Watch Yourself From the Balcony of Introspection

By Paramahansa YoganandaThere is so much more to life than what you think. Since everything earthly seems so real, how much more so must be the Reality that creates this unreal reality! But the unreal reality makes you forget the Real. God wants you to remember that you wouldn’t mind this earth if it were like a motion picture. Even if the brittle bones of the body break, you would say, “Well, look at those broken bones,” and not feel any disturbance or suffering. You can say that when you are anchored in the Divine Consciousness. You will make fun of your habits, and you will be intensely amused at your distinguishing characteristics, as from a balcony of introspection you watch yourself perform in the motion picture of life. I do that all the time. When you know this world to be God’s lila—His play—then you aren’t upset by the contrasts in this drama of good and evil.In a dream you can behold rich people, poor people, someone strong, someone else groaning with disease, someone dying, and someone being born. But when you wake up, you realize that it was only a dream. This universe is God’s dream. And when I ask Him, “Why do You not dream only beautiful dreams? Why must your play be fraught with nightmares?” He replies, “You must be able to enjoy both the nightmares and the beautiful experiences for what they are—dreams, only dreams. But if you dream only beautiful dreams, you will be drowned in that beauty, and never wish to wake up.” That is the answer. So you must not be frightened when nightmares come, but say, “Lord, it is a passing dream. It has no reality.” And when you are smiling with health and happiness, say, “Lord, it is a beautiful dream, but do what You like with my dreams of life.” When you are neither touched by nightmares of disease and suffering and worries, nor bound by beautiful dreams, then God says, “Wake up, now! Come back Home.”So watch the universe like a picture-play, as do the masters who are awake in God. They are very much interested in those souls who try to escape this dream. God wants everyone to get out of this nightmare, and watch this cosmic motion picture as an entertainment. He wants you to know that you are one with Him. That is why from time to time He sends God-realized souls to earth to help mankind. When people get too groggy with nightmares, these souls come to wake us up, to shake us and say, “What is the matter with you? You are dreaming.” And you cry, “No, no, my leg is broken,” or, “I am suffering with disease,” or, “I am drowned in poverty.” But when, through the blessings of the great ones, you open your eyes, you see it as a dream.~Paramahansa Yogananda