Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.
[From the film Gandhi]
I had a strange dream this morning. I was a college student again, and was in the classroom along with other students. Now enters Hitler the lecturer. The real Hitler with the hair pulled from right to left and that funny toothbrush mustache. He announces the students, today, we’re gonna write a test. Oh my, I hate tests and exams, what do I do? I slowly and stealthily sneak out of the classroom through the back door and hide behind the bushes.
Hitler finds this out and drags me back into the classroom. There he slaps me on my left cheek in front of everybody. Ooh, that was a heavy blow, and humiliating too. But for whatever reason, I take a step towards him and get closer to him. He slaps me again in the same cheek, I get one more step closer. He slaps me for the third time, and I get another step closer to him. Now I’m so close that our noses almost touch each other! So close it’s difficult for him to slap me. Moreover he has that puzzled look on his face. Now, I suddenly hug him! I hugged him so lovingly (!) that I could almost feel the chemical reactions taking place in his brain with the anger getting transformed into love, and his awareness shifting from the lower part of the brain to the higher. I hug him for what seemed like a minute and then let go. He looks totally overwhelmed. He politely asks me to sit in the bench and take up the test…. Oh, that was a crap of a question paper as usual, and I don’t want to add to that with my stupid answers, so I keep the answers blank and white. The test was over and before leaving the classroom, Hitler tells everyone that he is a changed man and he won’t act like the stupid he was acting before. There ends the dream.
Strange dream. But not a normal dream. I was so full of awareness when it happened that I still remember exactly what happened in my mind when that slap and hug happened. So, here is an action replay taking you through what happened in my mind when the event took place.
Firstly, it was not a preplanned act, and I had no intentions to change or transform Hitler. I was only aware of my own feelings in reaction to the slap. The first time he slapped, there was a sudden burst of anger in me and and a sense of getting humiliated, but as I was intensely aware, the feelings immediately died down. Wow! that was great, I wanted to experience this again, so I set him up into slapping me again. He slapped, and once again the anger burst out and died down at once. It was a great feeling that Hitler slapping me in front of all people didn’t have much effect on me. I wanted this one more time, got it, and it had absolutely no negative effects on me. Wonderful! I was so grateful to Hitler for helping me have this great experience and that’s what made me hug him. The chemical reactions of anger getting transformed into love was not actually happening in his brain, but my brain. Or to be more accurate, the transformation was occurring in the consciousness, for there is no such thing as my consciousness or his consciousness.
And the Hitler figure is actually an aspect of myself, my base instincts. This was a very figurative dream, a reflection of things that’s been happening in my psyche over the past few months. Previously, I had trained myself into believing that the lower instincts of my mind have to be resisted, controlled, to be fought with. I used to resist them or run away from them. But resistance only makes these instincts stronger, and when you run away, it chases you and pounces on you. Giving free expression to the lower instincts doesn’t help either. So, sometime back there was a shift, instead of trying to overcoming the instincts, I just go into a state of awareness and just watched these instincts for what they are without resisting them or giving expression to them, non-judgmentally. And what happens? The instincts just vanish into thin air. Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone. And the energy that goes into expressing or repressing these lower instincts gets sublimated into higher emotions. Anger, lust, shame getting transformed into love! A wonderful thing.
But one thing about taming Hitler. This was just a dream, honestly, I’m not sure if I have the guts to do such a Gandhigiri act in real life, that too with a person like Hitler. I’ll leave it to you to test the Gandhigiri concept in real life and do write to me about the results. Just give it a try na? Life is just a bigger dream after all
Also read about the dramatic dream I had one and a half years ago about a dog chasing me.
“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”
~ M. K. Gandhi, An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth, part II, ch. XXVI.
“There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
“We want to lead mankind in the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this is to be done by harmonizing the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran. Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of The Religion, which is Oneness, so that each may choose that path that suits him best.” ~ Swami Vivekananda
“The candles are many, but the light is one.” ~ Rumi
“Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. A lake has many ghats. From one ghat the Hindus take water in jars and call it ‘jal’. From another ghat the Mussalmāns take water in leather bags and call it ‘pāni’. From a third the Christians take the same thing and call it ‘water’. Suppose someone says that the thing is not ‘jal’ but ‘pāni’, or that it is not ‘pāni’ but ‘water’, or that it is not ‘water’ but ‘jal’, It would indeed be ridiculous. But this very thing is at the root of the friction among sects, their misunderstandings and quarrels. This is why people injure and kill one another, and shed blood, in the name of religion. But this is not good. Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart.” ~ Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
“I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.” ~ M. K. Gandhi
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” ~ Albert Einstein