Music is an art form—the art of producing and blending sounds to create harmony. But this is not a haphazard or arbitrary process. Rather it is based on mathematical laws that have been in operation since the beginning of time and have never failed. Therefore music is an art form that is based on scientific principles, and the producing of musical harmony could also be said to be a science.
When we think of harmony we think of music, but in actuality, harmony has many guises. We often speak of pursuing harmony in our relationships and business dealings or of harmony being one of the goals for our state of well-being and bodily health. And when we look closely, no matter what kind of harmony we aspire to the path to its attainment always has a scientific basis. In other words, in each instance universal law comes into play, just as it does with musical harmony. Certain conditions must be produced and sustained in order for harmony to result, whether in the arena of the arts, relationships, economics, or health.
What many do not realize, however, is the major role that harmony plays in the spiritual life. For, whenever we experience spiritual prosperity, it too comes as a result of law and the meeting of certain conditions in our inner world—conditions that consistently produce a sense of peace and well-being. Conversely, when we struggle spiritually, one of the reasons for our struggle is that we have failed on some level to bring our psyche into conformity or harmonious alignment with the conditions that lead to peace and prosperity. This inner alignment is not to be confused with the attempt to manipulate our outer circumstances, which is a misdirected endeavor that never results in a sustainable harmonious state. Yet it is important for us to understand that inward harmony does not happen automatically. It takes dedicated effort to achieve it, not to mention that we need to know what we are doing. This is where a spiritual teacher or guru can be of great help to us. They cannot do the work for us, but they can teach us what we need to do. They can exemplify the truth and teach us how to bring our inner world into harmony with it.
The main spiritual principle at work here is that we must align ourselves inwardly with the reality or the what-is of our universe. This is not as easy as it sounds for several reasons. For one thing, we must come to understand and accept the true nature of what-is.
We live in a universe that was established and set in motion long, long ago—a universe governed by law. Whether or not you believe in an original act of creation is not the essential aspect of this principle. Rather without holding to any particular belief system we can and must still arrive at the recognition and acceptance of this basic truth. Furthermore, this universal is-ness has never ceased to be, not even for a second of time; neither has it ever changed. Many people perceive the universe as being constantly changing and in-flux. But when we look closely we see that even the elements of change and evolutionary unfoldment inherent in this environment are governed by law. Another way of saying this is that there really are no surprises in the outworking of our universal environment and there never have been. It is an environment that is constant and dependable in every way. It is predictable, consistent, and enduring. That is why science has become so relevant over the course of the age. In spiritual terms, it is this universal predictability that comprises the what-is of our life situation in this world. And like it or not, we all live in a vital relationship to this what-is—a relationship that does not merely affect our earthly experience; it pretty much defines it.
Full acceptance of the what-is of our universal environment leads us to make changes in our lives reflective of that acceptance. And it is acceptance followed by the change that reflects acceptance that brings us into spiritual harmony. On the other hand, the lack of acceptance or resistance to what-is is the root cause for disharmony in our lives, which, in turn, results in dysfunction, discord, and all manner of problematic circumstances.
For most of us, bringing about spiritual harmony in our lives is an ongoing pursuit with three distinct experiential stages. The first stage is when we open our spiritual eyes and come to recognize the truth about what-is. The second stage is coming into full acceptance about what we have seen to be true. And the third stage is to bring about the necessary changes and adjustments in our lives that acceptance paves the way for. When all three of these experiential stages have been navigated, we will know the peace that passes understanding. All of this may sound simple enough, but unfortunately we do not always have smooth sailing in our navigating.
One difficulty that arises comes as we attempt to recognize the truth about what-is. The problem here is not that we are incapable of such recognition; it is that we have all been thoroughly conditioned to perceive things contrary to how they really are. And these conditioned perceptions must first be rejected and rooted out before we can see clearly. It is as if our cultural conditioning has fogged up the windshield of our perception, and until we turn on the defogger it can be dangerous to proceed.
Many people have seen and accepted certain aspects of the what-is of our universe but have stopped short of seeing the entire picture. Our western religions and even our secular culture tend to reflect this halfway approach. This is because biblical morality and law, which are also at work in our culture, are, generally speaking, aligned with the universal what-is. But as Jesus taught, law keeping and morality can be deceiving. They can be carried out with an outward display of righteousness and harmony, while inwardly producing no change. In other words, one can be outwardly moral but inwardly far from spiritual harmony. So we need to go further if we hope to embrace the full scope of recognition and acceptance.
Our universe is already established in an intricate manifestation of law and Spirit. How then do we learn every nuance of such a vast universal outworking? The answer is that we do not need to learn every intricate detail in order to arrive at full recognition and acceptance. We only need to acknowledge the essential reality of what-is and yield ourselves in acceptance of that acknowledgement. In this way we make up for our lack of detailed knowledge through taking a stance of humble submission and willingness. We stop fighting, resisting, and rebelling, and we trust in this powerful truth maxim: everything that exists and has been set in motion in our universe is good and works to our benefit, once we have aligned ourselves harmoniously with it through acceptance. This is all we need to know and all we need to do. Humbly accept things as they are, stop fighting and pushing against the pricks, and be willing to make adjustments in your life as you are inwardly directed, in order to achieve greater and greater spiritual harmony.
Another word for all of this is surrender—surrender to the power of what-is, which is, in truth, the power of God. But there are few things more difficult for us to do on the spiritual journey than this. Why? Because it involves the negation of our ego.
The egoic orientation to life is one of an endless fight for survival. Unconsciously, we feel the need to defend and attack in order to keep our ego strong and well fed. This unconscious impulse pits us against other people, against oppositional circumstantial inertia, and yes, against the what-is of our universe. For those with a strong ego, prevailing against other people and overcoming oppositional circumstances are doable to some extent. There are at least moments of victory and success. But in trying to fight against the what-is of our universe, the ego invariably fails. Why is this? Because no human ego is a match for God. Truly, the ego that goes to that extreme of rebellion only brings about its own demise.
The agenda of the human ego is the antithesis of surrender. It makes its own reality and fights to the death to defend it. It has no knowledge or acceptance of the what-is of our universe. Therefore it can never know spiritual harmony.
Probably our foremost task then in preparing the way for spiritual harmony to prevail in our lives is the negation of our ego. Even the recognition of this does not come easily. But it can be done. If only we could stand back and gain a more transcendent perspective of our life, we would see that the egoic orientation is not our friend. It is a robber and a deceiver—robbing us of our rightful divine inheritance, while masquerading as our benefactor. True, the ego is a hardcore survivor. But what kind of a life does its survival regimen result in? The quality of an ego-directed life is never rich and full; it is always barebones and reeks of desperation.
Apart from survival, the ego accomplishes little of lasting worth. But many people do not know of any other way to live. They may feel excessively weary with their ego orientation, but they do not know how to break that cycle. To these I say, “Don’t despair!” That sense of weariness that you feel is actually a spiritual impetus in your life—one that has manifested because your ego’s time of domination is nearing its end. It is a sign that you will soon be empowered to negate the ego and begin living a new life.
Once this major transformation takes place in our inner world, spiritual harmony will not be far behind. With ego finally relegated to a non-factor status, our spiritual eyes will be opened and we will be free to align ourselves harmoniously with the universal what-is. We will be able to accept things as they are and surrender our individual will to the universal river of life. At last our days of fighting will be over.