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Highlights Issue #2513, Saturday, July 1,
2006, Editor: Mark
Consciousness and everywhere is
Home. "Everywhere" is but a small corner of your
heart. You are that vast. There is no travel because
you are always Home. Surrender your ego and you
- Papaji, The Truth Is, posted to AlongTheWay
Listen for the stream
that tells you one thing.
Die on this bank. Begin in me
the way of rivers with the sea.
- Rumi, version by Coleman Barks, Open Secret, posted to AlongTheWay
By love, bitter things are made sweet and copper turns to gold.
By love, the sediment becomes clear and torment is removed.
By love, the dead are made to live.
By love, the sovereign is made a slave.
This love is the fruit of knowledge.
When did folly sit on a throne like this?
The faith of love is separated from all religion.
For lovers the faith and the religion is God.
O spirit, in striving and seeking become like running water.
O reason, at all times be ready to give up mortality
for the sake of immortality.
Remember God always, that self may be forgotten,
so that yourself may be effaced in the One to Whom you pray,
without care for who is praying, or the prayer.
- Rumi, posted to AlphaWorld
Truth Comes at a Cost
If I was to translate the enlightened state down into human terms, I'd have to describe it as contentment. Being nobody, going nowhere, needing no reason to exist. To the ego, that probably sounds a little boring and of course to an ego it is. But then again, there's really nothing for the ego in enlightenment. In enlightenment, the egoic false self is rendered an irrelevant illusion, a mask, a character that nothingness wears while pretending to be human.
Not only is there nothing in enlightenment for the ego, the ego is really nothing but a defense against enlightenment. I'm not saying that ego is bad or evil because it's not. I'm saying that ego is a social and personal construct and therefore an illusion. But there's nothing wrong with an illusion. A painting is an illusion; a movie is an illusion; a good novel is an illusion. The problem isn't with illusion; the problem is with the emotional attachments and addictions of ego.
To most people attachment is a very abstract word that they think they understand. People in spiritual circles think of attachments in terms of things that they are attached to. They identify the things attached to and endeavor to let go of them, but this misses the whole point of what attachment really is. Attachment isn't about things attached to; it's about emotion in the form of a magnetic energy of attraction. That energy is how you know who you are as an ego. That energy is who you are as an ego. Ego defines itself by what it does and does not like. There is no ego outside of this emotional energy of attraction and repulsionbetter known as love and hate, like and dislike, good and bad, right and wrong, us and them, me and you. Without emotional investment in the ego's points of view, what's left of ego but a hollow shell with a little personality mixed in?
You breathe life into your ego in the form of emotional addictions. Emotion is the very life-force of ego. So the point of detachment isn't to detach from things, but to detach from your emotional bonds with things. And you don't simply let go of emotional bonds; you burn through them with investigative awareness. You see them for what they are: prisons, false structures holding you in spiritual infancy. You may think that I am being a bit harshwhich I am, but awakening to truth is a harsh business. Bottom line is What do you want more: to feel better or to realize the truth? Sure, truth realization feels really good, but no one gets there whose driving motivation is simply to feel good. Feeling really good is a byproduct of the awakened state; it is not the state itself. The state itself is reality, and it's won at the hands of unreality. Simply put, ultimate truth comes at a cost, and the cost is everything in you and about you that is unreal. The end result is freedom, happiness, peace, and no longer viewing life through the veils of illusion.
The idea of "presence with love" may be the most basic remedy for the prevailing materialism, selfishness, and unconsciousness of our age. In our obsession with our false selves, in turning our backs on God, we have also lost our essential Self, our own divine spark. In forgetting God, we have forgotten ourselves. Remembering god is the beginning of remembering ourselves.
- Kabir Edmund Helminski, from Living Presence: A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self
The bhakti path...
The bhakti path winds in a delicate way.
On this path there is no asking and no not asking.
The ego simply disappears the moment you touch him.
The joy of looking for him is so immense that you
just dive in,
and coast around like a fish in the water.
If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer his.
Kabir's poems touch on the secrets of this bhakti.
- Kabir, tranlated by Robert Bly
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