Out of the Ditch ...and Into 'Light'
By Sunetra Basu
GIVE YOURSELF A SECURE HELPING HAND
'Help yourself' is an old saying. Self help is certainly the only way to keep going. Give yourself the secure helping hand you have been long waiting for! Stop pushing yourself into the ditch over and over again.
The rescue path for every one of us essentially runs through a tunnel of acceptance... accepting who we are. I call it a tunnel because light is at the end of that tunnel! Though moving just those few yards might seem a less illuminated experience, but it is the only sure way out of impenetrable darkness!
Imagine yourself in your mortal form, and your separate eternal self in the spirit state. Now imagine the mortal you pushing your spirit self mercilessly into a deep dark ditch over and over again without second thoughts, without any remorse or regret! See yourself yelling out for help, extending your dirt-filled hands from inside the ditch while your ignorant mortal self smirks and dances around with a callous shrug. After relentless grueling toil you manage to somehow scamper out of the ditch, filthy and wet, with the dirt from the ditch now all over you.
You dust and scrape most of it off and walk on. After walking for miles, bearing scorching heat and freezing blizzards, you finally arrive at an oasis of healing waters! The crystal sparkle of it beckons you in! You dip your toe into it and feel a current of 'life', of bliss run through you! Out of the blue (literally) the heavens rain petals and nectar upon you! You are celebrated and hailed for your efforts! You did it! You are healed, cleansed and pure white again... you are your true self! Your mortal self shares the rejuvenation and rejoices with you. So you start walking together through flowering orchards and the breezy beaches! You feel blessed... you are blessed.
Suddenly out of nowhere your mortal self gets into a certain frenzy and digs another deep dark ditch and before you know, you are brutally hammered and pushed into the darkness once again! This entire cycle of falling and recovery goes on and on and on simply because your mortal self never learns the truth...and doesn't even seem to want to, that ditching you amounts to dragging itself into dark darkness!
THE DARKEST DITCH - PRETENCE
The ditch I referred to above is every speech or act of lie, of immorality, insensitivity, cruelty or rudeness that the mind takes upon as a 'quick-fix' way out of situations it fears to encounter as its true self.
Our soul provides continuous spiritual guidance through the iiner voice, or intuition. Most of the times we take the short-cut knowing fully well that is not the soul's way. Every time we pretend, we push ourselves into a dark deep ditch of suffering that stays for longer than we could imagine! Pretending to be who we are not comes from our requirement of being loved and accepted, praised and patted by others. Social image, acceptance and fame is the lure behind every act of pretence! The fear of being ignored or booed upon, and the false addiction of the ego to praise and flattery is at the root of pretence.
For every time it falls due to mortal ignorance, the soul must undergo austere penance by way of suffering so as to cleanse off consequencial karma and its cause... conditioning. Once free, it finds better weather and a flowery trail to walk with its mortal self. But before long, the mortal falls prey to the mind's lure and ditches the soul once again!
I have known people who are otherwise highly educated, learned, extremely knowledgeable and yet would not even think before lying! As a matter of fact, they enjoy painting their fake make-believe image to their heart's content. For no rhyme or reason, they would just start off... deriving fun from lies, pleasure from pretence, and a sense of accomplishment from having made the listener believe in their cooked up instances of past heroism and in articulating other's words and ideas as their own. The act of cooking up stories and pretending to be what they have never been, but perhaps wished they were, comes to them so spontaneously that the thin line between truth and 'make-believe' has faded out even in their own consciousness! ...And that calls for urgent salvation of the self... when you do not even realize you are pretending, or that there could possibly be any harm in telling others stories about yourself as if they were the real you, in order to secure your position. Deep into this tendency, they are driven by habit, or rather their superficial nature to lie!
At that extent of self denial one does not even care what he is faking ... his past, his present, his work, even spirituality! He has at that point lost the sense of 'right and wrong'... because he has been practicing pretence for too long!
What lead one to a false way of living could be one or many ... perhaps it was an insecure life of not so great existence coupled with the desire to come out clean in other's eyes; perhaps a past life tendency to always put up a clean image even as one continued feeding one's not so lofty desires that one couldn't give up, that are usually looked down upon by the society; perhaps his social background is looked down upon, or perhaps he hails from a so called famous clan that doesn't actually have any more of its past greatness, compelling him to pretend or lie so as to touch-up the faded reality of his mundane existence; or perhaps exposure to an environment of falsity, pretence and lies did it... sometimes watching older siblings who play the role of a father figure makes one follow their ways... seeing how smoothly they steer and sail through trouble with pretence and false heroism, a loud voice or an angry attitude gets the younger sibling into believing 'that's the smart way to get what you desire!'.
