The closest disciple of a silent spiritual master, after twenty years under the tutelage of his teacher, was asked, by an old friend who was visiting him in the Ashram: “…And tell me, what have you gained after so many years with this man”. The disciple was taken aback, he tried to respond to his friend, but he realized he seemed not to have gained anything. So, a bit embarrassed, at not been able to present his master in a better light, he said farewell to his friend. Afterward, as he entered the room where his teacher was, the latter noticed the inner turmoil of the disciple and inquired with his silent gestures: “What is troubling you?”. The disciple told him about the exchange with his friend, and the master chuckled and gestured: “But he asked the wrong question, had he asked about what have you lost after so many years of living with me, you would still be outside listing the losses. You came to me not to learn anything, but to unlearn everything, not to add to your baggage, but to lighten up your burdens, this is what spirituality is all about, losing your attachments, your self-definition”.
In a recent interview, Isabel Allende, the renowned Chilean novelist said:
I realized at some point in my life, that one comes to this world to lose everything. The more you live the more you lose. First, you lose your parents, people who you love around you, your pets, the places you associated with, and even your own faculties and identity.
Mind fades with time, perhaps with joy, perhaps with melancholy, but it fades. Memories, the awareness of special moments live in immaterial deposits, and shuffle back like mirages of dust in the air, stirring up associated feelings and emotions. These feelings are with the passage of years more subdued, but they still stir you at different levels. The angsts of relationships and presences now gone persist, and some that even move your guts and muscles, others crunch your heart or still awe you. These images of the past, peeking from imaginary windows into your present awareness, distracting the now surround, its constant defining, judging, longing, exploring, and interpreting of this existence.
Your body, the mind container also fades, the extremities are not as agile, the senses not as sharp, and all sorts of little pains gradually reveal rusty parts in points of contact and friction, that before were so flexible, smooth and smart.
Then, there is also this constant soliloquy, that goes on and on, sometimes seriously debating this or that, other times laughing at oneself for being caught up in situations, or blaming some circumstance, or another creature close or remote, for whatever constraint, pain or frustration befalls you. Sometimes philosophically this conversation with yourself just settles down inside your being, is overwhelmed with the question why, or awed by a realization of wow, that takes away your quotidian complaints. These are the best times, those times of reflection, when you succumb, like a morning drop of dew falling on a rose and melt on its petals somehow, appreciating the beauty, compassion, and love that exists, as one integrated song of everything, and that always seems to be singing everywhere. Those times when you let go, without concern for time or consequence, and you come to know that you do not know, that you just are.
So today, yesterday, and most likely tomorrow, we will again inhabit these immaterial points of memory and hope, of angst and revelation, whether in this carcass or another, till we dissolve, I guess, I suspect into Being. For I dare guess, that the purpose of these containers, these forms, is to brew something inside them and that this brew is the essence beyond time, concocted by all the stories and fairy tales that we accumulate in these vats.
As I write these lines, some hinted music is playing in the background, and if I close my eyes and try to melt into it, I see hemispheres, like those of Earth, in a predawn scene - an ocean of golden light, hinted against eyelid horizons, that seems endless. And there, riding through invisible waves, come words like fish, swimming and gliding, dressed in ephemeral thoughts, puffed by a breeze of undefined feelings, which are remnants of hurricanes of passion, or upwellings of deep waters emerging after unbeknown cataclysms.
An integral sadness/joy then overtakes everything. She is the daughter and lover of bliss.