The following entry was written about a month ago:
"Where are we going? Always home." (Novalis)
It somehow feels like as if I finally arrived somewhere. Having shifted places three times now since my arrival in Tiruvannamalai about one month ago, things have now unfolded in a way I could never have imagined or planned. We do stuff amd have intentions, but behind that - something else is at work. We find ourselves in situations that lead and relate to each other in strange ways of interconnectivity. We never know what's going to happen next. But unexpectedly our wishes happen to be fulfilled before we even recognize them. That's how the universe works if you let it do its work and don't interfere. Too much analysis, demanding, planning and thinking is interference; acceptance, witnessing, detachment and connection to authentic desires on the other hand are going with the flow of the universe. Everything falls into place exactly as it is supposed to be. Our resistance is the unability to see that our authentic desire and God's will (the play of the universe) are not opposed. But still we resist. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The ego is made of nothing but resistance and the ego is who we think we are, it is the identification with mind content. Beyond that a greater intelligence is at work which makes everything possible. But there is fear of letting go into this completely. Fear of loosing ourselves. And we indeed have to completely loose ourselves, in order to find ourselves.
I have my own apartment now. I am sitting on a chair in front of a desk in front of a window with view onto Arunachala mountain. Being a bit out of town the surroundings are very peaceful, it feels very much like countryside and there are pleasantly few people around. I am unable to think of a better place to be. As I said in a previous post, this mountain is the most magical and powerful being I have ever encountered and its grace pours onto me every day. One strange thing about being in Tiruvannamalai is that unexpected things happen every day. Sometimes small scale, sometimes big scale, somethimes outside, sometimes inside, often very subtle and not easily notable, but really: There was not one day where I had an idea about what was finally going to happen when I woke up in the morning. Some rough ideas would be in the mind as usual, but always unexpected stuff would manifest seemingly just out of nowhere. And being here one is very likely to just go with it and let it happen. Don't ask - the mountain knows better. The capitulation of the planning mind is a very common thing to happen in India in general, but here it is especially strong, I feel.
Recently a French girl, who had just arrived and as many felt a strong unexpected pull to stay, brought up Thomas Mann's Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain). Yes, of course! I had never thought about that, but that's very much how it works. Planning to come for a visit, staying on and an, loosing the sense of time and the sense of meaning the live elsewhere used to have, staying in a lack of any reason to leave and everything becoming a little bit weird and crazy up there. The Magic Mountain. I never happened to finish that book and I would love to do so now.
I haven't had my own appartment in years, probably not since I moved out of my flat in Weimar three years ago and I had completely forgotten how good that can feel. Settling down, feeling the spaciousness of an empty room. No disturbance, no hurry, no rush, peace. Not excitement, not joy, not pleasure but - peace.
In the heat of South India rooms are either dark or hot. I used to have more dark and cool ones before, now my room with Arunachala view is bright and hot, so I sleep on the roof. Indian houses all have open rooftops that are normally only used to hang the laundry. I love to sleep there. One is somehow in direct contact with the night sky and, especially, the mountain.
I never expected or planned to settle down. But just now when I started writing this entry I started feeling that it had happened. I also didn't expect or plan the opposite. Things just kept on unfolding, mostly without me knowing what was going on. My mind state is, other than what one might imagine about this 'meditative' life, not often at peace. Restlessness, unease, unstableness and insatisfactoriness have always been with me as far as I can think back, although I have rarely been able to see this clearly. We do not know what stress is, until we experience real peace of mind - if only for a short moment. Beyond all the turmoil of mind and the noise of the world, beyond the endless chatter of thought and home made problems - there is ... IT. Some call it stillness, but even this word already takes away its own meaning. The thought of stillness evoked by the word is not stillness. Some call it presence or being, because it ... IS. Thought is always creating future and past, thought free no-mind is ... now. Some call it What You Really Are.
Something has settled. I am that I am. I am where I have been guided to be. I am where people have come to discover the truth of who they are for ages. The place is sacred, yet still somehow secret. More and more people come, but still it is not very well known or exeptionally touristy. Well, the truth seems to be that not many people are interested in finding The Truth Of Who They Really Are. After a while you know most of the faces who are around in Tiruvannamalai. What are these people doing here? They are really not doing anything. They are Being. Or, at least, trying to just be - as utterly paradoxical as that sounds and is. It is relatively easy for us foreigners to just be here. It is still exceptionally cheap, the mountain gives us great support and some human experts in being - called Gurus - are around too, acting as teachers, helpers, reminders. Of course you can get lost in stuff - lost in the mind, trading old identites for new ones - around here just as anywhere else. But I have never been at a place that has been more conducive to ... Being Who You Really Are.
That still little people are interested in That is not to blame anyone. Everything is good as it is anyway. But our whole society is nothing but a big machine of hiding Who You Really Are. Our society is about control, sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle. The collective Ego is not different from the individual. It wants control. It lives the illusion of control. If you know Who You Really Are, it is difficult to control you. Control comes from fear and only the fearful can be controlled. The more you understand Who You Really Are, the less fear there is, because nothing is to be lost, everything has always been here and will always be. Fear is ultimatelly fear of death. If you think you are your body, there will be fear of death. If you think you are your mind, there will be fear of death. Body and mind come and go, they are the illusion of birth and death. Who You Really Are, however, does not come and go, it does not die.
That we have a hard time even conceiving of that, not to talk about experiencing it, and properly understanding it, is due to the conditioning in this 'Kali Yuga' which is very much into the opposite direction, the direction of boundaries, identification, of opposites and separation. It is as it and it has to be that way. But now ... the opportunity to change is available. At least to more people than ever before throughout history. We are not special. We are part of something that is going on. On small scale I see this here in Tiruvannamalai. Yet it is subtle. And if you are not going into this direction, you cannot see it. If you could, you would be going. It is, from this perspective, not optional and I never consciously choose to go. Now, however, there is no way back. Sometimes I resist and I do not want to go, I do not want to be who I am and where I am, I just want a normal, simple life, like so many others seem to have (maybe just seem). But everyone of us is here to fulfill the very task she or he is here for. I do not know what it is and there is no need to ask. In my good moments I can surrender to it. Surrender is maybe the major lesson that Arunachala came to teach me. The lessons have only started, it seems, a lot remains to learn.
Words don't come easy.