitude -- perhaps overcoming a reluctance, or shedding a hostility, or restraining one’s self from asserting, or having an inner faith that all will turn out fine, and so forth. When we take to such attitudes, life moves towards us “on its own,” which is really a reflection of a momentary or longer-lasting transition we have made in consciousness.
There are also the magical, cosmic occasions when life comes through a storm of good fortune, as it did for me the other day. All one need do in such situations is NOT interfere and ride that wave, surrendering to and having complete trust in the unfolding. Life moving toward one with one positive event after another is also an indication that you have evoked the Spirit; often occurring in tandem with a significant transition in attitude, opinion, or belief. As it turns out, I deeply consecrated that day’s very important activities to the spiritual Force, attracting that two-hour blizzard of good fortune.
The most important thing that came out of the experience was a profound new view of existence -- shaking me to the core. I saw that in terms of success, accomplishment, and fulfillment, all that mattered was whether or not life is moving in my direction with positive results. Everything else is mere potential, effort, thought, wish, hope, and dream. Life coming to you on the other hand is kinetic; it is realization; it is results; it is effortless fulfillment; and is all that really matters in terms of accomplishment and fulfillment in life.
As you go about your day, look around and consider if life is moving toward you through positive, helpful, beneficial events. If so, then you know are doing something right within. Equate the outer result with a corresponding shift in consciousness. Now that you know the cause, repeat it ad infinitum as often and as frequently as possible. The energy you release will be enormous, though you may not feel it, as it has moved in the subtle or subconscious plane. But then at the right time, life will start moving on its own, which can build up and become a torrent of successive positive events, occurring in a short, tight timeframe. Then you too may have a vision of the power of life to move on your behalf, which will also give you a glimpse of the Marvel behind all existence.
Life Out of Kilter
Sometimes life flows smoothly, and all is harmony and goodwill. Then there are other times where it moves out of kilter, disturbed by confounding events. Here is an example:
After having my lunch today, I resumed work on my computer. I then got up to go to the kitchen to fetch some Trail Mix for dessert. Just as I started reaching in the bag, the phone rang. When I answered it, I discovered that it was one of those unsolicited advertisements. The call came at precisely the wrong moment. Ten minutes later, after a quiet period, I got up again to get another handful, and guess what -- just as I was digging into the bag, the phone rang again! I then scurried over to the phone, and it turned out to be another unsolicited call, this time gracing me with utter silence. Thus, I experienced two phone calls occurring through the same essential circumstance -- i.e. at just the wrong moment from an unwanted, unsolicited source.
What can we make of such things? For one, we can see how the falsehood of the universe is contained in such micro events. But let me for now restrict myself to the narrow issue at hand. First, it occurs that they called at the wrong time because their motives were in part selfish. They don’t care what happens on your end, so long as you answer so they can sell you their product or service. That vibration causes them to call at precisely the wrong moment, down to the nano-second! How many times have we sat down to dinner or begun to watch a movie or engaged in something else that was important, only to be greeted by these unsolicited calls. You can call it coincidence or chance, but the micro-precision of the moment is just too compelling. It is both maddening and an indicator of a vibration of oblivious selfishness at the other end. (Of course, we can also examine what we did to attract it. Hint: raising our consciousness will tend to reduce such solicitations.)
There is similar phenomenon I have observed. In this scenario, a friend calls, but they miss you entirely. Perhaps you have just walked out the door. What is happening is that at their end, they are expressing their impatience, as something has impulsively stimulated them into calling you. They miss you because they are out of kilter; because they weren't able to use their minds to consider the worthiness of making contact, and instead rushed ahead in a fit of intensity and desire. The truth is that our emotions overwhelm our ability to do rational things, preventing us from being in the true flow of life.
Having said that, keep in mind that you too, the recipient of such mistimed messages, can get caught up in that nasty net and try to quickly return the call, which will more than likely cause you to miss the other party as well! We sometimes refer to this as "phone tag," but it is wanting vibration tag, as we are caught up in the contagious force of impulsive action.
(On the other hand, there are other situations where people call at precisely the right moment. These outcomes indicate a vibration of mental clarity, calm, and harmony of purpose on the initiator's end. I would say that these are people worthy of being your friend!)
There is one final variation on this theme. You are about to witness an important scene in a film, or something is about to happen that is significant to you, and suddenly the phone rings. This time it is not silence or solicitation on the other end, but a vendor calling about one of your unpaid bills. Because you have been inattentive or negligent in remitting what is due others, or are otherwise too disorganized to deal with life’s necessities on an ongoing basis, the vendor calls you at precisely the moment you hoped to enjoy some other thing. It is an indicator of negative response to your limited consciousness related to the matter.
Reality is like this ad infinitum, and is the background music, or I should say the noise and distortion that causes life to get out of kilter. If, however, each of us make the sincere effort to overcomes our limitation -- whether reducing selfishness, finding a more calm and equal poise, raising our levels of organization, etc. -- life will flow smoothly, and every and all events can be occasions for freshness and joy.
How the Small Opens the Portals of the Infinite
In any given moment, there are large and small acts related to a significant event. E.g. at the time of a medical emergency, there is not only the suffering party and the rescue operation, but the unobserved arrival of a supervisor, a nurse ordering a batch of medicine, and an elderly patient joking in his wheel chair. Thus, there are closely related as well as seemingly unrelated, disparate activities occurring simultaneously. And yet in such circumstance, every and all events are in fact deeply interconnected, no matter how unimportant and distantly related they seem to be. And any one of them -- even the smallest, the most innocuous, and contrary -- can determine the final outcome. To be sensitive to this process is to have a vision of the life’s true workings, which gives one a staggering power to control the world around us. Here is an example that illustrates this point.
