Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
6th June 2008
‘Trust me’- the words on every lover’s lips. ‘Trust me’ man implores, as if to say ‘I cannot be trusted’. Man finds it hard to trust another, but why? Is trust something which you have to do? Is man prone to being dishonest? Is dishonesty real and would that make this world illusory, as proclaimed by the sages? Trust must be real, if not, what worth is trust? If this world is illusory, trust must be illusory too and, if so, what worth is trust which is illusory? There is no point in emphasising that man needs to be trustworthy. He just cannot be if the world is illusory.
‘Trust God’- the cry on every religious man’s lips, but can man trust God when he cannot trust his fellow human being? When he has to relate to another human being day in and day out, how can he ever trust God? Does man meet God in everyday life so that he can trust Him? What would be his testing-ground for trust in God? Does he have any idea what God does and does not do? Is he sure that God ever does anything? Is it possible for God to operate in time when time is absent in life? Could God be living in the past or the future where time exists in the form of thoughts?
Why would God be living in the past or the future when life happens in the timeless and thoughtless ‘now’? Science proclaims that life is energy. It is life’s intelligence that makes science proclaim this. This intelligence is God, energy or life. So, illusory though man is, how could he trust God, let alone man?
If man is to trust God, it is an admission that God is in the present moment. If God were present in the present moment, would He allow man to do what he is supposedly doing, particularly if man trusted God to prevent wrong? Now, which man should God listen to in the first place, since all are dishonest, given the chance? Would God allow dishonesty to manifest in His creation? That God is watching over man is fairy-tales. Why would he watch over him if He had created him? Would God not create the perfect man? If He had created a dishonest man, who could blame Him, let alone man?
So what could trust be? Is it expectations? It just cannot be, and this is man’s belief, but it is exactly that. Man expects and so trusts that his expectations are honoured. When they are not, he finds his trust has been misplaced and broken. The tales of broken trust could fill any library. They stem from the belief that man is the doer, speaker and thinker, and religion and spirituality have been strengthening this belief for aeons of time.
What does man do about trust? He expects the other to trust him just as much as he trusts the other, but can you trust the other when you do not trust yourself? Every man doubts himself. He is never sure of himself and, when he is not sure of himself, how on earth can he trust someone else? Trust is a tremendous phenomenon. It is a quantum change in man’s understanding of his mind and life.
How many times is trust in another broken during man’s lifetime? Innumerable times, one might add, but to no avail. Trust keeps alternating with distrust. Man keeps apologising and he keeps forgiving as well: the proverbial ‘last chance’. It may appear as if he has redeemed himself, turned over a new leaf, a new page in his life. It is merely deception; it merely means that he has not been caught red-handed, that is all. To deceive, no matter how illusory, still sparks in the noblest mind of them all.
An act thought of is as good as the act itself. No one can deny he has not thought of a dishonest act. It is present in every mind, if an honourable thought is present. If a person claims he is honourable, he is dishonourable too at the same time, and this just cannot be denied, no matter how vehemently one may defend it.
Trust is related to actions, speech, thoughts, touch, smell and taste. Trust refers to all aspects of man’s perception of the world, and that is why it is important. The thought ‘what is he or she doing?’, ‘what will he or she do?’ is enough to keep man gambling with trust. As long as he thinks he and the other is the doer, he cannot trust the other or himself. He may very well deceive the other, but no one can honestly say he is trustworthy. He would be lying if he said so.
So, the first point to be understood is that man cannot be trustworthy. Life will happen to him just the way it does to anybody, all illusory though and nothing real. The drama of trust is high drama. Trust is very much emphasised in all quarters as the best virtue to possess. It is drilled into man from childhood to be ‘trustworthy’. He is put through his paces to be trustworthy.
