Recently a young man asked us, “Why do we do things that we know will make us unhappy, even when we don’t really want to do them?” This is a universal dilemma, and one that brings so much suffering into life!
Paramhansa Yogananda once said, “I used to think Satan was only a human invention, but now I know, and add my testimony to that of all those who have gone before me, that Satan is a reality. He is a universal, conscious force whose sole aim is to keep all beings bound to the wheel of delusion.”
It was a sweltering summer’s night, and the humidity in the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife. Young people in leotards and tights filled the second-floor dance studio, eager for the class to begin. Taking his position in front of the students, the teacher led us through warm-up exercises and movements. Soon everyone was feeling exhilarated, though dripping with perspiration.
Some thirty years ago, my good friend Nayaswami Roma and I decided to run a twenty-six-mile marathon. Neither of us was a particularly great athlete, but we wanted to raise money for the Ananda School, so we took on the challenge and began training for it.
There is a tradition among certain Native American tribes that where a poisonous plant is found, the antidote often grows nearby. It’s as if the sickness and the cure are sister plants, expressing opposite sides of the same coin.
“All is flux.”
Our thoughts are much more powerful than we realize. In fact, they are often self-fulfilling prophecies: If we are preoccupied, for example, with thoughts of failure, we can draw to ourselves the very thing we fear. On the other hand, if we develop underlying thoughts of success, we can attract those things that will lead to further achievements.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This second sentence of the Declaration of Independence has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language.”