HOW TO CHOOSE?
WITH PROPER EFFORT, ANY CHOICE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL
Many people have beliefs in omens, and omens are superstitions. They are creations of your mind. You would find that if a cat sneezes in some countries, they would say rain will come. If a cat sneezes in China, they say it is bad luck. So, omens are never to be relied upon. They make no sense whatsoever, and as far as choices are concerned, omens are never to be considered. But man is put into a dilemma when faced with two propositions: what shall I decide upon? He comes to a fork in the road. Shall I take the left, or shall I take the right? What would be the significant factor he could rely upon in making the right choice? What does man do? He sets his mind to work. He analyses the pros and cons of which direction to take. But how valid is his analysis? That is the question. When man thinks, that thought will be guided by his personal experiences, conditionings and patternings, and how accurate his patternings are. Man may go through false experiences in life. Then, the analysis, too, could become false. In other words, it means that his decision there could be biased.
Shall I take the left or the right? It is based upon insecurity, and all insecurities are based upon fear, which comes from a lack of confidence. So here we have three factors: fear, insecurity, and lack of confidence. There is another aspect. If a person has studied the map well before embarking on a journey and knows his subject well, the decisions will come automatically. However, there is a particular element of bias in it. But then there are situations where no experience could help one to choose. You meet a person who gives you a business proposition. You do not know the person too well, so you have to decide whether this business proposition will be dependent upon him for its success or will it be dependent upon you for success.
The choice is a thing that every person worries about in their daily life, and you can rest assured that the more you worry about the choice, the more wrong the choice can be. There is a difference between contemplation and worrying about that. Contemplation comes from a cool-headedness, which will give you a calculated risk. So, in all things of life, be it marriage, business, and everything, you are there to take a risk, but a calculated risk. Why think only in terms of the success that choice might bring? Though man desires success, why not think of it as an adventure? Why only worry about whether it will be successful or unsuccessful? And why do choices become difficult? It is because all choices are based on mundane things, wanting maximum returns. Sometimes with work and sometimes without work, like putting ten dollars on a horse; wanting to gain five hundred dollars, you choose a horse. How valid is that trying to get something for nothing? Any choice you make, the left or right road, can become successful if proper effort is put into it.
WITH PROPER INTEGRATION, CHOICES BECOME CHOICELESS
You can turn back if you find the path thorny and go the other way, but the adventure is in man’s spirit. Life itself is an adventure.
The path to Divinity is an adventure. It is a discovery, and therein lies the joy of discovering oneself. The purpose should be that through the path, how much will I find out about myself, and how much potential do I have in mundane things? That should be the first thought, not the idea of what will be chosen.
In marriage, a boy meets a girl, they seem to fall in love, and then they choose to marry if it does not work out. Whose fault is it? It is not because of the imperfect choice but our imperfections that make it not work out. Everything can fail because we have not gained a certain amount of integration. Without integration, the wisest choice, the surest path, can also fail. So, spiritual practices and meditation become essential because, with proper integration within oneself, you can never make a wrong choice. Then, the choice becomes choiceless, and you spontaneously do the right things at the right time.
Here in the West, we have one divorce in every three marriages. In the East, although they do not have a romance period, boy sees girl, girl sees boy, it looks all right, and the parents arrange the marriage. This is still happening even in modern India today, and yet the divorce rate is one in ten thousand. Because they have been taught, they are brought up in a particular culture where acceptance becomes the primary factor. With acceptance, there is a surrender, not a fatalistic surrender, but a surrender in the form of acceptance that my wife is such or my husband is such, but I accept that. And by that acceptance, one develops a beautiful kind of humility, and that humility is the most significant force on Earth that could draw the required grace to you. So that choice which might have seemed wrong becomes right. That choice that was seemingly wrong becomes the right choice. That choice finds the right voice – that inner voice.
TRUE DECISIONS COME FROM WITHIN
So valid decisions, true choices, are not necessarily from the mind. They come from within. We have the ability. Meditators have the know-how to tap the inner resources, and by tapping the inner resources through spiritual practices, all they do will be right and conducive to their evolution. This does not mean it will have immediate results, but it has long-term benefits that are far more beneficial than immediate temporary ones.
One thing to remember is that the laws of nature are forever supporting you on the right path. It never leads you astray unless you close your eyes and ears to the laws of nature.
By gaining this inner stability through meditation and other spiritual practices, one draws from that divine energy within, that Kingdom of Heaven within, and all we do in life is just right, for no man does anything wrong. In its essence, nothing is wrong. It might be conflicting, but not wrong. The path might become a bit more complicated, but once the surrender is there, the force of nature will always take you on the right path. Then you do not look for omens and superstitions and any kind of “isms” that by following this “ism” this would be right, or by following that “ism” that would be right.
