There is a common expression that “Life is not perfect”. However, that expression is untrue. But the expression itself reveals a lot about our lives and the source of our unhappiness. Life is actually of such absolute perfection that if we were able to sit back and just comprehend it, we would be in a continual state of bliss. Everything that happens in our life, every minute detail, occurs as a perfect expression of love.
Sometimes it is long after an event occurs that we realize it’s benefit to us. At time they occur, we often see events as tragedies. However, ultimately we always find out that this same tragic event had a meaningful role to play in our lives, one that was invaluable in helping us in some way, and one that we ultimately feel thankful for. Even the seemingly most tragic events work out to be blessings. Everything that happens has a perfect reason, and when we are able to comprehend these reasons, we experience a state of freedom and bliss that transcends our normal life experience.
However, we don’t often have these experiences of communion with the divine. Our lives are full of pain and suffering. We fight against what is happenning in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We rail against the injustice that life is and feel victimized by the events over which we seem to have no control. Many people alive today will never have any such experiences of freedom or spiritual bliss their entire life. But many of us have, and will have more as we align ourselves with the perfection that is all around us.
All of our pain and suffering comes from our minds. Some people may argue that physical afflictions are body experiences. Pain in the body, they say, is not of the mind but a physical manifestation. However, if we examine this closely we will find that even with physical pain, it is our resistance to it that makes it painful. Physical pain is really just a physical experience. If we were to open up to it, we may find bliss hidden within it. Unfortunately, most of us will spend our entire lives attempting to avoid anything painful. It is as if we want to have engraved on our tombstone: “Made it through life safely and without any pain”.
Take away physical afflictions of all kinds and you still have 90% of pain left over anyway. Broken promises, broken hearts and relationships, rush hour traffic, unexpected bills, things not turning out the way we planned, not having as much money or freedom as we would like. These account for the majority of the pain we feel in our lives. And all of this reduces down to mental resistance to what is.
Whenever we make a plan, we set up a mental structure. There is nothing wrong with making a plan, but how do we react when things go differently. When we fall in love we initiate a huge mental structure, a ton of expectations and unfulfilled desires that sits precariously in the hands of our loved one. Sometimes the slightest thing they do or say can bring this entire structure tumbling down. The higher we fly, the farther we fall. If our expectations are very great, so will be our pain. As a matter of fact our pain can be exactly measured by our expectations.
When we make such mental structures, we focus our attention upon them. This focusing of our attention causes us to focus less on the pefection of what is going on around us. You might say that we only have so much attention. Attention is our most valuable commodity. Just ask any advertising agency. If we put all of our attention upon what we are thinking and planning, there is less of it left to actually see and experience what is happenning around us. The less we have to experience life and the more we put it all on our thoughts and plans, the more likely we are to have pain. It really can be that simple, though there are many other factors to consider in the whole scheme of things. But just realizing this one simple element can create an opening for more bliss and happiness.
One way to experience more bliss in our lives is just to make the assumption right off the bat that life is perfect. If we take that to be true and then search for the loving reasons behind all of God’s manifestations, we are more likely to find higher answers and answers that are win-win and loving at their root. This means that when something bad occurs, we think about it, remembering that everything that we called bad in the past had a good reason that we discovered later. Instead of reacting with profound loss or remorse, we can instead choose to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude while at the same time, exploring the event asking ourselves “how could this event be a blessing to me, either now or in the future”. Sometimes just this attitude can turn tragedy into triumph. See if you can catch yourself next time you get into a whining mood after something supposedly ‘bad’ happens to you.
One of my favorite books of all time is a classical Hindu text called the Mahabharata and I highly recommend it to all spiritual seekers. This book is essentially an epic tale ( the complete work spans 17 volumes) of the lives of several prominent families in the days of ancient India when the Lord Krishna was alive (same as the Hare Krishnas worship). What is most interesting is the way the dramas are played out in this book. People are born, live their lives, get married, have good luck and bad luck, so to speak and then die. But many times the book tells you why, in karmic terms, certain events had to happen a certain way. There were characters in the book, the ancient sages and rishis, who had the divine intelligence to know the past-life and future-life consequences of every event in the story. After reading the book, I really got the sense of how we are on a sort of stage in our life. We are given lines to read and actions to perform, and all of it has important reasons that relate to our past-lives, the evolution of our soul and our attainment of personal perfection. None of the things that happen to us are meaningless or cruel. They all lead us, in some way, towards a state of more perfection of our mind and soul.
So life is actually perfect after all. It is only the limited nature of our mind’s ability to comprehend that prevents us from realizing this. If we let go a little from our preconceived notions about life and start to look at it as it really is, we can move a step closer to realizing that perfection and experiencing the bliss that always accompanies such a realization. They don’t call them ‘realized masters’ for nothing!