There is a Knowledge
Do you ever have any trouble making up your mind? My friend, Kevin, sure did. He had so much trouble in fact, that he committed himself to a mental institution. He couldn't decide what to do with his life; nothing he tried seemed to lead anywhere.
Don Juan, the Yaqui Indian popularized in a series of books by Carlos Casteneda, once said, "There are millions of paths a human can take and they all lead nowhere."
I think that must have been what Kevin experienced. He was a National Merit Scholar and president of his senior class in high school, and then president of a Catholic oriented youth group called the Young Christian Students. After his term with YCS he enrolled in Cornell, only to drop out a few months later. He was beginning to feel that he didn't fit in anywhere.
Kevin had been in a state mental institution in California for seven or eight months when I visited him in March, 1971. I met him in the cafeteria and he proceeded to explain the circumstances that led to his being there.
"I was in a lunch line in a cafeteria and the wierdest thing happened. I got to the vegetables and I realized that I couldn't decide whether to get peas or beans or carrots. I know it sounds funny, but I just couldn't decide. And I couldn't move. People behind me became a little frightened, I think; I must have looked like a madman. I was talking to myself, realizing that I couldn't go any further until I decided, and I couldn't decide.
"Finally I actually started screaming. I don't remember what happened after that; I think they brought me here. They released me for a while, but I committed myself again. I just couldn't take it."
I looked at him. I could see that he had traveled very far, inside, and had found nothing. He looked at me with the eyes of an old man. "I want to get out of here," he said, "but I don't know what I would do. They give me a really big dosage of Thorazine every day and it muddles me up; I can't think clearly. Everything slows down. I'm scared to leave."
He told me how an old high school friend came to visit him a month or so earlier. This man was married, a successful insurance salesman. Another person came who was active in radical politics. Then someone else would visit, into something else. "Everyone has something - something I could do," Kevin told me, "but they seem to contradict each other. How do I decide? It's all like a big game; I don't see how I can choose one thing over another."
It hurt to listen to him. It's hard to see someone so sensitive suffer so much. And I had nothing to say to him. I felt I had more in common with him than most anyone else I knew. Yet I found I had nothing to offer him. He was looking to me for help, hoping I would have some to give, but I had nothing. Kevin didn't want to do just something; he wanted to do something that fell within some realm of sense. He wondered what there was that had meaning.
I didn't know. After a couple of hours I left and went back up to San Francisco to rejoin my friends for our trip back to Chicago, my home at the time. I was confused and depressed; I had never been so unable to be of help to anyone.
One night in early May, just two months later, I learned that Kevin had checked out of the state hospital, taken a bus to San Francisco, and then looking out into the ocean, with a full moon visible in his sky, he had jumped off the Golden Gate bridge. He had not found any purpose to his life.
In August, I met Guru Maharaj Ji. I received Knowledge and was given that perspective from which I could understand life itself. If Kevin had been able to hold on a little longer, I would have had something joyful and worthwhile to tell him; that of all the paths available there is one which is pure, inward and full of love.
* * *
A person may spend his life searching the whole world over for something which will give him peace. Yet he will die in despair if he fails to understand that the source of peace and truth isto be found right inside himself. Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge teaches us how to meditate on the source of peace and love inside us. It is not the sort of knowledge we can find in libraries, for it is a direct experience of something within us, not a theory. This meditation is shown to people by close disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji known as mahatmas. It is revealed free of charge to those who come with an open heart. For further information, call your local Divine Light Mission chapter, or write:
And It Is Divine
Box 532, 511 16th Street
Denver, Colorado 80201 US
or: 72 Grove Vale
London, SE22, UK.