I know that many of my students and followers of my blog began a grieving process on November 9. Grieving is, of course, a natural and important part of Life in this world of duality and the inevitable result of our attachment to any temporary thing, whether that be a person, animal, place, object, or thought. Grieving itself is a wonderfully painful cleansing process, and must be allowed to proceed unhindered to come through it a stronger and deeper person. If grieving is blocked or held down for any reason, it will only lead to later troubles, probably disease (“dis-ease” at least!), so PLEASE, if you feel grief, let it flow if you haven’t already. Don’t hold it back or get stuck in the avoidance of it through “depression” (depressing the pain of grief or anything else) or numbness or denial, but also don’t get stuck in it, don’t identify yourself with it. It’s just energy moving.
Part of the grief is, of course, that we may have felt that the values we hold to (compassion, love, equality among people, fairness, kindness) were rejected by enough people to send Trump to the White House. Some may even say that the “dark side” won. BUT here’s an equally plausible possibility (and all we get at this specific time in history is conjecture, from anybody and everybody with an opinion): maybe it’s completely the opposite of that—maybe the Light side “won.” (I put that in quotes since this is the world of change that we are talking about and everything is constantly in motion, so to put an “end result” idea onto it is patently ridiculous.)
Speaking personally and for myself only here, of course, on November 9, I had a momentary “blip” of negative emotion but then I found, to my surprise (though in retrospect, it should not have been a surprise to me), that the Inner Light was SO MUCH stronger feeling and obvious and easy to connect to, whether in meditation or in daily life. The presence of what I called “darkness” around in the psychic atmosphere made the Inner Light stronger (at least it seemed so, perhaps by contrast. I’ve definitely seen this phenomenon before, and I have talked with others on the spiritual Path who experienced the same thing.)!
I began to think that really the Light won, not the Dark as I had initially thought. BUT this idea is true ONLY TO THE EXTENT that we make our own way through our inner darkness and pain to the other side of making a strong and non-negotiable decision to LIVE OUR highest values whatever they may be; for me it’s to stay in the moment and to live from the Heart’s Inner Radiance, from Love, compassion, friendliness, service, selflessness, inner peace. The Dark Side only wins if we let it stifle or dampen our own Inner Light. The Inner Light can only be held down for some time, never forever.
If the election had gone the other way (who knows, maybe it still will), we may have been in a more complacent place, accepting the forward movement of the status quo, but for myself, I feel that there’s no time anymore for being half-assed or lukewarm in coming from my Heart, in trying to be guided by the Inner Light. Eight years ago, the tables were turned and, making a sweeping generalization, the losing side spent their energy stocking up on guns and cultivating racism and hate, wasting the precious opportunity to move forward in a way consistent with the highest ideals a human being can have. I hope others join me in taking the current situation as a major prod to move forward in a way that is sustainable and noble for the human species and all life on Earth.
I don’t mean in any way to deny the existence of hate crimes and other problems that have already occurred and that are very real possibilities in the next four years, nor do I mean to deny the existence of the violence and “evil” that has occurred under probably every other President, definitely including the present one. Spiritual bypassing (a particular form of denial) can be as harmful a thing as outright violence. But we must acknowledge that this is the world of up and down, or day and night, of back and forth, so here we are swinging one way, and some people are rejoicing and some are grieving, but all of us have in common that our mood is dependent on outer circumstances.
From the yogic perspective, this is a problem, actually the main problem we face, that our mind swings one way or another given external circumstances! IT (the mind) controls us, our reactions, our emotions, our thoughts, and thus we are at its fickle whim. Some of you were in class the week after the election when I was reminding everyone of the most basic yoga philosophy from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Sutra I.2: Yoga is cessation/control of thought waves in the mind. I.3: Then the Seer abides in It’s own essential and fundamental Nature. I.4: At other times, the Seer appears to be the thought waves in the mind.
Those who have experienced the Seer, the one inside who sees through our eyes, describe It in various ways: as Pure Being/Awareness/Bliss, as an Ocean of Love or Peace or Bliss, as Infinite Light, etc. So basically Patanjali is saying we have a very simple choice: the Ocean of Bliss or our thoughts? Think about that for a moment. Do I want Infinite Peace OR the thoughts in my mind? I’ve observed my mind a good bit, and with that experience, personally I’m going for Infinite Love. My mind with its thoughts, though an AMAZING and mostly functional tool for which I am hugely thankful, will not, simply cannot, give me the experience of perfect Peace for which even IT seeks.
In choosing (and it IS a choice, made from moment to moment) to live guided by the Highest Principles each of us hold dear, we arm ourselves, as it were, with the strength needed to face whatever any future moment brings us. At the same time we also move ourself into a stronger connection with Source/the Seer. By living the qualities that bring our True Nature to the fore, we weaken our negative tendencies and clear the inner space for experiencing what everyone seeks. The outcome will only be good for all beings. That’s how Light wins, one inspired and awakening heart at a time.