CAN WE PLAN THE FUTURE?
The future is unpredictable, yet we are often forced to make plans. But you cannot plan with any definite form. We could have an idea of what the future can be, but no future can be planned to its finest detail because the future remains unpredictable. We can have a general idea of what the future could bring, and having that general idea in mind, we form a certain tendency to achieve that aim. If that tendency is deeply implanted in us by our thoughts and perseverance, then we are naturally led to the goal by the tendencies we have formed.
WE HAVE FREE WILL TO CHANGE THE PLAN
I am a person that believes in spontaneity, spontaneity within the framework of the general outline. To me, life is like a poem. It has its metric system; it has its framework, yet the expression is free. When expression is free in the already existing tendencies, then the tendencies are enlivened. There is a difference between spontaneity and impulsiveness; life could assume greater meaning and greater joy whenever a person lives spontaneously. Yet the outline of the plan we have in mind can be fulfilled. It is like not only writing a poem but painting a picture. We have in mind the outline of the picture we will paint; we have this landscape in view, but when you pick up the brushes, you have not planned every stroke or every shade of the paint to be used. A spontaneity occurs where you would just dab on what should be dabbed on according to your entire makeup, according to your being.
If we find that initially, the plan we have in mind or the tendencies we have formed are not right, we have our free will to change that plan. You might start off painting a landscape of the mountains, and you could very easily convert that into a field of corn with the mountains just in the background. This can come about very easily and beautifully by how we approach things.
TO LIVE LIFE FULLY IS AN ART
When it comes to planning, a person has to plan, but that plan does not need to be meticulous like an architect’s plan of the house, where he has designed the position of every brick and every pipe. Life is not mechanical. So, living life is not mechanical living. To live a life entirely is an art, not a science. Science might work on precisions; two and two make four, but in art, two and two can make five. The beauty of living life artfully as art, the art of living, then spontaneity gradually increases because we move like the blade of grass in the direction the wind blows.
Of course, we are thinking on the line of good things. We do not get blown by ill winds, and we can develop a specific resistance to that. But every person has to have some plan, and by method, we can also mean purpose. Both words are synonymous to a great extent. We have a general sense in mind, and as we live from day to day, we find ways and means to fulfilling that purpose. Life is not to be lived in a straight jacket. Living life in a straight jacket would mean the precision of science.
Life becomes beautiful when the tendencies are followed in the form of art, consistently so. Because when the precision is too strict and straight-jacketed, life could become very, very dull. Why bore ourselves? We do not need to be bored with life, and we want to soar with life and forever soar upwards and not become a bore to ourselves and others. So, within the plan we have in mind for life, we make allowances, and the most excellent allowance that can be made is for spontaneity.
INFUSING LOVE INTO WHATEVER WE ARE DOING
It is like a woman cooking. A good cook will not follow the recipe in the book to the “T”. She will have those little extra touches that just come spontaneously to her. That is the way life is to be lived. That is how the cook will find joy in her cooking, and when there is joy in the cooking, the eater will find it joyous. When the cook follows the recipe implicitly, it might just not work out, and you all would know that you could give the same ingredients and the same recipe to half a dozen different cooks, and each meal would taste differently. Each meal would taste different, although all of them have been given the same recipe and ingredients; it would taste different because of that spontaneous, personal touch.
The same analogy could be used in living, where the plan of life and purpose of life forever remain in the mind’s background. We do not lose sight of the goal, but all the actions that would take us to that goal must become spontaneous. And in spontaneity, there is a flow, there is a beautiful energy flow, and love is the best expression of that energy flow. That is how in every sphere of our activity, you can infuse love into it. The cook can infuse love into her cooking. The carpenter can infuse love into the chair he is making. The plumber can infuse love into his plumbing.
When that energy becomes spontaneous, it becomes love, and as we know, “Love is God and God is Love.”
Despite man’s plan, one also very consciously brings oneself that flow in every action, in every daily activity, and it can be consciously recognised. Once we are set on the path, the journey becomes more accessible because there is now a director. It is of no use just drifting along, and that drifting along is sometimes confused with spontaneity. It is worlds apart to be spontaneous and sail. To be spontaneous, purposefully and with a purpose is good. Howsoever spontaneously, drifting without a goal is not conducive to one’s evolution. A drifting person is like a boat without a rudder, it just gets swirled from here to there, and no purpose is served.
WE MAKE OUR FUTURE
By our very actions, we have predetermined what will happen to us. No power in this universe puts things out for you, and you put them out for yourself. Going back to the cook, if you put in too much salt, then naturally, the food will be salty. If you put in too many chillies, it will be solid. You have done it. If you put in sugar, it will be sweet. So, to find whatever we want in life tomorrow, we must know what we are putting into it today.
We all know that we can only get what we put into it out of life—nothing more and nothing less. No one can deny you anything, and no one can give you anything. We restrict ourselves or offer ourselves, and that is what fate is all about. Fatalism or predetermination is the tendency of tomorrow that we have formed today. When I say today, it could go right back to childhood and even lives before that; if we do believe in that, it could go far, far back. But do remember that it is we that have made our future. We make our future.
