Being a Light Unto Myself – Dayanand Bharati

The alchemy of transcendence

A lot of water has flown down the Ganga since that article about the addiction, How I Came to One-Mind.

I had transcended alcohol addiction and sobriety then. It is not quite correct that “I” had transcended it. Transcendence happened after “I” had failed absolutely, completely. Only through the power of awareness and watching both had disappeared, in a blaze of grace never to be seen or heard of again.

The first true transformation had happened in my life. It was real. It was a miracle. I was in awe and the mind still cannot comprehend, even now, because he was left out of the loop. I mean something that was such a strong destructive habit for almost half of my life, suddenly just gone, evaporated like it never existed from one moment to the next.This was a key experience; I knew this key can be used to transcend the mind itself, and not just part of it.

Many changes happened right after this transformation.

I was filled with love and gratitude.

All doubt about myself was erased from my mind forever. I knew for certain that truth existed.

It was a clear confirmation that transcendence is possible, I had experienced it, even just on this small scale of the personal mind, the impact was mind blowing, literarily.

I had been on the right path.

I was not in some kind of spiritual illusion about myself, because even in all that time I had been with my master I never had an experience that confirmed that I was on the right path, never a proof, except his acceptance of me and my love and trust for him.

Of course many other things happened on the emotional and mental plane but never this final proof, this dropping into another dimension this falling out of polarity. But now this was it, the first real transformation made it all real.

I was free now of all personal unconscious layers, free of the hidden influences that had directed this life so far.

I was conscious of myself as part of existence and not anymore part of Society. I was free of all the games society is playing. I had nothing to do with it any more, there was nothing I wanted from the outer world.

Therefore, anxiety dropped away immediately, replaced by a natural trust in existence.

I was loved, accepted and embraced by life, I was ultimately worthy to be alive.

I looked at myself now, not anymore at others.

I had asked my whole life, the other, the woman, the mother image to confirm me, give me worth and value, love me, or the lover, to satisfy me, give me bliss and fulfillment.

But I was asking a mirror image, there was nobody in these reflections, only my own projections, nobody really there, only the reflection echoing back, asking the same from me.

Just like when I look in my bathroom mirror and ask, do you love me?

What will happen?  Will the reflection say: Yes!

No, the reflection will say “Do you love me”?

There was no other!

To me, this is best described by a small anecdote my beloved master Osho has told once.

I don’t recall in which discourse so I tell it as I remember it.

My master had a friend who had a butcher shop in his village,

(It must be a made up story, no Jain, even an enlightened one ever walks into a butcher shop), anyway he liked the man and he dropped in occasionally to say hello.

One day just before closing time my master stopped by and asked how his day was, the butcher said he had a great day today, I sold all my meat except for this chicken here.

That very moment the shop door burst open and a customer rushed in, “ahh.. glad I made it, I have some friends over today for dinner and need a chicken.”

The Butcher winked at my master and put the chicken on the scale, “$5 please”, he said.

“Hmmm”, said the customer, “do you have a bigger one?”

Without hesitation the butcher walked back in his storeroom with the chicken, made some noise and came back with the same chicken

He slapped it on the scale and said, “this one will be $7”.

“Tell you what”, said the customer, “I will take both.”

Now there is only one chicken. My master said there is always only one chicken. Asking for both will reveal the truth! That there is not two!

Being alert, watching, looking, inquiring is asking for both.

Love this story!

The steps that led to transcendence

I want to elaborate on the steps that led to this transcendence, because this is a key that can be applied to transcend any duality.

And it can be used by anyone.

Before the transformation of getting drunk and trying to control it I had always believed I was going in a straight line, from this point to that, from unhappiness to happiness, from addiction to sobriety, from dependence to independence. And to get there I just had to try hard enough, give it my all and one bright sunny day…it will happen. I will arrive at my final destination. I will be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. And when it didn’t happen, as I hoped, the reverse attitude kicked in, no matter how hard I try I will never make it.

I will be never be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened.

But in the struggle to be free of the drunkard I became aware that I was not going in a straight line at all, I became aware of the circle, going from negative to positive and back again to negative, from addict to anti-addict back to addict….. From unhappiness to happiness back to unhappiness, round and round….

If I follow a straight road and keep going and going I will eventually drive around the planet and arrive exactly where I am now same with the mind.

Before I was never aware of this fact, because the opposite was always hidden in the unconscious, half of the globe hidden in the dark night.

The road invisible appears non-existent, that is why it looks like it is a straight line, a half circle looks like a straight line, going from dawn to dusk from here to there, the other half is dark, unconscious, hidden, but I had somehow, through watching my mind and by trying, digging myself out of myself hopelessly, brought eventually light to that dark hidden part.

