Monday, September 8, 2008

Interlude

Well, that's it. I've covered my disciple-life, including the formative experiences that led me to Guru and the Center in the first place, in 97 posts and eight months of writing. With one giant caveat -- which I've made before -- I'm pleased with the effort thus far.

The caveat, of course, is that my place in the history of Guru's life is minuscule. And the narrative arc of my memoir here is narrower still. While I've done my best to recall for you as honestly and as objectively as possible those things that I experienced -- what I saw, felt and heard -- I'm afraid it's just a sliver of the whole.

Also, I feel compelled to point out that I consider the posts thus far to be a first draft. While I did a fair bit of outlining before writing, did my best to edit on the fly, and checked in with as many available sources as possible to confirm my memory of events (and their sequence), until I have had a chance to print out each post and mercilessly take the proverbial red pen to them, I won't be fully satisfied.

On that score, I'd welcome any and all comments: either directly on the blog or emailed to me privately. Because of my current job as a trial lawyer, I've grown accustomed to the close examination of my written work. I'm of firm conviction that it can always be better, but I need input to make it so.

With all that said, however, the story of my spiritual life in general, and of my relationship with Guru in particular, didn't end with my departure from the Center in February 1990. In retrospect, it seems as if my spiritual life was just beginning.

I had always conceived of the spiritual life -- of yoga -- as being the path to become the supreme individual. The goal of life -- the goal of the spiritual life -- wasn't to become a good disciple or even to become a great disciple. The goal was to become a master of one's self.

As I look back on things now -- and as I'll try to articulate in the coming posts -- my departure from the Center now strikes me as a necessary step in my further development (though at the time, part of me considered it a colossal personal failure). Though it took a year or two to manifest itself, I had been wildly out of balance ever since my meditation at Rutgers.

At the time, I was aware of my personal limitations, even in the face of what for me was the extra-ordinary development of my higher mental faculties (here I mean psychic mental faculties as opposed to intellectual faculties). As I once described to Tejiyan, it felt to me as if my spiritual development in the Center was like a high tower built with insufficient foundation. (The image I have is of the Totem Pole formation in Monument Valley -- here's a great picture of it by Abedan.)

The rest of my story is about shoring up the foundation.

It's about letting my body, vital, and mind play catch-up; for each of the components of my psyche to have its respective day in the Sun and my efforts to integrate each of them into a more complete and effective whole. (For a refresher on lexicon, click here.) I was to begin my formal education, meet my wife, join the military, and have children.

With some semblance of balance restored, I would experience a re-awakening of my psychic flame. I would go on to law school, where the most significant books I read over those three years were not Torts, Contracts, and Constitutional Law, but the canon of Sri Aurobindo: Essays on the Gita, Synthesis of Yoga, The Life Divine, and Savitri.

In February 1990, however, that was all years ahead. At first, I was simply glad to be in a little room of my own in my dad's and stepmom's home in Morgan Hill, California, with a world of possibilities in front of me.

The last thing I wanted to think about was spirituality.

Photo credit of Morgan Hill in the morning is here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a brilliantly written spiritual biography. Thanks so much for sharing it! It's the most candid piece of writing that I've seen written by a disciple, and I've read a lot in my own personal quest both on and off the path. Do you think it would be beneficial to your audience to describe the months after leaving the center? For instance, you mention the inner flame, and I think you allude to its return. I'll definitely come back to this, it brought back a lot of memories, those memories locked in the vault of eternity and flooding down into our miniscule mind and body which can hardly withstand the force of the inner life brought about through initiation of Guru. If you lose the sexual scenes, something crucial will be missing. The reader would not be able to understand the loss of the psychic flame: the meaning of the entire text seems to hinge on the flame.

Thanks again,

A

Y. said...

Thank you so very much for your kind words -- means a lot to me!

You ask whether I would describe the months after leaving the Center, which leaves me a little confused. If you're unaware, there must be another 50 posts or so after this one, so keep reading! If that's not what you meant, then just let me know.

The more candid posts have made some people uncomfortable, but I think you're right and it's central to the overall story. I hope you'll keep reading and really hope you'll comment when inspired (later on, when some of the more controversial topics are raised, the comment sections become much more active).

Thanks again!