But is there a trustworthy man, priest or saint? Could a saint be free of thoughts? What could ‘to be free of thoughts’ really mean? Man just cannot be free of thoughts so long as he is in the waking state. Duality is the spice of mental life and words are the illusory manifestation of sound. Therefore, as long as sound is present words and their illusory meaning will be present too, and there is no escape. Man can only be free of the meaning of thoughts, and the only way he could be free of the meaning of thoughts would be to realise that the meaning of every word is illusory and not real.
How nice it would be to see parents trust their children. If parents do not trust their children, who else could or would? How nice it would be to see the husband trust his wife and, likewise, the wife her husband? How nice it would be to see man trust man, irrespective of nationality, religion, culture, ethnicity, traditions, colour of his skin etc. Would that be possible or not? It just cannot be possible as an act on the part of man, but only through an understanding that he is just as part of nature as nature itself.
Truth can never be known in the world of relativity. Anything known can only be relative and never absolute. If life is such, how can anyone trust? Can the relative be trusted? What good would that be? Only the absolute can be trusted. So, the question of whom to trust remains unanswered and needs to be answered. Is it God or man who can be trusted? Neither fits the bill unless the fundamental question of what is life is answered.
A very important aspect of life, which troubles men unnecessarily, is fear. Man is constantly in fear. Fear seems to be a very big problem. Man tries so much to get rid of it, but it appears that he has not done so as yet. He is frightened of so many things. The problem is the lack of trust. Because of fear man argues. He gets angry; he gets sad; he gets depressed, and all because of fear. Ironically, that is not your problem at all; the problem is lack of trust.
If you observe fear, you will notice that it is only in the past or the future. Nobody trusts the past and nobody trusts the future. You trust what is happening to you. Your trust is in the present. If fear cannot be in the present, how could that be a problem? Trust is not in the present and that is your problem. Because trust is not in the present, you feel frightened. The fear is only of the past or the future, never the present. So why does this fear happen at all? It happens because trust has not happened to man, that is the reason.
The question should not be ‘why does fear happen?’ It should be ‘why has trust not happened?’ If you observe very carefully, man does not trust anybody. He does not even trust himself. Not a single person does he trust totally, body, mind and beyond. Trust means a total acceptance. The problem is that man is not accepting totally the moment which is in front of him. If he were to accept the other totally - his entire body, his entire mind, whatever is expressed ‘as you’- a certain magic would happen. You become love and love means total trust.
Constantly you live in fear and you venture to remove this fear. You pray when you are already in fear. When you are in fear, you can never pray because you will be frightened whether your prayer will be answered or not. Man was initially frightened of nature. Later, when he got used to nature, he began to accept it. He understood that he was needlessly worried and needlessly frightened. So long as he was rejecting nature pre-historic man was frightened of it. Slowly and steadily, when he accepted nature, he began to trust it. The moment he trusted it, from that moment onwards he was not frightened of it. Then his attention was on those things that occupied lesser periods of time. They were animals running around and trees. Slowly and steadily, he began to accept those plants, which were poisonous or harmful. He began to accept animals as friends and he tamed them. He accepted them and began living with them; he lost fear of them too.
But the present-day man is frightened of every little thing; he is even frightened of man. Even husbands and wives are frightened of each other. When you observe the time-scale, it has reduced in duration: man is frightened in the moment and the moment is life, which is timeless and thoughtless – hence, fear is illusory and not real. So man is frightened of man and life.
Because there is health, there is the possibility of sickness. He does not trust that growth has health as well as sickness. Trust that health will happen in its own way; trust that sickness too will happen in its own way: it will run its course. If you are frightened of sickness; be very sure you will be frightened of health too. Sickness is bound to follow health and, if it is not meant to, it will not appear as sickness - it will appear as death. Death is ultimate sickness which regains health as the newborn. The moment you trust that sickness is happening in aliveness, in this moment now, your acceptance will bring trust in sickness. The moment you trust your sickness, you will not have any fear and, because you will have no fear in your sickness, you will not be frightened of your health either.
