IS SUFFERING NECESSARY?
Man is not born to suffer. There is an innate Divinity in man, which would proclaim, over and over again, that “Thou art Divine,” By recognising the Divinity within us, all suffering would cease, or there would be no cognition of any form of suffering. Man is not born to suffer. But we find suffering in the world and our existence. The question would be, “Why should a man suffer?” For that, we will have to define karma’s law. Karma, basically and interpreted, would be the law of action. In other words, whatever you sow, that shall you reap. In our terms, when we talk of suffering, it is also a law of retribution, perhaps.
If man is basically divine, what are the mechanics? What happens in man that causes him to suffer, and where is this suffering located? Because if the inner core of man is Divine and the nature of Divinity is bliss, then naturally, we could assume that the suffering does not take place in the inner core, which is bliss. So, we can exclude the Divinity in man from all suffering. The Divine in man does not suffer because its nature is bliss. The part of man that suffers would be mind and body.
Doctors have discovered that most illnesses and over ninety per cent of hospital beds are psychosomatic. In other words, the diseases man suffers stem from the mind or the mental processes of man.
THE MIND HAS TO BE REPATTERNED
How can we alter those processes that go through the mind, and how can we repattern the mind so that the body does not suffer? Those are the questions. Firstly, the mind is conditioned. All our minds, as individual minds, if you wish to call them such, are necessarily prepared by our past actions, where we were born, in what family we were brought up, by our environment, and supposedly by the inflictions inflicted upon us by the environment. If the mind is patterned to receive outside inflictions or if the mind is conditioned to create these inflictions upon ourselves, then we could go through an immense amount of emotional turmoil and apart from an emotional crisis, we could go through a process of mental imbalance. Those are psychological diseases, psychosomatically speaking, those very imbalances in the mind can be interpreted through man’s organic self, which is man’s physical self. And this is the contention of most doctors’ argument that even those diseases we find to be organic would have a psychological origin. So, to find a healthier body, we have to tackle the root source, which is the mind.
This is in the sphere of modern psychoanalysis, which psychologists practise, and it is also in the sphere of psychiatrists. But because psychology and psychiatry are still in the stage of infancy, most of the treatments are done in such a manner that does not always heal, and more failures are found than successes. And even in the achievements, we find that the successes are temporary because the whole mind, the conditioned mind has to be re-patterned.
A conditioned mind means that the mind has been patterned not only by the happenings in this life but could go further back into past lives if you believe in past lives. If you believe in past lives, do take it for granted that what we are today is the total of all the words, thoughts and deeds that we have been through, that which we have thought in our minds and the actions we have performed in those lifetimes.
All those things have created samskaras, a Sanskrit term that could be interpreted very loosely in the form of impressions. So, the human mind contains the images of many, many lifetimes of living. The extent of the human mind is to the extent of the universe. In other words, we have progressed through evolutionary processes, from the mineral kingdom to the plant, to the animal, and now we have reached the stage of man. Yet, man’s mind can contain all the impressions implanted in this memory box through all those varied existences.
WE GO RIGHT TO THE SOURCE OF DIVINITY AND DRAW ON THOSE ENERGIES
When we think of illnesses that stem primarily from the mind, there could have been specific imbalances caused by the happenings to us in those existences. Therefore, man suffers; man suffers because of inequalities. Psychologists and psychiatrists probe just to the extent of the knowledge they have of man’s mind, and as we know and as they would admit, we only know, or we are only conscious of ten per cent of the human mind. So, the treatment given by psychologists and psychiatrists is necessarily limited to ten per cent of the mind, while ninety per cent remains dormant.
Therefore, the failures we find in these treatments are because the causes might lie in the ninety percent mind of which we know nothing. Human knowledge of that field is minimal. There are practices devised whereby the ten percent mind does not need to rationalise and does not need to cognise the ninety percent, which is dormant. Through meditational and spiritual practices, we have the method where we traverse the ninety percent, which is static. By crossing the ninety percent, that is dormant; we go right to the core of ourselves, which is commonly termed the Spiritual Self. The Spiritual Self could be equated with that Divinity we have spoken about earlier, that infinite capacity inherent in every man. So, to alleviate the suffering that we have brought upon ourselves because of the conditioning of our minds, we dive deep within ourselves through meditational practices whereby we draw from the inner core, from the reservoir, that divine energy, and bring it through to the ninety percent dormant mind and then further on through the ten percent mind that we know of and then from there to the body.
