The Birth of the Lion - Part I - An Autobiography
Abridged Version (32 % of the integral text)
Source: This is the abridged version of the book from OM C. Parkin ‘The Birth of the Lion’. The complete book can be ordered at advaitaMedia online shop.
In October 1991, I returned to Germany. Even though it looked exactly as before, everything had changed. The uprooting of the I-thought had carried everything else along with it. Memory had been torn from its anchorage. The stream of time no longer existed as reality. The whole dimension of time was realized to have been only a construct of the I-thought. All objects of perception existed only in the moment of perceiving them. In the next moment, nothing real remained of them. Things from the past, such as old friends and acquaintances, were like phantoms. Nevertheless, I met with them totally, naturally, and spontaneously out of the moment, out of the all pervading I am. I saw that other people lived almost completely out of the past, and in the moment of our meeting, they did not truly meet me but rather their own projections of who they thought I was.
It was like being a ghost. There was no longer anyone that dwelled in my body, no supposed I, no supposed soul, and naturally, there never had been. I was neither inside nor outside the body and experienced the powerful stillness and self-evidence of the all-embracing I am.
I wrote to Gangaji:
“Within this dream that called himself Dervish, there happened, it seems, the following story: When this idea of Dervish was born, he took off in a plane. He seemed to be the pilot. Suddenly, who knows why, he realized that he was not the pilot. Even worse, this ‘he’ had only been an idea, an idea that confirmed its own version of truth. After all, the whole flight was revealed to be a dream. ‘I’ returned to the place from where I had never started out. Now, within the dream, the flight goes on and the plane flies by itself. The new ‘owner’ is simultaneously the flyer, the flown, and the flight. The direction of the plane may change, but nobody knows where to.”
The communication I witnessed between people turned out to be more like a grotesque comedy, reminding me of Monty Python movies. Everyone pretended to know who they were, referred to themselves totally naturally as “I,“ and then projected this pseudo-knowledge outside themselves. The reversal, meaning the “negative“ side of any self-concept, also then appears on the “outside“ as the “other“ with whom communication takes place. This process is called “relationship“ and “communication.” To make a long story short, the “relationship“ between two people is, in reality, a relationship between two sets of self-concepts.
I saw that everyone lives in a preconception of himself or herself, like in a personal dream, a soap bubble, the limits of which are defined by the amount of one’s ignorance of one’s true nature, by the degree of the loss of Reality. Most encounters take place only within this soap bubble. No one really knows who is actually communicating with whom. My interest in seriously taking part in this play was completely exhausted, even though it sometimes appeared entertaining, comical, and because of that, lovable. …
I recognised that human characters are a hodgepodge of mostly subconscious images, clung to by memory, and which overlay the suchness of the moment. Sometimes this cover of clouds made of images and preconceptions seemed to spontaneously tear open, and I saw how people, without any conscious realization of Self, dwelled totally naturally in suchness. This happened, for instance, in moments and situations that were truly comical. In such a moment of No-Mind, true communication happens in the sense of communion, the sharing of heart to heart, Self to Self. Poonjaji had always stressed the importance of laughing. In the moment of laughter, the mind has no chance of prevailing.
In my experience, “I” had no fixed identity as a “somebody.” I could no longer describe how I was, which qualities I had, how I should behave, or how I shouldn’t. Everything that had once formed my fixed identity had been surrendered to the unknown and was therefore unpredictable. Never known facets of my inner life appeared in quick succession. Emotional states, images, and thoughts followed each other, just to burn away in consciousness without leaving a trace behind. Negative states were as much a part of my experience as positive states, but different from earlier times, they never lasted for long. The core dualism of the mind, with its split into conscious and subconscious, no longer functioned so that every negative thought and every unpleasant feeling appeared in consciousness naked and undistorted. Their hiding place had been taken away.