I know you said there shouldn't be questions in love and serving but it pressures me from inside.
Am I doing something wrong 'practicing' love? There comes a great pain with tears, pain in the gut-chest, it feels like a wound has opened and there is longing, then it mixes with some kind of condemnation because I see behind that feeling a strong wanting and needing and I know that it is egotistical. Am I not seeing something through and that's why this wanting and needing does not go away? It deepens and feels sometimes unbearable, and very restless, and I can't even sit to meditate on it.
Please advise something. I need some anchor for I don't know what is going on. It hurts and I want to run to some sort of activity, but at the same time I don't want to suppress it.
On other times I feel bliss and feel singing heart, wanting to give, to care, but this pain spoils this true love. I once even saw inside deep darkness a child that is engulfed in some kind of self-pity, attention seeking, needing love. How can I grow him into mature love?
I just wanted to share that finally 'the book' arrived (your book:), and I just opened it randomly and got a nice answer to the questioning I wrote on the first letter last week about personal love. The answer was:
Page 92, Self-Realization and Other Awakenings:
"Now your heart is torn open and you feel great anguish, self-doubt, second guessing, wondering what you did wrong, depressed and angry. But in fact you are just beginning a new journey of aliveness, rawness, and intensity...."
I haven't read books in ages: kinda was dead to books, but somehow wanted to grab this.
Well, as for now i feel a profound peace, sitting totally numb, resting from whole emotional baggage and sleepless nights, I never thought love is so 'cruel', hahaha....
I even missed last two satsangs in many years... just fell totally asleep before start...
I hope after some time i will able to share more, let’s see where it takes...
Take care, Ed.
From Self-Realization and Other Awakenings: "But this whole trip is made so much easier if you fall in love with someone, something, or an animal. This outwardly directed love, IF YOU ARE MATURE ENOUGH, can lead to Self-Realization."
How to be mature? Since i fell in love with a woman, it is tearing me apart and it seems it leads nowhere, endless feelings and emotions coming and going, sometimes leaving me dry and numb and then fear arises about that this is it, it has ended... why I can't open fully up, i don't understand, please help.
I can answer to your question which you gave me 4 or 5 years ago: "What do you want?", which I couldn't answer because I didn't knew. I was thrust on the path by some mystical experience. I didn't know what was I searching for, just exploring, like sitting on the lake and exploring waters for scenic views of fish and flowers....
I want self-realization, but I don't know what it is.
I don't want voids anymore, i don't want astral planes anymore, i don't want ghosts, I don't want emotionless witnessing... I want to open love and share it with others. But everything is fluctuating and heart closes and I fall into some kind of depression or sadness, then it opens and it closes...
I don't know anymore how, what, why, who... turmoil...
How can it be, I am crying and at the same time feeling such immense gratitude, it rises from the gut, I have never felt like this...
It all happened very suddenly, when you changed topic in summer at satsangs to emotions, love. I prayed to experience personal love, which I knew not, only sympathy or physical attraction.
And after half a year, recently, it just struck me hard and in an instant at work. Since then I am going through turmoil and feel like I will go mad soon, I know I shouldn't ask help and just go through it myself, but it seems that everything falling apart and I need to grab.
It is burning; I feel it consuming my whole body, so many currents flowing through, with it comes not only bliss and awe but sadness, doubts, fear of which I cannot see the cause, since the lover accepted me and I....
It is hard to articulate what I am experiencing, this is mainly deep feeling which I cannot describe, many various emotions and feelings coursing and changing rapidly, and that is what drives me crazy; it is too fast.
I want to worship beloved and I fail to see everything else around, world is disappeared, cannot work at all, everything disappeared, only she remains, and you as someone who is like a ground or 'something' I can still hold onto, I don't know how to explain this... this is concepts.
When deep sadness arises I fall back to void, I identify with void which is always beneath everything that is happening and it, in a sense, kills it; it sucks in all experiences and I am dead again, and the next minute I am again born with all my experiences. With sadness comes gratitude...
I read your letters with amazement. You are doing exactly what you should be doing, and feeling exactly as you should be feeling.
Each person gets into spirituality for a different reason.