The TV series Numb3rs (pronounced ‘Numbers’) is a crime show whose outcomes are determined by the strategies of a genius mathematician, Charlie Eppes. In one particular episode, we see how the small and absurd determine the final outcome. In Los Angeles, a bus is hijacked and a nefarious gang holds passengers for ransom. Charlie’s brother, FBI captain Don Eppes works with his staff to solve the looming catastrophe. Don’s energies are completely focused on saving lives, as he interacts by phone with the evil ringleader who is aboard the bus. Meanwhile, Don’s math genius brother Charlie is as usual helping on the case through his brilliant analysis intuitively derived.
There is an added subplot to the story; this one involving the father of Charlie and Don -- Alan Eppes -- as well as Charlie’s good friend, theoretical physicist Larry Fleinhardt. It turns out that earlier the entire group had agreed to form a think tank, and at this point, father Alan and physicist Larry are debating -- actually arguing -- over its future direction. One aspires to start the project with the practical, the other the theoretical. In fact, they carry out this mental debate in front of the very preoccupied Charlie and Don, completely oblivious to the dangerous situation. At one point, they even implore Charlie to solve the dilemma for them. As we watch their comic-like callousness, we can only shake our heads. This dynamic repeats throughout the episode, adding to the tension of the already dangerous situation.
Then circumstance turn grave when the abductors threaten to kill each hostage one by one. And yet Alan and Larry persist in their seemingly ridiculous request that Charlie solve their problem. How can they be so oblivious! This time however, rather than tell them that they have to settle their squabbles on their own, Charlie is struck by something in their debate. He is shaken by the fact that Alan and Larry seemed to be locked in a ‘paradox,’ and that the hostage situation he and Don are involved in has a similar dynamic. As a result, Charlie now understands that everything he and Don assumed about the case is faulty. When the two brothers act on this hunch, they discover that the bus abduction was actually a hoax: that they were in fact chasing the wrong bus, and that the real hostages and villains were aboard a stationary bus in a warehouse! As a result, they are now able to move in on the villains and save the hostages.
As we see, in this case, the small and the innocuous solved the case. That which seemed unimportant and irritating was the means by which the greater problem was resolved. Because Charlie opened his mind and paid attention to the small -- no matter how silly and absurd -- he garnered the clue that enabled him to solve the case.
In every situation in life, every element that presents itself serves a purpose. Thus, the smallest thing -- even that which seems negative and opposed to our intent -- can me a means for its final resolution. In that way, we cannot deny or be irritated by anything -- for the smallest of the small can provide an opening to the infinite.
If this is the case, how can we become more mindful of the variety of elements, movements, and activities in a given circumstance? It all comes down to our level of consciousness. It takes an open mind and acute sensitivity to perceive the utility of each act in relation to the whole of any event. That in turn depends on a still and silent mind, as well as a calm and steady disposition. Think Sherlock Holmes. And through that keen, mindful, multi-sided perception, one becomes aware of the role of the smallest act in the outcome of a situation, problem, or event. To perceive this many-sided whole, rather than the obvious one or two parts is a spiritual quality known as “integral knowledge.”
Indian spiritual philosophy tells us the infinite can arise out of anything -- whether the large or the infinitesimally small. To the infinite Consciousness and Being, there is no distinction between the two. Thus, the innocuous and silly, the trivial and trite, and the negative and hostile also serve as instruments for progress and change. If we can learn to perceive this dynamic in our daily lives, then we will have a glimpse of the Marvel of existence.
Perceiving All Sides of a Matter
Man is not inclined to embrace all sides of an issue, only the one that meets his current attitudes and beliefs. A San Francisco newspaper recently published a letter to the editor from a nearby Berkeley group indicating the displacement of people and corruption involved in building dams in Burma and Guatemala. On face value, who can argue with such sentiments? Unfortunately, they conclude that the dams cannot be built; in fact that dams overall are not a wise approach to meet the needs of the public. Somewhere else, people argue vehemently for the need for new dams in parched areas -- a noble and useful aspiration indeed -- yet ignore the problems generated, including the effect on people and the environment.
The truth is that we rush to protect our side of the argument, failing to embrace the totality of truth available to us. Why not see the benefit of dams to help the flow of water around the nations for agriculture, the poor, the cities, etc. while acknowledging that tactics being used in their development may in fact be harmful. The Berkeley people see little benefit in building dams; the other side is blind to corruption and negative influences of such construction. A rational mind embraces all sides, and comes to the right conclusion. Liberal democracy has its roots in such a many-sided view. It is also a spiritual capacity for the mind to embrace all sides, while also seeing the Totality and the Essence. I.e. it is a spiritualized, mindful, open, and aware.
Mind is a dividing mechanism. It also tends to be exclusive. I.e. my truth and understanding is the best and I will defend it. We each do it all the time. We defend our point of view instead of learn, seeking out all sides of an issue. It is the vital ego that asserts the side it knows, not perceiving its essential Ignorance in that matter. We are like this in endless way – as we are unwilling or uncurious to know all sides of an issue; where we so certain of our position, even though the multiplicity of truths both beckons and eludes us.
