We live in a time when hope is decreasing and doubt and despair increasing. Do we misunderstand hope? Too often we tie hope to a desired outcome. We’ll feel better if the Ukrainians win the war, the stock market goes up, the split in our country is healed and our own personal wishes are fulfilled. I call this external hope. But when we rely on external hope, we become slaves to outcomes. We feel joy only when we obtain what we desire and distressed when we do not.
Cynthia Bourgeault in her November 5, 2022 Zoom presentation hosted by Spirituality and Practice speaks about another kind of hope, which I call deeper hope. It does not rely on outcomes, but rather is an omnipresent underlying level of reality. Have you ever had the experience of feeling some kind of uplifting energy or wave of contentment flow through you after you’ve reached a deep place of grief, sadness, or emptiness? Suddenly you don’t feel as down. You know you can go on despite everything. This deeper hope is not based on an outcome.
You don’t have to reach such an extreme state of despair to experience this deeper hope. Other ways, even gazing on a beautiful scene, will get you there. Have you observed after meditation how much better you feel than when you started? You gain the conviction that you’re okay, that you can start your day with confidence and courage. As you develop your practice and touch this place more often, you might find this deeper hope will sustain you through difficult times and automatically help you to think and act more positively.
The Sufis would say you have touched the realm of splendor, glory and pre-existing knowledge called Jabarut. According to Sufi master Pir Vilayat Khan, Jabarut has its root in the Arabic word for chiropractor. In this realm, everything is put back in place. After his own visionary experience, R.C. Burke expressed it well in his book Cosmic Consciousness.
“I saw that the cosmic order is such that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world, of all worlds, is what we call love, and the happiness of each and all is in the long run certain.”
Knowing about this deeper realm in which everything is put back into place and everyone’s happiness is in the long run certain brings me immense relief.
How then do we respond to the difficulties the world faces? It’s not by being happy when things work out or despondent when things look bleak. Rather it’s by touching this deeper hope through meditation, gazing on beauty, or any other method, and then engaging in the world in a more positive way. Imagine what it would be like if an increasing number of individuals connected with this deeper hope and firmly held it for the rest of humanity. So much beneficial action would flow.
Let’s start a movement.