In a day and an age when there are chaos ridden regions on the Earth, and humanity seems to be helpless in the face of disaster in the form of tsunami and earthquakes and flash flooding, Vivekananda Naicker once again explores the Mists of Maya and looks deeply into the truth of the human condition. Our visits to Earth are but a sojourn in a body and our true home, our true nature, is endless love.
CONQUERING FEAR OF EARTHQUAKES
By VivekAnanda Naicker
A friend recently wrote to me that she was terrified of an earthquake with a resultant tsunami, living as she does a short distance from Durban’s beach front.
The uncomfortable truth is that an earthquake can strike anywhere because continents are the uppermost cooled crusts of a molten mantle that is one of the layers that make up our Earth. These cooled portions lie on the layers beneath in segments called tectonic plates which are constantly moving, scraping against and slipping beneath one another.
This constant moving and colliding is the cause of earthquakes and the tsunamis that sometimes follow. They are a fact of life on this planet and a constant reminder that nothing on earth is permanent. Earthquakes have always been part of the earthly scene, long before human life appeared.
This Earth is really a kind of soul “refinery” where what we call our souls come to learn from experience and thus evolve to higher states of consciousness while at the same time expiating karma. In our Maya-afflicted state, we myopically think that the Earth is constant and that it is our permanent home. Beautiful and alluring as it is, it is neither our home nor static.
The Earth is in a constant state of flux, from weather to Earth movements. It is a living being, and like all living things, it grows and breathes and pulsates.
As for it being our home, nothing can be further from the truth. To begin with, we are not this body that we call “I” and “home”. We are really the spirit that is within the corporeal body, the entity sages have taught us is the atman, or soul. Unlike this corporeal earth body which would eventually grow old and die, our soul is pure spirit and therefore eternal.
Do not let your mind dwell on that tsunami, for constant thoughts tend to materialise. Think peace and love and love, peace and calm would come in search of you. Fear is the most primitive of emotions, a carry-over from the animal origins of the bodies our souls occupy. Fear is a survival necessity for animals in the wild. Fear in human beings begets fearful consequences. So exude, speak of and project love, love, love.
This love is not the biological attraction necessary for procreation but the constant mindfulness that Divinity exists in all things and all men, that you are integral to all that exists throughout the universe, that anything that happens to some other being happens to you also. It is pure and unconditional and expects nothing in return.
We are really transitory spirit on brief learning visits to this Earth dimension. In that respect, it is more a schoolroom than our home, and an impermanent one at that. What seems like a lifetime to us is in reality a fleeting, infinitesimal moment in eternity.
You should not be fiercely attached to anything, including your life. Why? Material attachment blinds one to the fact that we are essentially eternal spirit on fleeting visits to this earth plane. Being pure spirit, when we leave, we go empty-handed.
For this reason, even what we consider “our” husbands, wives, sons, daughters and other relatives and friends are aspects of our earthly delusion or Maya. Nothing ever belonged to us or ever will. We are intangible universal spirit in temporary earth bodies, after all.
Treat everything within your sphere of experience not as your permanent possessions but rather as transitory miracles. Revel in their presence and delight in the relationship, but do not attempt to take possession of those who have come into your life, even “your” husband or wife or children. As miraculously as they were brought within your ambit, they can be taken away.
If it were not for the collective amnesia and Maya – illusion- with which we are afflicted during our Earth visits, we would realise that these transitory sojourns we call life are the perhaps the least desirable aspect of our eternal existence as pure spirit in greater, more universal dimensions. Knowing this, we should submit to the ephemeral though essential Earth experience without trying to take possession of any aspect of it.
You are only passing this way on a very brief yet vital mission. Your real home is the infinite immensity of the universe within which you enjoy eternal, spiritual freedom. These Earth visits are a bind, but ever so necessary for our growth and evolution towards moksha, or union with the One Soul or Supreme Spirit we call God.
Do not waste time fearing going back to a natural state of being which we all love infinitely more than we do the brief interlude of this temporal visit. The Earth is, really speaking, alien to our greater consciousness. If you do not believe this, ask anyone who has had a near-death experience, or check your local library for one of the plethora of books on the subject.
Spend your time here on Earth accumulating knowledge and serving other – and spreading unconditional love. And when we have to leave, let’s go home with the satisfaction of a job well done, of enough love dispersed and enough hearts gladdened, if that is at all possible.
And remember, never talk of your ills and afflictions – this only serves to entrench them in your reality. With your thoughts, words and actions in this life and previous ones, you caused them anyway. Treat them as though they do not exist and unless they are of long-standing and deeply entrenched, they would simply cease to exist. If you really put your heart and soul into it, even these “incurable” diseases can be cured miraculously. All cures are within yourself.
There is an old custom among trading people in the east. When asked about the state of their business they would never complain that it is bad even when it is. Rather, even on a bad day, they are likely to say, “I cannot complain for assuredly it would be better next week”. Next week, they would be smiling. Words have power, you see. They tend to materialise.
Drive anger and rage out of your mind and your being. Anger, malice and spite bring more illness and misfortune in their wake than any other cause. The worst human diseases like cancer have their roots in angry thoughts.
Think, say and do only right, for diseases are karmic. The wrongs that we do to others and ourselves manifest as diseases. In its perfect state, the human form should be free of disease.
In exactly the same way, all that is wrong with this world today has been caused by ourselves. Our loveless ways in our relationship with Mother Earth have resulted in the global threats to our survival that we now perceive. Everything from global warming to holes in the ozone layer has been caused by the callousness of man in his rapacious, myopic greed.
