“You may control a mad elephant;
You may shut the mouth of the bear and the tiger;
Ride the lion and play with the cobra;
By alchemy you may learn your livelihood;
You may wander through the universe incognito;
Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful;
You may walk in water and live in fire;
But control of the mind is better and more difficult.”
― Paramahansa Yogananda,
Control of the mind is missing in our world today. There seems to be little cogent thought but much hateful invective. We see the rise of evil in the embodiment of terror groups that attack around the world, that attack the innocent if anyone can be called innocent. I think they can.
Controlling my mind has always been the most difficult part of my spiritual practice. I can drown myself in pessimism within a few minutes of concentration on the happenings in this world.
Others talk of peace as if it is something we can spread all over the world. I don’t think peace is a commodity that enters all human hearts …….. and we can’t make it do so. Peace can only enter one heart at a time and the only heart we can control is our own. Peaceful mind, peaceful heart.
Irrational thoughts and words make me angry. Anger is an emotion that has stimulated me into action many times. I’ve needed that flight or fight response in my life, when my family has been attacked, when we have had to fight in court for custody of my husband’s son, when I had to be my husband’s advocate so we could get help with his health. We have had to fight and I have led the fighting.
There were battles I took on that I should have dropped. Several. I should have stopped and let happen whatever was going to happen. But there were others that needed the fight, the anger, the immovable force of my personality so that my loved ones could survive.
One of these fights, one that I took on unwillingly, was the fight for my husband’s mother. She was from Latvia and hadn’t truly assimilated into the culture here. She kept the old ways, including allowing anyone from the old country into her life. She was old and infirm and didn’t know they were after her money, she thought they truly cared about her.
After having been removed from her home because she could no longer function, she was taken back by her grandson. It wasn’t long before she was back in the hospital and told she couldn’t go back home. My husband, always at odds with a woman who had no particular love for him, had to deal with putting his mother in a nursing home, getting a court to stop the sale of her property that she had agreed to even though she was incompetent, and deal with his mother’s ire.
It was a long, hard battle, but we won. We fought off the people who would take advantage of her. We won that battle only to have to fight another one, when a family member decided to take advantage of my father. What is it with people and the elderly? Can they not be loving instead of greedy? So you see, me being peaceful didn’t help the situation. There was no way to make the people taking advantage of these old people be peaceful, loving and kind.
I wrote a post a while back about the college students and their unbelievable childishness – asking for a safe space on their college campuses. Who has a safe space anywhere? No one. That’s what the world is – unsafe. We either learn to live in it or remove ourselves from it.
I received a comment that went directly to spam. I was castigated for pointing out the fact that certain feminists were not feminists at all. I was told that I had no say in the matter because “you snivel and worry about yarn.” Excuse me while I laugh hysterically.
Yesterday I again received a comment about my post on the inability of our administration to call terrorism terrorism. I was asked whether the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic was terrorism or the Colorado shooting in a theater. I didn’t get the point of the comment except that the commenter was another left-wing, toe-the-line liberal who wanted every shooting in this country to be related to gun control. As if controlling guns will stop terrorism.
Of course, conservatives who have a problem with the selling of baby parts are responsible for the Planned Parenthood shooting. Sigh. I have a problem with abortion, and while I don’t care how many women decide to kill their children, I really don’t want those babies to become lab experiments. I can’t be a committed vegetarian and sit by and watch babies being sold off for parts. It doesn’t compute in my mind. We can’t eat veal but we can turn babies into experiments?
Peace. Such a lovely thought. Possible only one soul at a time. It’s not a group thing. I couldn’t convince the woman who left her 6 month old child to go kill innocent people with children that she should be peaceful. She chose her path. It will lead her places she would rather not visit. But it’s her path, not mine.
All we can do is this:
“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself……”
― Paramahansa Yogananda,