Walking down a country road a man approached and said to me: “You alone are”. I asked what he meant by that and he said: “There really is no one else but you here, although it seems so.” Then he went on his way.
After a bit another very colorful fellow came down the road and stopped to face me: “There is no birth. Don’t criticize others, there are no others, only know yourself, and spend time on yourself to know yourself. Know yourself and you know the world, find out what one is.” He, too, then continued down the road in his direction.
The next encounter was with an old man who walked slowly toward me: “You become your own enemy because of your thoughts. You believe your thoughts, that is what is happening.” On he went, slowly down the road.
I passed a garden full of flowers. The old woman tending the flowers looked up at me and said: “Don’t identify with anything, to identify with anything is bondage. When one looks at the flowers here and then at oneself, what is the difference?” I couldn’t answer, so she continued her work and I walked on.
Along came a man with a load of baskets strapped to his back on the way to the market. “There is no one here to feel sorry for whom?” he said and looked at me quizzically. Then on he went.
In the marketplace stood Krishna on a pedestal. He spoke: “I am everything, my beingness means everything, all I see is myself, worship that, because everything is my form.”
Finally a wizened old farmer, sitting behind his table with some potatoes for sale, said: “You have memory of the body, I don’t. ‘I am the body’ – that is your memory. Body memory is the sugar coating of happiness, which over short or long proves to be painful.”
I turned into the next public house and sat for a long time with a glass of ale pondering these strange encounters.
I wrote this over a year ago and I am re-posting it because I am now acutely aware again of being on the cusp of this state of mind at present. Enjoy!