A few days ago I reconnected with an old friend after 24 years, on Facebook. As we were catching up, trying to get each other’s current position through short mails, I told him that my seeking had come to rest (though not its end) with the recognition of the common thread that runs through all spiritual and wisdom traditions. The last fourteen years, I had been seeking with fervour – frantically reading every text, trying out meditation techniques and attending self-growth workshops. Then some time back, I began to see the commonality in what appeared diverse philosophies and streams of wisdom. It all began to converge and come together, when I was able to see that Eckhart Tolle’s present moment awareness was the same as Bhagwad Gita’s actionless action, for instance. I reveled in making all these connections and was delighted that I just needed to pull one thread and like the fisherman’s net, I would find myself pulling the complete mesh of spiritual wisdom. The machinations of Maya, the falsities of ego, the filters of perception and the direct experience of oneness – I had figured it all out in my head. Something felt right because I had been able to weave all these different threads into a fabric of cohesive wisdom. Everything was falling into place. But after celebrating that milestone the inevitable question popped up “what now?” I already know the answer to that one – I had reached thus far on the steam of ‘gyan’ or knowledge and that, at best, makes me a spiritual philosopher. Here on, I would have to change tracks – from the head to the heart; from knowing to practicing; from knowledge to experience; from wisdom to love. I now need to abandon the dry security of the boat of wisdom and jump in – to get wet in the ocean of experience. Spiritual knowledge can, at best, drop you at the gate – thereafter the ride is of no use, one has to abandon the vehicle. The last mile to most pilgrimages in India comprises a tough climb – that, perhaps, is an apt analogy for walking the talk to ‘get there’.
So, right now, I am someone who knows all there is to know – but has to take the last leap of faith – into the arena. I have to let go – of the personalization of everything – including an affliction which I call ‘my cancer’; of irritation, like the one I am experiencing right now as I am writing while a loudspeaker is blaring cacophonously; of judgments (like the reference to this sound as cacophony); of the need to control the outcome of my action; of disappointment when expectations are not met; of the need to be thought well of by others; of fears and anxieties – all of which take me away from just being; from abiding here, now.
Or that last leap of faith could just be a declaration – with complete conviction – that I am already that which I seek – and let go of even the practice and the seeking.