Once in our yoga seminar one of the students asked Rajo, my first teacher, about something that had happened to her the evening before in her room. She said that she was just looking at the wall when suddenly it started to move and she asked what was the reason for that, and if it was something to be alarmed about. He replied that she had in that moment had a glimpse of reality because actually nothing is as fixed as it appears in our perception. After the couple of days in the yoga seminar breathing deeply and doing the exercises that bring us into a more tranquil state, she was able to relax the programming of the psycho-somatic system and was able to see through the projected version of reality to the actuality. In actuality we find ourselves in a sea of energy that is in eternal flux and it is our particular nervous system that is able to superimpose on this flux of energy the perception of forms that seem to be constant. This is a wonder and allows us the experiences of the ‘phenomenal world’ we live in.
The only difficulty arises when we begin to allow ourselves to be dominated by the perception of forms as fixed and absolute. Thus the sages speak of the usefulness of surrender. Ramana, a modern sage who died in 1950, spoke of surrendering the ‘I’ thought, since the sense of ‘I’, or the thought-form ‘I’ is, according to him, the root thought-form upon which all other thought-forms hinge. Our usual sense of ‘I’ is that we are this ‘I’, this person, and that this sense of being a person is the foundation, the bedrock for all other experiences in this phenomenal world. This bases also on the perception that the ‘real’ world is the phenomenal world and all else is ephemeral and ‘unreal’. It is not that the phenomenal world in not real, but we generally lose awareness of the fact that all is actually an endless and eternal flux of energy and that nothing phenomenal is in any way permanent or ‘solid’ in the sense of lasting.
Many may be familiar with the reports of Jill Bolte-Taylor, the scientist who suffered a severe stroke and recovered while (as a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist) she was able to report on the various stages of this amazing recovery throughout the whole process. At one point she saw everything around her as atoms, molecules and electrons. When someone would come to the door of her hospital room she could only recognize them as a ‘person’ when the molecules in the area of the door-way would begin to move more strongly than those in the surroundings that ‘formed’ the walls etc. Slowly her brain began to regain the programming that enabled her to see ‘forms’ as solid rather than as flowing streams of molecules.
Back to Ramana’s advice: Surrendering the ‘I’ thought is true surrender when it is seen that the sense of ‘I’ as a separate and independent entity from the Self is a delusional state. Out of this realization comes a shriveling up of this false ‘I’ sense. It is no longer possible for that fantasy projection to attract our vital energy for its schemes and self-serving thought forms. Somehow the dynamic, which previously fed this artificial center of the psyche, is thus undermined and interrupted. It is as if a ground-swell has risen all around and inundated the fragile boat of the small self. It is now submerged in the floods of the Great Unknown.
When it timidly asks “What am I doing? Who am I supposed to be? Isn’t there something of significance for me to accomplish, some importance for me as a person?” The answer comes from all sides “Forget your old identity, your goals and desires and just let it be. You will be led to what it is you are needed for, if anything.”
That last part is always particularly devastating: “… if anything.” Does that mean I as the person I was am perhaps not needed for anything? Exactly, that’s it. The Great One is complete, now, then and forever, here, and everywhere. You and I are already flesh and blood of the Great One and only our personal sense of ‘I’ creates the delusional state and obstructs our felt realization of this greater true Reality upon which our human existence is based.