Hope is good, isn’t it? Hope feels like that intense yellow filling each petal of a sunlit dahlia, swelling almost to the point that dazzling color pours forth and paints the holy ground in which the rooted being prays. Hope feels like that, and feeling it, we know that hope can do nothing but bear fruit. It must produce that which we desire.
Hope issues forth an intense feeling. Feel into it. It starts the endorphins pulsating and brings forth sparks of aliveness. It must be good because it feels so right. It is the same intense feeling that accompanies our stories of right and wrong. It fires all the same neurotransmitters within, lighting us up like a Christmas tree on a cold winter’s night. It is the same intense feeling that locks drug addicts into a pain-filled subsistence of self-violence. Hope is like that, for it too, is an addictive substance.
What happens under the surface of hope? Hope is future fear—a hope for something different from the reality called, ‘life right now’. Life now isn’t what we want for our tomorrows so we hold our breath and hope. We actually quit breathing. Watch closely and you can undeniably see for yourself.
Much of human life winds around a continuum that extends from unconscious and sub-conscious desires to unconcealed goals, like a coral snake wrapping itself around a spindly branch. Goals are another term for hope—high hopes.
Many, in fact most, in our world see hope as good, as the antidote for hopelessness. They think that without hope, we would spiral into the abyss. The lack of hope is not hopelessness. In truth, it is freedom. Hopelessness is another type of hope. It holds within it a deeply hidden hope for redemption. Hope’s opposite, and the antidote for life, is present moment awareness, the ‘now knowing’ facilitated, at least in the beginning, through conscious mindfulness and the practice of meditation.
We are chronically busy staying out of the now moment. Our busy-ness, our not being present, leads to frustration, a sense of being lost, and the need to fill holes that in reality do not exist, and therefore cannot be filled with anything except the recognition of truth that is available only in the present moment, for we are that truth.
This life’s painful moments though, are true blessings. They are heart’s call to us, its demand that we stand here, now. Heart, this that we are—this now moment—cannot be denied. It calls to us. It beckons. It squeezes our hearts and begs us to remember who we are. If we have ears to listen and eyes to see, we do. If our eyes and ears fill with hope, we do not right now, but eventually, in perfect timing, we will.
Life is always asking one simple question. Will you be present? To be present means allowing the felt experience of life as it is. It means leaning into the pain and the joy. It means being here without anywhere else to go. It means finally being home and finding the love we are, that we all are. It means living in joy regardless of life’s circumstances.
Let go of hope. Dash all hopes on the stark and forbidding altar of now. It only looks frightening. That is the cosmic joke. It only seems like this now moment will consume everything good about life. It doesn’t. All the dazzling colors spill forth from the pores of God and paint the Holy Ground that is you and Aliveness lives where once hope dwelled.
Dahlia Picture, props to Robert Glenn