How can we add more dimension to our spiritual existence?

This is a great story: Every month a disciple faithfully sent his master an account of his spiritual progress.

In the first month, he wrote, “I feel an expansion of consciousness and experience my oneness with the universe.” The master glanced at the note and threw it away. The following month, this is what he had to say: “I have finally discovered that the Divine is present in all things.” The master seemed disappointed. In his third letter, the disciple enthusiastically explained, “The mystery of the One and the Many has been revealed to my wondering gaze.” The master yawned. In his next letter, he said, “No one is born, no one lives, and no one dies for the self is not.” The master threw up his hands in despair.

After that a month passed by, then two, then five, then a whole year. The master thought it was time to remind his disciple of his duty to keep him informed of his spiritual progress, so he wrote to him. The disciple wrote back, “Who cares?” When the master read these words, a look of satisfaction spread over his face, and he said, “Thank you God, at last he’s got it.”

You can watch your own mind get enamored with a concept and then fill your world with that concept, but then never go beyond it. It’s the interesting way in which methods are traps. Krishnamurti is right to that extent; methods are traps because of the way in which you embrace the method. The method itself is neither the trap, nor not the trap, but the way you embrace it becomes a trap, and yet, as I’ve pointed out before, to myself and to you, for a method to work, you have to be trapped by it. You just have to also hope it self-destructs, so you don’t end up just a good mediator, or a great student of Tao, never going beyond that.

You and I are involved in a subtle process that moves us ultimately to simultaneously exist and not exist, to be in form and not in form. It takes you beyond your paradoxes, beyond your polarities, beyond dualism, and yet here we are in dualism. I mean, this is as much fun as any game I can think of in town because you can’t win, while winning means that you don’t… win. That’s what I’ve realized. See your predicament? “I’m gonna get enlightened, I’m gonna do these practices.” That’s the story of Trungpa Rinpoche when he was teaching me a mediation. He said, “Ram Dass, No. Don’t try it, just do it. Don’t even try, just do the meditation.” How do you ‘not try?’ because that won’t work either.

Some of you at this point are saying, “I’m confused,” and I say, “Aren’t you lucky? Isn’t that better than knowing?” Think of how horrible it is to know, cause if you know, you are somebody finite knowing something, and that can’t be what it is anyway, so there’s some way in which you must be frustrated.

So you and I are here I guess to spiritualize our lives, to add dimension into our existence. The statement, “Be here now,” doesn’t mean to be in this hall at this moment, it means to be here, here, here, here, here. We are here mythically, physically, we are here as thoughts, and concepts. We are here!

-Ram Dass

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