What I am trying to say is to get away from preconceived ideas. How valid is any concept? No concept has a firm foundation, for all concepts and precepts are creations of man’s mind. Instead, reach the area where you do not need to choose any more. The choice is made for you by that force inside, that intuitive ability that is forever there and which has all its benefits given to you, a God-given gift. But how many can do that? Everyone can with a bit of effort, with a bit of choosing to make the effort. So, to dwell in the realms where one cannot choose but to become so natural that everything flows. And if you realize the beauty of the flow of that infinite essence, then you will know joy.
Then I ask you, who are you to choose? Who is anybody to choose? What choice have you made? Your choice is a delusion, an illusion created by the projection of your samskaras, your own experiences. It is but a projection. So, what can an illusion project be? An illusion can only project another illusion, so it goes on in a vicious circle. But then you will say, I chose to start a certain kind of business and am successful in it. So, I made the right choice. I am sorry you did not make that choice. No. That choice was made for you by your inner Self and not by the little conscious thinking mind. In any case, the conscious thinking mind does nothing; it only thinks that it thinks.
EVERYTHING IS GUIDED BY THE LAWS OF KARMA
The laws of karma guide everything. That is what I am trying to tell you. All your choices are not going to help you. You have set a pattern today for tomorrow, and tomorrow’s doings will set a pattern for the following day. So, in karma, when thinking, or supposed thinking, flows with the laws of nature, and actions are done with the laws of nature and not against the laws of nature, all so-called choices become right choices. You reach there without even trying. It is a natural process. Nature does not try. The flower does not try to grow. It does not try. The water does not try to rain. The wind does not try to blow. It just happens. So, the law of karma is activated here.
If one’s karma is such that one has to pay a heavy price for it, you will have to pay the heavy price. But by specific actions, the cost that has to be paid can be paid on the easy payment plan, making a lot of difference. The easy payment plan means we are not in such significant turbulence or turmoil. Instead of having to pay $5,000 on demand, you pay off $5 a month. It’s long-term, and you do not feel those $ 5s. But even the pattern that karma has set for you can also be changed.
Karma releases energy in a specific direction, and man can change that direction. He cannot take away from the energy, but he can change the direction of the power. I have told this before somewhere in some talk that if you have killed ten people, it does not mean that you will be killed ten times. Try to save eleven lives, and you have one in the credit. The others will be rubbed off. The mind is filled with negative thoughts so many times. So, try this: for ten seconds, you are thinking negative thoughts, then consciously, for the next eleven seconds, have positive thoughts. Another ten seconds of a negative thought followed by another eleven seconds of a positive thought. Neutralize both by doing Gurushakti or one of the other spiritual practices which bring neutrality. Still, by the end of the day, you will have a credit balance so that the energy, flow, and direction pattern are automatically changed, you build up credit, and the bank manager is always happy to see you.
That bank manager up there is not like these bank managers. I will talk in business terms. These bank managers always give overdrafts to those who do not need it. Because he gets so much security, he will tell you, “If you need money, please let me know how much you need,” because he knows you have collateral. But they do not give it to people in need that has no collateral. Ah, but the Law of Grace gives you an unlimited overdraft without collateral. You are the collateral; you are the surety; you are the security.
WE ARE BORN TO LEARN ALL THE LESSONS LIFE HAS TO OFFER
That is how life works when it comes to choices. This is how it functions. But one has to start preparing for the choiceless choice here and now. In any case, if something goes wrong, what have you lost? Businesses go bang; what have you lost? What have you come with? Nothing. You came in your birthday suit and will go in your birthday suit and have to leave behind.
So, meditation and spiritual practices let us reach that stage that will carry us through, and with this total surrender, we develop faith, which is such a great force. Believe that you will succeed, and you will succeed. You will succeed. But in that belief, are you sufficiently strong enough to be self-reliant? This strength comes through meditational practices, where you become self-reliant and where your thought forces will become tangible. They will materialize any time and every time.
But if you do not have that self-reliance, then what do you do? Then you say, “Thy will be done.” Good or bad, come what may, sun or rain, okay. That is the attitude, for there is no such thing as success or failure in life. It is illusory and just apparent and, at its best, very, very transient. Do you think people who have become millionaires or successful in business or other things are successful? No. True success in life, actual achievement in life, comes from within. What we have found within ourselves, this discovery, this adventure into the land of the unknown, there lies the beauty. There lies the joy, as we always say that true happiness does not lie in attainment but in attaining, not in attainment but in achieving.
