Lightmind Extract 069
Broken Yogi 5.5.07
First, I think you are wrong that we trust 100% in anything. Money least of all. Yes, we have a fairly stable economic system in the west, but this does not stop people from worrying tremendously about money. If you limit your “trust” to the simple matter of is your dollar going to be accepted tomorrow, fine, but that’s not all that is relevant to money. The value of money changes all the time, where we put our money always has a balance of risk and reward, in inverse relationship, and so we always worry about money. There are few areas in which people trust less than in money.
The point here is that we are insecure about most everything, because we live in a world where nothing lasts. People trusted the system in the 1920’s, and then the depression hit, and all was lost. Since then people have been predicting economic collapses all the time, and many people worry about that still. Your stock market millions might get hit by a bubble collapse, as happened just a few years ago. Inflation can whittle your dollar down to nothing. People don’t worry about these matters not because they shouldn’t, but because it’s just too draining. They trust because they don’t really have a choice – there is no better world at the moment.
So trust is always provisional and speculative. Everything can be taken from you in an instant. You can die any moment. That’s the nature of this world, this life, and those who learn to trust in spite of the risks of life are the happiest. What is trust but simple faith that no matter what happens, we are okay? We are happy. We can’t find a sure thing in this life, not in money, not in love, not in worldly things, and not in spiritual life. Gurus disappoint, like everything else. And so what should we do? Should we be distrusting of all Gurus, of all lovers, of all friends and family, of every dollar that passes through our hands? Is that any way to live? No, we have to accept that all trust in objects is provisional at best, and guaranteed to fail soon enough. We have to accept that Gurus, lovers, scriptures, etc., all are objectively flawed. That doesn’t mean our trust, our faith in life, has to be looked upon skeptically all the time. Sure, we have to look at everything realistically, and no that everything objective is flawed and impermanent. We can’t put our trust in anything, but we have to trust anyway. We have to recognize that trust transcends objects, even while it embraces them. We have to let trust rule our relations with objects, rather than vice-versa. To let our sense of trust be limited by objects is a huge mistake. We have to learn how to trust unconditionally, and to see that this is not a mistake, a foolish risk. It’s the road to heaven. It is heaven.
Trust is like love. It is what loves allows us to do. It lets us relax, surrender, and let life live us, rather than constantly being on edge, looking out for someone who might exploit us.
Now of course Gurus and spiritual life are a risk. But so is everything. Trusting a Guru is no different than trusting a lover. Of course it often takes time, but sometimes you just fall in love and have to go with it. It’s always a gamble, but without it, we would never gain anything. If you have great doubt as to whether there is anything to be gained from a Guru, then of course you will never have one, just as if you doubt there is anything to be gained from a lover, you will never have one either. Now, of course all our lovers are fallible human beings. That is not a reason to shy away from loving and trusting them.
I’m reminded of Nisargadatta’s experience upon meeting his Guru. His Guru told him that he was the Absolute Divine Being. Something about the fellow inspired complete trust in Nisargadatta. He said to himself afterwards, “why would this man lie?” He thought it through, and couldn’t think of any reason. So he trusted this man, and trusted what he said, and according to Nisargadatta, it was this trust, not any meditation practice or discipline, that enlightened him. So there’s a testimony to the supreme value of trust. Obviously we can’t know why Nisargadatta trusted this man so much as to turn his whole life over to his simple teaching, but he did, and the result seems to have been highly positive. Should he have not trusted this guy, but given only provisional meaning to his words? If that had been the case, Nisargadatta never would have been enlightened.
That’s the price you have not considered, the price of not trusting. You think the only risk comes from trusting, when in fact there may be an even greater risk in not trusting. The consequences of misplaced trust can certainly be disastrous, but so can the consequences of not trusting, especially when it comes to Gurus. In some very real sense, the reason we here are not enlightened is simply because we lack sufficient trust. We have all heard the great arguments for enlightenment, but have we trusted them? I think not. We have remained skeptical and diffident about them all. Is that really a fruitful approach? It seems not. Why not try a different approach? Why not try the approach of faith, love, trust, and surrender?
Just a thought.
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