Hope is a need, not a luxury. Due to the tremendous challenges many people face today, too many are experiencing despair. When such a debilitating state is present it demands the quality of hope – a soul energy that will transform and re-vitalize.
The word ‘despair’ literally means without hope. More deeply, it means: without Spirit, without breath, without life. Despair is a feeling that there is no future, no worthwhile direction, no alternatives. We can experience despair when we are not in touch with our own inner resources, our potentials for success, our power that is rooted in our true Self. Hopelessness is a feeling of having no purpose, no future, no life.
Despair is being caught in extreme victimhood. Despair says there are no choices, no alternatives to what is currently being experienced. While depression is felt very much in the emotional body, despair is felt primarily in the mental body. Hence, one’s thinking is bound up in the despair and there is no freedom to make choices. One’s thinking goes around in circles, sustained by hopelessness.
Breaking through illusion is part of the process that one needs to go through in using despair fruitfully or soulfully. This is essentially spiritual work, or developing a spiritual frame of reference. It involves cultivating qualitative values rather than quantitative values. It requires one to see oneself more truthfully.
Hope is based on our soul’s knowing the bigger picture, a consciousness of the intelligent, loving mystery of life by which we are supported and which we must serve.
Hope strengthens the will to live. In despair, often one wishes to die. It is not really a wish to die physically, but a deep desire for transformation (i.e., to embody Spirit). Symbolically a death is wanted because death is transformation – a dying to that which has been, a moving into a new state, a new future, a new consciousness. Suicide, for example, is a symptom of a profound need for transformation. This point must be grasped if anything constructive is going to be done.
Hope focuses on the bigger picture as a future reality, giving purpose to our experiences, centered around the energies of will, courage and power. Without hope, we lack will – the mental connection.
In India hope is associated with the goddess, Maya, who tempts us with illusion. This is revealing, for it tells us that through illusion we must find the greater reality from which it manifests. Hope is what we need in order to find that reality, or in finding that reality, hope sustains us. Hope motivates us to create a variety of projections towards the future, which are ways we imagine of getting there and of incorporating the future into our lives. This future is not just the time future, but also the dimensional future which is present now but at other levels or dimensions of existence.
Through hope we take hold of our life. We realize our ability to cope with anything that comes along. Through hope, we overcome or avoid the trap of victimhood. We also know there is a purpose even if it is not specifically known at the time. Through hope we know that if we are contributing in the present, the future is assured.