What Does “Hoping for a Better Future” Really Mean?

We hope and pray for a better world and future. But do we know what “a better future” is? What does it look like? I don’t think we know what we’re talking about.

How about no violence or racism, no guns, gender and income equality, love and peace everywhere, all smiles everywhere and cries nowhere, no disease, everybody lives a thousand years, natural disasters don’t occur, and so on?

Is the list getting silly, whimsical, unrealistic? I agree. We almost want to reject it. It seems like it’s against life itself if there’s no disease, no decay, no death, no drama.

Why, let’s be realistic. Natural things are OK. It’s the unnatural things that we reject. How about just no violence or racism or guns, and income and gender equality. Is that a good list?

OK. Let’s say someday we are there. Do you suppose that would mean happiness shall reign and sadness will be no more? Do you think joy will come and suffering shall never reappear on the face of the earth?

But we would be foolish to daydream of such a thing. Utopia indeed. The concept is true to the literal meaning of the word: “no place.”

You may tell me “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

And I’ll tell you that it would do us good actually listening to and understanding the masters and sages, who have told us what this phenomenal universe is.

I find this image very useful. Yoga talks about God as absolute stillness. Think of a flat line. No waves. Absolute silence. This is pure unmanifested consciousness. When part of that consciousness, just like potential energy, manifests as waves, the universe comes into existence. The flat line becomes a wave–the manifested universe. Visualize sound waves.

Have you seen sound waves? It is the nature of wave to go up and down. For every peak in the positive there is one in the negative. You cannot have sound otherwise. Duality is the nature of this phenomenal world.

Sometimes in our vision of a better future, we paint a picture of sound waves which stay in the positive, and just stop as soon as they’re about to go in the negative.

That’s not possible. Life would not be life, if there were no ups and downs, if every joy wasn’t balanced by an exact equal amount of sorrow.

But we can hope for a better future.

Those masters and sages have also told us about something called the “yugas”, which are the cycles in the evolution of collective consciousness for our planet, each lasting several thousand years. They tell us that humanity is on the ascending side of the yuga cycles, and it has recently left the dark ages (Kali Yuga) and entered into the age of energy (Dwapara Yuga). As the planet ascends to higher yugas, the collective level of consciousness of the entire population rises.

That’s the real good news. That’s the real hope.

The duality shall always remain duality. The negative peaks in the waves of life aren’t going anywhere. But it is the consciousness and awareness in humanity that is rising.

How does that help exactly?

Well, we, as a whole, are becoming more aware of the invisible behind the visible, the deeper reality behind the apparent universe, beyond the realm of the senses, beyond the sense of “I” as just a body and mind. While the ups and downs in the manifested world will continue to come at us, we will be more and more unaffected by them, as we start to shed our limiting ideas about who we really are, and get in touch with our reality as part of the unmanifested Infinite–God.

With this alignment to truth, with God, we will have less and less to learn from the school of life, less and less karma to deal with. In this way, our experience in the phenomenal world, too, will become filled with light.

A friend said “better future is when there is no future.” When we are one with our infinite eternal timeless beloved, there will be no illusion of time, and the universe just a magnificent play of light and shade.

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