Social Gatheka Number 5
Does happiness depend upon the condition in life or upon
an outlook on life? It is a question which is very often asked and it is
most difficult to answer. Many with philosophical knowledge
will say, this material world is an illusion and its condition
a dream, but yet there are very few who can make themselves
believe it. To know a thing in theory is different from
practicing it. It is most difficult in this world to rise
above the effect that conditions produce. No doubt to rise
above conditions there is only one thing that helps and
that is a change of outlook on life and this change is made
practical by the change of attitude.
In the language of
the Hindus life in the world is called samsara. It is pictured
as life in a mist. One thinks and says and does and feels
and yet does not know fully why. If a person knows one reason
for it, there is another reason hidden behind which he does
not yet know. Very often condition in life shows a picture
of captivity, often it seems as if one had to walk between
the water and a pit. And to rise above conditions one needs
wings, which not everybody has.
The wings are attached to
the will, one is independence the other is indifference.
Independence needs a great deal of sacrifice in one's life
before one can feel independent in life. Indifference against
one's nature of love and sympathy is like cutting one's
heart asunder before one can practice indifference through
life. No doubt once the will is able to spread its wings
then one sees the conditions of life far removed, one stands
above all conditions that makes man captive. The is no difficulty
which cannot be surmounted sooner or later, but even if
one has achieved something one desires in life there is
something else in life that seems to be unfinished and so
if one went from one thing to another achieving all he desires,
the object of his desire will multiply and there will never
be an end to one's desire.
The more one has to do in life
the more difficulties he has to meet with. If one keeps
away from the life of the world then his being here is purposeless.
The more important the task the more difficult to accomplish
it. And so every evening follows the day and goes on till
eternity. For a Sufi, therefore, it is not only the patience
to bear all things but to see all things from a certain
point of view that can relieve him for that moment from
difficulty and pain.
Very often it is the outlook on life
which changes the whole life for a person. It can turn hell
into heaven, it can turn sorrow into joy. When a person
looks from a certain point of view, every little pinprick
feels like a point of sword piercing through one's heart.
If one looks at the same thing from a different point of
view the heart becomes stingproof, nothing can touch it,
all things which are thrown at that person as bullets drop
down without having touched him.
What is the meaning of walking upon the water? Life is
symbolical of water. There is one who becomes drowned in
the water, there is another who swims in the water, but
there is another one who walks upon it. The one that is
so sensitive that after having one little pinprick he is
unhappy all through the day and the night is the man of
the first category. The one who takes and gives back and
makes a game of life is the swimmer. He does not mind if
he received one knock, for he derives his satisfaction from
being able to give two knocks in return. But the one whom
nothing can touch is in the world and yet is above the world.
He is the one who walks on water. The life is under his
feet, its joy and sorrow both.
Verily independence and indifference are two things which
enable the soul to fly.