And yet we have the capacity to develop an inner poise from which we can develop a level of mindfulness and awareness that has the natural tendency to seek out all sides of an issue. It is Inner Curiosity that is spiritual in nature, as the Mind rests in quietude, open to and allowing True Knowledge to descend into it from all sides. Practically speaking, each time we are in a meeting, or reading a paper, or taking in information, we should be willing to absorb the multiplicity of truths of a matter, holding back that tendency to look for the ammunition of fact that supports our own limited attitudes and beliefs. A true rational person absorbs knowledge in mental silence, perceiving the possibilities, the deep arguments, the justification and flaws in logic, the Essence behind, as well as the Totality. It also includes our ability to have illuminations and intuitions of truth and knowledge that come into our minds without thought from the universal spheres. This is the next level of human consciousness beyond Mind proper that we are evolving towards.
Floating in the universe is the complete Object of Knowledge that we are addressing; its essence from all sides, its totality and details integrated. Our higher, spiritualized mind is capable of being in Identity with that integrally complete object. It is our evolutionary destiny to move out of Mind's exclusivity through inner spiritual means and continually grasp that total object of knowledge on any matter or subject that comes to our attention. It will be a sign that humanity has risen to the next stage of evolution. That at any moment in time we are able to grasp the totality of knowledge of a matter, enabling deep, integral understanding that leads to perfect decisions that result in extraordinary outcomes in life.
Signs Along the Way
Today I brought in my car for a bi-annual oil change. When I arrived, the person in front of me had lost his wallet and was frantically searching for it. The fact that he was before me, I found significant, but how?
I then had some lunch at McDonald’s. I then returned, but before I retrieved my car, I went into a Long’s Drugs to purchase some fruit and nuts for my salads. I saw two different products next to one another. Both were marked 2 for $4. When I went to pay for it, the checkout person said that the one I selected was not on sale. I know it was because it was marked so. In fact, both the products were marked so. The cashier then spoke to a stocking employee who ran it through her handheld computer and it indicated it was not on sale. It was clear then the big label next to the product I purchased indicating 2 for $4 should not have been there. I informed the cashier on the way out that the item was marked wrong, after she gave me my money back. (I did not buy the item.)
When I went to pick up my car, I was surprised that they charged $79 instead of $29 for the oil change. I asked why. He said it was due to the fact that I agreed to synthetic oil. I assumed synthetic was the lower grade and thus $29, but I was misinformed! I forgot that the last time I was there I purchased the higher grade, i.e. synthetic oil for the oil change. So he was right. He saw my past transaction and assumed I would understand. I just didn’t remember, however. I then told them they should explain clearly the difference each time we purchase it, for after all we only come twice a year. (I was making a practical suggestion, yet somehow an anguished one.)
At each point, I saw the connection to the other events. To the man who was there with the wallet before me when I checked in to get the oil change one hour earlier; to the problem with the purchase of fruit and nuts for my salad five minutes earlier. And also the fact that the day before I went through precisely the same situation at another location when I went to purchase a candy bar. I.e. marked as cheaper, but not in the computer as such!
As I walked out of the Quality Tune-up, I felt emotion, yet I tried to keep calm. I was relaxed soon after. In the past, I would have been three times as mad as I was after making the $79 payment for the oil change. Now I have the mental knowledge of the flow of life to get too riled up. Besides, I took responsibility for everything under the assumption that the outer is a reflection to the outer.
I started to write up this entire affair. Within one minute, I got a call for a potentially very lucrative business arrangement involving project management. My reasonably rational approach to the situation attracted. I held back blaming, and the response came. The energy could have been dissipated, but it still remained. A phone call of an old business associate suddenly came out of the blue with a great opportunity.
PS Consecration (i.e. offering the matter to the Spirit beforehand) and inner status of living in the depths and therefore calm could have eliminated all of the problems to begin with, indicating the scope of my further growth.
Update to the story: Just a few hours after this story occurred, I looked in one of my kitchen closets and found a bag of nuts/fruits that my roommate had just purchased! It was the only new thing in the closet!
The Meaning Behind the Offending Phone Call
It is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. They are mysterious because we do not understand them, and yet we are fully capable of doing so. I believe it is His wish.
Have you ever received a phone call at exactly the wrong moment; e.g. when you are about to settle down for a dinner or at an important moment in a film you are watching. Have you ever wondered why? Normally we consider it mere chance or bad timing or ill luck. There are many rational reasons that explain the cause. If the party on the offending line is engaged in an intense vital pursuit, such as wanting to desperately sell you something, and do so at all cost, you will tend to receive that call at precisely the wrong moment. Their negative energies burst through your own defense lines, spoiling happy moments with their own needs and desires.
Interestingly, it also works in the reverse. You will receive an unwelcome phone call at precisely the wrong moment because of something you have neglected in the past or otherwise precipitated on your own end. They are expressing their right action, but you are attracting them at precisely the wrong time because of the negative energies you released previously.
There are two examples of how the Lord -- or rather the cosmic unfoldings of life -- works in mysterious ways. To recognize the underlying intent and background is to ascertain the meaning in the offending call. And therefore know what they or you have to overcome to move to the positive to avoid repetition in the future.
Life is full of such lessons, if we only penetrate the surface. It is a study I have engaged in for decades, the results of which can be found at the Growth Online web site. We welcome all who wish to learn the subtle secrets of how life unfolds in the universe.
Parallel Events in the World
If we look closely and examine life we will see how two events, miles or even continents apart will arise at the same time related to the same matter. Normally we do not perceive these parallel events, but if we do, we pass it off as mere coincidence. Rather they are related by their shared vibration and energy.