And if we make our future, we can also unmake our future. A specific pattern has been set by living a certain kind of life, and a certain momentum has been created where we will go in a particular direction. Still, if we wake up in time and realise that the direction set for us by our past actions is not conducive to our welfare or happiness, then we have the free will to change that direction.
WE WANT TO WAKE UP
In India, you have the oxcart in the backwoods, where the ox pulls the cart. With continuous coaches going through the sand road, it forms a groove. After a while, when the groove is formed, a person travelling on the path with an oxcart can go to sleep because the ox will just carry on and on, and the wheels will be running in the same groove to reach wherever it wants to achieve. But if a boulder or a stone is placed in the groove and the wheel bumps against the stone, the driver gets a jerk, and he wakes up. And that is what we want to do. We want to wake up. We want that stone in the path there because we are so safe and secure that we go to sleep knowing that the cart will not go in a different direction; the wheels will only move in those already made grooves. Meditation does this; it wakes us up where the cartwheel knocks up against a stone, wakes us up, and we look around. That is this, the path that was really to be taken. Sometimes we come to a fork, and if we are sleeping, the poor ox of life might just take the wrong turn instead of right; it might turn left.
WE HAVE WITHIN US THE POWER TO CHANGE TENDENCIES
All these things happen to us as far as our fate is concerned. Fatalism can be disastrous to some people, and they have an absolute belief that what has been predicted will come true. In many instances, this could be good. Because of past experiences, as the quotation goes, many philosophies are based on that “If nineteen links in a chain are of the same shape and size, then one can reasonably expect the twentieth link to be of the same shape and size.”
On that pre-supposition, certain things that happened in our life which were predicted came true, so the next prediction, the twentieth prediction, should also come true. But that does not always happen because a lot depends upon the consciousness of the predictor. If the predictor has the real intuitive ability, not just going on the laws of astrology or fortune-telling or whatever, not just going on those laws, but if he has a high intuitive sense, he can predict well. He can. But the reliance must not be on astrology rules alone; that is only ten percent. The more fantastic support is on the spiritual development of the Astrologer and his intuitive ability, how he could tune in with the tendencies that are set. And even with his intuition, the established tendencies could become true, but we still have the power to change them. We still have the power within us to change it. And this is very, very powerfully done through meditation by activating specific subtle laws of nature where the whole tendency can be changed.
This is how an astrologer would work. You are standing on the corner of a six-storey building, and two roads are coming to this corner. Standing at this vantage point, we see two cars approaching fast from either direction, from road A and road B. The man standing on the six-storey building on top can see that these two cars are coming at a breakneck speed and do not have white lines on the road; they are more or less on the same side. If they continued at that speed, there would be a collision. That is the possibility. So, the Astrologer, working on laws only, astrological principles only, would reasonably say that there will be an accident with the two cars. But there might not be an accident. One of the drivers might just decide to pull his brakes, and the accident is prevented. The Astrologer can see certain tendencies, but those tendencies might not actualise themselves. The one driver might just decide to stop his car. At one moment, he says, “Oh, let me just stop here and go and see my friend; he is on this road” – accident is prevented.
NEVER FEAR THE FUTURE
We can do this by our thoughts about where these accidents can be prevented. We can become so supercharged with these energies that we can make all these predictions come untrue through meditation. Sometimes a significant reliance on fate and prophecy can cause havoc within us, and that mayhem starts with fear. That which we are forever trying to avoid, fear, becomes so strong in us that our fears can make those predictions come true. Sometimes a prediction might be correct, and it could be wrong most times. But if fear is instilled in us, our very fear, the thought that fear generates, can make a prediction come true. But the same fear can be used very usefully.
This method is to know that the fear I have today of tomorrow is an assumption, perhaps not on my part but someone else’s premise. Then we realise that what I fear is baseless. One should never fear the future. We know there is a certain tendency, as the man standing on the sixth floor knows the tendency, but in between, many things can happen, and many things can be averted. The fear I have today might be false tomorrow, and I can make it come untrue. I can prevent the accident.
THOUGHTS ARE VERY POWERFUL
I go about it because I generate within myself a thought force, and thought is an exciting thing. Thought can be seen by those that have psychic sight. It can be seen, and perhaps one day, some instruments will be created where thought will automatically be registered on a television screen. That would happen as technology progresses more and more. But the point is that whatever we fear is not necessarily true, and if the tendencies are there for it to become true, we can avert that by generating a positive thought force in us. Suppose we are incapable of generating that thought force. In that case, we can find the assistance of another being, another person whose thoughts are so powerful that he can direct these thoughts to avert a situation. I speak to you of my very personal experience, which has occurred hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times.
We have in our file letters from all over the world marvelling at what has happened, and it is just an activation of natural law, and it is just the changing of direction of specific energies.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1977 – 07