So, why are we born in this world? To strive on – to learn all the lessons that life has to offer. Life is a school; you would never have taken on this body if you had no lessons to learn.
IF DIVINITY IS OMNIPRESENT NOTHING IS WRONG, EVERYTHING IS GOOD
What attitude do we have in this striving of ours? That is important. Striving could be joy, yet striving could also become misery if you allow it to be misery. What is the difference between a king’s feast and a dry piece of bread? None of you have a proper understanding. They both fill the stomach and do you know how far the taste goes? Just as far as the tongue and the throat. Further down, all is the same. Taste disappears. So, just from the tongue to the throat, you make your life a misery for that temporary little taste.
So, you want to live in a big mansion with twenty rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, drawing rooms and all kinds of rooms. Why? You need comfort. Why not, if you can? But if you cannot, accept it, it is okay; nothing is wrong with it. You only sleep in one bed at a time, one meal at a time, drive one car at a time, or do many other things one at a time. So, where does choice come in? The choice is a fallacy. When I say, “I choose”, there is some surface truth. I choose not to do this. So, you proceed from one kind of mental conditioning to another type of mental conditioning. And the other kind of mental conditioning might not have long-term benefits. So, how valuable is that choice? Because it is mental conditioning and does not reach the depth within you, the Kingdom of Heaven within.
In our teachings, we tap that source first, and we bring that energy from the superconscious level of the mind through the subconscious and then to the conscious level, and empowered with that force, whatever you do is done and correct. To the outside world, it might seem wrong. Even conflicts might arise in your mind that it is wrong, but in its essence, is it wrong? No, it is not wrong. It is what you need for your evolution, and because of these choices, people have to fight against the choice or what they have chosen, and you develop the most remarkable sickness on Earth, which is the feeling of guilt. That is the most significant illness, not the American obesity created by hamburgers and ice cream! The feeling of guilt.
Be guilty of nothing. Even if you think you are choosing, you are not, and if you have selected with mind, remember it is good for you. All that happens on Earth, in heaven or the universe, is always for the good. We do say Divinity is omnipresent. Then how can there be anything wrong? It is all good. You have your way, and I have my way, but we are all on the path. Some are nearer to Los Angeles, and some are a little further away, a little lost. But you reach there. You have to get there. Consciously or unconsciously, everyone strives for happiness. Everyone strives for it. Some by outer means, some by straighter path within, and drawing That from within and bringing It out makes life more and more peaceful, more worth living.
BE OF GOOD CHEER, ALL IS BEAUTY, ALL IS JOY
Be of good cheer, of joy, for there is life and life bubbles with joy in everything we see around us. Do not worry if you have made a wrong choice. After all, it is trial and error that we are going through. There are these polarities that we have to contend with. There has to be. Otherwise, this universe can never function, and if some mistake is made, how long will that mistake last, or the effects of that mistake last? This entire span of three-score years and ten is not even a flicker of an eyelid in the scheme of this eternal life you possess, which is your right. You are It and not apart from It. You are It. You are an eternity. You are Divine.
Having that understanding and that attitude of mind, come what may. Look at this beautiful house we live in. Is your roof better than this excellent canopy of the sky? Is it better? Is your bed better than this Mother Earth that fills you with these energies in so many different forms, with water and food and the vibrations, life-giving, all these minerals contained therein? So, the birds toil not. So why worry about choices? Do the best you can, honestly and sincerely. That is the best you can do. That is the best anyone can do in his present circumstances, and the present circumstances have been determined by yourself and no one else, so we are responsible for those circumstances all the time.
If we are in a particular situation, the best we can do is to accept it. Cheerfully, joyfully. “Thy will is done,” and not “Thy will be done” in the future. No, Thy will is being done now. Whatever it is. It is there. That is the way to joy. That is the way to stop worrying. That is how to escape mental turmoil and conflicts because all is He, that Divine Force, beautiful, lovely. Everything is beautiful. There is nothing ugly. Can you show me any ugly flowers? Can you show me an ugly tree or any ugly mountain? No, everything is beautiful, so why are you not beautiful too? You are. You are. There is no ugliness at all. How can there be any ugliness in the manifestation of Divinity? If the Divine is beautiful as this flower’s fragrance is beautiful, too, then who can say that I am not the manifestation of the Divine or the creation of the Divine? All is joy. All is beauty. I am He. The Father and the Son are one.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1981 – 06