Recently in the US, beloved TV news interviewer and reporter Tim Russert died a relatively young man. It was a terrible blow for the US and shocked the nation. It was the main, bold headline in the New York Times accompanied by a striking picture. Next to it was another world headline, this about Ireland’s rejection of new standards for the European Union, perhaps the most important change for that institution in a decade. When I saw the two stores side by side, I sensed a connection. I then went to Wikipedia and discovered that indeed Tim Russert was of Irish American parents. The connection Irish between the two events was unmistakable.
If we exercise our minds a bit, we can find such associations everywhere -- especially in the news, in history, in literature -- even in our own lives. Even when we make this astonishing discovery, we can probe deeper and see further parallel associations. E.g. when I thought further on the Russert-Ireland connection, I saw yet a third connection. I realized that at the very same time, the Boston Celtics had for all intensive purposes secured the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship the night before, their biggest breakthrough for the team 22 years. The motto of the team is "the luck of the Irish," and their mascot is a leprechaun. (Boston is the predominant home of the Irish American community in the US.) Thus, the parallel events are extended a step further.
Powerful but subtle, unseen energies are released by a central event, and related matters spontaneously arise with them in time. Deeper insight and the discovery of guiding principles of why this occurs is worthy of a great study. For now, we can speak of energies that move out into the field of life and align with corresponding circumstance that causes this synchronistic, parallel effect. If you are an avid reader of newspapers and keep an eye out, you will see this occurring quite frequently. Do not, however, consider these random events and coincidence, for there is absolutely no such thing. They are deeply connected associations that are integrally related.
There is something deeper still going on. Are ability to associate these connection is an indicator that Man is ready to go beyond the limiting logic of his current exclusive mind. That he is ready to perceive the deeper laws of life, such as life response, the power of attraction, and the synchronicity and parallelism that this article addresses. It is in fact a harbinger of the transition being from our current human functioning to a supra-human existence. It is but one of several signs of emergence of a New Way of Living based on integral perfection and the spiritual dimension of life.
What Happens at the Start Indicates the Outcome
Life expresses through a series of laws and principles that few of us are privy to. In recent years, The Law of Attraction has come to the attention of the world through the book ‘The Secret.' It indicates that when we focus our intention on something, it tends to come about on its own. I have described that as the phenomenon of "Life Response," that is itself based on the phenomenon of "Inner-outer Correspondence." I.e., when we shift the inner to the positive or more positive, life outside instantly responds to our inner change.
Another subtle principle of life is that every outcome of an event, circumstance, undertaking, social movement, etc. is indicated at the very beginning. It occurs positively and negatively. Let me focus on the latter. When Nixon and Kennedy vied for the presidency in 1960, it was extremely close and contentious, with Kennedy winning by a hair. Kennedy was later assassinated, ending his administration. What happened at the start was an indicator of the final outcome. Recently Bush junior won by an extremely small amount after an overwhelmingly contentious dispute in Florida settled by the Supreme Court. It appeared that his side did all to block the truth from emerging. His administration ended in near disaster for the country and the world. In the Russian Revolution, a group of serious-minded thinkers ended up resorting to slaughter of the aristocracy it wished to replace, which culminated in years of rule by the devil-like Stalin, who had 30 million shot to death. In these cases too , events at the outset indicated an outcome that was to come.
Why life happens this way is certainly worth investigating. To do so one has to understand the subtle nature of energy and how it circulates and returns; how past, present, and future are truly related; the intention a higher force working in the world; and many other subtle, indeed cosmic forces at work.
If we look closely at our own lives, we will see the same phenomenon at work. For example, one man I know was desperately trying to meet some people in a suburb of Los Angeles for a crucial meeting. He ended up being utterly lost in a maze of suburban streets. Though he would later find the place and create a business relationship that would last several years, that undertaking ended in bankruptcy. In another case, an individual was desperately trying to get some sun tan lotion before taking a cruise on a tiny riverboat in Sacramento. His effort was intense and confused, though he and his friend managed to get on board just a moment before the little boat embarked. Twenty minutes into the trip a super, modern speedboat zoomed by; nearly cutting the boat in half. What happens at the outset indicates the thing to come.
To prevent such results, we can offer the original disturbance to the Higher Power, which will eliminate the chance of negativity expressing itself in the outcome. In that way, we have the power to overcome the existing subtle principles of life, even as we are in awe of their miraculous-like ways and their cosmic significance.
Vast Accomplishment by Following the Flow of Life
Watch life closely, there is a marvelous flow to its movements -- in particular, to the unfolding of events. To be in touch with that unfolding is to experience the Marvel. When we are in our higher consciousness, we recognize this flow in all its wonder. When we are in a lower state, we miss this miracle.
If a computer operating system requires an online upgrade, we initially balk and anguish at the fact, as it blocks us from following the normal routine we are attached to. But when we are in a higher, more mindful and sensitive state, we recognize its need, release our distress, and take up the necessary activities and actions that life is now pointing to. Then when we return to the fresh, new things that had to unfold, we see how necessary it was in the larger scheme of things.
In addition, each substitute task we are asked to undertake -- such as cleaning the kitchen while the OS installs on the computer -- will produce important results. It may even attract an instance of sudden good fortune. E.g., while cleaning, a friend you haven’t heard from in years suddenly contacts you with excellent news.
