How to solve world problemsHarvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
28 May 1975
What is a problem? A problem is a disheartening or discouraging incident in the life of an unaspiring human being. A problem is an unwanted, unwarranted, yet meaningful experience in the heart of an aspiring seeker, a seeker of the Transcendental Truth, a seeker of the ever-transcending Consciousness, a seeker of God’s ever-fulfilling Dream on earth.
Each problem is a blind force. This force is of ignorance and for ignorance. And what is ignorance? Ignorance is something in us that wants to fulfil the unreal in us. What is the unreal in us? The unreal in us is our conscious or unconscious acceptance of separation from God-Reality, God-Divinity, God-Eternity, God-Infinity and God-Immortality. Each human being is a world of his own. Each human being has a world of his own. When he looks within, he is a world; when he looks without, he has a world. His world within is an illumining world, a fulfilling world, a God-loving world, a God-manifesting world. His world without is an unmanageable, uncontrollable, discouraging and disheartening world. This world constantly makes him feel that he is hopeless and useless. This world makes him feel that he is not meant to be God’s chosen instrument, he is not meant to fulfil God and manifest God, he is not meant to be in the Golden Boat that sails to our God-Destination.
Each individual has to face world problems. Again, each individual is a world problem himself. When he opens his eyes, he has all the world problems to face. He has to cope with them. When he closes his eyes, he becomes really and truly a world problem to himself. When he opens his eyes, world ignorance tries to capture him and make him a victim to world destruction. When he closes his eyes, he does not want to participate in the Cosmic Game. He wants to remain aloof from God’s Cosmic Drama. He wants to maintain his own unlit, obscure, impure individuality and personality. He becomes the problem of problems.
How to solve world problems? There are some people who are of the opinion that world problems can never be solved; therefore, a wise man is he who consciously and constantly ignores or avoids world problems. Again, there are people who think that by assessing world problems, or by judging world problems, there will come a time when the world problems will automatically be solved. Again, there are people who think that the world problems can never be surmounted, can never be solved; therefore, they feel that they should just enjoy what little they have. If they have pleasure at their disposal, they are ready to accept and embrace this fleeting pleasure. Since world problems cannot be solved, they say, a short-lived, fleeting pleasure-life is what they need.
But the seeker in a human being will never be satisfied unless and until the world problems are solved. The real seeker in us knows that there is a way to solve all the countless problems of the world, and that way is to accept the world problems as such and then try to bring perfection into the world problems. How do we accept the world problems? We must accept the world problems as our own problems, personal problems. And how do we perfect the world problems? We perfect the world problems by perfecting ourselves and by perfecting the things that we claim as our own.
World problems can be solved only when we consciously remind ourselves of our soul’s promise to God before we entered into the world arena. This creation of God’s we have to accept as our field of experience, as our field of experiment, as our field of God-revelation and God-manifestation. Each individual soul, before it assumes its earthly cloak, makes the solemn promise to God to see God in God’s own Way, to fulfil God in God’s own way. But the ignorance of the world veils the light of the soul and the promise of the soul; it veils even God’s Assurance. This experience of the soul is an unfortunate incident in the soul’s life, but it does not last forever. God’s infinite Compassion from Above and man’s inner urge meet together and the soul again comes to the fore, offers its light to the world of obscurity and fulfils the promise that it made to the Absolute Supreme.
How to solve world problems? We can solve world problems by our heart’s prayer and by our life’s meditation. Prayer is our conscious invocation of God’s all-illumining Compassion from Above. Meditation is our conscious manifestation of God’s illumination on earth. We pray in order to reach the Highest, the Transcendental Height. We meditate in order to bring down the Transcendental Height and manifest it here on earth. When we pray, we enter into the realm of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Existence is the first runner, Consciousness is the second runner and Bliss is the third runner in the divine relay race of the Cosmic Game. The first runner reaches Eternity’s Height. The second runner reaches Infinity’s Length. The third runner reaches Immortality’s Life.
We solve world problems by invoking Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure, according to our power of receptivity. The Hand of God that feeds the seeker in us is Peace. The Eye of God that leads and guides the server in us is Light. The Heart of God that immortalises the divine lover in us is Bliss. Self-control brings about world peace. World peace conquers world problems. In self-control is God-confidence. God-confidence is man’s ultimate satisfaction. In man’s ultimate satisfaction God the man achieves perfection on earth and man the God achieves realisation in Heaven.
The power that dominates cannot solve world problems. The power that loves can solve world problems. The power that feels insufficient, inadequate in the absence of one member of the world-community, can solve world problems. The power that declares “united in the heart’s world we stand; divided in the mind’s world we fall,” can easily solve world problems.
A life of silence is the fastest way to solve world problems. But this life of silence is not the silence of the senses. This life of silence is the vision of the supreme Reality which is constantly trying to come to the fore. It is only in the silence-life that the sound-life can meet with its own satisfaction. God’s Sound-Life is His Life of Omnipotence. This omnipotent power man can consciously develop. And once he has developed this power he sees that this power he eternally is.
What is this omnipotent power? It is the power that unifies the One with the many and the many with the One. It is the power that finds its fulfilment in self-giving. Self-giving is done not in the sense of sacrifice but with the feeling of the whole as one real reality. The vastness of Infinity is one’s own. Just because each individual plays a distinct role, he feels that only the sense of multiplicity can fulfil the reality in us. But when he prays and meditates, when he aspires, he comes to realise that multiplicity is alive, multiplicity exists, because unity is there as its source. This unity is in the soul, while multiplicity is in the body. When we climb up, we sing the song of unity. When we climb down, we dance the dance of multiplicity.
A life of problems is for him who does not aspire, who lives in the desire-world. There is no problem, there can be no problem for him who wants to swim in the sea of light. A problem is night, the night that binds, the night that blinds us. But a seeker is he who always wants to remain in the effulgence of light. This light does not expose ignorance-night; it illumines and transforms ignorance-night.
When the seeker remains in the soul and bathes in the soul, he feels there is no problem, there can be no problem. When the seeker remains in the body-consciousness, he sees teeming problems in his daily multifarious activities in countless forms. But just because he is a seeker of the infinite Light, Truth and Bliss, he knows that these problems are not going to last forever. On the contrary, he feels that each problem is a hurdle, a challenge, and in each challenge is a new world of hope, a new world of God-Vision, a new world of God-Reality.
He who does not aspire considers a problem a curse and he who aspires considers it a blessing in disguise. A seeker of the highest Truth accepts world problems as something that can be transformed, illumined and perfected. Each problem he transforms into an additional blessing. To him a problem is an experience and this experience is utilised in a divine way to fulfil a supreme cause. He takes each problem as a blessing which he can use as a stepping-stone to reach the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond. Just because he is a seeker, he is all compassion. He feels that the proper thing for him is not to discard ignorance-cloak, but to fix it, transform it and make it usable. He takes ignorance-night as part and parcel of his existence. He considers ignorance-night as lesser light, and the lesser light consciously grows into the greater light. Ignorance-night is the younger brother and wisdom-light is the elder brother. The elder brother carries the younger brother to the parent sun for immortal illumination and immortal perfection.