More often than we sometimes prefer, life itself—rudely, but accurately—reminds us of how unaware and mechanically habitual is the human mind. Even with the uncannily adept and relentless love of a Living Master guiding one, this is true—perhaps even more so than without. After all, such a One’s sole purpose is escorting His students through the mysterious and seemingly endless journey, inconceivable to the mind, to our own Self and God-Consciousness.
To the neophyte—ha! to a student of multiple decades!—we tend to lapse into thinking, after lifetimes of religious welfare, that such an unfathomable being as a Godman will accomplish such a miracle for us. When He has told us from day one, He can only do it through us. For whose Self and God Realization are we striving? Is it not our very own? How could we possibly think that the ultimate goal of human existence could be handed to us on a platter by someone else? Regardless of Who we know?!
Only the mind/ego is arrogant enough to blithely shirk dharmic responsibility. And simultaneously refuse abdication.
But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Suffice to say, awareness is a key, defining attribute of soul, not the mind. And the attainment we presumably desire more than all else embodies total awareness of the entirety of consciousness itself, something simply unavailable to the mind. Always has been, always will be.
So, what could be a more perfect device for guidance than repetitious life events that point out to us with undeniable clarity that awareness is not momentarily with us, and attention has once again, been hijacked by the intransigent mind?
When Sue and I left Friday morning, the day before spring equinox, it was predicted to be unusually calm, comfortable, and quiet in the mountains. We chose this weekday to celebrate one of our favorite trails, and our first real outing of the year. Our destination would be at the end of a trailless climb to a narrow rock ridge with exquisite views in nearly all directions, the center of which is a large chunk of New Mexico’s share of the Chihuahuan desert.
The possibility of more than anticipated snow accumulation in this part of the world dissolved as we approached the dry and mudless trailhead. The trail climbs steeply, and we each settled into our own rhythm of ascension as views started to reveal themselves. For months, Sue has been getting out for open space and forest excursions nearly daily. I’ve been sitting on my duff. Now we were making good time and enjoying our evenly matched progress.
At a spot where the trail momentarily levels out, I turned back to catch Sue whack the branch of an obviously virile male Utah juniper with her trekking pole. An astoundingly impressive cloud of pollen exploded into the air. Fortunately, the wind was favorable for her. She undoubtedly knew that before she did it. We talked for a few moments, and started to move on, but then I stopped. I decided this was worth a photo. I dug out my glasses to see what I was doing. In the process of thinking about the photo, which I then decided should be a video, I allowed the mind/ego to take over, and, framing the shot with nary a thought nor a glance toward the Inner Master, I set the experience in motion. The lighting and setting were great. What’s to lose?
As you can see, plenty. I neglected to be aware of the supremely important change in wind direction since Sue had initially done her experiment. It wasn’t as strong, but it was a profound directional shift. And, as you can see, I was engulfed in the intense pollen cloud she released this time. Had I been aware, this would have been perfectly predictable—and probably avoidable.
It wasn’t immediately painful, but I knew there would be a price to pay—for my arrogant lack of attention, for my loss of awareness, and for forgetting the Master.
Only later that evening, when I first reviewed the video, did I at least find the gratification that expletives, or blaming someone else for my experience, were not what emerged from my mouth. There’s hope.
We had the trail and the mountain to ourselves that day. Sitting on the ridge, in a protective little enclosure of rock, paradoxically providing 300˚ views with 2000 feet of relief on one side, maybe 200 on the other, we relaxed and ate the surprisingly satisfying food we had managed to throw together without the grace of total awareness. As Sue scanned with her binoculars dry lake beds and motionless wind farms thirty miles distant, a large bird entered her field of view. What’s that? A crow? No, too big. What is that? Within a few seconds, I spotted it myself, without binoculars. It was headed our way. And it was big. We’ve often seen birds of prey along this ridge. This was different, and with a propitious shift in angle, it became clear. This was an eagle. No other bird has that amazing wingspan, that rock solid, steady and effortless flight.
It aligned itself with our ridge and was heading straight toward us, seemingly slowing as it approached. Both sets of our naked eyes were glued to its every movement, until almost at a standstill directly above us—maybe 60-70 feet—it approached the sun, and we averted our eyes. A scant few branches of ponderosa with the sun behind them, completely surrounded by clear, unobstructed sky were the last place we saw this magnificent bird. To our mutual amazement, the bird, from our perspective, had disappeared. It flew, with no indication of altering its trajectory, into the space behind this small patch of ponderosa branches and the sun—and never emerged. We responded much like anyone who could suddenly no longer see what had been boldly in front of them seconds before, scanning the sky. Nothing.