Lao Tzu wrote the Tao de Ching. It concerns itself with the true Flow of life, the unfolding of events that we can recognize and partake it at any moment in time. When we are in touch with that flow, it unfolds like a miracle, as we know precisely in which direction to turn, and as a result are constantly securing life’s cooperation. When we are inwardly anchored from a silent poise, we are more conscious of the subtle needs of our surroundings. That enables us to know which direction to turn, which allows us to make right decisions that lead to perfect outcomes. From that poise of silent mindfulness, we engender vast success, which tends to take shape through incidents of sudden good fortune. This continuous luck flows in our direction, and in return we ourselves contribute to and augment the Flow of Life.
Applying the Subtle Principles of Life to Attract Infinite Success
When the American settlers gazed out on the virgin land, they knew that a clean slate was before them -- i.e. there was a land of infinite possibilities that they could make into their own image. We too have a life of infinite potential before us that we can shape into our own living reality.
And yet the American settlers created ultimate success because they already had the knowledge of how to create a civilization, i.e. having lived there for generations they knew how to recreate Europe in the New Land. Thus, they knew the world they wanted to create, and had the skills and knowledge to do so. In our lives, we too have a certain knowledge passed down through the educations system, which give us the capacities to succeed. In addition, we have our own native abilities inherited through our genes and acquired through social interaction. Yet there is one other power that stands above all for shaping our success -- knowing the true Workings of Life. There are a series of previously-unknown, hidden laws and principles that describe the subtle manner through which life unfolds. These are startling unfoldings that hardly anyone knows. And yet if we learn what they are and apply them, we harness a vast power that enables us to instantly bring the infinite potentials of life to the here and now.
One of the principles of the subtle workings of life the power of Intention: that what we intent releases energy that moves out into the field of life and brings us in return that which we aspired for. It is a miracle to behold. Another miraculous-like principle is Inner-Outer correspondence: that what is happening on the outside is a direct reflection of our inner condition, and thus if we change the inner to the positive, the outer instantaneously responds in kind. This miraculous-like result I call a "Life Response."
When we know the dozen or so hidden principles of life then the infinite potentials of life instantly turn into a living reality. Not one in a thousand knows these laws. When the world realizes them, we will see the beginning of a new reality, a new life on earth. We will be able to truly make the world into our own image in no time at all, just as the settlers did after they first viewed the infinite virgin land before them.
Nature Works on Many Fronts Simultaneously
Nature works on many fronts simultaneously. I.e. it seeks to accomplish several things -- even matters that seem to contradict one another -- through one central circumstance. Take the Tibet situation. Most of us are aware of China's tyranny that began in 1958 when she drove out the Dalai Llama and killed perhaps millions. Yet for all of China's heavy-handedness, Tibetan culture and its Buddhism in particular there had become crusted over and outdated. By being pushed into India the young Dalai Llama initiated revolutionary change in its teachings, embracing the modern way, which has very much changed the nature of that culture. Had China not oppressed the Tibetans, it might have taken centuries if ever for this progressive change to take place. And, of course, China too is being taken to task for its continued oppression of the Tibetans at a time it is economically and culturally emerging in the world. It too is being forced to change in the bright light of public opinion.
Thus we see that Nature works on many fronts at the same, defying mind's normal view of things, which tends to see only one part or aspect of any thing. However, when we develop a higher consciousness and rise out of linear, static mentality -- enjoining the higher intuitive and spiritual dimensions of life -- we can begin to see the variety of unfoldings and influences that emerge from any central circumstance. These startling, confounding, and often contradictory outcomes indicate Nature's Ultra-Efficiency that seeks and establishes progress along multiple lines simultaneously. It is a true wonder of life.
Three Life Principles that Demonstrate How the Darkness Serves the Light
We go through life, rarely considering if there are any underlying principles at work that enable its movements, flow and outcomes to occur. Here I am not referring to the mechanical outer principles that science revealed, but the subtle inner ways that life functions. There are many of these subtle secrets available to us, and I urge anyone to begin to become aware of them, which will give one a great power and effectivity over life. Here I would like to briefly mention three that are closely related to one another, and that involve the "negative" side of life.
The first principle is that our weaknesses are the source of our greatest strength. Though we have positive capacities that have helped us become who we are today, it is also true that our wanting capacities can be the single lever that catapults us to our ultimate potential. If we identify and overcome our wanting capacities, then we are immediately catapulted into the future, as life instantly responds with good fortune. This is another phenomenon of life that I call "life response." I.e. if we overcome a wanting aspect of our being, powerful energies are released which move out into the universal plane of life and attract instances of sudden good fortune from related and associative object and individuals.
The second principle, closely related to the first, is that negative in life are really positives in disguise. How often we have seen how bad fortune became for us the first step in a series of events that enabled a fresh new positive course in our lives. From this perspective, we can say that the negatives that comes to us are really more intense forms of the positive. Even WW II, in which 50+ million died, served to bring about the first signs of global unity in the form of the United Nations and the EU that followed. Before WWII, there was no harmony amongst the Europeans nations, making it that much easier for Hitler's armies to march across Europe.
The final principle, again closely related to the first two is that "contradictions are complements." I.e. when we have a conflict with another, we see it as a contradiction with that person, but from a higher consciousness, we see that we are each complements to one another. This is not an easy concept to grasp, but it is overwhelmingly profound. E.g., the Palestinians and the Israelis on the surface have a contradictory relationship; they have opposed and fought one another. In the depths however, the Palestinians understand the intransigent conservatism of part of the Israeli nature, even as the Israelis see a violent and irrational part of the Palestinian character. Not only does each side know the other side's weakness -- that each side does not see in their own selves -- but “Nature” has conspired to put these two sides together in surface opposition and conflict -- so that they can work out and overcome their own individual limited nature. In fact, it only through that opposite complementary partner, that each side can make that growth. Thus, secretly they are really helpful to one another! They are each other’s guru!
