Hope is at once both simple and profound. It is hope that binds Heaven and earth. Hope is the bridge between Heaven and earth. It is hope that makes us feel, at the beginning of our spiritual journey, that we are of God and that we are for God.
God wants to manifest Himself in and through us. We hope to realise God so that we can liberate ourselves from the meshes of ignorance. God hopes to make us His perfect instruments. We hope to please God eventually in God’s own Way.
You will say that because of life, there is hope. You are right. But I wish to add something. Because there is hope, we live eternally — in the inner world, in the outer world, or in both worlds. You will say that hope sees illumining light in teeming darkness. You are perfectly right. But I wish to add something. Hope is itself the light that illumines darkness.
I love hope. I may not love God, but in the inmost recesses of my being, in the inmost recesses of my heart, I feel that God loves me. Whether I love God or not, God loves me: This is my fervent hope. I may not care for God, but I do feel in all sincerity that God cares for me. Whether I care for God or not, God cares for me: This is my fervent hope.
There is human hope and divine hope. Human hope is desire-bound; divine hope is aspiration-free. Desire-bound and earth-bound are one and identical. Aspiration-free and Heaven-free are one and the same. Human hope inspires us and energises us. Hope divine awakens in us not only infinite possibilities but also immortal realities.
Human hope inspires our outer journey. Hope divine aspires in and through our inner journey. Our outer journey takes us to name and fame, but name and fame will eventually lead to utter frustration. But in the divine world, in the aspiration-world, at the end of our inner journey’s close we see, we feel and we grow into illumination.
When we aspire, we come to realise that hope is a hand, beautiful and powerful, beckoning us for our psychic transformation. When we aspire, we see and feel that hope is the perfect beginning of our God-realisation. When we do not aspire, hope appears before us in a different way. We feel that perhaps it is all mental hallucination; perhaps it is all deception.
Each individual here on earth, whether he is aspiring or not, cannot escape from hope. But hope itself is not an escape. Hope unites us with a higher reality which illumines and fulfils us.
The world is a body. An ordinary human being is not satisfied with the body-consciousness that he has and that he is. He wants to see the body of the future. He wants to see the body-consciousness of the future. If he can see the possibilities, potentialities, realities and inevitabilities of the future, then only will he be happy. But a sincere seeker is not interested in seeing the distant or remote future. He feels that this world is an eternal
Now. By virtue of his convincing inner hope, he wants to see, feel and grow into the eternal Now.
Perhaps some of you know that I serve the United Nations. We have a group at the United Nations which meets twice a week to pray and meditate for peace. What we call the United Nations was once upon a time known as the League of Nations. The League of Nations was the vision of Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson was a man of supreme vision. He wanted to unite all the nations. Each nation is composed of human beings and divine souls. By unifying the souls of all the nations, he envisioned that world peace would come into existence.
At the United Nations there are representatives from every corner of the world. They have come with sincere hope that a day will dawn when all the world’s calamities and misunderstandings will come to an end, and mankind will be united as one family. Is this not a hope? It is. But inside this hope, possibility looms large. And inside this possibility, what is looming large is inevitability.
The world is still millions of miles away from world peace. But just because we do not see the reality all at once, that is no reason to become discouraged. Before the day dawns, it is dark. When we look at the darkness that is all around and identify with the darkness, it is almost impossible for us to have faith in light. But at the end of the tunnel there is light. At the end of the darkness there is light. This light that we talk about is not a mental hallucination or deception. This light is our psychic light, our soul’s light deep within us, and it is all the time trying desperately to come to the fore. It is more than eager to come to the fore to liberate us, illumine us and perfect us. It is like a child and the mother. The mother is always trying inwardly and outwardly to make the child perfect. Similarly, our inner light is trying to free our outer existence from ignorance-night.
So, at the United Nations, representatives from many, many parts of the world are gathered together. They have come there for world-unity, but world-unity seems to be a far cry. Yet they still have the inner hope that some day there will be world-unity. Right now the countries of the world misunderstand each other, and some of them are undivine, to say the least. But deep within them there is an inner urge. Each nation has an inner urge to have peace, to have light, to have oneness. Each nation hopes to someday have peace, light and oneness. Peace, light and oneness will definitely come into the world arena precisely because each nation is inundated with hope. This hope of today will be transformed into the abiding satisfaction of tomorrow only when we believe in hope, grow into hope, and breathe in at every moment the fragrance and the beauty of hope.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 15 March 1980↩