Native peoples and nature have existed on this planet for untold millions of years. Ancient artefacts in many parts of the world attest to mankind’s great antiquity. This is not the first world civilisation modern academia has taught by us to believe it is.
Civilised man is infinitely older than the five or six thousand years estimated by western, Christian academia. Civilisations have risen and perished through untold eons past. Yet, in barely five or six hundred years of “modern” science and technology, we have brought ourselves and our habitat to the brink of seeming extinction.
In this brief interlude of high technology, we have been led to believe that modern man with his science and technology is all-powerful. Yet when Mother Earth shrugs, man’s works however massive and substantial are torn
Earthquakes are a daily affair; this map shows the tectonic plates and 28 major and minor earthquakes on one day ….
Surely we can see the errors of our ways, that technology is a double-edged weapon if not pathetically puny in the face of a tempestuous Nature?
We have treated Mother Earth and Nature with scant respect. We have forgotten in these ‘modern’ times that she is a living, thinking feeling entity; she feels the hurt we cause her. Now that we perceive a reaction, however slight, we scream like spoiled children.
Nature is now shrugging her shoulders in irritation. Even the slightest shrug causes awesome destruction. We have through our collective behaviour created these unhappy reactions. Our collective consciousness as universal spirit senses worse to come.
Knowing full well that there would sooner or later be a reaction, we carried on regardless. In the circumstances, we are not as helpless as some would imagine. The solution is to repent our callousness and pray for forgiveness. Not terrified gibbering in the face of imagined doom but loving prayer that comes out of the depths of your heart and soul to Mother Nature, who is really the God that men have always been seeking.
Prayer is not enough, though. In addition to the prayer, take one step towards God and He will take ten towards you. Start mending your ways. Make your own contribution towards reducing the stresses to this lonely blue planet in the backwoods of space.
Use your car less and your cycle more. Stop using plastic bags to carry groceries home. Use and re-use a cloth or cellulose bags. Put a brick in your toilet cistern, put off that unnecessary light, switch off that unwatched TV, recycle rather than discard, learn to make compost from your kitchen waste and use this in your garden or even flower pots if you live in an apartment block. Pick seed pods from trees in the wild. Sow the seeds and transplant the seedlings when the rainy season comes.
Make an effort to stop eating meat. Every time you eat a meat dish, you are helping to take a life. Because you did not see or participate in the killing does not make you innocent. Stop using and consuming things at the expense of some other life on this planet. If you really want to stop but don’t know how, visit an abattoir, or anywhere else where animals are regularly killed. Those with a conscience – or a weak stomach – would stop very easily.
Everything including yourself, not only on this planet but throughout the universe, is inter-related. Those animals that we consume are also slowly moving up the ladder of soul evolution, exactly as you and I are. We might not often realise it, but we do share a common consciousness. When one dwells deeply on these things, one realises not only the immeasurable sanctity of life, one realises one’s appalling lack of higher consciousness.
Stop behaving as though you have a right to do as you please. If you insist on carrying on regardless, there is a price and we are starting to pay it now.
Believe it or not, disappearing species, earthquakes, holes in the ozone layer, global warming with melting glaciers and polar ice caps, hurricanes and tsunamis all come out of the human mind. Negative human thoughts and actions activate negative planetary reactions.
If you fear global warming, start to change your thinking and your behaviour. Stop leaving problems to the government and others to solve. Take the initiative, however small. Amazing results would follow. You will see that God loves you regardless of your waywardness.
There are myriad things you can do to lessen the stress on this over-exploited little planet we call home, if for no other reason but the fact that it’s the only one we have. Start doing them. Before anything else, take that first step.
You can multiply the effects of what you are doing by teaching others with whom you come into contact. We are all teachers but we do not realise it. This is the basis of our spiritual evolution: we climb the evolutionary ladder as we learn from one another. This is why personal relationships are so important: they are crucial to our spiritual development.
We are pure, universal spirit in temporary earth bodies. Never forget that. The body that you occupy is not you. It is only your earth vehicle. The real you is the soul deep within that body. Hindus call it by an ancient Sanskrit name, the atman.
That atman (the inner self, soul) is indestructible. When the body has served its purpose and dies, the atman exits and continues on its journey through eternity. It never dies. It goes into other dimensions and repeatedly returns at various times to Earth to occupy the body of a newly-born baby, and the process of soul evolution continues. Its purpose in these repeated births is for the soul to accumulate as much knowledge as possible through each lifetime.
This accumulated knowledge is stored in a higher dimension that Hindus through the ages have called the akashic records- a kind of celestial hard drive from which we access facts through what we call our subconscious memory. This is why some people seem to intuitively know more than others: the simple reason is that they have lived more lives on Earth than others.
It is true that all human beings are equal in terms of our common humanity, but we are vastly different in terms of accumulated memory – and thus knowledge – which depends entirely on the number of lifetimes a soul has experienced on Earth. Some souls are considerably older than others.
These repeated lifetimes go on and on until the atman has learned all it has to learn in its continual Earth visits. At that stage it merges with the greater consciousness of all that exists. This Greater Consciousness is what mankind calls God.
More than anything, realise that you are pure soul, indestructible, eternal and divine. Not even earthquakes and tsunamis can really harm you for you are, never forget, pure spirit.
So, while you are here on this all-too-brief visit, think of all the ways you can appear like an angel to others within your orbit.
Then, in things that you do and say to others every day, start behaving like the angel that you really are.
Love and light
Om Sai Ram