Life is filled with such subtle mystery, knowledge, and power. When we rise to a higher consciousness, we can begin to perceive these subtle laws of life, and see life as a great mystical unfolding of wonder. Stuck at the surface we only see such negative outcomes as pain. From a deeper consciousness -- which we can nurture by fining our quiet, silent and true self within -- we see the negative, including our wanting nature, as well as the conflicts with our rivals, serving a deep and profound positive purpose. We begin to see how the darkness serves the light.
The Utility of Evil as Expressed in Mythology and Reality
In the mythologies of the world, we generally see the play of good and evil. E.g. in the Indian spiritual epic The Mahabharata, we see the conflict between two sides, some of whom are close relatives of one another. One of the sides, the one considered ‘good,’ is advised through the Wisdom of the current avatar [one who brings evolutionary change to the world] Krishna. In the West, there are also ancient, as well as modern mythologies, two of which involve the adventures of science fiction space travel. They are ‘Start Trek’, generally produced for a more mature audience, and ‘Star Wars,’ written for youth. Here too good and evil are at play. Then, of course, there is the reality of life itself that the mythologies represent. In WWII, we saw that reality, including the conflict between good and evil.
Here, however, I would like to change the course of thinking about good and evil with several bold statements, one of which is that perhaps the greatest power to bring about Good in the world is through evil. I.e. evil is an even greater power for bringing about the true Good than the actions of the ordinary good, i.e. the good side that we perceive and appreciate in life. Why is this the case? It is because the result of evil’s negative action speeds up and intensifies further progress of the world, enabling the truer Good to further emerge in all its integrality and fullness.
Consider the mythology of Star Trek. The Federation of planets is essentially the good, and the Romulan Empire, (or the Borg) are the bad. Yet, if we watch closely, we will see that the good is often fractured; i.e. its members are not yet fully in harmony with one another. That side only moves to greater coordination, cooperation, and integration of intent and action after the mischief of the dark side has run its course. It is only then that the good side -- the Federation -- moves towards greater solidification and unity.
This modern mythology is of course a refection of the real truths of life. As the Nazis rose in power during the years leading up to WWII, there was no united force to confront them -- so the fascists flourished. In fact, it was the selfishness amongst the good nations leading up to the war -- expressed by the stock crash, the Great Depression, and the fall of the Weimer Republic in Germany; all, by the way, facilitated by financial greed -- that set the stage for the rise of the German nation that turned to evil. With the lack of harmony of the “good” side, the dark side flourished. Finally, the good side came together and overcame the enemy, creating a modicum of further harmony and integration amongst themselves and the defeated nations. The United Nations then became the one great attempt to establish a formal institution to unify the world, especially in light of the darkness that preceded it. Likewise, the European Union (EU) is an attempt to insure the common purposefulness of the individual nations of that continent to avoid repeating such catastrophes as war, financial ruin, and cultural disharmony. It may have taken hundreds, even thousands of years for such progress to have occurred amongst the nations on its own if evil had not spurred it on. In the end, we see that evil speeds up the process of integration and unity. Thus, we need to perceive the value of evil in the evolutionary process -- even as we seek to overcome it.
Modern mythology, as well as ancient ones like the Iliad and Odyssey, and especially those with vast spiritual insight like the Mahabharata, serve to show the subtle processes of change and progress for the nations and people of the earth.
Similar changes are of course occurring right now in the world around us. All we need to do is look around to see that same dynamic at work now; that the various dark sides pressure life into further harmony and integration, and unity. A broad open mind, influenced by spiritual knowledge and insight will be a great aid in pursuing these insights. Then of course, we will be able to develop the right strategies that integrate these many-sided truths. Naturally, these same movements of good, evil, and the true Good are unfolding in our own individual lives. To see them we need to look within.
Subtle Principles of Life
Perhaps the one principle of life we readily agree upon is the law of cause and effect. E.g. if I do something, there is an effect. Unfortunately, we only see this principle at work the physical/material level. E.g., when I hammer in a nail, the wood splinters and it is penetrated. This physical/material causality is obvious for every human being. However, that is only a small part of the life picture. There is also the cause and effect at the non-material plane -- i.e. subtle level of life. E.g., if I feel an emotion, someone else in the next town subtly perceives it. When they then receive my phone call, they comment that they were thinking of me. An even less known example: I change a negative attitude, and suddenly someone from half way around the world that I have never known before contacts me with an offer of a job of a lifetime. This is a subtle principle of life called ‘inner-outer correspondence’. I.e. there is a direct connection between the inner me and the outer life. Therefore when I change a wanting aspect of myself consciousness within, such as a negative attitude, life outside myself instantly responds in kind -- even though I took to no perceptible outer action to make it occur. This stunning unfolding defies our normal perceptions of what is possible, and how space and time unfold. Yet this principle is always at work, just beyond the bounds of our normal state of awareness.
There are many other subtle principles of life. One is that everything that occurs in life is indicated long before it occurs; i.e. by a “predecessor event”. For example, an individual is eager to come to a meeting that could change his life, but then gets very lost while driving around in a huge housing development -- though eventually he finds his way. Years later, he goes out of business when in his relationship with the very people he tried to meet at that earlier difficult-to-arrive-at, fateful meeting. The earlier negative event of getting hopelessly lost was the predecessor of the later negative circumstance of meeting with financial disaster through that same party.
