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The Cloak of Hope

The Cloak of Hope

Hope is emotionally necessary in a crisis. It’s one of the chief ways our minds protect us. Yet hope has a hard time being felt when every disaster is instantly communicated around the world. And hope is rarely pure. It is always mixed in the tangled hierarchy with other emotions, including those opposed to hope, such as despair, fear, anger, and vengeance.

Because of this tangle, hope has often been a cloak for violence. We have lost touch with the reality of hope, which is a powerful force when it has a spiritual source but a deception when it doesn’t.

When hope serves as a means to reach deeper into yourself than anyone could predict, or than anyone believes possible, it is a spiritual force. There are certain hallmarks of remarkable recoveries: The person is without fear. There is a belief in an extraordinary outcome. The search for a cure doesn’t depend on outside opinions. Often there is an unshakable certainty that a cure will be found.

These same qualities apply to any situation that is considered hopeless by the majority of observers. To rekindle hope, one must find a path to the extraordinary. This requires a shift in oneself.

The trick is not to despair, and yet since we despair so quickly in our current condition, avoiding despair can only happen by going deeper into the spiritual value of hope.

The Sufi mystic and teacher Meher Baba once remarked, “The only prerequisite for enlightenment is complete disillusion.” Illusion keeps us in the grip of denial. It coaxes us to rely on our false friends instead of our true ones. If you can see with open eyes when hope is a false friend, you are moving ahead spiritually, because spirit doesn’t need hope once it can have reality instead.

Adapted from Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

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72 comments

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10:15AM PST on Dec 1, 2012

Thank your for sharing.

4:01AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

10:00AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

good to think about since we never know when a crisis may confront us

8:06PM PST on Feb 1, 2012

Thanks for the interesting posting.

12:55PM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

There is always HOPE, in every situation

8:53PM PST on Mar 7, 2011

Hope has definitely served me well. Hope as a cloak for violence is one I will have to think about a bit more. One of the gifts I have been given is to find a silver lining for almost every situation. My friends call to ask me just to find out how I can turn it around for them! Thank you.

2:02AM PST on Mar 7, 2011

Hope comes with acceptance as well?

12:49AM PST on Mar 6, 2011

Have you heard of the ancient greek myth of Pandora's Box? Gods gave Pandora a Box to guard, and - counting on her curiosity - told her not to open it. As expected, she did open it and out came all bad things for humanity. Terrified, she closed it, when she realized that something/someone was left in it. Hesitating, she opened it and - voila! - there was a nice little creature that would not leave her. That creature was HOPE.
I believe this is a nice metaphore. Hope never leaves our sole (never should).

12:55AM PST on Mar 5, 2011

I agree - Hope does seem to 'protect our mind' in times of crises. I very much like the word "disillusioned" tied to one living with "reality". Thank heavens my heart is loaded with love, because reality is often not that pleasant eg, think of admiring a beautiful river - when, in fact, it is heavily polluted with chemicals.

11:42AM PST on Mar 2, 2011

“The only prerequisite for enlightenment is complete disillusion.”

Great quote, but I can't find the source for it. Have searched the online 20-volume "Lord Meher," The Discourses, and all The Awakener Magazines.
Have been a follower of Meher Baba for 43 years and have read pretty comprehensively. I'm sure you have a source for this quote, and would love to know what it might be!
Thanks for the posting...Mick Karger (mickkarger@aol.com)

FYI

Tikkun Magazine - Radical Hopelessness

The Sufi mystic and teacher Meher Baba once remarked, "The only prerequisite for enlightenment is complete disillusion." That bears on hope in a remarkable ...
www.tikkun.org/article.php/Chopra-radical-hopelessness

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