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What is hope? A thought, a feeling, a sense or a combination of all three. We create hope in the midst of chaos and trauma realizing that it is the only thing along which we can find our way back to salvation. If one has ever wondered why it is that humans deprived of either their mental or physical freedom invariably turn to the chalice of hope, for it is within the gilded borders of that metaphorical cup that man might find the peace and harmony for which he yearns.

The strength of hope is transformative and throughout history the battles of men with both each other and nature have been decided by the force with the most profound belief in self accompanied with an unshakeable sense of hope, despite the physical odds. Hope arguably begins in the heart and slowly winds its way to the centers of cerebration where the tactics of victory are decided under the guiding eye of hope. Without hope the strategy would fail to commence and so one must accept that the spirit of life through which the thread of hope intertwines is the foundation on which all creations of man come to exist.

Hope is human but is born out of a deep spiritual sense and connectedness with consciousness. These forces of existence are the vessels from which all qualities of individuals crystallize and from which they continue to exist only if the bonds of connectivity are maintained.

A man sitting in a prison cell serving a life term for a crime he did not commit falls squarely in the realm of the surreal. Of course the immediate injustice is unbearable and forever impossible to understand regardless of what free people might say in the hope of providing mental comfort. However a man can hope for many things when his physical being is entrapped. Things that radiate through his heart, mind and soul and come from his ability to connect with consciousness. In writing these words there might be some who find them meaningless and without practical application. However as the article progresses it will become clear that these tools of spiritual salvation are ‘real’ and when applied bring a freedom that no jail cell can restrict.

Imagine sitting on your cell bunk, the cell door closed, the lights off and your cellmate asleep. In that moment close your eyes and in the peaceful darkness that is created begin to visualize yourself moving up and away from your body, continuing your journey past the walls of the prison and then out into the night sky, rising above the planet and as you do you are able to look back at the beginning, middle and end of your life. You start to realize and gain a perspective of your existence that imbues you with a freedom never before experienced. Your essence is above the planet earth and you feel nothing but peace and serenity, for in this place you come to know the path of your journey and that journey is without fear. The fear that crippled you in the cell is gone, replaced by the purest sense of freedom. This has become your reality and it is the reality for everything we experience in our life is a configuration of our thoughts and feelings with hope being one of them.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in a South African jail for fighting the injustices of the brutal apartheid system and never once did he give up hoping that one day both he and his country would be free. People wonder how one man could endure such pressure and still hold onto the beacon of hope and in his many explanations he referred to the skills he developed of leaving his body and transporting himself back to his childhood village. He used the power of his imagination and hope to his spirit away from the confines of Robben Island, realizing that the body was just the temporary vessel for his spiritual essence. It also helped that he was a strong man with a determined will that the jailers could not break.

Not all of us, fortunately, have to endure the brutalities of prison, but we all experience challenges and hurdles of which we do not know what the outcome will be. The uncertainty of life can be unpleasant to bear and it is in these moments that we hope for an answer. However every experience of our earthly existence, uncertainty included, is an opportunity for growth and learning. All that is required is stillness of mind, soul and heart and with this comes a connection to consciousness from which the answers arrive with a foreboding strength that reaffirms the goodness of life. Everything always works out and for every problem there exists a solution for which we must search, and it is the journey of the search that is the gift of life and which is colored with the light of hope.

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