- What is Hope?
- Does Hope Go Away?
- Creating Hope
- When Is Hope Lost and Found?
If we define hope as wanting, wishing or imagining something that isn’t in our present existence, we could say that hope is an imaginary concept – something that isn’t real. If we think of hope as a state of consciousness, or the state in which we are visualizing this changed existence, then hope becomes a more tangible idea – something that persists.
The four virtues of enlightenment are expressed as permanence, bliss, self and purity, and in this context, the state of permanence is elusive depending on how we define our concept of hope. Each of these states is related to embracing the dynamics of change as an ever-present condition. But to also realize that hope becomes ever-present as long as we can imagine a state of improvement beyond where we are today. You give up your imagination, and you can say you gave up hope.
Nature accepts things as they are – whatever happens, happens. People like to change things, like creating clocks to track time instead of watching the sun and moon. We try to move and push our environment around to better suit what we think is easier, more advantageous, or even more efficient.
When facing extreme changes, that’s when humans often resort to despair instead of hope, losing that sense of a better tomorrow. But really, tomorrow is by its own peculiar definition, something that hasn’t happened yet. We may have a less shiny and perfect vision of that which has yet to come, but basically, it still is beyond the present. And until it happens, it’s still not our reality (barring existence in a parallel universe and warpage of time, of course.)
Our reality is how we perceive it. A fish out of water is kind of stressed, and probably certainly not happy about that. But it has relatively little capacity to change its own condition. We, by comparison, have amazing capability to change our presence, where we are, how we live, and in what manner we decide to co-exist with everything else. Question is, do you realize that potential?
Hope becomes real as we define and change ourselves, whether that means being content with whatever we have already, or transitioning and developing ourselves to see beyond our self-imposed limitations. In the path of transformation, we materialize our vision or goals into reality.
Looking at the situation in a more pragmatic light might be that we can consider ourselves either “stuck in traffic” or “faced with the opportunity to choose alternate paths to our destination.” Either way, the traffic is there. It is up to us to figure out how we perceive it and how we deal with it..
My own hope in this case is that you find that hope isn’t something someone else gives you. Hope is what you give to yourself.
I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful. –Bob Hope
/* That’s it for this session. Thank you for listening. For more information feel free to e-mail me at jlui at jlui dot net, or twitter @jhlui1 With Gassho, James*/