Some things are easier said than done. Creating and maintaining harmony in our relationships – with our significant other, friends, family, and coworkers – is probably one of the most difficult tasks given to the spiritual aspirant. If you disagree, you are advanced beyond the need to read further!
Harmony is a two-way street. Or is it? It requires effort from both parties. Or does it? Think back to when you’ve gotten into an argument with someone. Did the other person force you to argue? Could you have maintained harmony within yourself by choosing not to argue? If you had been in such a high positive state of consciousness, could you have transformed the argument into a loving exchange?
Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Harmony is the greatest miracle.” He didn’t say it was easy! His statement got me thinking about harmony and miracles. In his book, Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda shares a lot about miracles. In fact, there is an entire chapter called The Law of Miracles:
“Nature herself is maya; natural science must perforce deal with her ineluctable quiddity. In her own domain, she is eternal and inexhaustible; future scientists can do no more than probe one aspect after another of her varied infinitude.”
I knew when I read this paragraph that it was exactly what I wanted to express and yet I found myself having to look up almost every word in it! So, in case you’re like me, with a limited vocabulary, let me express it a little more simply:
Our world is bound to the law of duality and therefore, we must inevitably deal with her inescapable essence. Maya, or delusion, is a conscious force, manifested to keep us thinking we are separate from each other and from our one true Divine reality.
In Maya’s realm, harmony truly is a miracle!
“To surmount maya was the task assigned to the human race by the millennial prophets. To rise above the duality of creation and perceive the unity of the Creator was conceived of as man’s highest goal. Those who cling to the cosmic illusion must accept its essential law of polarity: flow and ebb, rise and fall, day and night, pleasure and pain, good and evil, birth and death.”
It is easy to give in to delusion. It is easy to see ugliness, selfishness, and disharmony all around us. It is a miracle to see goodness, kindness, and love in all people and circumstances. And that is exactly our task right now and for all time. It doesn’t mean we go around wearing “rose-colored glasses” or that we are ignorant of the challenges facing each one of us and the world at large. It does, however, mean that we look for and affirm the goodness and Light, which is present even in the darkest seeming times and in the most ignorant seeming people.
“For this purpose were man and creation made: that he should rise up as master of maya, knowing his dominion over the cosmos.”
Sometimes, when people come onto the spiritual path or join a spiritual community such as Ananda, they think everyone will (or at least should) behave perfectly. We’ve all worked out our desires, attachments, and transcended our egos, right? And somehow if someone doesn’t act perfectly, it means we aren’t “real” or practicing what we preach.
I think the opposite is true. It is real that we are exactly where we are. To paraphrase a point Swami Kriyananda often made, “Everyone is doing their best for where they are right now.”
Each one of us is working toward Self-realization but very few have attained that final goal. Which is why we must all strive for perfection and simultaneously accept where we are and where everyone else is at this very moment. In doing so, in that state of love and acceptance, which transcends maya, we will attain the greatest miracle – Harmony!