I suddenly saw the whole mind, I stood apart, I saw the full circle not just half. I became aware that they are one whole and not 2 separate things.

It changed everything!

“If you make a circle, the end and beginning meet — only then is the circle complete. If you become a circle, whole, total, in you will meet the beginning and the end. You will be the very source of the world and you will be the very climax of the world. You will be both the alpha and the omega. And unless you become that, something is incomplete; and when something is incomplete you will remain miserable. The only misery that I know is being incomplete. The whole being tends to be complete, needs to be complete, and the incomplete becomes a torture. The incompletion is the only problem. And when you become complete, the end and the beginning meet in you. God as the source and God as the ultimate flowering meet in you.”

-Osho

From The Hidden Harmony, Chapter #4

It is not that the mind saw that, he cannot, he is not able to look around the full circle, around the whole globe, the mind, just like the eyes, can always only see half, the front or the back, the up or the down but the eyes can never see front and back, up and down at the same time.

That is the limitation of the mind and body.

Only awareness can see all, not see, be all, rooted at the center with full awareness of all that is.

Being aware of that, I could not be in illusion anymore that one day I will be fulfilled, that this mind would one day arrive at its destination, at one side and stay there, there was no destination, a circle has no end, no arrival point it just goes round and round, on and on, like the horses on a merry go round.

Understanding this clearly, the turning in happened, the “letting go” happened, the transformation happened, addict and anti-addict evaporated into awareness, into the heart of being, because reaching anywhere was not possible, choice was not possible, choice was an illusion.

I would never reach one side, because there is no one side, there is always 2 sides, like breathing in and breathing out, there cannot be only breathing in, or only breathing out. But the mind believes that this is possible, that is the illusion.

I would never attain fulfillment in any of my desires because they are all based in duality.

There was no love waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, or security, or happiness.

There was always both waiting for me.

Love and hate, happiness and unhappiness, life and death.

If I am in love unaware, hate is waiting in the basement for its turn, because love is based on hate and vice versa, they are each other’s contrast, how would I know what love is if I did not know hate, its opposite.

Seeing this, understanding this, choice was now irrelevant.

I would always end up at the opposite again sooner or later.

The illusion that I was going somewhere that I was growing, winning, that one day I will arrive at my goal was only an illusion, or that I will be condemned for ever, in eternal despair was also only one side of the coin.

It is like a chess player suddenly becomes aware that he is actually playing against himself, his own mirror image.

I became aware that I was 100% addicted to alcohol, I wanted to get drunk, escape, forget, period.

And I was aware that I wanted 100% to get rid of the addiction, be free of it, period.

And both identifications where mine. I was the only player in this game

I was aware of the opposite player as myself, I was my own enemy my own competitor, I competed against myself, tried to win against myself.

But now the light was on, I saw who I was playing against and I knew the next move I would make because the opponent was me, myself my own mind.

I played from now on with an open deck of cards.

Like playing poker with all the cards open faced you know exactly the next card coming up, the game is meaningless, there is no more game because the game consists of the not knowing what card will be next, will it be a winner or a looser?

That day, the game of playing and winning against the world, collapsed, because it was all me, my projection.

I was the world and I was the individual, because I projected me onto the world, the world was me, my projection.

The mind got it too!

Once a fact is known it cannot be reversed, once a child knows by experience that fire burns it will know it for life and not touch fire again.

Once the mind knows 100% it is not possible to get fulfillment outside

It will cooperate and stop reaching out.

The mind itself inside of me did not collapse yet, only the mind going out, playing with the world, getting, desiring, escaping resisting the outside was now meaningless. I did not project the images in my mind onto the outside anymore, but the images themselves where still intact.

The conditioned mind fell onto itself.

I was the center now and the world was the periphery. Before I had no center I was kicked around like a ping pong ball on the periphery.

I became a light onto myself, I could see where I was going. Now I had a center. I was “in” but the center was again divided in itself, inside, into its own duality.

“If you are wise, intelligent, and you know how to contain the opposites together in a deep friendly embrace, then thesis opposed by antithesis will create a new phenomenon in your being: synthesis. On a higher plane you will arise. In a deeper way you will be united. And then again the synthesis functions as a thesis, creates its antithesis, and again, on a higher plane, synthesis. It goes on and on, waves upon waves, higher and higher. There are planes upon planes, and one can go on reaching. The ultimate plane is the total synthesis of your life. All conflict disappears – is not dropped, but disappears of its own accord.”

Osho

From The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2 #13

For me the addiction to alcohol was the catalyst that pushed me into awareness, but it can be anything that the mind is addicted to, the mind is basically in its essence addiction.

