Have you ever experienced highway hypnosis? This is a trance-like state while you are driving a car responding to external events in the expected, safe manner with no recollection of doing so. You arrive in your driveway and think, “How did I get home?” Advertisers are aware of this phenomenon and that’s why they use billboards to advertise to a “captive” highway audience.
Here is a funny example of two billboards right next to each other. Would you be more likely to research the facts of heart disease or buy a croissan’wich? I don’t think the Heart Association knew they would be next to a Burger King ad! Life’s ironies run rich (perhaps not as rich as BK’s food :)).
I found myself on autopilot recently. However, it was not while I was driving. Dharmadevi’s brother came to visit us in LA and we took him to a place we don’t often visit–the beach!
One afternoon while we were at the beach, I decided to go for a run. Jogging barefoot on the beach is exhilarating! Although the scenery was beautiful with the ocean waves, the sky’s blue expanse, and the sun’s warmth, my mind was still not fully present. I found myself ruminating over a project thinking through different outcomes.
All of a sudden, I heard a gleeful shout of joy that woke me from my ruminations. Looking up some ten yards in front of me I saw a young boy about three or four years old who was dancing with ineffable elation upon the ocean waves. The water was only up to his ankles and he was sharing the literal and figurative freshness of the moment with his parents. Perhaps he was experiencing the beauty of God through the ocean for the first time. With an ear to ear smile and his head uplifted as if electrified with divine energy from the salt water, he was clearly bursting with joy.
Unable to contain his excitement, he scream-sang a high pitch note of divine delight. In awe of the sight and sound of this spectacle, I literally stopped in my tracks. In that moment the young boy awoke me to the truth that “Joy is all nature’s theme.” As Swami Kriyananda sings in one of his songs, “Life Mantra”:
God is life. God is joy.
Life is God’s: Life is joy.
It was as if Divine Mother through this young boy was reminding me that the true purpose of life is to live in God’s joy. As Jesus Christ said, “He does not reveal Himself unto the prudent and the wise, but unto babes.”
So the next time you drive, jog, walk, or whatever it is you’re doing, avoid the billboards of your busy mind and its highway hypnotism. Instead, choose to dance with Divine Mother’s oceanic joy like the young boy.
Joy to you!
Endless Throngs of Intoxications Visit Me
by Paramhansa Yogananda from Whispers from Eternity
I attuned my life with Thine. Now my life has become a long, unbroken inspiration. Thy fountain of bliss refreshes and delights me night and day, whether I be wakeful, fast asleep, or dreaming fondly of Thee. Oh, what has become of me? Delight on overwhelming delight! Endless, indescribable thrills of divine delight spray unceasingly over me!
O aged nectar! Wine of centuries! I found Thee at last, and will taste of Thy sweetness forever, forever, forever!
Divine Delight by Nayaswami Narayan
A scream of pure divine delight,
an ear to ear soul smile.
Our joy all the while!
In between the ocean’s end,
and sky’s horizon line–
the sweet spot between
that calls you home
to all who have known
where sages inwardly see:
We are a cosmic joke,
not laughed at
But laughing with,
His mirthful Ocean!