Chela (Student or follower): If negativity within oneself comes to the fore and this produces adverse circumstances, how can one accept this, because one would feel powerless to accept it?
Gururaj: We find this in everyday life because of the expression of the experiences, thoughts, and whatever there may be that are so deeply planted in the subconscious mind. In the first place, we ourselves have put them there – that must never be forgotten.
They cannot remain in the subconscious mind. If all those thoughts had to remain in the subconscious mind then we would explode. The subconscious mind has to find release, and that release comes about through the conscious mind.
When all those weeds from underground are pushed up above ground, in other words when those subconscious thoughts and negativities are pushed up into the conscious level whereby those negativities become cognisable, then we feel utterly miserable and hopeless. We feel utterly miserable, hopeless, and helpless to be able to accept the situation.
By developing these feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, we are not helping ourselves in any way. We are actually watering the weeds and making them grow even stronger in the conscious mind. In addition, when they grow even stronger in the conscious mind, the roots go deeper in the subconscious mind.
Therefore, if you want to grow the weeds even stronger, this is the best way, where you would find their conscious expression more powerful and, at the same time, you are letting the roots grow deeper into the subconscious mind. What can one do?
Acceptance & Facing the Problems
When we talk of acceptance, we do so in the sense of facing the problem. The roots are there in the subconscious. They have to express themselves. They have to rid themselves of these burdens. There is no escaping it and we have put them there. We have sown and we must reap. However, when they come to the conscious level, it depends upon us if we are going to feed those weeds or not. This is where the major part of where acceptance comes in.
For example, if a thought stems up from the subconscious mind that, “I am going to steal tonight”, are we going to give it vent with the conscious mind thereby driving the roots even deeper? Acceptance means not only to accept the circumstance one is confronted with, but to face the circumstance and accept that I have the tendency of being a thief. That is true acceptance.
I have had many dealings with alcoholics. Sometimes these various organisations call me in to give talks. The most important thing that I have to make the alcoholic realise is to admit to himself that “I am an alcoholic.” Once he admits that sincerely to himself, I can wean him off his alcohol.
Therefore, acceptance means to admit the weakness that is now being pushed up from the subconscious mind. When the alcoholic admits to himself that “I am an alcoholic” and secondly, that “I haven’t got the power to deal with it myself”, then he goes for help. He goes for help to an adviser who can help plan his life for him. That is one kind of help. Another kind of help is in surrender to a power that is beyond me. Firstly, I must admit to myself honestly. The problem with alcoholics, to use this as an example, is that they do not want to admit that they are alcoholics. That is the biggest problem that any social worker has with people afflicted with this disease called alcoholism.
Admission is part of acceptance
Once one admits that “I have this weakness: I am an alcoholic”, then one automatically accepts the idea. When one accepts the idea, you will try to find ways and means whereby this weakness can be dealt with. If outside counselling fails, I still have the greatest counsellor of all. And, I don’t need to find that counsellor in tangible form. I just surrender and say, “Thy will be done.” What greater acceptance is there than that?
This applies to every problem in life where you do not just accept, you face the problem and acceptance comes on its own. Moreover, when acceptance comes, ways and means automatically follow. When one sincerely accepts that “I am in trouble”, one automatically finds the cause of the trouble. Once the cause of the trouble is found, you have reached halfway in solving the problem. As a doctor would say, proper diagnosis is half the cure. After reaching half way, the other half can be achieved by accepting the injunction ‘Thy will be done.’ Do you see how devotion works, how systematic it is? The whole transformation of the human personality depends upon one factor: to be able to face ourselves squarely in the mirror. When we hide the problems away, like the alcoholic who does not want to admit that he is an alcoholic, we can never solve our problems.
As these weeds push themselves up from the subconscious to the conscious mind, we know it could be very uncomfortable. What do we do to offset this discomfort? We meditate. Meditation does two things simultaneously: firstly, it stirs up and makes you face your problem, and secondly, it gives you strength to face the problem. It works in two ways. If that problem is brought to us face-to-face, where we pull it out of the subconscious to the conscious level of cognition and we face the problem, then meditation also gives the strength to face the problem. And if facing the problem squarely and the strength is combined with a bit of determination and devotion – that there is something higher than me that can eradicate this problem – then all of the initial disturbance is lessened immeasurably. This is how it works. Therefore, in our system we apply logic, devotion, and action all the time. There is no problem that is insuperable or to which there is no answer.
Meditation allows you to face your problems with greater ease
If a person kills someone, gets convicted of the crime, and has to go to jail for a life sentence or whatever the case might be, such a person must not look for a miracle where the judge will change his mind and pronounce you ‘not guilty’. That is asking for something which is not right and which you don’t deserve. If you have killed someone and you are sentenced to a long term in jail, what are you going to do? You can make that very same jail sentence into the most pleasurable experience of your life through meditation. The greatest literary works and the greatest evolution in man were done in jail where the person was really given the chance to dive deep within oneself, to really analyse oneself, to really probe within oneself. Many ugly habits have been cured there. I’m using a very extreme example but it is applicable to every circumstance of life. And if one is of strong character, which can be built by meditation and spiritual practices, one will emerge from a sinner to a saint.
So what I am trying to say is that whatever circumstances we are in, there is always a way. Where there is a will, there is a way. Moreover, why ‘my will’? Instead, ‘Thy will’, and the way is smoother, better, more pleasant, and more life-supporting because it’s Divine will. ~UK 77-19
…………….Gururaj Ananda Yogi