Through spiritual practices, we have found that the body and the mind that we know of have gained very much towards its betterment, and most of the meditators will tell us that they have received the wonderful bodily relaxation which is so much needed in this modern day and age and whereby the mind too has been relaxed. So, when it comes to treating any ailment in our system, we go right back to the source of Divinity and, from there, draw those energies to permeate the entire level of our conscious and dormant minds through every living cell in our bodies. And by this, we do benefit.
THROUGH MEDITATION, WE ARE UNCONDITIONING THE CONDITIONED MIND
Suffering is necessary, and this is what constitutes suffering. The suffering we feel is just because the conditioned mind is becoming unconditioned, unconditioned in the sense that it assumes a more uncomplex nature. We have been instrumental in taking the uttermost simplicity, the childlikeness within us, into various forms of complexities. It is only the multiple forms of complexities that seem suffering to us. In fact, upon the realm of Divinity within us, we are superimposing the complexities we created in our minds and covering up the Light that should shine through. That is the nature and basis of all imbalances in our lives. You can interpret it as illness, or you can interpret it as any form of suffering.
If we take a piece of string and wrap it around our finger, we have to loosen the string to unwrap it, which is the meditation process. The meditation process of unconditioning the conditioned mind is painless. It becomes painless because we are drawing a sustaining energy deep within ourselves. But if we do not meditate or perform any form of meditation, it could be any suitable system that could benefit us; if we do not perform these systems, the conditioned mind tries to uncondition itself in various forms. One of the forms could be escaping the conditioning. Another form could be, becoming aggressive to the conditioning, and these two factors cause more and more complications. When we escape the conditionings of our minds and build a wall around us, we are not curing the disease. We are just burying the disease, like in a garden; we are not weeding the weeds but burying them more profoundly and sooner or later, in some form or the other, the weeds will emerge again. Our problem and method are to eradicate those weeds, to pull them out root and all. That is the one process.
THE MEDITATIONAL PROCESS IS A PAINLESS PROCESS
Escaping from our problems or escaping from suffering is not the solution. Many people try to express their sorrows within themselves very aggressively; in other words, they inflict more misery on themselves, become aggressive to themselves and, in turn, aggressive to the environment and thereby try to inflict suffering on others. As we are, so are others. And the inflictions we impart upon others can be felt by those others because they, too, might be just as weak as we are.
Through meditational processes, we are alleviating the root causes of the suffering that we have to suffer; we are eradicating the root causes of suffering through a painless process. The easy process is to draw from the divine reservoir within, to draw that energy to flood our lives and wash away the dirt. Once the filth and disease are washed away, our life becomes less suffering. And as it becomes less suffering, more joy increases because the human mind can never, never remain a vacuum. It has to be filled with positivity or negativity. Suffering is negativity, and joy is positivity. The less negativity there is, the more positivity will emerge, and the more positivity there is, the less negativity there will be and vice versa, the other way around. So by gaining an understanding of meditational processes, and not only gaining knowledge of it but also by practising it, we acquire these benefits of these energies which are inherently ours.
IT IS OUR BIRTHRIGHT TO KNOW OUR DIVINE NATURE
Regarding its karmic value, do we have to suffer to get rid of our karma? That is a sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. We have to work off our karma, but if we have killed ten people, using this analogy, it is unnecessary to be killed ten times. That is not how karma works. If we have killed ten people, we get rid of the karma of killing ten people by saving the lives of eleven people. Then one cancels out the other. Say during the day, you have negative thoughts for ten seconds, and the following eleven seconds, you have positive thoughts; there is one to your credit. There might be negative thoughts for the next ten seconds, and for the next eleven seconds, you have positive thoughts, another one to your credit, so now you have two, a credit balance. If we total up the whole day’s activity and find ourselves in the credit balance, not in the red, then we know that that day has been well-lived.
So, there are forces which cancel each other out. So, we teach a message of hope that if a person thinks he is a sinner, he does not need to feel that there is no hope for him, for self-realisation is the birthright of everyone. We are inherently Divine, as I have said repeatedly, and it is our birthright to know the Divine nature within us. But the veils that have covered the mind are the cause, which is the suffering we know as suffering.
GOOD DEEDS WILL RUB OUT BAD DEEDS
That is the process, and if we are ill, we require healing. We must not think that, instead, remain sick, which will help us rub away our karmic debts. No. Become well. Be healed and perform good deeds that will rub out the bad deeds; that is how karma will forever and forever balance. And then one day, when we pass away or discard this little flesh and blood, we could really and honestly say to ourselves that there is a good credit balance; then we could say, “Ah, well lived this life, well lived.”
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1976 – 10