What I am pointing to in this writing is, that any duality can be transcended with deep inquiry and awareness.

The conditioned mind, acquired in this life had been erased.

But the ancient mind, the totality of the mind with its roots in the beginning of time had not yet. But it opened the door to “The final ultimate synthesis”.

In deep gratitude to my beloved master Osho.

Dayanand Bharati

This is a follow-up to a previous posting by Dayanand, How I Came to One-Mind.

 

How I Came to One-Mind – Swami Dayanand Bharati

Some years ago I had to face that I was getting drunk every evening for the past 10 years, not that I was knocking myself out, just enough to be in a state of pleasant unconsciousness from 6pm to bedtime almost every day ( happy hour ! )  Getting drunk was nothing new I basically spent the years from 16 – 21 in a state of intoxication. My life as a teenager was void of any meaning (except looking to get laid) it seemed there was no good reason for being alive, so I hang with my good friends Beer and cigarette’s they kept me company, taking the edge of my misery.  I was born 2 years after the war and my mother was 19 years old, no money, no job, a gigolo as a husband, of course I was not received with love and joy, I was a burden, a mistake. I got that very early and became invisible, didn’t want to make a fuss, who knows?  But  my mother was also a very responsible person and took care of me in spite of it all. When I was 5 years old I did experience unconditional Love from strangers that took me in to give my mother a break and they sweetly nourished my young soul until I was returned to my parents ( now with a new father ) 6 years later, which was confusing and strange to suddenly find myself physically taken care of but love was absent again, no embrace, no, we are so happy to see you. Anyway that is just a short introduction why alcohol was so easy to fall back on for me when I was lost, scared or lonely.  There was a huge change in my life at the age of 22. I became aware of myself and I dropped out of my short hippy life experiment of sex, drugs and rock and roll to walk the spiritual path. Soon after my Master appeared mysteriously in my life in 1973 and initiated me. Living closely with my beloved Master, in Bombay, Pune 1, the Ranch and some of Pune 2 until 1990, there was no need for alcohol, his presence, his unconditional love and care was enough intoxication.  After he left his body I was not ready yet to walk alone, even though I did believe for a while that I was. Something was missing and keeping me stuck, I did not know what.

I put my head at the feet of another Sat-guru and asked for truth, no matter what. Consequently my relationship ( marriage), which had provided me with a sense of security and mutual love by overriding my primal conditioning for 12 years, was falling apart and my early childhood wounds of feeling rejected and a burden where bleeding again, it was painful and I chose at first to escape by reviving my old drinking habit,  sitting in front of the TV with a bottle of wine getting drunk and indulging in self-pity .

Finally after accepting and understanding that this love need I had will never be fulfilled from anyone outside, I surrendered and embraced my aloneness. I had passed through all the pain and confusion again in this separation process that I had experienced when I was a child. Only later on did I realize that I was free now of my conditioning of rejection and worthlessness,  an individual, my own person and did not have to compromise anymore for love and safety. I was responsible now for myself. 

I kept up the drinking habit somehow maybe as a reward for my freedom, a declaration to myself that I can do now what I like and it is no ones business. It was somehow tied up with being ME holding on to something, something I could control, that was mine, my choice.

 I enjoyed being me, there was a freedom that I never had felt before, I traveled, lived like a gypsy for a while out of my van, found a gorgeous young woman to love with a different flavor, without dependence and the primal need for mother love and security. I was free to dive deep into my passion without guilt or pretense, no mother looking over my shoulder anymore, I could love now for the joy of it, for the passion of it, the play of it and I still held on to the the bottle of Vino.

This relationship went on for some years I slowly freed myself of my sexual conditioning by not compromising who I was. When the dance was complete with my beautiful partner I experimented some more with my new found sexual freedom but soon found that it was repetitive and draining, it naturally faded slowly out. I was tired and done chasing woman for love or sex. I was maybe 55 then and I wanted to relax with someone, have a friend, enjoy simple things like cooking, house making, fixing things, gardening, have a dog, Meditating??? When the time is right and the desire fits with the natural flow of life it will always happen, I met just the right beautiful woman to share the next stage of my life with, but still 2 bottles of wine every evening and maybe a shot or two of vodka to top it off. The old drinking habit was now becoming bigger and a problem. I felt not fully available to my beloved and to myself. I was watching the weakening of body and clarity of mind by getting intoxicated every evening, there was a subtle spiritual sarcasm arising too.

I tried to stop but could only do it for a few days, tried again, failed after a week, slowly I realized that I was addicted, this was new, I always thought, “Oh, I can stop whenever I want.” Well I could not!  Finally I had enough; I have to get out of this now! But how??