It is also interesting to note that there are no exceptions to this rule: everything in life is indicated earlier by a predecessor event. Or to make it more personal: everything that is currently happening to your life -- whether great or small -- has been indicated by a predecessor event beforehand. Here is one other example of the phenomenon. A young man comes to India and meets with a teacher. Years later, they would be involved in a difficult trial against another person in which they (temporarily) lost a considerable financial judgment. At the very first instance when the two individuals met a decade earlier, the young man had asked the elder for a small loan to pay for a taxi. That sorry request was a predecessor of the near-financial ruin suffered by both. If we were to go back and trace the events our lives, we would see this same principle at work in our own lives. Something to think about: the things we are doing now will become signs and predecessors for future events.
Inner-outer correspondence and predecessor events are two startling subtle principles of life. How can the average person who only sees the obvious causalities of life perceive them? It is a matter of living a more concentrated existence, where our focus in life is more inward, and less outward where we are caught up in the surface unfoldings of life. From that deeper poise, we more readily perceive the subtle movements of life around us.
Let me add one other subtle principle -- one I have mentioned frequently in this column. It is that the negatives we experience in life serve the greater good. Or to put it another way, negatives are just as good in the creating the greater Good as the ordinary good is. Consider how the central episode in Pride and Prejudice unfolds, and you will see what I a mean. In the story, Darcy is in love with Eliza, but she has rejected him due to his prideful ways. There appears on the scene an old nemesis of Darcy, Mr. Wickham. He runs off with Eliza’s youngest sister, precipitating a scandal. Darcy then takes it upon himself to overcome the predicament, and succeeds in bringing Wickham and the younger sister back to the community married, thus avoiding the scandal. As a result, Eliza perceives Darcy in a new light, they reconcile, she expresses her love, and they marry. Cannot we then say that it was because of the negative Wickham that Darcy is given an opportunity to act in a way that wins over the love of Eliza? Put in philosophical terms we could say that Wickham appeared on the scene in order to bring about the marriage of Darcy to Eliza -- even though that was not his conscious intent. Thus, life progresses very quickly through the unfolding of negative circumstance, adding to the greater Good. It is one of Nature’s profound methods.
The most extreme example of that would be the startling statement that the ultimate evil represented by Adolph Hitler and the Nazis unified Europe! Without their treachery, it may have never happened, or it may taken hundreds of years before an EU was created. Because these nations had to jointly oppose the Nazis in WWII, instead of acting selfishly and separately apart as they did in the years leading up to the war, they developed the beginnings of a unity of purpose. Then at the end of the war when the devastation was complete, the nations knew that they had to come together, or face similar consequences once again. They then went on to see their shared values and purpose. It was a vast evolutionary movement of hundreds of years through the misery of a few years of extreme negative unfolding.
If we think about it, each of us can identity extreme negative circumstance that precipitated a great advancement forward in our own lives. It is unfortunately too often the case that only through the shock of negative circumstance does our lives make the necessary leap forward. It is the cause because our habitual nature and our virulent attitudes and beliefs do not readily change on their own to allow for such progress. It is know by the spiritually wise man that the Divine itself sanctions the negative, including evil, as a radical means of moving forward -- at least until we develop the positive means to do the same. Thus, this negative unfolding that serves the greater Good, can be thought of not as a negative at all, but as a more intense form of the positive. It is a form of the positive that is not easily recognizable, and bitterly accepted if at all. This is Nature’s difficult method – though in the future we will discover the inner, spiritual means to move life forward without the need of pain and difficulty. It is called the way of Soul.
I have mentioned a handful of subtle life principles -- though there are many more, each more remarkable than the next. Though laudable, the goal is not simply to be aware of and occasionally experience these startling unfoldings of life, but utilize their power to raise our consciousness, while bringing about progress in our lives. Then life will become an endless adventure, a “thrill ride of the within”, which will not only take us to the heights of any endeavor we engage in, and allow us to make remarkable personal progress, but will fill us with an ongoing deep joy and delight of being. At that point, we will stand on the shores of a New Way of Living.
Predecessor Events to a River Adventure
Life expresses in a number of subtle ways that defy our normal perceptions. Those who are in tune with these subtle functionings continually experience a wondrous existence. One example of this is to experience the phenomenon of "life response"; i.e if you change your consciousness within, life responds with sudden good fortune. E.g., you change your attitude towards someone you had ill-will towards, and suddenly from out of nowhere, you are offered the job of your dreams. These instances of life response occur because of the fundamental relationship that exists between our consciousness within and the world around. Thus, if we change the inner, life outside ourselves instantly responds in kind.
This identifiable subtle functioning indicate that life itself has a real and observable character, not unlike our own individual character. Those who perceive its hidden workings gain a vast knowledge of and a great power over life. Here I would like to focus on one other phenomenon that expresses this “character of life.” It involves what can be called “predecessor and successor events.” Essentially, it indicates that every occurrence in life -– large or small, good or bad -- is always preceded by circumstances that point to it. Let me explain with a personal experience.
One day I journeyed to nearby Sacramento, the capitol of California. Located in the fertile Central Valley of the state, it is also a river town where two of California’s great waterways converge. When visiting the city, I like to go to Old Town section, which lies on the edge of the river. When one gazes out across the water, one sees not only a lovely view, but often a large array of recreational sports vehicles on the water -- from designer yachts to extraordinary powerboats to great Mississippi riverboats. There is also tucked away a tiny little vessel called ‘The River Otter’ that takes people on a one-hour tour of a small portion of the 200-mile river. It turns out that I had taken this lovely and serene excursion once before, and on this particular day was eager to do it again.