The moment you accept something, you will be frightened of what you have accepted, because it may go at any time: it came and so it has to go. You might not have recognised it, but be very sure you love each other more after a fight. It is because love is present in the hate that brings about the fight. In the mind there will be love, there will be hate, there will be sadness, there will be happiness and there will be everything and anything. In life, accept everything totally - you cannot escape from it anyway - because this is how man appears in the aliveness of the moment. The moment you accept anyone totally you will not be able to say that you have accepted him.
If God has given you today and, if you are meant to be alive, will He not give you a tomorrow? But you think, you made ‘today’ and, therefore, ‘tomorrow’ needs to be made as well. Whatever has come to man today has come from Him - every breath which comes in, every breath which goes out. It is the aliveness which gifts it. And when trust happens, you will become fearless but, as long as you fear and try to get rid of fear, you will be more in fear. The moment you believe fear is present, you will be lost in distrust.
Man lives more in distrust than trust. Everything he does, says or thinks is in distrust rather than trust. He prays because he does not trust God; if he did, prayer would never happen to him. He prays, not because of gratitude, but to keep disaster at bay. Man prays so that no harm may befall him or his family. It does not matter if it happens to the other family, but it should not happen to his family.
Where is the need to let God know what is happening in life? Is man sure that God needs to know? Could God know? Man merely believes that God knows everything. Is God separate from man so that he could know? Is man sure that God is separate from him? He has simply accepted that God is separate from him and that He needs to be informed about the goings-on in life so that He may set them right. Since when is it that God needs to be told about the goings-on in life? Which man could God trust to inform Him, that is if he needs to be informed? Is there such a man whose word God could trust? How unselfish would his word be? Man thanks the God he prays to for all the benevolence he has received, but what about his predicaments? Who makes the predicaments happen? Is it not the same God to whom man prays? Could the same God make both possible? Would He be God if he did that? And yet man prays to God blindly! All because of lack of trust that the world is illusory!
Understand in your lives that trust is lacking. Observe your lives very closely. Is it in trust that you lead your life or in expectations? The husband is not trusted, nor is the wife or children; he does not trust his boss; he does not trust his neighbours. Man does not trust anybody, because he does not trust himself. You do not trust that life happens to man and man does not make life happen. A man who trusts that every moment happens is a fearless man; a man who trusts that every moment happens is a Godly man.
When somebody talks to you, understand that the movement of his body, which is light, manifests sound that projects as an illusory word through him. That is why man is not the speaker. When somebody speaks, speaking happens to him. Similarly, thinking happens to him. If man could think, he could stop it too, but he cannot. Action is an optical illusion of a singular movement, which is beginingless and endless. Man’s birth and death too is a thought in the mind; hence, he is not the doer. Thinking and speaking are auditory illusions of sound, while doing is an optical illusion of light. Such is life.
Man plans because he is in fear. God makes planning happen to distract him. You remember when a small child in a cradle cries, the parents will take a doll and distract the child, and the child will stop crying. When man cries God gives some plans to him and, with the planning, he is happy. When you find out that your plans work out one way or the other, you will know that plan is God’s plan. And, at that time, you will know you do not plan - planning happens to you to keep you occupied and to keep you entertained, just as when you go to see a cinema for entertainment. What else is planning? It is a mental cinema you see, and you get entertained. Planning is a mental cinema, a box-office hit. It is a mental-office hit. Man trusts his planning, but does not realise that trust is always misplaced.
Man does not make the moment in which he is alive: life makes the moment in which it keeps man alive. His plea to be trusted does not hold water because, sooner or later, life will flow contrary to your expectations, and your trust is broken. Trust can never be broken. Expectations do not always get fulfilled. If they do, it is a gift from life; if they do not, then the moment, less your expectation, is a gift too. Trust is the understanding that life flows in one way only, and this way is a transformation-process of energy that projects an optical and auditory illusion of light and sound. This realisation is enlightenment.
© Copyright V.S. Shankar, 2008