Such a strange morning. I woke after a bad dream. Had a bowl of cereal and some tea. Went back to bed to do some “long thinking.” That is when you take an idea and just allow yourself to spend some time with it. What I chose to think about was how we live in a prison of our own making. The cave that Plato speaks about is our living reality. One of Vernon Howard’s talks was “How To Escape the Prison of Illusion.” A great title.
Today there is no lack of nondual folks speaking about awakening. Most of them are speaking to us from within the dream. Make no mistake about that. Just because they speak does not mean that they have made their final escape. It is more of a” one step forward, two steps back” experience.
I have read Irina Tweedie’s book, Daughter of Fire, many times. And it is a huge book, in both size and content. Her teacher, Bhai Sahib, forced her to face the darkness within. He allowed no shred of illusion to remain. Instead he ruthlessly ground her down. Day after day, she sat with him in extreme heat, their own respective health problems and the mere situation of “no escape.”
“You must be able to sleep in the street; why not? Is the street not also His?” (Bhai Sahib to Mrs. Tweedie in Daughter of Fire)
This is no different than our own lives. I have had to sit with years of caregiving and grief while studying my own desperation and lack of answers. When my own teacher died, I had no idea that soon my spouse would also be dying. It all seemed too much because it was. I bore such a burden that I only slept in brief fits and starts for many years.
What kept me going? What kept Irina Tweedie going? The fact that there was no escape. Pema Chodron has spoken about this in detail. The neoadvaitists would have you believe otherwise. But for one on the path of developing their essence, no escape is the law. Thankfully, there is a higher law and that is the law of love. When no escape is finally seen, the law of love kicks in. For Irina, it happened after the death of her teacher. With me, I am not sure it is anything but a tiny crack in the door.
“Not all things can be answered as to why and how,” he began softly. It is all a question of surrender…if you are surrendered, if you have faith, if you are surrendered to His will, His will becomes your will. And what needs to be done will be done.”
To be continued….