Though my friend and I signed up for the 1:05pm tour, I soon realized that I didn’t have sun lotion, which was important to me since I am fair-skinned. As a result, I had to race around amongst the dozens of stores in Old Town to find some. When I finally found the lotion, I rushed back to the boat which was about to begin its run. However, when I arrived, my friend informed me that she had to use the rest facilities. I then headed down from the wharf into the boat and joined the dozen or more passengers already on board. I then sat there nervously, hoping that my friend would arrive before we left shore. Not one minute before we cast off, my friend arrived. It was a very close call!
As we headed up river, the captain pointed out that there had been a large overnight gathering of over 400 boats where the Sacramento and the American rivers converged -- an area lurking just up ahead. Not five minutes after learning of this fact, a large speedboat approached us at exceedingly fast speed, while rocking up and down due to the intentional wild maneuvers of the driver. As it zoomed by, it sounded as if the boat was about to careen out of control. Fortunately, the driver was able to maintain control, thus avoiding a high-speed crash with our own little vessel. We all held our collective breath as the boat blew by and then skittered up river.
After this little adventure, we passed a number of people riding on jet skis, which were also furiously racing up and down that length of the river. We then had a relatively uneventful but enjoyable remainder of our journey.
Soon after we returned to shore, I began to think about the entire affair. One thing I quickly perceived was the correlation between what had taken place before we departed and what happened during the river tour itself. The fact that I had to race around at the last minute to get the lotion was a predecessor and indicator of things to come. So too was my friend's hurried, last-minute arrival on the scene before casting off. In fact, she had also told me that it took her so long because she had been blocked by a train that suddenly crossed in front of her! Also, when we first embarked, I noticed that the skipper of our boat had a cast on his leg due to a break in a recent accident. All of these problematic circumstances were then the precedents of the difficult adventure that was to follow.
It is thus one subtle truth of life that every major circumstance that occurs is always preceded by one or more identifiable predecessor events. Interestingly, there is no exception to this rule; it always happens! Sometimes the predecessor happens immediately before hand; other times, hours or days before. It is an astounding phenomenon that points to its subtle nature and character of life. To see it once in action can change one’s view of reality forever! With that in mind, I would like to relate one other brief example of this phenomenon:
One time a friend and I went to visit a relative of hers for Thanksgiving dinner. The couple had only recently been married. Though it was about an hour drive to the house, it took us nearly five hours to arrive, due to a stupendous, unprecedented traffic jam on the highways. As it turned out, less than a year later we learned that the couple unexpectedly had a falling out, which quickly lead to their divorce. The stupendous traffic jam to visit them was the predecessor and indicator of the unhappy news that followed.
If this is how life works, is there a way to avoid the negatives outcomes that invariably follow a negative predecessor? I believe there is. If you experience something untoward, offer it to the Spirit, to the Divine. This is the method of “consecrating” an act. By consecrating negative circumstance to the spiritual Force, you invariably reduce or cancel any potential future problems; in essence, diffusing the “karma” that had been set in motion. You can also consecrate the events leading up to the predecessor as well. E.g. I could have opened to the Force before I ever embarked on that day’s journey to the river city, likely preventing most of the difficulties that occurred.
Predecessor Events Indicate Outcome in Famous Moment in History
In the 16th century, Spain planned to invade England, who was being ruled by the great Queen Elizabeth. Because of various grievances against her, King Philip of Spain had begun to prepare a great fleet that would invade the much smaller and poorer England. However, from the start, the Spanish faced a number of unexpected problems. First, the commander of the enterprise, Santa Cruz, died. Then his successor was not at all suited to the post, since he had little faith in the enterprise, and little experience, to the point where he begged Philip to release him from the charge. There were additional preparation problems that followed.
The Spanish fleet had 100 ships, an overwhelming advantage over the English. But the English were waiting. On the cliffs of England and Wales, men watched the seas day and night, waiting for the first sighting of the great Armada. When the ships appeared, beacons were lit on the hillsides, which sent the message over the cliffs and throughout the country. Not only was the weather dreadful, with the wind and rain decidedly against the Spanish intentions, but they were not able to compete with the superior English ships and war tactics. In the end, the Spanish suffered a humiliating defeat in the English Channel.
In this great moment of history, we see a profound subtle principle of life at work. It states that every major event has one or more predecessor incidents that indicate the final outcome of the undertaking. In this case, though the Spanish were vastly superior militarily, there were problems that arose on their side from the very beginning. These were in fact indicators of the final outcome -- i.e. their humiliating defeat suffered at the hands of a much weaker, though more determined and tactically-aware adversary.
If you watch the events in your own life very carefully, you will see that every major event, including every negative outcome you have experienced was preceded by a predecessor incident in the beginning. E.g. one man who tried to meet a company for the first time, got completely lost. Several years later after doing business with that firm, the man's own company went out of business. The original confusion was indicative of the final outcome.
Though every major event in life has a predecessor that indicates the final outcome, we can become sensitive to and aware of the negatives that appear at the outset, and take the right course of actions that can avoid the ultimate crash at the end. One way is to open to the spirit. If we consecrate to the Spirit the negative predecessor, we will set in motion a chain of events that will cancel the ultimate negative outcome. In that way, we can break the chain of life's inevitable unfolding, based on the starting indicators. In that way, we overcome Nature's slow, difficult, and inevitable course in which we are less the determiners than the determined, and substitute the higher course of Soul, which gives us ultimate power over life.
--Roy Posner 23:42, 11 August 2009 (UTC)