My wonderful editor Anna Hourihan has truly become a very good friend of mine. Early on she had given me a book written by her late husband Paul Hourihan called Children of Immortal Bliss. When I read that book I became enchanted with the language conveying such a mystical message. I want to share some of Paul Hourihan’s writing with all of you, especially for my introductory blog post on this day which is Pongal, a very auspicious day for all of India. Pongal is actually our Thanksgiving when we celebrate our blessings, both material and spiritual.
I distinctly remember the day I was accepted into medical school. I was still a teenager and some of my mother’s friends discouraged her and advised her not to send me to medical school because they said a career as a physician is so restrictive with family life. My mother stopped them in their tracks and said Rajshree can have it all! Even then I knew I could interpret this statement in several ways. I was confident that I would be a good physician, but more importantly a good mother and wife. The mystical message I received was that within all of us there is a perfect wholeness that is complete-and self-evident. So when I read Paul Hourihan’s article I knew I wanted to start my blog with it. Here it is:
YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL NOW!
By Paul Hourihan
We seek fulfillment in so many things—love, marriage, parenthood, art, wealth, power—and fail to find it in any. What will fulfill us? There is something: namely, the knowledge that nothing will fulfill us, that we need no fulfilling, that we have it all now!
Spiritual meditation reinforces this idea by turning our attention inward. The answer we seek is to be discovered by solitude, prayer, meditation, inner analysis; in other words, by cultivating a life of introspection even as we continue to live in the world. But long practice is necessary, as it is necessary in mastering any difficult art. Here the task is to discover that there was nothing to learn, nothing to do, nothing to be discovered! Yet … we need practice to arrive at this conclusion.
Yes, we have it all now. Just as we are, we are fully equipped for enlightenment. Everything needed is at hand if we would but use it, and continue to use it and faint not. God, heaven, immortality, eternity, all of life, all of the universe are there, ready at hand.
The Infinite is our destiny since—as great mystics have told us—the Infinite is our true nature. But we must know it. Know thyself, said Socrates, and every mystic. Discover who you are and then stand on the strength of that knowledge. Experience the Divine, know it, become one with it—and then awaken it in others. Free yourself—then free others. May the freed make others free.*
The mystic's call is a call to perfection and to Life—the life of the Soul, of Self-realization. It is a summons to undergo the agonies of creation that must precede deliverance from the fetters of our bondage, from the specter of our egoism. In overthrowing this specter, as one day in this life or in some other we all will overthrow it, we allow our true nature to emerge—the Christ-Consciousness, the Buddha-nature—and come home to ourselves at last.
* A line from an ancient Hindu chant:
May the wicked become virtuous.
May the virtuous obtain tranquility.
May the tranquil become free from bonds.
May the freed make others free.