As the musical fantasy film begins, each character sings “I wish…” setting the stage for the Disney movie’s central theme: angst over desires. When I saw Into the Woods (Christmas 2014 with Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp), I loved it so much that I went to see it again the next week. At that time I was forty-four years old, and I had been consumed for decades by a burning desire to meet a charming prince on a white horse who I was just sure would complete me and make me happy. So that movie really touched some deep chords. For me it was a profound external acknowledgement of the unsatisfied yearnings inside me. Anyone who is suffering over unfulfilled desires can find comfort by watching that movie. And, at the same time, it is possible to change our desires and free ourselves of that misery.
For years I prayed to be free of that desire for prince charming. It seemed hopeless because the desire was so strong, but then, by a series of what seemed like unfortunate events, my desires changed. Now I am writing my own new movie called Into the Fire, in which I have taken responsibility for my own happiness. I am married to God and the Spiritual Life, and I now see that as a blessing.
The ancient sages and mystics in India taught the same thing that Jesus taught, that the Kingdom of God is within. The Fire of Divinity is inside each of us already. We just have to sit still and tune in, inside, to that Fire. Everything in all the universes is inside each of us already. When we go inside ourselves regularly, in sitting meditation, or walking in nature, with practice we begin to find more happiness within our own beings than we could ever find with another person.
In the Radiance Rising section at the beginning of my new book (before I begin the fascinating story), I offer an extensive list of spiritual practices that will help you to also find happiness within. To order your copy now, please click on the book’s title here, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes.
So, we have a choice. We can go Into the Woods, crying about what we want and can’t seem to find. OR, we can go Into the Fire, burning through the desires for external things, and finding our happiness inside our very own selves.
I bow to the human condition, and I pray for the happiness of all beings.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech