Sitting silently the other morning, I felt an incredible energy inside me – and suddenly a big fear arose before I had been able to accept or realize this energy. Could you help me to understand this fear? I am so afraid of my fire burning me totally: I had a glimpse of that and my mind has stopped this process. How to become free of this fear?
Shantam Shavda, life is a tremendous energy phenomenon. You are not aware of how much energy you have. Do you think atoms know how much energy they have? A single atom which is invisible to the eyes, if it explodes, can destroy a city as big as Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Within minutes everything is burned. If an atom of matter has that much energy… your consciousness is a far higher phenomenon. Your being must be carrying universes of energies – dormant of course, because you are not aware. But those who have become aware, their descriptions indicate similar things. Kabir says that in his experience of inner being, he sees as if thousands of suns have suddenly arisen. All around him suns are dancing; the light is so dazzling that it makes him almost blind. But this is not only Kabir’s experience. Many mystics have described it the same way.
Your experience is just a beginning. You felt as if you would be burnt. Don’t be worried, nobody has ever burnt in his own inner energy. This energy is creative, not destructive. Any energy that comes out of meditative silence is creative. There is not a single instance of it destroying anything, it has only created: it has created a beautiful space within; it has created beautiful art, music, sculpture, poetry, painting, outside. This fire is not even hot, it is very cool.
I am reminded of Moses on Mount Sinai. He had gone there in search of God and he saw a very strange phenomenon which Jewish scholars are unable to explain because it looks fictitious. He saw a fire and within the fire a green bush, unburned. He could not believe his eyes. The flames were rising high and the bush inside the flames was green, and its flowers were blossoming as if a cool breeze was passing through, not a fire.
Attracted towards this majestic experience, he comes closer to the bush and suddenly he hears a voice, “Moses, take your shoes off! You are on holy ground.” The voice is coming from the bush. As he comes closer, leaving his shoes behind, he does not feel any heat; on the contrary he feels very cool. And the dialogue that happened and culminated in the Ten Commandments was not with a person, but an invisible voice coming from that green bush.
Theologians have been at work trying to figure it out. As far as I am concerned, I am not a theologian, but I can understand a little bit of poetry and I think it is a poetic statement, not a theological statement. Once you see it is a poetic statement all confusion disappears. What is being said is that life, or God, is a cool energy, so creative, so non-destructive that even within the fire of it a bush will remain green and will grow and blossom.
Accept this life energy – what a great philosopher, Bergson, used to call élan vital. This life force is not something to be afraid of. You have to create a communion with this life energy, a dialogue, and you will be immensely enriched, not burned. For the first time your spring will come and your flowers will blossom.
Many ancient parables, stories, are in fact poetic statements, but the theologians have destroyed their beauty and their poetry by dragging them down and trying to prove that they are actual historical facts. They are not facts, they are far above facts; they are poetic realizations and poetic expressions.
Whatever happened to you, don’t be afraid of it. There is no need for any fear. Rejoice with the flames of the energy, dance with those flames, have a communion with those flames and you will be finding a dialogue with existence itself. If you are afraid that you may be burned, then this very fear will stop the process, will become a barrier to entering inwards into deeper realms of your consciousness. Drop this fear. Nobody has ever been burned by life energy.
One has to learn to drop fear as one enters inwards – because there is nobody except your own energy, and your own energy cannot be your enemy. In fact even to say “your energy” is not right. It is because of the poverty of language that we have to use expressions like that. It is better to say you are the energy. Who is there to be burnt? You are the fire itself, those dancing flames are your very being. Who is going to be burnt? You are not a separate entity. It is language that always divides and creates trouble.
Drop all fear. The moment you are entering into meditation, put your fear where Moses had to leave his shoes. It is sacred ground. You are entering a temple of love, of life, of peace. There is no need of any fear. Go dancing in and it is absolutely certain that if you can be unafraid, a bridge will be created between you and the energy that is also you – but it is dormant, has been asleep and unconscious, so it appears as if it is separate from you.
But once it becomes awake, soon you will see your small flame of life has disappeared into the vast energy that has arisen. You have entered into the cosmic, into the universal. And the vaster the energy, the greater the ecstasy, the more joy, the more blessings, the more laughter.
Little Ernie is sitting at the back of the class, a can of beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other when Miss Goodbody says, “Okay children, today we are going to play a game. I’m going to say a few words about something, and you try to tell me what I’m thinking about. Okay, here we go! The first thing is a fruit. It’s round and it’s red.”
Little Billy raises his hand and says, “An apple.”
Miss Goodbody says, “No, it’s a tomato, but I’m glad to see you’re thinking. The next one is round and it’s a green vegetable.”
Little Mary says, “It’s a lettuce.”
“No,” says Miss Goodbody, “it’s a pea. But I’m glad to see you’re thinking.”
Just then Ernie raises his hand and says, “Hey, teach! Mind if I ask you one?”
“Go right ahead,” says Miss Goodbody.
“Okay,” says Ernie, “I’ve got something in my pocket, and it’s long and it’s hard and it’s got a pink tip.”
“Ernie!” shouts Miss Goodbody, “that’s disgusting.”
“It’s a pencil,” says Ernie, “but I’m glad to see you’re thinking.”
From Hari Om Tat Sat, Chapter Eleven
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