Kabir’s poem brought up reflections on the day “the Day came” here. It was a far cry from Kabir’s bliss; no soul-drenching, no showers of love or abundance, no sense of glorious renewal for this brain. That would all come later, years later. But the catastrophic Day is etched in memory. There would be no going back. It marked the end of a way of being in the world. Searching for an analogy … I felt like a penny free-falling through a slot machine.
Although the free-fall itself happened instantaneously and spontaneously, there had been ‘stages’ where the penny would land on a level and spin or wobble for some time. The initial tumble occurred some time before the fluid free-fall which the notes attempt to express.
First the penny fell hard onto an existential plateau when I failed to find any argument to refute the fact that nothing whatsoever can be proved to have any existence apart from the sensorial technologies in the body/brain of a sentient creature.
It spun around there then toppled further when I failed to find evidence of anything other than the functions of consciousness anywhere.
Eventually it fell clear through the works with the logical conclusion that my own independent existence, and likewise the existence of all ‘others’, could be, therefore, nothing but a concept in consciousness.
These three metaphysical notions had been orbiting my brain for many years, and were understood at some intellectual level. I was quite comfortable with them, but the penny had remained safely in the purse.
Without going into details, the Rubicon had been reached via some pretty difficult times, and ripeness must have been ready. I was thousands of miles from my work, colleagues and friends. I was hobbled by an old injury and forced into both stillness and silence. My brilliant life was in shreds, a relic lost in the dark recesses of my brain.
A huge ‘letting-go’ of the old ‘me’ story was called for, and it happened. It happened spontaneously and without volition on my part.
When the penny fell clear through, it took the bottom of my gut with it. I felt like throwing up. I got up from my zafu and said to myself: Well then, old girl, that’s it! No one here. No one to suffer. No one to be depressed. No one to beat up. No one to go anywhere, do anything, be anyone … ha!
First there was a kind of numbness, shock. A feeling of disorientation. A feeling of falling into an inner vortex. Then, an opening out into unbelievably serene spaciousness. Oceanic.
No sense of a center, and no opacity.
I’ve no idea what had happened. It seemed that there had been a brain-leap … yet time and space weren’t involved in any way. It was like an instantaneous interior reorganizing of information. I repeat: it had nothing to do with any effort on my part.
The how and the why of it remain a mystery. But many brain files were trashed – one is only aware of this when habit reaches for them and finds them gone; a giddy moment flashes, vanishes.
An entity is defined as a thing that has real existence. I thought I was an entity. Doesn’t everyone?
But to be a thing, an object needs a subject to recognize it as a ‘thing’. If I’m an object with real existence, what’s the subject that’s recognizing me?
If I turn around to examine this subject I immediately find it has turned into another object being observed, recognized, by the same subject!
If I stop this lunacy, what remains?
If I stay still, not moving a millimeter into rationalization or conceptualization, if I track that which I believe myself to be in its every movement, if I watch that notion of a self with all its ideas, it reveals itself to be – merely another concept.
I find that there is only awareness – unchanging, ubiquitous, knowing no duality, holding no opinions or beliefs, experiencing no emotion – and no independent entity whatsoever to be found.
There’s just observe-ing, just perceive-ing, just recognize-ing, just a changeless functioning. That’s all.
Life has never been the same since that Day. And yet, it is exactly the same. The ups and downs float by, equanimity visits on occasion; it all depends on how the story tells itself.
Without a past to identify with or a future to attain, the Awareness that lives this body-mind watches the play of existence, as it arises in Itself.
This is a story without beginning or end.
– miriam louisa
An extract from the echoes from emptiness blog, where the notes – written daily for one year following the free-fall – are being posted retrospectively.