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A spiritual essay about coping with current events


I feel like writing something about my country’s paroxysms of conflict, although I’m not sure I have anything worthwhile to say. Mostly, I am—we are—witnesses to the most absurd events, that could scarcely be dreamed up by a writer of black humor farce like, say, Terry Southern.

The election of the candidate who lost the popular vote; the dismantling (since then) of government regulation of the environment, and of the humane treatment of applicants for residency in our country; the corruption, vacancy and/or “flunky-ship” in so many government departments and cabinet agencies; the total partisan divide that leaves two camps facing one another across a no-man’s chasm of impossibly ill-equipped language, skewed vision and the new concept of “alternative facts” … the U.S. president himself threatening civil war if we don’t act as if he’s omnipotent: it all makes a person prone to start worrying!

A spiritually-inclined response

What does a spiritually-inclined person do? What attitude, and what change in attitude, will vaccinate him or her from, well, going mad? It’s a challenge!

My usual prayers and affirmations, that “the world is nothing into nothing,” that “God alone is real,” and “Love for God is all that matters” [all of those quotes are either from Meher Baba, my Spiritual Guide himself, or quoted by Baba from the 14th-century Sufi poet, Hafiz] are being tested as rarely before. As is the concept of Faith.

When Meher Baba was about to leave this world, or “drop his body,” as devotees say, he asked that a sign be placed in his room, quoting three couplets from Hafiz. They were as follows:

  1. “Befitting a fortunate slave, carry out every command of the Master without any question of why or what.”
  2. “About what you hear from the Master, never say it is wrong, because, my dear, the fault lies in your own incapacity to understand him.”
  3. “I am the slave of the Master Who has released me from ignorance. Whatever my Master does is of the highest benefit to all concerned.”
Poster with three Hafiz quotes

The board showing three couplets from the Persian poet, Hafiz (14th century), that was placed in Meher Baba’s room at and after the end of his life.

The faith that one’s spiritual Master [be that, I imagine, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed or Meher Baba] is aligned with—indeed, is the embodiment of—Universal Life itself, and that (as the ancient Sufis said) “Everything comes from God” is tested in “absurdist” times like these.

I have no control over the hatred, bigotry, threats and misinformation that appears to spew out of the mouth of the U.S. president (usually the nation’s father figure) himself, or of the talking points endlessly spewed by Fox News and Republicans in Congress. They make it appear that there’s an equivalency between two sides: that each is entitled to its opinion, and both sides’ opinions have merit.

However, neither side sees it that way. Both feel that the other side is completely disingenuous.

I don’t see both sides as completely disingenuous. I see one side that way. Others see “my side” [though I don’t see myself as really having a “side,” I see myself as simply championing truth and compassion!] as completely disingenuous, I guess—that is, if they ever take a moment off from their own ranting.

God is the One Real Self of ALL

Meher Baba poster

It’s hard to keep remembering that God is the One Real Self of ALL! And it’s hard to “do my best and leave the rest to God,” and have faith that this IS the plan. But that’s what I do.

That’s what enables me to keep sleeping at night. It IS all “nothing into nothing,” in spite of appearing so real and so up-close. It IS “all Illusion.” Meher Baba said once, “The world as world is Illusion, the world as God is real.”

How did eleven of Jesus’ 12 Apostles calmly face the violent murder that ended their lives? By having that faith.

We know not what will happen. Maybe “This time, God will WIN!” Truth and Love will prevail and will bring in the Age of Intuition that Meher Baba promised!

Whatever happens, my job is to continue to affirm, “God alone is real. Nothing matters but love for God”—whether what comes upon us is 1,000 years of a Golden Age—or a giant fish with huge teeth, consuming the whole apparent world.

«RELATED READ» THE BHAGAVAD GITA: A metaphor for fighting a spiritual war against ego»

image 1: “When Separation Reaches Its Height, Union Follows” (painted around 1986, by Max Reif) image 2: Meher Baba Information image 3: Sheriar Books

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