The Miracle of Willingness
By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
November 27, 2018
This second dream took place on the night of All Saint’s Day, the night after my Voluntary Torture Chamber dream.
Climbing up a steep, old, stone stairway, I was accompanied by an acquaintance who can have a very challenging personality. As we climbed higher and higher, my fear of heights kicked in and I felt as though I would fall off the narrow staircase, which had no railings. At this point, we were hundreds of feet into the air.
I asked the woman, who was right behind me, to press against my back as I got to the landing at the top so I could turn around without falling over. I had reached safety at the top but she was still on the stairs.
As I turned, I saw the stairs begin to crumble underneath her. She was falling and there was nothing she could do but look at me and call for help. Everything went into slow motion.
My first thought, which I’m not proud of, was, “She is much bigger than me, even if I can grab her, she will just pull me right over the edge and we’ll both die.” Then, I looked into her eyes. She was reaching out her hand for help. Then, my second thought came, “I could never live with myself if I let her fall. I would replay that image of her calling for help forever. I’d rather die than do nothing.”
So, without another thought, I reached out my hand and grabbed hers. An amazing power flowed through me and miraculously, I was able to lift her, with no effort of my own, safely onto the platform. We both knew she was saved by Divine intervention. The only thing I had done was to be a willing instrument.
I woke up exhilarated by this dream-reminder. I was struck by a number of things in the dream.
First, it was no coincidence that my companion was a challenging person. If she had been a close friend, I don’t think there would have even been a first thought, I would have grabbed her instantly.
Another important point was my fear of heights, which can be paralyzing at high altitudes. Fear was already doing its work on me and now the fear of death stared me in the face. I had to be completely willing to die and fear can thwart our ability to do anything. Sadly, it didn’t even occur to me that God could effortlessly and instantly save us both. But thank God I didn’t need to believe, I just had to be willing.
Was I upset that my first thought was selfish? Not really. I remembered Sister Gyanamata, Paramhansa Yogananda’s foremost woman disciple, saying something to the effect of, “You can’t control your first thought, but you can control your second thought.” If I had allowed that first fear-based thought to win, I would have let the woman fall to her death and I, subsequently, would have died spiritually. My second thought could have also been considered selfish, but because it was the right thing to do, God’s Grace was there to help me.
The overwhelming feeling of the dream was the Bliss of witnessing a miracle. All fear left me in that moment; there was no longer a place for it to exist. Yoganandaji said, “The instrument is blessed by that which flows through it.” When we reach out our hand, literally or figuratively, to help a friend, stranger, or yes, even an enemy in need, God’s infinite power can flow through us.