Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

How to submit material to the Highlights

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3696, Sunday, October 25, 2009, Editor: Mark

I never knew how tears could feel so good
until I opened my heart
and found they come from the same source
as boundless laughter

instead of blurring my vision
they bring beauty into focus

instead of burning my cheeks
they wash away dusty dryness I used to hide

let sorrow have me now
for surrender has freed me to savor
the bittersweet nectar
that flows in measureless abundance
from within

- Nirmala, from Gifts with No Giver - a love affair with truth

On Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

- Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

I wish to give a short talk on sorrow and joy. Sorrow is an inner experience. From this experience we come to feel that life has no meaning and no purpose, that we are travelling along a road that has no goal.

Joy is also an inner experience. From this experience we come to feel that life at every moment has some special meaning, that life has joy as its goal right from the beginning. Early in the morning the sun dawns. As soon as we look at the sun, we get joy. Then we pray and meditate. From our prayer and meditation we also get joy. Then the members of the family meet together and sit to eat. Here they get joy from the union of the family. Then each human being enters into his respective work. Work is nothing but self giving, and self giving is the best kind of joy.

What does sorrow do? In the beginning sorrow breaks our heart; then it strengthens our heart. In the beginning sorrow darkens our mind; then it illumines our mind. In the beginning sorrow takes away all the life energy from our vital; then it gives our vital a new hope, a new promise and a new light. It strengthens and inspires our vital with a new determination. Sorrow throws our body into a sea of helplessness; then it lifts our body up and teaches our body how to swim in the infinite sea of Light and Delight.

Joy, in the beginning, gives our heart infinite peace. Then it gives our heart continual confidence to do something higher, better and more divine. Joy, in the beginning, expands our mind, expands the vision of our mind. Then joy gives our mind the capacity to hold the whole world inside it. Joy, in the beginning, gives our vital the strength of a roaring lion. Then it looks around and inspires everyone who wants to lead a better life. Joy, in the beginning, gives our body the capacity to grow into something beautiful, luminous and fruitful. Then it gives our body the capacity to see, feel and talk to God inside itself.

We are living on this earth planet. The earth planet is full of sorrow. There are many reasons why our earth planet is full of sorrow. But the main reason is this: earth wants to realise the highest, the absolute highest, but it feels that it is simply impossible because there are millions and millions of people who do not want to lead a spiritual life.

Like the earth consciousness, Heaven is also unhappy. Heaven wants to manifest itself on earth. It wants to manifest God's Peace, God's Light, God's Beauty on earth. But earth is not receptive at all. Therefore, Heaven is also unhappy.

On very rare occasions, when earth sees even one person who wants to lead a pure life, a life of aspiration and dedication, at that time earth is happy. When one person wants to go up, when one of her children is going up, earth feels extremely happy. Similarly, on very rare occasions, when one person is receptive, Heaven becomes very happy, because that person makes a pathway for Heaven to descend and manifest something of God's Light.

God has two aspects. One aspect is His human aspect, the other aspect is His divine aspect. God is inside each of us. When He uses His human aspect He feels sad, because He feels it will take man such a long time to reach his goal. When He uses His divine aspect, He does not feel sad. At that time He is dealing with eternal time.

Man also has two aspects. One aspect is his desiring self, the other aspect is his aspiring self. When man lives the life of desire, he finds only frustration; and frustration is the harbinger of destruction. When man lives the life of aspiration, he eventually gets everything that God has and is: infinite Light and infinite Delight.

- Sri Chinmoy, June 9th, 1976, YMCA, Rome, Italy

Moving Water

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears. Don't let

others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope

of God. And what is that? Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness

people sit in jail, the trapped bird's wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness. You've seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment. Now

see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you've

been torturing your soul. We are born and live inside black water in a well.

How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don't
insist on going where

you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your
living pieces will form

a harmony. There is a moving palace that floats in the air
with balconies and clear

water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained
under a single tent.

Rumi, version by Coleman Barks, from The Glance

top of page