Before We Handle the Future
There are many ways to arrange one’s future. Future is something that does not exist; it never exists in our experience but exists as a possibility. Some people plan their future according to their compulsions, some people plan their future according to their conscious wishes, some people just blunder through. Consciously choosing what one wants to do with one’s life is very important. Whatever you choose consciously will definitely bear fruit. What you choose is not the thing; whatever you choose, you put your life behind it, you are willing to throw yourself into it. That is the important thing.
In some way, for a non-existent future, you are trying to create some certainty with a plan. An Iranian man met George W. Bush when he was president. He asked George W., ‘Mr. President, my son, who is only eight years of age, is deeply disappointed that the Star Trek movie has all kinds of people – Chekov who is a Russian and Sulu who is Chinese and Scotty who is Scottish – but there are no Iranians in the movie. Why have Iranians been left out of Star Trek?’ George W. looked at him and said, ‘Because that happens in future.’
You can plant a seed and wait for the future to happen; that is one way. Another way is you can construct your future. Or another way is you place yourself in the right vessel when the winds are right, and just let it be; anyway it will go where it has to go. These are different ways of handling one’s future. You must understand, you are trying to handle that which is not yet. You are not handling that which is. You are handling that which is yet to be. The nature of life is such – if there is a child in the mother’s womb, he may be nourished by the mother every moment, but he does not know her face, nor has she seen his face. Both of them are total strangers, though they are one inside the other. Similarly, you are within this creation, not outside. In many ways, you are in the lap of creation or in the womb of the Creator. But still, unless you come out of your shell, unless you come out of the comfort of the womb, you will not know the Creator’s face, nor will He know your face.
The womb is a fantastic place, but the problem is it is dark and your eyes are closed and you don’t see anything. If you could open your eyes and flash a torch, you would know how life is made. You would know what is the source of life; you could have found out. But the problem is, it is dark and as if that is not enough, your eyes are closed. Two men fell into a well. One said to the other, ‘It’s really dark here, isn’t it?’ The other said, ‘I don’t know, I can’t see a damn thing.’ So, future – it does not matter how many times you looked at the lines in your palm, how many times you looked at the arrangement of the stars, how many times you looked through your horror-scope, how many astrologers you consulted, you still do not know, you are still in a dark well. And that is the reason, that is the only reason, why it is worth living; that you don’t know what is the next moment.
I am not saying dark as something negative. Light is a very small thing, it will burn itself out. Darkness is not a small thing, it is an immeasurable and infinite possibility because darkness is not a presence like light, darkness is an absence – that means it leaves you free to make it whatever you want. That which is, there is little you can do with it; if nothing is, you can do whatever you want with it. But to do whatever you want with it, you must have the necessary stability and balance. You may be intelligent, you may be qualified, you may be capable, but if you don’t have balance, if you are wobbling, you will see you will be a disaster anyway. If you are very intelligent and wobbling around, you will be a great disaster. If you are a little stupid, you will be a small disaster because intelligence gives you momentum towards whatever you wish to do. A vehicle that travels fast is something that we want but if it crashes, the crash is big. You have already heard ‘The higher you climb, the harder you fall.’
Intelligence, competence, capability, qualifications are not an immunity for disaster; balance is an immunity for disaster. This is why when Patanjali was asked to describe the third limb of yoga, which is the asana, he just said ‘Sthiram, Sukham, Asanam’ – that which is comfortable and stable. Comfort means you are at ease and you are stable. If you have these two things, you will find full potential to your life. If you have intelligence, qualifications, competence, you still will not find full potential to your life – you need to be stable and balanced and at ease with yourself.
Before we handle that which is not, which is the future, to come to ease and to be stable – if you achieve these two things – the rest will happen. Always you are at ease and always you are stable, the rest will happen according to your capability, according to the situations. There are so many factors, but all these factors will work to your benefit. If these two things are not there – if you are not at ease and you are not stable – you will see, one day you will shoot up, the next day you will come crashing down. So, before we handle the future, it is very important that we bring this dimension into the present, that we are comfortable and stable.