Posted: March 18th, 2005, 12:28 am
Meant to add this to the above entry - your pig is adorable, Bhakti!
The Zoo Fence - A Commentary on The Spiritual Life
Vivekananda goes on to say "work incessantly but be not attached to the fruits thereof." To do this every second of life is near impossible, but that doesn't mean that we will give away to slavery. Anger and resentment always want to creep into my work, no matter what it is, and I have to remind myself continuously that it doesn't matter what I'm doing if I do it with love in the heart. I don't have to accomplish anything. Nothing I do is anymore important than anything else I do. I'm already accomplished if I'm free and unattached. Of course, it's all easier said that done or felt in the heart. How do you work? BhaktiYou should work like a master and not as a slave. . . . Do you not see how everybody works? Nobody can be altogether at rest; ninety-nine percent of mankind work like slaves, and the result is misery; it is all selfish work. Work through Freedom! Work through love! The word "love" is very difficult to understand; love never comes until there is freedom. . . . Selfish work is slave's work; and here is a test. Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love that does not bring peace and joy.
A helpful/relevant book on this topic might be Collision with the Infinite by Suzanne Segal. She had a similar circumstance where she unexpectantly encountered an intense altered Reality for which she was not prepared nor informed. It was a prolonged encounter (10 years) and during much of that time she suffered a great deal of a horrible anxiety because she didn't understand it. She finally was helped by a Buddhist practitioner, psychotherapist, (Stephen[Stephan?] Bodian, editor, Yoga Journal) who was able to help her sort out and explain what had happened.Shh wrote:I felt this incredible freedom, but towards the end of the "thing" I said "No I cant be like that, it's not safe." A couple of months after that I started having panic attacks I thought that I was most likely going insane.
No Anna, dear, I didn't perceive your words that way either. No worries. I just thought it was worth mentioning another perspective. I happen to suffer with debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, and other emotional disorders so I have an experience and interest in what Shh mentioned. And for many years I've participated in a weekly clinic for group therapy where there are many who are even worse than I, and I often explore spirituality with their experiences also in mind.anna wrote:Oh dear, I didn't mean to suggest that these kinds of experiences are ONLY a result of taking drugs.
I've been very grateful for books that help explain what some have called "spiritual madness" or a "spiritual crisis" or a "dark night of the soul." An amazing amount of my anxiety has been reduced just by having someone put this into a context that helps me understand the distress, and I am grateful to those who have shared their experiences in books.anna wrote:... the only book I could find to explain the phenomena was a small book by somebody Greenlaw, called 'Kundalini or Psychosis", or something like that - it was a source of enormous comfort and support as I struggled to deal with my own dilemma. Later, I began to stumble into other books, mostly Indian teachers, who miraculously described my own experiences, and I began to be more comfortable and less frightened therefore.
anna wrote:I mentioned drugs only because many folks DO indeed fall into similar experiences through the use of mind altering drugs, so I suggested that possibility, but did not mean to suggest in any way that Shh's situation was due to that possibility. I did however, and still do, suggest that until it is integrated within her own consciousness, that she slow down, and cease altogether for a while, progress on the path, until she is comfortable with the experiences.
Probably some of us are just slowly finding our way, but all is in accordance to the Divine scehdule, no matter. I didn't know how much help existed until I knew where to look.anna wrote:It has been many years since I have encountered other souls that have stumbled into this kind of situation, and thought perhaps that because of better communication, and more accessibility to "experts" in the field, less folks were left swinging in the wind when this kind of event occured in a seeker's life, but I guess I have been in the woods too long!
One of the most significant conceptual shifts I had was a time when I was frantic and panicked and thought of the similar quote in A Course in Miracles that Michael(mjoel53) mentioned. In the beginning it was extremely difficult to grasp this idea--"The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long"
In the middle of a harrowing emotional crisis I found it was totally beyond me to conceive of this as being true, so I did the next best thing which was to play a game of "what if." So I just said, "What if it's true that what I truly am cannot be threatened?" and "What if it's true that what terrifies me doesn't exist?" Somehow that was the tiny opening, the key that turned the lock. It was my first glimpse at being able to see a reality beyond what seemed my immediate circumstances. And it was the first inkling to seeing the unreality of the way the mind distorts and torments. But I couldn't take it in one big chunk and had to start off with tiny little half-steps to truth, and then later I on started dropping the "what ifs" altogether.Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.