THE BIRTH OF THE LION -PART I- AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Abridged Version (32 % of the integral text)
I found myself in a state of infinite astonishment, in the stillness of No-Mind. No dangers existed, no temptations, no unfulfilled desires, nor any suffering.
I asked in a letter to Gangaji:
“Can any unfulfilled desire exist without a thought first breaking through stillness? If vigilance allows the initial thought to fall back into emptiness, if it does not allow a single thought to cut thru the stillness, then it seems neither important to reject an unfulfilled desire nor even to recognize it, because it simply does not exist.
No letting go of the ego.
No rejection of attachments.
No cutting away of unfulfilled wishes.
Just pure realization.
A thought, so tiny,
hardly worth mentioning,
and yet . . .
the moment it arises,
a powerful demon
claims the truth for himself.
It was what it had never been:
An idea that gave truth to other ideas.
An absurd, self-fulfilling play.
A never-ending cycle of suffering:
Now, as before, it was very important for me to write to Gangaji. I called these letters, “Letters from Self to Self.” In this way, inexplicably, the Self had discovered a way to teach itself, to deepen the realization of itself.
Gangaji had said, “Those who have had experiences of enlightenment are like the hair of a buffalo. Those who have attained to complete realization are like the horns of a buffalo.“ This statement had made an indelible impression on me. Also the statement: “As long as this body of desires appears, temptation also appears.“ I began to explore the apparent contradiction of immediate, timeless awakening and the deepening of realization as a process in time—a koan*.
“It seems to me that the structures of the mind reach much deeper, become much subtler, than most seekers assume. Isn’t the moment of awakening frequently just a glimpse? It’s true that the cycle of suffering can be interrupted by a very deep glimpse, yet the mind has the tendency of landing once again by being satisfied with the relative peace it has attained. The ‘I have got it!‘ becomes a trap. Yes, there is absolute freedom when the Self has been realized. In truth, there is. And yet, in the dream of this ‘reality,’ ‘relative freedom‘ can deepen. This deepening is not necessarily comfortable, as it requires facing the subtlest shadow concepts of the mind, which do not necessarily correspond to one’s ‘image of enlightenment.’
The widespread misunderstanding about enlightenment seems to be that enlightenment is considered to be an end, an absolute finish. Yes, it is an end, yet it is also just a beginning. The mind cannot solve this contradiction. It comes sneaking in and uses ‘Everything is all the same‘ as a pretext for landing again. The temptation continues . . .“
Thus I continued to witness a “personal” process of deepening. During this process, neurotic material still appeared, but I was neither identified with it nor separate from it. The simplicity and naturalness of the course of events, and the recognition of perfection in imperfection, were overwhelming.