The rawness of our time can seem unbearable. We have been trained to cover it over and to push it aside so that we can get on with our business, get on with our shopping, get on with the pretense that nothing is ever going to happen to harm us.
Concurrently, however, there is a deep quickening to know the truth of peace, to be true to that truth, and to have one’s life serve that. What an opportunity is available now to trust the unknown spaciousness of the heart. What a time this is.
Yes, there is beauty in these times. Opening and awakening are happening all over the world. All of the horror, grief, outrage, and anguish are not separate from that awakening.
The more we open to whatever is appearing, the greater are the challenges. The more we see, the more our heart breaks. In our surrender to the heart broken open, all the way, there is freedom. In our attempts to not feel the pain of the heart breaking, in our attempts to know what should be, there is bondage.
Until now, we human beings have opted for trusting our minds, language, images and ideas, rather than trusting the spaciousness from which all arises. But when you are called home, when you are somehow struck by the absolutely mysterious and irrevocable desire to know the truth of who you are, then you must be willing to put aside every story of separation. Every story of separation is a story of war.
Humans have been making war in every culture for a very long time. Culture is a reflection of the individual mind, and the individual mind is a reflection of the cultural mind.
Since you are reading this, I assume that you are interested in peace in your own mind. You are not waiting for them to make peace. This is good news, because war is fought to get others to do it our way so that we can live in peace. When you shift your attention away from them, you can recognize the tendency toward war in your own mind—the tendencies of totalitarianism, hate, revenge, and holding on. And you can recognize the suffering that those tendencies continue to deliver.
Unless all of us take the responsibility for our own inner peace, the wars will continue. We cannot wait any longer for someone else to change. We cannot wait for someone else to forgive us so that we can forgive them. We cannot wait for someone else to say they are sorry. Peace cannot be postponed.
Recognize that to whatever degree the war is going on in your own mind, it is based on one thing: the belief that you are a separate entity, separate from your parents, your children, your lover, or your enemy.
All wars are based upon the ignorance of our true nature and the illusion of separation. When you firmly believe that you are separate from the totality, separate from peace, separate from love, you protect yourself. That protection takes many forms involving personal and territorial identification. This thought of who you are has immeasurable power, because it becomes the filter of all experiences of reality.
Somehow, though, in the face of it all, you find you want peace. You are sick and tired of the war within your own mind. You may have even expressed it in a conscious prayer, a plea for help, for understanding, for deliverance, for grace.
Grace is here now. It is knocking at your door. You have a chance to be at peace in this moment. You need only accept the invitation of your own heart, right now, regardless of outer or inner circumstances, and let yourself sink into the peace of your innermost being.
As a conscious human being, you have the opportunity to discover that never, not even for an instant, is it possible to be separate from consciousness, from the source of everything, from God. Once you discover this directly, you then broadcast it with every breath you take. Whether you speak of this discovery or you never speak again, you will broadcast it through the natural radiance of your being. In your willingness to take that chance, to accept that invitation, you will naturally share that peace everywhere.
At this point in time, in this theatre of consciousness, you have the opportunity to discover what is deeper than “human” being, what is before it. That “being-ness” is actually the source of human being—as it is the source of plant being, animal being, sentient and insentient being. That beingness is alive with intelligence, with presence, and it wants to know itself in you so that it can know itself everywhere.
There is a force that is bigger than any emotion, any individual mind, any governmental mind, any “us” and “them” mentality—and that force is trustworthy. If you feel called in some way to help end world suffering, it is possible to trust that right action can come from the unknown stillness of your being.
I don’t know if we, as a human species, will be extinct in the next few hundred years, or if even the planet itself will be extinct. But I do know that we can spend whatever time we have left in the deepest inquiry into the truth of who we are, and we can trust that inquiry to lead to appropriate action or non-action. In that openness of inquiry, we can also trust that we will make mistakes, and that we have both the capacity to recognize mistakes and the courage to make amends.
In this time of global distress, with the threat of terror and the actuality of war, individual awakening is increasingly urgent. It is not just a good thing to do, or an addition to our knapsack of experience trinkets. It is not even about some kind of personal pleasure or achievement. Awakening is essential if we are to recognize the patterns of hatred and blame that go on within our own minds, and which in turn are reflected into the world. We can’t wait for anyone else to stop. Our own projections have to stop.
Never in the history of the world have so many people been aware of what is happening on the other side of the globe while it is happening. Never have so many people been aware that the pattern of war is not new. And never have so many people been willing to say, “Stop.” We don’t have to know what the plan is, but we do have to be true to peace, to take responsibility for choosing not to overlook what is already at peace.
Deeper, closer than any strategy we have learned to armor and protect ourselves, the peace remains. It is here right now.
From The Diamond in Your Pocket by Gangaji, 2005
Gangaji, an internationally renowned teacher and author, will be holding public meetings and retreats in Australia in November and December of 2005. The cities on the tour will include Sydney, Perth, and Byron Bay.
Gangaji has traveled the world since 1990, offering thousands of people a simple yet profound invitation: to immediately and directly experience the true peace and lasting fulfillment that are our essential nature, now and always. Her latest book, The Diamond in your Pocket, was released in May of this year.
For information about Gangaji’s books, videos and events, please visit www.gangaji.org.