Sue had never seen an eagle before—anywhere. The ones I’ve seen in various appropriate settings in much of the West have always been significant occasions. But I’ve never seen one disappear. I’ve watched them depart to the point that I could no longer see them. This bird, the first golden eagle I’ve seen in New Mexico, disappeared.
We’ve become less surprised, yet always amazed at such grace. The more attentive we become, the more prevalent the grace.
On the drive home, as I popped over a short hill at speed, I was met by three oncoming cars at the bottom of the hill: a slow sedan, and two pickup trucks on its tail, one whose loud engine was already being floored to pass. I watched in the rear view mirror, as the truck pulled fully into my lane, passing at speed on a totally blind hill. Had we been five-ten seconds later on the road, we’d have met him, head on at the crest of the hill.
Thank you, Master. Thy will, Thy will. Whenever You want me back.
Andy Carson, a climber back in Jackson used to say, “The climb’s not over ‘til you’re in the parking lot.” Good advice. I’d take it further, Andy—it’s not over until it’s over. And from the viewpoint of soul—our true central reality—it’s never ‘over’.
By the time we got home, my eyeballs were pretty much trashed, and very itchy. One of the devices of medical technology I still use is a medical ozone generator. I use it pretty regularly for a wide variety of situations and applications. The gas itself, a precisely measured and easily adjusted ratio of pure oxygen and ozone, can be used for injections of trigger points, ‘wet acupuncture’, prolotherapy, or IV administration through major autohemotherapy. Distilled water, fully saturated with ozone has properties that make it an obvious choice for use in emergency rooms, and in fact, there are places in the world where that capability is standard equipment. It doesn’t take many experiences submerging wounds and injuries in ozone water to convince the practitioner of ozone’s ability to generate stem cells. It subdues pain. And there is no disinfectant that compares. (That individuals die or have amputations from infections in our hospitals is a clear testimony to Western medicine’s willful blind eye.)
This water can be used, too, as an eyewash in response to unwanted substances inadvertently present in the eyes—or something like pollen with maddening effects that can be neutralized via oxidation. Between a gently effective Swiss homeopathic liquid and ozone water, the latter represents the nuclear option. I’ve used it many times before, and tonight it seemed to be the desired choice, after having rinsed off in the shower.
But from all appearances, tonight the effect was accompanied by a seeming exacerbation of the pollen attack I had subjected myself to earlier in the day. And by the time I awoke a few minutes prior to the precise moment of equinox—around 3:30am Mountain Daylight Time—I was extremely grateful to have become so reliant on a vivid inner world of experience and reality, because my body was in such a wretched state that being in it, and giving it attention as my reality was not the desirable choice. The experience was a fascinating and thoroughly absorbing juxtaposition of contrast and yet not. Everything I have ever experienced as an allergic reaction had now been taken to an unprecedented extreme. My eyes, still insanely itching, were all but swollen completely shut and mortared there. The area of my head associated with sinuses was so completely and immovably blocked through the mechanism of swollen tissues and thick liquids that it was easy to entertain the possibility that this condition might now be permanent. Considering that oxygen and openness might never revisit this area again seemed entirely plausible.
And yet, who cares? There’s nothing I want there, anyway! The condition separated itself from me, leaving me free to be in a place where I was completely content and surrendered to vacating the body entirely. The inner world has become decidedly preferable to the outer, and is more than merely sufficient, in and of itself. A completely comfortable and satisfactory state—actually detachedly ecstatic—residing within a body which I could casually observe as being unoccupiable. I didn’t emerge from my room until 11:45, not having any idea what time it was. My intention was to let Sue know that I was still alive, and that she should proceed with her day, and I was going back to bed.
Oddly, standing in the kitchen with her as she gleefully prepared a protein orgy for her breakfast, I began to entertain the possibility that my body might actually be capable of recovery. And it’s spending the rest of the weekend doing so. But little of my attention goes there.
This whole cycle of experience is so representative of, and endeared to life immersed in the Sound Current, and guided in love by the Master. Who else could consistently and lovingly show me the folly and arrogance of choosing life in the body/mind/ego and simultaneously demonstrate the far preferable choice of complete reliance on the inner world of soul holding His hand?
Such a world has gratefully become reality; the outer the dream. How many times will I need to be shown this before it’s fully me? Entirely up to unfolding awareness.
Glory. Glory. Glory.
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