Whatever the reason, the mind thus gets intensely conditioned into ignorant ways to material fulfillment! What one does not realize is that in course of the momentary victory, in opting to revel in pretend greatness, brandishing the sword of cutting edge smartness, one has dug a pit for oneself that he would never dread to had he known the consequences! When pretence becomes a tendency and creating a correct image the focus, with complete disregard for consequences with respect to oneself as well as the impact upon others, then one has actually pushed oneself into a bottomless pit!
Inspired by self-romance, when one attempts to create a cute image of oneself to earn the respect and adoration of others, that which, in the heart of hearts, one does not really deserve, at the cost of pretence, he had better know that he will call upon the same from others around him. By the law of attraction, he will attract pretence, untruth and ignorance even though he might be serious and dedicated this time. For example, if we manipulate other's work and present it as our own, bypassing rules then so will others do with ours. And no matter what one manages to convince oneself into believing in order to justify it, pretence will continue to attract similar energies, lethal and destructive to the self, its spiritual progress and fulfillment. Truth always prevails, so original is original, and fake is fake! In our highest interests, we had better stop fooling ourselves in course of duping others.
The repercussion of falsity, fakery, lies and pretence is wide, deep and lengthy. Sometimes we resort to swift escapes thinking there is nothing wrong with it since we are motivated with goals close to the heart, like securing a position socially or financially that would in turn be translated into better life for our loved ones, especially children. What goes completely ignored is the hidden evil that creeps right into the family, and into the lives of the beloved. By indulging in wrong practices and pretence, we knowingly or unknowingly expose our children to the same stark dark ditches that we push ourselves into ...only in more than one ways!
When we practice wrong our little ones suffer three-fold consequences, way beyond what we could imagine! In our ignorant ways to better their lives, we subject them to... hereditary exposure, environmental exposure and karmic exposure to the evils of pretence. Imagine how hard they would require to exercise their conscience in order to fight the adversities that crept in with our malpractices, so they could see light at the end of the tunnel!
The saving grace is that there is always a way out into light! ...And the path travels through the tunnel of acceptance I referred to earlier.
Sometimes one is just not strong enough to own up, to face the truth, to watch the respect in others' eyes vanish, and the fancy image one painted of oneself in others' minds get marred once truth sees the light of day. But the ways of karma are constant and unprejudiced! If one doesn't take initiave to set things right in time, then time and nature take up the task of correction... imposed penance is often brutal and way harsher than the embarrassment and ridicule owning, acceptance and confession could subject one to. Thus timely confession can be a real savior from time's excruciating cleansing measures!
The first step is to agree to accept... to confront oneself... to own one's fakery, pretence and lies. The second step is constant vigilance... to consciously abstain from quick-fix, false-fame getaways. The last step is continuing along the path of reality, rather than 'make-believe' about ...for oneself and others.
All is well that ends well! Our divine salvation army is always at its best, fully prepared to fight out darkness for us and walk the dark miles with us, to cut off chords of karma carried forward from previous lives or to neutralize conditionings acquired in course of the present. By calling for help we can ease our process of cleansing, even out penance to a great extent by way of realization, and shorten the journey through the tunnel of acceptance! Divinity awaits our call for help to overcome forces of denial!
One brave step of acceptance, owning and confession can make the journey half as tough, cut the dark stretch to a fraction of what it would take to enter 'light'... and to do away with 'pitridoshas' or hereditary tendencies we were born into!
There is no other way out but through the tunnel of acceptance and into light! The more we shy away from it, the longer our trial becomes! The more we deny it, the deeper the darkness gets! The more we convince ourselves into believing "stay for now, at least you feel safe this way in this moment", the lengthier the wait for a better life... And the moment we agree to accept, the celestial bells toll and rejoice!
Rescue is one step away ...at the threshold of acceptance and awakening! The pivotal moment to take the mask off awaits each soul.
...Time to open our eyes, to pull ourselves out of darkness, and live our Truth!