I am with a large multitude of people somewhere that is not inside of anything. I know some of the people nearest me but most are strangers. Nevertheless, I feel quite at home and pleasantly comfortable with everyone. Then there is a sound that we are all very much drawn to, and soon, people begin to act strangely:
They (this is very difficult to explain) seem to become confused about the people around them; they are scrambling around looking for them, their parents, siblings, other relatives and friends, and can’t recognize any of them and begin to recognize people that they don’t even know as being people they do know. But these people are also confused and don’t recognize those who think they recognize them as their own people, and the situation becomes more and more complicated and confused, with people running this way and that, trying to find their people. No one can remember anything. No one can remember anyone.
People begin wandering around and taking things from other people (we are all carrying some kind of luggage). Someone sees something in my backpack and says that I have something that belongs to them so they take it. I don’t resist this, and soon, my own luggage is empty so I leave it where it is and move on. I am not disturbed about losing it or anything that was in it.
Someone asks me to identify myself as the daughter of a woman they are trying to claim a relationship with, so I do. I don’t see why this matters so much anyway. A man looks furiously at me, but does nothing. I move on.
I am walking along and watching all this craziness and thinking it over. As I watch I realize that the reason no one knows who their people are is because they don’t know who they are. And I realize, this is God answering the request I made to show me what is going on with this crazy world.
I recall the famous question, “Who am I?” that I had always thought was such a strange question—how is it possible that a person does not know who they are? I realize that what I am being shown is why people don’t know who they are — they identify themselves with their relatives, their belongings, their bodies, etc. People depend on others—people and things—and their relationship with them, to show them who they are because this is the only way they can have some sense of themselves. But this is the very thing that keeps them hidden from themselves.
I have always known who I am. What is going on is that I know who I am and those around me do not, and this mass of confusion is what all this life in this world looks like.
A few years ago, I was asked to address a meditation class at a local church and was surprised that when I arrived they were all sitting in twos across from each other saying, “Tell me who you are” with the partner answering. I was invited to join and sit with someone without a partner. As people answered this statement with various and multiple descriptions of their names, their backgrounds, their homes and belongings, family and friends, what they like and don’t like, their professions, etc. My answer was always the same: “I’m this one.” My partner looked at me like I was nuts.
In the beginning was the Word (the sound we heard in the beginning). Subsequent identification with Creation caused everyone to forget who they are, and to look to others for this to be revealed to them.
At the onset of Creation we became identified with prakriti—nature, otherness—and left the Garden of Eden, the Absolute. The rest is history. A trip into the Absolute will change this. In yoga this is called nirvikalpa samadhi, a subject we will take up in the next few articles.
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
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