I got into it originally to find out the truth of what is real and not real. I had many spiritual experiences and awakenings addressing exactly that question. I traveled through a world of endless questioning and endless experiences of voids, emptiness, witness consciousness, no-mind states, no-self states, and all kinds of conclusions and knowledge derived from these states. So, I became a master of the workings of mind and the nature of no mind, no self states.
But, I must tell you that the fundamental knowledge gained was even all this meant nothing. Just more knowledge gained added to tons of worldly knowledge gained by a life-long pursuit of knowledge and two Ph.D. programs. All knowledge is futile. The heart never rests from such pursuits. There must be a different way. But nothing came. Mostly I dwelled in emptiness, listening to sacred chanting, and trying to take care of a lot of animals even while teaching meditation and Advaita, as well as Zen.
You might say, like Robert Adams, my teacher, I was dead to the world.
Then mother Kali, mother of the universe, sent me someone who awakened my heart and with it came all the trials and tribulations about which you speak. I was repeatedly torn open, jealous, possessive, frightened, ecstatic, blissful, and filled with new inner energies that poured through my body bringing me complete aliveness and gratitude. I had come alive from the sleep of mind and states and brought into the world completely, single-mindedly, fixated on my woman and love. Love had brought me alive, and its frustration even more alive.
Now the same thing is happening to most everyone in our Sangha. They are coming alive to the incredible beauty of love and all the internal energies and colors of the Subtle Body that has its root in the deepest level of consciousness, the Fourth State, Turiya, or the Self.
Nisargadatta may talk about the Absolute and witness consciousness which is beyond Turiya, and yes, it is important to understand and apprehend this unmanifest Absolute because with it comes the recognition that the essence of your true nature, whether you want to call it awareness, Witness, or the Absolute, or the Unmanifest, or the Noumenal world, is that YOU are immortal, entirely beyond the world of life and form. Your true nature in this sense is immortal. Actually it is altogether beyond existence, so it is even beyond immortality, for the terms “mortality” and “immortality” apply to existence, to the world.
Really, this is a nice place to rest and you can feel really secure here because you are untouchable by death or life, sickness or health, emotions, or a lack of emotions. In a large sense, you are dead to the world. I had become dead to the world through the pursuit of ultimate truth. Then love brought me alive.
Therefore now I teach Advaita and the nature of reality for those who want it, and I teach love and life for those who want that.
And the way I teach it is to give up all concepts including those of Advaita; give up all concepts and conventions that now rule and organize your world, like ideas about career, marriage, proper behavior and appropriate ways of communicating and dealing with people. Give up scientific knowledge, spiritual knowledge. Give it all up and learn how to live from your heart.
To do this is often painful, for most people live by the mind and feel very insecure and frightened giving up the knowledge through which they operate in the world. It can very frightening to become clueless, to know nothing since our society places such a high value on knowing things, even knowing trivia.
However, applying the way of no-knowledge, or radical loving from the heart, of learning how to follow the heart is even more frightening and more painful than learning how to give up dependence on knowing, dependence on the mind.
You see, in most of us, because of civilization and the same tight shoes and uniforms it has made us wear since we were two or three years old, most of us are emotionally crippled in many ways, and this crippling must be set right before we have a true realization of who and what we are.
This is what these amazing love affairs trigger: dealing with the crippling.
There are no easy ways or formulas to help you through this time. You just have to suffer and enjoys the swings both of the quality of your relationship and your moods. After a while, the moods and emotions will grow and grow until you feel you cannot tolerate any more and then they will subside. A few days later you’ll find you were mistaken, for your emotional “pain” will be much worse than you ever expected it could be, but a few days later, you’ll find a deepened love that you did not feel was possible.
And thus you grow, ever expanding in your ability to feel emotions, pain and being alive to the point you often may wish you were dead. And you continue to grow, continue to seek love from another, until the day comes when your Self shows itself to you, and you begin the process of total Self-Realization, seeing and feeling your own sense of presence as a human being, invaded and sublimated to the great Self of All in you, in a world-shattering experience of the divine, of Shakti, of the Mother, or Kali in you. You are Kali and Shakti themselves, not a mere mortal, and certainly not just the Absolute, the Witness, or ParaBrahman. You are God incarnate.
This is what I teach, and this is exactly the path you are on.
At this point, no worldly instructions can be given to you, but I am here to hold your hand through the whole process. God bless you and keep you.