The Two Journeys of Man – January 21 2019

The Two Journeys of Man – January 21 2019

At some point of time a great thought will come to us: Let me go and see what is behind all these differences, let me try to understand the One behind the many. That will be the time when our journey will become inward. Till then it is all outward. 
Swami Ranganathananda from
The Message of the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 
 
Within the heart of every one of us is the idea of happiness, because in our heart we know it is the state we are meant to live in.
 
Two types of journey every human being embarks on–the outward and the inward. The outward journey is towards multiplicity, and often one is caught in it. All bondages of life come from that.
Ibid.
 
We may spend our entire life caught in this insoluble equation, failing, continually, to find happiness where it does not exist: outside ourselves; trying every possible permutation of life partner, philosophy, diet, exercise, career, lifestyle, and never quite getting the equation right.
 
Then comes a certain state of mind when man stops going out and thinks: No, I must discover the One behind the many. Thenceforth begins the inward journey which makes for freedom.
Ibid. 
 
If we stop to ask the question, we will find an answer. It will occur to us to seek this elusive happiness in the one place we haven’t looked, the place from which the very idea of happiness first arose. We will begin to look within. And when we begin to look within, that which is within will begin to support our looking.
 
Nature has equipped this human being with all the accessories required for both the journeys–external as well as the internal.
Ibid. 
 
Everything we need to find true and lasting happiness is right here within our reach. We need not go anywhere in search of it. We need not take someone else’s answer. We need only uncover what has been here all along. It’s what we are meant to be doing.
 
And we don’t need to change who we are; rather, it becomes time to expand who we are. Keep the job, the family, the hobbies, the small pleasures of life. Keep the ideas of God, of time, of life that we have. Now expand the container of our mind to encompass, along with all these differences, the idea of Oneness behind the multiplicity; the idea that this Oneness is in everyone we meet, regardless of how different they may seem from us; and the idea that this same Oneness may be found right here within our very self; and finally, the idea that this Oneness is made of the very stuff of happiness Itself.
 
Both tasks are necessary for us to live the fulfillment of life. Going within, finding our happiness there; and then going without to give of our happiness to the world.
 
…We are having this great journey, an external journey in space and time to achieve worldly happiness and welfare, and an internal journey to realize the ultimate truth of things. Both must go on side by side.
Ibid.
 
Today I will be open to seeing evidence of the One behind the many. I will see this evidence in experiences of synchronicity and coincidence. I will see it in a moment of recognition and sharing with a friend. I will see it in the faint tug of charm that pulls me in a direction I wouldn’t ordinarily think to move. I will see it in the eyes of a stranger.
Grandmother and Granddaughter, Uttar Pradesh, India