Alone or All One
It occurred to me today that when we human beings speak about feeling or being alone, what we mean is that our ego-minds are isolated within ourselves and they end up chattering to themselves. No one else hears the contents of our minds, except us, or the rare person who is willing to listen to us for a little while. Even in this latter case, the person only listens to our minds communicating via external language (talking) for a brief time. The rest of our waking hours, our minds are alone with their own content. If we think of ourselves as only an ego or language-generating mind, we are bound to feel alone, walled up within ourselves with this content.
What happens if we allow silence into this picture? Then the mind feels really, terrifyingly alone, since our individual consciousness is now deaf to the mind’s chatter.
For the spiritually awake, however, the experience of Awareness is that it has no end, either spatially or temporally. For those who don’t live in the ego-mind as the integration point of human life, there is no felt boundary in space or time. Awareness goes on forever and is everywhere and, in some way, is also everything. In this case All is Awareness or All is One, and so there is no “one” to be alone, there is just unending Awareness experiencing Itself in its many forms.
Sitting within the confines of the human ego-mind I am alone. Sitting within unbounded Awareness, I am part of the One. Yet, paradoxically, I am both ego-mind and Awareness together; a Mystery.
A recent interaction with one of my gurus (currently alive) has left ‘me’ puzzled and looking at the search for ‘awakening’ and ‘enlightenment’ in a whole different way. I think I got addicted to the approval of teachers, so I have wandered around for the last 45 years looking for it. Now that I’ve got it from some and don’t have it from others, I wonder what I’ve been looking for.
‘Awake’ and ‘enlightened’ are human constructs like any other human construct. The ‘ego self’ is another such construct. It’s true that there is something deeper than the ego self. What it is, perhaps will always remain a Mystery. We can try to explain it but, words ruin Mystery.
What we are and what Reality is can’t really be known in any final way. It has to be lived from one moment to the next without clinging to any identity, even the identity of being ‘awakened or enlightened’ or ‘a teacher.’ Sometimes it takes failing to get a teacher’s approval to realize the truth that’s right in front of one’s nose all along. No ‘I’ to get ‘awakened’ or ‘enlightened.’ No final ‘understanding’ that will be universally accepted.
Today it also seems that there is no condition called ‘awake’ or ‘enlightened’ that can be universally verified in all traditions. “I” could chase “it” eternally and never be “done” depending on the latest teacher’s vision of ‘done.’ So “I” am giving up. What remains, lots of tools and methods for going deeper and a desire to help others deepen. What doesn’t remain? Ultimate Answers or Identities.
What’s next is…a Mystery.