I had my first glimpse of the natural Self today.
The duration of it would have been the same as the time passed looking at faces in the crowd as the train pulls away.
There were the obstructions – thoughts and feelings – and then, in the space between them, there was the default, the residuum, the eternal ground – the natural Self, like a face seen in a crowd.
What attracted me to one particular face was the incredible sense of peace about it.
The felt space, the experience of it was like recognizing my very own, long-lost, best friend.
I was the negative polarity and it was the positive polarity and there wasan instant attraction, at the level of experiential knowledge, felt sensation, lived-through experience – not yet at the level of realized knowledge.
The minute I recognized it as peace, I became it, at the level of experience: The neutral, natural, normal Self.
There’s nothing hard about being it, nothing at all. We simply don’t recognize it. Mostly our minds are so busy and so focused outside ourselves that it would be impossible to recognize it under those circumstances.
In the process of recognition, a sequence of events occurs: First the natural Self seems over there and we’re not recognizing it; next we recognize it and suddenly it’s over here and we become it. We are One, both looking out through the same set of eyes. (1)
It was the same with transformative love and with bliss. I recognized both of them as if they were objects over there and, immediately upon recognizing them, they were over here and we were One.
Somehow recognition triggers union. It just does. Recognize it and you become it.
I feel calm. I feel balanced. I feel no stress of any kind.
I feel what I used to call “working-level bliss,” not so much bliss that I cannot go outside. In fact I have a breakfast engagement and so I must now go outside.
That was pleasant and engaging and I’m back.
I’m tempted to say that the natural Self is nothing special. But of course that’s true and not true. It’s the doorway to everything else, I’ll wager. I have to wait and see, because I haven’t realized it; I’ve only experienced it.
This sahaja or natural state is reality with nothing added and nothing taken away. It just is.
If an aspect of it cannot exist without shoring up or image management, without self-serving retelling of stories or preening one’s image to sell to others, then it isn’t the natural Self, the default, the Residuum and Continuum. It’s evanescent, a flash in the pan, not eternal and unchanging.
Whereas there is a semi-permeable barrier between the natural Self and the everyday world, there’s no barrier of any sort between the natural Self and bliss. I feel attracted to bliss at the moment, to going inward, rather than to transformative or torrential love and going outward.
Again, dancing with bliss is what my friend calls “flowing.” Shiva and Shakti get lost in the dance of bliss and become One. That unlocks much more bliss on higher dimensions.
Deeper and deeper we go into the inexhaustible experience of bliss, until released from form altogether.
I feel very self-conscious writing this. I’ve never made any claims for myself and I don’t plan to start making any now. I’m simply describing what I’m aware of in my life right now, that would be significant to you.
I’m not telling you about my gimpy leg or the bags under my eyes, etc. These have no bearing on my inner work.
But a glimpse of the natural Self, time spent in the sahaja state, however fleeting it proves to be, (2) this is a truly significant event, a watershed occurrence or landmark.
My glimpse of it was fleeting. It was experiential rather than realizational.
I now need to abide as what I saw, according to terrestrial sages:
Sri Ramana: “What has to be done is to investigate what one really is [the natural Self] and remain That.” (3)
Sage Ribhu: “Abide as That in which there are neither thoughts nor a thinker, neither the arising nor the preservation nor the dissolution of the world, … and be always happy, free from all traces of thought.” (4)
Sri Ramana: “You need not eliminate the wrong ‘I.’ … All that you need do is to find out its origin and abide there.
“Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.” (5)
Abide as that. Return to it constantly. Relax and let go into it. Return home to it again. Always and forever returning to that placid space, free of desire and distinction.
It seems no accident now to realize that my meditation for the last any number of months has been to return to stillness and silence. This is where the metaphorical face I saw resided.
The bliss is gradually increasing at a very bearable tempo and I feel the desire to surrender into it, while putting my pen aside.
(1) There was a native story circulating in the 1970s of a mouse who wanted to become an eagle. And he did become an eagle, looking out through the eagle’s eyes, after the eagle ate him.
(2) I’m only permitted to visit the higher states, according to AAM, not to stay.
(3) Ramana Maharshi, Forty Verses on Reality. Trans. Arthur Osborne. Mountain Path, October 1964. Downloaded from http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/40_verses/40_verses_0.htm, 25 August 2005, verse 32.
(4) Da Free John, ed.The Heart of the Ribhu Gita. Los Angeles: Dawn Horse Press, 1973, 21.
(5) Ramana Maharshi in Munagala Venkatramiah, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Downloaded from http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/books.htm, 31 August 2005, Question 197.