There are certain situations in life that sometimes pull out of you planes of reality that are deeper than the ones you normally have access to.
Like, I work with a lot of people who are terminally ill and dying, and right now I’m working with a large group of people with AIDS. As the illness progresses, and as the ego starts losing control, when you can’t control the scene anymore, at that moment there is a… I don’t like the term, but it’s a window of opportunity. There’s a moment where the person is available to really be with, and not busy being somebody who is dying, but just another soul that’s here.
The purity of that moment is so powerful that it pulls me out of all my stuff. All of my, “be kind to dying people” routine; all of my ego and kind of insecurities and all of that stuff. It requires that we share truth with each other.
The predicament is that truth doesn’t actually have form. Everything that’s in form is really only relatively true. So I’m in a peculiar position because I want to share truth with you, and yet my vehicle for doing it is words – our words.
In a way the truth is silence out of which the words arise, although it’s no more that than the words themselves. Likewise, everything you can point at is only relatively true, even emptiness. So I would say you and I are using words; we are using speaking and listening as a vehicle for us to meet, and through which we are meeting. Where we are capable of meeting is in the intuitive heart/mind – a way of knowing one another that isn’t through our immediate, analytic, intellectual process. But yet, these are word concepts that are spinning out, and you’re picking them up, and you’re taking the concepts, and fitting them with your concepts, and deciding they work.
You’re judging and you’re using your intellect to decide whether I’m off the wall, or I’m here, or am I like us or am I them, or what am I? Whatever happened to Ram Dass? And when I say I share truth with the Beloved, it’s a place where we know how limited the words are, so we dance with the words with our minds, while also sinking into a place of just shared presence.
There’s a statement about prayer, that prayer is like hanging out with a very, very dear friend, and when you are hanging out with a very dear friend whose words are nice, you often go behind the words and it’s just nice to be together. It’s interesting what happens to that quality of our knowing in the universe, how much it surrenders its fair share of attention to our intellect – which is so squinted with its articulation and judgement process, when we do this.
I came across a quote from Rilke that I think fits here…
“That is at bottom the only courage demanded of us, to have courage for the most strange, the most singular, the most inexplicable that we may encounter. That human kind has in this sense been cowardly, has done life endless harm. The experiences that are called visions, the whole so-called spirit world, death, all those things that are seriously akin to us have by daily parrying, been so crowded out of our life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied. To say nothing of God.”
I don’t agree with Rilka that they’re atrophied. I think they’re sitting right there, but we don’t very often acknowledge them in ourselves.
– Ram Dass