I called for help and I heard Osho whisper in my inner ear “watch”, so I watched what happens when I drink, I watched, first glass of wine a little happiness, some satisfaction, then blurriness, scrambled thoughts, unfocused and at the end of the bottle numbness, finally sleep, every day the same. I also heard my Master say, “Do not judge, do not condemn, just watch.” Why did I still get drunk ? It seemed there was actually no more reason for it. It seemed the reason was already dissolved, the meaninglessness, the worthlessness, the need for love and safety and recognition already history.

Today I know that this was the attempt to hold on to the Me, me the person, the identity, this addiction had been with me since puberty it was a big part of my identity and now this was all that was left, this empty idea of Me. I was holding on to that by keeping up the drinking but now there was a painful conflict arising, my body would get sick I was sure, I could feel it, my mind was anxious about my future, I would spiral down into “fuck it all” and loose everything, I was certain of this and the love I wanted to share was crippled. I could feel it, plus my spiritual path was almost nonexistent. All these reasons stood against getting drunk and be oblivious for a few hours, I had to gather all my determination to watch, I had no other options.

I watched!

In the morning I would wake up around 4 am and feel my body was poisoned and I promised myself, today I am done no more, but come noon next day I had to decide between Merlot and Cabernet, I watched! I watched the dance, when the desire to get drunk was conscious the desire to stop drinking was in the unconscious, totally absent. When the desire to stop was up the desire to get drunk was down in the basement nonexistent.  They never met at first, like day and night, the game of the mind, hide and seek.  To watch I had to accept to keep drinking, by and by it was obvious that to stop drinking, just to stop was just not possible anyway, I could control it for a while, maybe even years like some people can, but this would just keep the lid on for a while and I might be under the illusion that I had beat drinking but that would only be a deception and deep down the addiction would wait for it’s day to come.

After a while of watching looking deeply into my mind I became conscious of both together and the very interesting and important insight that I got was, that the addiction part was complete in itself it was 100 % and the anti -addiction part was also complete in itself just the opposite also 100% that could not be changed. So it seemed there where 2 in me, one that was 100% happy to get drunk and one that was 100% unhappy to get drunk and demanded to stop. Each wanted domination, each wanted to win this war! Impossible! They where both me and they had equal power, like my left hand and my right hand, which will win? They are both me! They are one, two half of the whole, they where causing each other. I don’t know who came first the addiction or the anti addiction but it was clear now that the anti addiction stands on the shoulders of addiction and vice versa. The hide and seek game was exposed slowly, both the opposing forces showed up as one dynamic, both where conscious now but what was the solution?? How to get out of this?? there was nothing I could do, because to do something I had to choose one or the other and there was no point choosing! Any choice was meaningless. There was no way out !! I would be stuck with this forever, now what??? I mean, can I decide to only breath in, or only to breath out, NO ! The mind was stuck. I just remember this gap. Now what??

The next day I sat down as usual in my easy chair, turned on the TV, opened my bottle of wine and filled my glass, I was a little confused what to do? Drink without drinking or not drink drinking? What am I gonna listen to? The image of my Master drifted past my mind or rather my heart and all the other awakened ones I had the good fortune to sit at their feet. I felt how blessed I was.

Still unsure what to do with the full glass of wine.…There was a gap.. suddenly the floodgates of my being broke wide open  Love, Grace, flooded me, drowned me, tears of overwhelming Gratitude for everything, for being, for this blessed Life, knowing that I am loved, not by anyone but by existence itself, I could not contain the joy. I laughed, I cried, I prayed, I thanked the sky and the earth for their beauty and the sudden clarity struck me that now drinking and anti drinking are gone forever, anxiety and hope for my personal future left with the addiction, mind turned around facing itself, became one pointed. It wiped me out, the person the identity related to the outside world. I turned in! not by my doing, the mind can not do this, it must have been that the mind came to it’s wits end, crashing into itself, nowhere left to go. The gap! The goose was out! The drinker and the anti drinker fell into that gap never to be heard of again and it took with it the illusion that there is anything I would ever need from outside of me to make me whole, anything I would need to fulfill me or complete me. I am immensely grateful for the addiction because it was the catalyst for this transformation.

This was not enlightenment, this was not the end of the mind, this was the end of ME holding on and blindly cooperating with the unconscious movement of the mind. A small Satori maybe but it had an immense impact, it turned my life outside in.

About 10 years have passed since that event. The impact is permanent. The addict and the anti addict have never been seen again. I am still in awe of the mystery.  The blessed journey continues !

Love,

Swami Dayanand Bharati

There is a follow-up to this posting, Being a Light Unto Myself.