The ego discovers that it is not the unchallenged master. The ego fears the reality of life and the Master. It is innately endangered by the prospect of the Truth. Deep down in its psyche, it is acutely aware that reality lingers as a threat on the horizon.
Whenever we happen upon a waterfall, we feel the activity of the transforming power of Grace. We are naturally humbled and moved by the undeniable intelligence, power, and majesty. The living water draws us to dip our feet or cup our hands in it, or perhaps even to strip off our clothes and get in. Intuitively, we know it is miraculous.
In Christian and Sufi mystical literature, “wine” is code for “living water,” the alchemical spiritual substance that transforms our consciousness to realms beyond the ordinary. jesus’s first “miracle” is the turning of water into wine at the wedding at Cana.
Reflecting on this parable afresh, nowhere does it mention who is getting married. Perhaps it is not really an outer marriage of people, but a mystical inner marriage: the dissolving of inner masculine and inner feminine, the marriage of dual and nondual, inner and outer, physical and nonphysical, ego and essence.
The transforming power of Grace not only sets us free from unnecessary polarity, it also wants to take us somewhere new if we will surrender to it. Most importantly, the transforming power of Grace helps us deal with the tough terrain that every human life involves: the betrayals, the hurts that are hard to bounce back from, the places where we get stuck in deeply entrenched patterns. We need Grace to help us address these challenges of being human.
The next four chapters are an invitation to come to the waterfall. Dive in through time-tested spiritual technologies of forgiveness, true compassion, unwinding ego identity, and abiding in your boundless nature. Ultimately, you cannot do spiritual transformation. As you yield to the transforming power of Grace, it finds you.
Every spiritual path, regardless of its mode or level, comprises three great degrees: purification, which causes “the world to leave man”; expansion, which causes “the Divine to enter into man”; and union, which causes “man to enter into God”.
This might also be expressed somewhat differently; there is something in man that has to die, or has to be destroyed: this is soul-desire, whose existential limit is the sensorial body; there is something in man that has to be converted, or has to be transmuted: this is soul-love—soul-will—whose center of gravity is the ego; finally, there is something in man that has to become conscious of itself, that has to become itself, that has to be purified and freed of what is alien to itself, that has to awaken and expand and become all, because it is all—something that alone must be: this is soul-knowledge,’ that is, the Spirit, whose subject is God and whose object is likewise God.
The role of meditation is thus to open the soul, first to the grace that draws it away from the world, second to what brings it nearer to God, and third to what reintegrates it into God, if one may speak in this way; according to circumstance, however, this reintegration may be only a fixation in a given “beatific vision”, that is, a still indirect participation in divine Beauty.
The first thought that is capable of delivering man from earthly attachments is that of death, and more generally—and correlatively—that of the ephemeral nature of all things. This meditation, which also implies the idea of suffering and is intimately linked to the attitude of renunciation, throws light on a fundamental aspect of our existence; it can therefore serve as the basis and symbol for spiritual realization despite its apparently negative character, which is necessarily compensated for by a positive aspect. Indeed, to with-draw from the world is to open oneself to the divine Ray; it is to be disposed to know the Eternity of God. To flee from the impurity of the created is to take refuge in the Purity of the Uncreated; to leave suffering is to enter into Beatitude.
The immensity and irresistibility of numinous Spirit alter the ego system in fundamental ways. The ego is shaken at its foundations because, in becoming aware of numinous Spirit, the ego discovers that it is not the unchallenged master of its own existence. Far from being master of itself, the ego here finds itself a small, weak subject whose fate is to be decided by Spirit’s changing, bivalent winds.
The ego fears the reality of life and the Master. It is innately endangered by the prospect of the Truth. Deep down in its psyche, it is acutely aware that reality lingers as a threat on the horizon.
The ego here realizes that it is not the sovereign power of the soul but is instead a mere subject, a subject subservient to sovereign Spirit. The ego, although awakened to Spirit, has not yet been reborn in Spirit and, there-fore, although no longer a worldly ego, is not yet a spiritual ego. Spirit does not yet play a role internal to the ego system. The ego is thus betwixt and between mundane and spiritual orders. Having died to the world of everyday life, it stands at the entrance to supernatural realms.
Whether it is a man or a woman, unless ego and fear are conquered thoroughly one can never move nearer to Atman or God. So the basic sadhana a real guru teaches you is to rise above your ego and your fear. The tests a real guru puts you through are intended to make you cross these two hurdles. This is true spiritual sadhana.
The truth is this – unless you rise above these two things -the most basic and fundamental hurdles in spiritual life – ego and fear – you can never become closer to God. This is one of the fundamental truths of spiritual life.
The dark forces look so pretty and handsome. They are very forceful and always try to attract you. They look good outwardly but inside they are highly poisonous. The godly forces are very simple, humble, non-attractive and calm. They never try to attract you at all. But if you allow them they work through you and take you to the Lord. They are non attractive to the outside but contain nectar inside.
What to choose between the two is always your choice. People usually choose the dark forces only to repent later. By the time they realize the fallacy of their decision, it would be too late. Only very few choose the godly forces right from the beginning. It is not easy to choose them. It needs deep thinking and tremendous will power to choose the godly forces and to reject the demonic forces. These two forces have always existed on the earth.
The supreme lord is invisible and incomprehensible. But moved by the devotion of the devotee, He appears in the form of a guru. He acts through the guru. He takes charge of the being of the guru and guides the disciple on the path. That is why we regard our guru as God Himself in human form. For all outward appearances, the guru might be just like us. He/she cannot be otherwise, because the body is human. But the inside (the mind) is not so.
So the search starts again and again. We work for sometime, then take a vacation to refresh ourselves. We live at a particular place for years and then we move out to a new place. We live with our family and friends – only to get bored in course of time and we change them. But will it work in the long run? Think over. Can you understand what you get by this? It is only a fleeting excitement and nothing else. And this is a very transitory phenomenon. It never lasts forever and you get bored again after some time. This boredom is a tool of nature to push you forward on the path of evolution. It never allows you to get stagnated in life. But we always take it the wrong way. Instead of going out,you have to go in.
That is the secret. You have wandered enough in the world. Did you get what you always wanted? Did you meet your ‘true lover’ anywhere in the outside world? No. It will never happen. Occasionally it might happen for some people.
They are very fortunate. But the majority of us will never get our ‘true lover’ in the outside world. In other words, nothing in the outside world can satisfy you totally. It is not in the nature of things. We try many new things, new hobbies, new friends, new lovers, new places, new jobs, new pastimes – what not everything but everything fails ultimately. You will be disappointed with everything in the end, for sure. So what is the way out? Go in, instead of going out, you go in. Instead of searching out, you search your inside. You understand your restlessness, what is its cause, why is it there, what actually are you searching for – you understand all this very calmly and very clearly.
This is the real meditation. As of now, you don’t know the answers to these questions, because you have no power of meditation. This understanding comes only through a very deep meditative awareness, which you have to develop by years and years of inner struggle. It does not come very easily. It never comes in a day. So my advice is – if you want peace of mind, if you want a stress free life, go in. Search your inside. This searching inside is what is called dhyana, meditation. Real tourism should happen inside you not outside. Tremendously beautiful and valuable riches are waiting for you – in you. And you are vainly roaming outside in search of them.