You eat your food but you do not think about digesting it. The rule digests the food. Try this experiment: after meals concentrate on the stomach and the process of digestion – you will end with an upset stomach. As soon as you interfere with the unconscious law you create chaos within. Every night you sleep. One night ponder at length on how you fall asleep, how sleep comes, and what happens – you will pass a sleepless night. It isn’t strange that people who think a great deal suffer from insomnia.
Life goes on! The trees never think about when they should let the flowers bloom. The tree knows from its very roots. It does not think, for all its mechanisms are built-in. The rivers flow towards the sea. Do they have any sense of direction? Do they have any maps? An unconscious rule guides their waters towards the ocean.
This gigantic universe works without thoughts; and nowhere do we find a single mistake or mishappening. Everything works according to the rule – except man. Man has gone wrong for he does not obey the rule; instead he is guided by his thoughts. He thinks: “Should I do this or not? Is this right or wrong? What would be the outcome if I…? Will I gain something? What will people say?” In the haze of smoke created by a thousand-and-one such thoughts, the straight line of life gets hidden and lost. He who works in a state of no-thought is an enlightened being.
So religion is not wisdom, nor a decision of your intellect. Religion is a quest by a man who is tired of his intelligence, who is harassed by it, who has tried every direction and finds himself a helpless failure in the end. Such a man lets go of his intelligence and then says, “Your will, not mine, O Lord! Take me where you will.” This Nanak refers to as the divine order.
Don’t imagine this to mean that there is a huge person sitting somewhere issuing orders, that there is a supreme father, the supreme God! The rule works without the orderer, the rule is God himself. We have to use words that people can understand; so also we have to make use of symbols, signs. Foolish people often cling to symbols; so they think God has hands, mouth, limbs, that he sits on a throne and dispenses justice and gives orders. If we do not obey his orders, we are irreligious; if we do, we are religious. If we don’t obey, he will be displeased and angry and then punish us. If we obey he will reward us.
This is all useless nonsense! You are attaching too much importance to mere symbols.
Only the law exists. There is no one sitting there on high who works the rule. When you move in harmony with the rule all wrong actions stop on their own, for the rule knows no wrong. Then when the right actions accumulate through you, the melody of joy begins to play. When your actions are right they will spread a fragrance of happiness and joy all around. This fragrance signals that your actions are correct.
When something wrong happens through you the shadow of sorrow will surround you. The greater the wrong, the greater the anxiety and worry and suffering. Don’t look upon suffering as a punishment, but rather as the outcome of wrong action.